Sony: Headphone Jack Stands In The Way Of "Beautiful Design"

A traditional headphone jack stands in the way of "beautiful, seamless design," Sony Mobile said on its page dedicated to frequently asked questions related to the company's products announced at the latest iteration of Mobile World Congress. The company took to this year's Barcelona, Spain-based trade show to unveil its latest premium offerings in the form of the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact, both of which lack a conventional 3.5mm jack. The polarizing practice of removing the popular port started in late 2016 with Apple's iPhone 7 lineup, with original equipment manufacturers giving various reasons for following suit ever since. Unlike many phone makers, Sony didn't claim it needed to do away with the headphone jack in order to make its devices slimmer, waterproof, or equip them with larger batteries, but asserted that the move is part of its transition to Ambient Flow, a new design language introduced with the Xperia XZ2 series which is meant to succeed the OmniBalance aesthetic.

The Japanese OEM also said it's "aware of the major market trend toward wireless headphones over wired headphones," suggesting that development also contributed to its decision to remove the 3.5mm port from its new smartphones. Bluetooth audio solutions have been improving in terms of quality and reliability in recent years but there's still no hard data to suggest consumers are adopting them en masse. Sony is hence joining the likes of Google, HTC, Motorola, and Huawei in removing the headphone jack from its devices, much to the dismay of a vocal group of consumers. There's still no evidence that suggests the mainstream audience cares about the port enough to avoid buying a device without it, and all major OEMs who opted for such a move likely concluded as much as part of their regular focus group studies and other research meant to gauge consumer preferences.

Sony's recent financial reports show its mobile unit has been shrinking but the company repeatedly stated it has no plans to exit the smartphone market going forward. The Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact are set to be released on a global level this spring.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]