Wireless Options

Wireless headphones are ready-to-use with iPhone 7 and above phones. Typically, these are Bluetooth Headphones. Bluetooth headphones have their own battery and they must be periodically charged. If the charge runs out, you can't use them until you recharge them.

Still, it's very convenient to be able to put your phone in a pocket and listen to music without a wire. Also, many headphones have track next/prev and volume control built-in; so you can tap a button near your ear and skip the next track without digging into your phone.

Some wireless headphones are also fully capable headsets, so they have a built-in microphone that can be used to take phone calls...again, without pulling your phone out of your pocket or purse.

Apple AirPods

In addition to supporting the Bluetooth standard, Apple also released an enhanced version of wireless headphones, called AirPods.

More information will be available in December 2016 about price and availability.

Exercise Friendly

Wireless headphones are virtually a must-have for exercise. Without a wire, you can run freely or bike long distances without the worry of the wire getting in the way.

Since modern smart watches and other portable devices all support bluetooth, you can also use wireless headphones to listen to music or other programs without your phone. Just put on your smartwatch, couple the headphones and you are free to run and listen to music without worrying about your phone.

Engineers estimate that the iPhone would have to be at least 5.5 mm thick to support a traditional 3.5 mm jack.

How To "Couple" your Headphones

Typically you have to pair your headphones with your phone or watch. This means you will need to turn on your headphones or put them into "discovery mode". Then you will need to go to your phone's bluetooth settings and have your phone locate your headphones. Once they are located, you simply press a button to "pair the devices". Once paired, all sound will automatically go through the phone and into your headphones.

When you turn off the headphones, the phone automatically knows and uncouples to return to normal operation. And, so long as this is your only pair of headphones, your phone again will recognize and automatically re-pair each time it senses the headphones are turned on and within range.

Wireless Headphone Range

Currently, bluetooth headphones have a range of about 10 meters (or 32 feet). This can be reduced when they are obstacles. Typically, the signal is strong enough to travel through a wall or window but range beyond is reduced to just a few feet.

New Bluetooth standards are being developed, so we can expect that this range will increase in 2017 and 2018 to approximately 4x further. But these newer standards will only on the latest model phones and headphones at the time.

Making a Phone Call?

If you want to make a phone call and speak into your headphones, then you need a Bluetooth Headset

There are so many choices, from low-end $30 headsets to ones that cost hundreds of dollars. The headset has a microphone built-in and the phone automatically allows you to take phone calls using the microphone.

Future Value

As phone components (glass, chips, batteries) continue to get cheaper, Apple needs to battle to find ways to keep the iPhone at a high price point. Already, there are many competitive (though less superior) phones offered for $300 or less. The iPhone is typically around $700, though US cell providers help to "hide" those costs by often spreading the cost over many months.

For instance, the iPhone 7 retails at $649 with 32 gB of storage. And it is $749 and $849 with 128 gB and 256 gB of storage, respectively. Currently, 256 gB SD Cards only cost about $80, but Apple is charging $200 for that storage.. This allows Apple to keep prices high and keep profit margins up.

In the future, Apple can include wireless earbuds and continue to justify the higher prices required to keep margins high. By ditching the headphone jack, Apple has given itself room for future pricing and bundling upgrades.

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