Jun 9th, 2016

With all the hubbub about Moto Mods and an all-metal body, you might have missed one of the less talked about things with the new Moto Z phones. The phones don’t have a headphone jack.

Moto Z TurboPower

That’s right — they’re completely devoid of a 3.5mm headphone jack, with the only connection port being its USB Type-C port. So, how are you going to use headphones?  Luckily for you, there are options:

  • Use headphones which have a USB Type-C connector
  • Use a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter

Before you throw your hands up in a fit, let’s talk about this for a second. Using USB-C for audio has its benefits, and in the case of the Moto Z one of those benefits is so in-your-face obvious that your eyes might explode: it’s by far the thinnest device they’ve ever made. It’s a move we first saw with LeEco’s phones. Using USB-C for audio has

The lack of a 3.5mm headphone port gave Motorola the freedom to shrink down their circuit board. This also means that circuit board uses less power (maybe not so much that it’s going to make a noticeable difference in battery life, but less is less). Oh, and with the advent of smart headphones this enables some really cool possibilities.

It’s a move we first saw with LeEco’s phones. It’s a move Apple is rumored to be making with their next iPhone. Even HTC seems to be teetering toward that direction with the HTC 10’s primary headphones being USB-C.

And with Motoro– excuse me, Lenovo — joining in on the fun, it seems like the industry has accepted the gospel of companies like Intel who are crying out about the greatness of ditching our old 3.5mm friend.

The only question remains: do you care? Is it going to keep you from buying a Moto Z? While you’re at it, if you do buy the Moto Z, are you going to be looking for headphones that come with USB-C as standard or will you be going with the adapter to use the headphones you already know and love? There’s a poll and a healthy comments section awaiting you straight ahead.

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