About 2 years ago I purchased, after much research, a set of Jabra Revo Wireless Bluetooth headphones. Fed up with wired headphones it seemed like a good idea after all it was almost 2015 and the sound quality over WiFi was superb I didn’t stop to think that bluetooth would be any less.
How wrong was I? The Jabra’s are very good headphones, comfortable and great sound – if you have them plugged in using the phono jack. Switch to bluetooth and the sound is noticeably poorer, worse even than FM radio.
This isn’t so much a failing on the manufacturers part as a failing on the part of bluetooth technology. I’ve not researched it (tell me if I’m wrong) but it’s likely to be caused by BT’s low bit rate. I’ve got a modern car with BT built in but I always plug my phone into it’s USB socket for music. Same reason as the headphones. The sound sucks over BT.
I rarely listen to music with headphones as it’s just too much hassle with the wires.
Now Apple brings out a new iPhone without a headphone jack. Announces new AirPod ear phones and a custom W1 chip. Finally, someone’s making an attempt at a solution.
Yet the media frenzy over Apple dropping the headphone jack and the hate pouring out at them for their “arrogance”, has just floored me.
The hate coming from the same idiots who’ve been sneering that Apple can’t innovate any more.
I can’t be alone in wanting a wireless solution. Why then all this counter propaganda telling me I don’t?
I’ve been very disappointed in the progress with the Bluetooth standards and in particular with regards to sound over air. As someone who worked in the network industry and participated in the IETF I know that standards bodies can step up to the mark when there’s a demand. Without the IETF we wouldn’t have the internet. It would never have scaled up. Why the feet dragging with BT then? (EDIT. Bluetooth V5 is coming next year. Increasing data bandwidth and range)
Why are we being told we don’t want wireless headphones. I don’t know if Apple’s W1 is any good and if they’ve got a product that does it for me but at least they’ve tried to move in the direction I’ve been waiting for, for too long.
I’m not a proponent of proprietary, closed, systems. My issue is with the lack of “innovation” with the industry standard and technology for that particular area. When complacency sets in (e.g. the incandescent light bulb) then I’m all for someone striking out on their own to move things along. Shouting them down and keeping the status quo isn’t being innovative. Even if they get it horribly wrong, they’ve tried and we’ve all learned something. Better that than remain ignorant of new territory, right?
Let’s look at what else Apple’s (controversially) dropped in the past.
- CD/DVD Drive. Who now thinks they MUST have a CD/DVD drive in their computer?
- Flash. Who misses having flash software support on their smart phone? This one caused such a stink that the late Steve Jobs had to write an open letter to calm the crowd.
- Keyboard on a phone. If the iPhone changed anything it broke RIM’s blackberry dominance with their keyboard endowed phones. Yet another rant I heard too much of was, “I prefer a REAL keyboard on my phone“, from Blackberry users. Yeah? Just like the headphone jack maybe?