I only recently switched from my old Blackberry which I have been using since the 1970s. It is true that the Blackberry was slow, was almost impossible to use apps, but had some neat elevated buttons so that I could write an error free text or email while driving at highway speeds.
My new phone (for about a year now) is the iPhone 6. It has great apps and its usability is infinitely better than my old Blackberry… but I still miss the elevated buttons. Now I need to look down at the screen when driving at highway speeds!
One thing that I like about my iPhone 6 (and my old Blackberry) is that I could plug in my earphones. And now I hear that the new iPhone 7 won’t even have an earphone jack (unless I use an adapter and plug it in through the charging port).
I realize that we now live in the 21st century and Bluetooth and other wireless protocols rule the world, but the new iPhone 7 will only have a small assortment of wireless earphones to choose from.
My area of consternation is that the range of wireless earphones are limited in their performance. A Bluetooth enabled wireless earphone is simply a Bluetooth enabled wireless earphone. But let me talk about my two favorite earphones- the ones I get my kids and friends for their birthdays or holiday season gift.
I’m not going to name names, but I use a nice sleek insert pair of earphones with a resonance in the 3000 Hz region that offsets the inherent loss of hearing the diffuse sound field due to an insertion loss. That is, my favorite earphone has a 15 dB resonance at 3000 Hz; the net effect is a perfectly flat response at the eardrum. This provides a truly “transparent” response as if I had nothing in between the mp3 and my ears.
I am skeptical whether any of the available wireless earphones have this type of response (and indeed most of the commercially available wired earphones also don’t have this type of response).
Another type of earphone is the one that I recommend to all of the grandmothers I see in my clinic. Well, it’s not for them. The number one question I am asked as elderly Mrs. Smith is walking out of my office is “should I buy my granddaughter a Walkman for Christmas?” Of course I ignore the cute by archaic reference to the Walkman.
This is actually a great question. I usually spend five minutes (while standing at the elevator) summarizing the work of Brian Fligor and explaining the 80/90 rule …. 80% volume for 90 minutes a day is about half of the daily exposure; if your favorite song comes on, turn up the volume, just turn it down after.
And before the (very slow) elevator arrives, I explain about the available earphones that have reduced sensitivity and ensures that any kid will never be overexposed. This is accomplished with no audible (or measureable distortion)
I doubt whether there are any wireless headphones that can be used with the iPhone7 that have that feature.
Maybe in the future, but not yet. I wonder if Apple should have held off on removing the wired earphone jack until wireless earphone technology caught up with what is currently in the market place? Perhaps it may be OK for the iPhone 8 or 9?