September 28, 2020

We’re not buying Sony’s explanation for bringing the headphone jack back

The company also explained why it removed the headphone jack from its flagships in the first place.

The Sony Xperia 1 II brings back the headphone jack.

 

  • Sony has explained why it brought back the headphone jack on the Xperia 1 II.
  • An executive said the port was indispensable for some content.
  • This makes us wonder why it was removed in the first place.

 

The Sony Xperia 1 II sees the Japanese firm bring the headphone jack back to its flagship phones, after ditching the option on its 2018 and 2019 flagships.

It’s a welcome move, but why did Sony bring it back in the first place then? A Sony executive has a rather interesting reason.

“The reason for bringing the 3.5mm headphone jack back for the Xperia 1 II is from the same mindset we had when developing the Xperia 1, which is to say ‘giving people a smartphone that they will love,’â€� Sony Mobile’s Uke Ikeda told Engadget Japan (h/t: XDA-Developers).

Read: Why my next phone doesn’t need to have a headphone jack

Ikeda added that Sony also felt the port was “indispensable� for entertainment-related content and playing games.

We do appreciate the firm bringing the headphone jack back in the first place, but we definitely question why they only found it “indispensable� two years after removing it. Surely some people within the company and feedback from consumers suggested that it was an important feature. This is especially true given Sony’s audio background in the first place.

So why was it removed?

Sony Xperia 1 review rear glass

Sony removed the headphone jack on the Xperia XZ2 series, the Xperia XZ3, and the Xperia 1 and 5 phones. Ikeda told the outlet that this decision was made due to “the priority we were placing on improving the design of the phone and the fact that wireless earphones were becoming more common.�

In other words, it sounds like a combination of design and financial considerations drove the move. In the case of the former, removing the headphone jack could theoretically allow for internals to be rejigged and for improved water and dust resistance. Then again, we’ve seen water-resistant, wirelessly charging phones with the port before.

It’s also interesting to note the executive bringing up usage of wireless earphones, especially with Sony selling them in the first place. So perhaps they thought removing the jack would boost sales of their wireless products.

Nevertheless, the Engadget Japan interview has plenty of Xperia 1 II insight, so it’s worth a full read. Otherwise, you can check out more noteworthy features in the list below.