Macro Monday 2017.14...

Tu(n)esday: EarPods...

Okay, this isn't really a post about music so much as the equipment you may or may not use to listen to it. Bear with me. If you're not still interested by about paragraph four, I will forgive you for cutting ship and jumping.

As many of you iPhone users may recall from the launch of the iPhone 7/7+, a controversial change was the elimination of the 1/8" stereo headphone jack so that the Lightning port was not only used for charging your device but for listening to multimedia content with headphones as well. People were upset because they had invested large sums of cash in good headphones.

Apple tried to sate us with a little stereo-to-Lightning adaptor that came free with every iPhone 7/7+ purchase.


While I applaud that move because they didn't make us pay for it (directly), it still sucks. Arguably moreso than before. Why?

Because every time I use that adaptor with my Skullcandy earbuds, I get static. Not a lot and not all the time, but it's there. Mostly when I'm moving like taking a walk and trying to listen to something. I get this crunchy sound that happens when a foot hits the ground. I've adjusted the connection and it's still there. I've adjusted the cabling and it's still there. I've wiggled the buds in my ear and it's still there.

So, as an experiment, I tried using the default EarPods that came with my iPhone that don't require the adaptor and they work fine. Great, in fact. Except that the sound quality, while a marked improvement over older model EarPods, sucks compared to my Skullcandy buds. I also hate that the EarPods never stay in my ears as they're slick plastic with no rubberized coating to keep them stuck in place. Finally, it also seems as though there's a noise dampener on EarPods ensuring I can never turn up the audio level to a point where I can hear it over a nearby car engine. Maybe that's just because my Skullcandy have rubber caps to minimize external sound interference.

The other thing is that I now have to carry another piece of the puzzle with me to make my iPhone work with on-the-go listening. It's not a big deal as I keep the adaptor with my Skullcandy buds. But, then if I forget the case with both of those in there, I cannot use my on-ear Sony headphones with my iPhone when I'm at work.

So now I either have to buy another adaptor or keep the adaptor at work at all times and use Apple EarPods otherwise. So my jacket pocket now has a pair of EarPods in there.

The other day, though, I forgot my case with the Skullcandy and adaptor and I wanted to sit down and play Metroid Prime Hunters on my DS and listen to it with headphones because I was at Starbucks and didn't want to bug people. Alas, I only had my EarPods with me and those don't plug into the stereo jack on my DS. And, no, I'm not going to buy some reverse adaptor.

There was once a time when all we needed was the promise of a 1/8" stereo plug and that guaranteed that all headphones worked in all devices at all times. Now? Not so much.

Dammit, Apple. Why do you have to fudge with a good thing?