OnePlus CEO Peter Lau took to the company’s forum today to share his thoughts on the 3.5mm headphone jack and where OnePlus is headed in this area. This is useful as OnePlus is expected to launch the OnePlus 5T sometime in November and many were wondering whether OnePlus would abandon the 3.5mm jack. The bottom line for OnePlus and Lau is that their analysis of the pros and cons and their “understanding of user needs” means OnePlus “for the time being… [will] stick with the headphone jack.”
Two primary considerations guided this decision according to Lau. First, the overwhelming majority of the OnePlus community – 70% of those providing feedback – indicated sound quality was a high priority for them. While there may be some high end wireless headphones capable of matching wired units in terms of sound quality, the vast majority are still lacking in this area, especially when you drop below the $200 threshold and get into more mass market oriented devices. By keeping the 3.5mm jack, OnePlus owners can continue to take advantage of a much larger market of devices.
The second issue was the extensive investment already made in wired headphones. According to OnPlus, almost 80% of their users already own and use wired headphones. Lau indicated that OnePlus went so far as to consider installing a second USB-C port in their phones so that users could make use of a 3.5mm to USB-C dongle. That would enable them to charge their device at the same time and replacing the 3.5mm jack with a USB-C port would make thinner devices possible. However, OnePlus determined that this would not ultimately improve the experience, at least for now.
Is the 3.5mm headphone jack an important component in a smartphone you may consider buying?