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Is the 3.5mm port on the phone still useful?

## Convenience and many modern technologies are the advantages of Bluetooth headsets, but wired headphones with 3.5mm connection still have their own benefits. Wired headphones used to be the only way to listen to music on your phone. However, Bluetooth technology gradually developed with high speed and stable operation. Since then, Bluetooth headsets have gradually become popular in the music device market. Currently, Bluetooth headsets are equipped with many decoders (codecs) to increase sound quality. The Sub-Band Codec (SBC) is the most basic standard on every Bluetooth headset. Next are some proprietary codecs like Qualcomm aptX, or Oppo’s Ultra-Resolution Lossless Codec (URLC) for lossless music playback. In general, Bluetooth headsets can now play music with CD quality (bitrate 1.41 Mbps). With the increasing quality of music playback of Bluetooth headphones, many people question whether smartphones with a 3.5mm headphone port are still useful at this time. ## Reasons for choosing a wired headset According to Android Authority, there are still some benefits to choosing a 3.5mm headphone port, the most important being quality and stability. Although Bluetooth supports a number of high-quality music playback codecs such as aptX Lossless, LDHC or URLC, finding compatible products (both playback and listening devices) is not easy. Lossless music playback codecs on Bluetooth often automatically change the bitrate to ensure a stable connection signal. In some cases, playing music with a high bitrate will cause the phone to lose connection with the Bluetooth headset, due to radio interference if placed near a Wi-Fi router or a microwave oven. In addition, users of wired headphones do not need to worry about the accessory running out of battery. Most wired headphones use passive power from the phone. In contrast, wireless headphones need batteries to power the driver, Bluetooth transmitter, and data processing chip. That makes in-ear wireless headphones can only work for 5-6 hours before having to be charged. If using a headset type, the battery life may be longer (15-20 hours). After many years of use, the battery on the headset will degrade, causing the usage time to be greatly shortened. Latency is also an important factor. On Bluetooth headsets, the latency often falls to 34-200 ms, which can affect calling or chatting with teammates while playing games. If you want the lowest possible latency, choosing a smartphone equipped with a 3.5mm port and a wired headset is the best solution. Finally, the wireless headset can fall out of the ear in case of strong movement or fast movement of the user. When put in a backpack or bag, finding headphones is also difficult. If you choose a wired headset, the possibility of loss will be less likely. Benefits of Bluetooth Headsets The first advantage of wireless headphones is convenience. With wired headphones, many people have to hide the cord under their shirt, or untangle the cord after storing it. The above worries will be eliminated if using wireless headphones. Recent generations of Bluetooth have significantly longer range, so users can go to the bathroom or pick up groceries from the shipper while listening to music without having to carry their phone. Currently, there are not many smartphones equipped with a 3.5mm port. Even low-cost mid-range models are gradually eliminating this connection port. If choosing a wired headset, users can only consider some models such as Sony Xperia 5 Mark IV, Asus ZenFone 9 or ROG Phone models. Next, many modern audio technologies on Bluetooth such as active noise cancellation, connecting multiple devices at the same time (Bluetooth Multipoint), 360-degree audio emulation (Spatial Audio)… In addition, the LC3/LE codec SBC replacement promises higher sound quality and more energy savings. Bluetooth headphones also represent the era of Internet music consumption. Services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal or Qobuz all support lossless music playback. Combining music services with phones and headphones equipped with suitable codecs, the problem of finding music files and high-quality wireless sources is solved. ## DAC is a good choice? The solution if you want to use wired headphones on smartphones without the 3.5mm port is a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). With this device, users can connect wired headphones to smartphones without a 3.5mm port by converting the digital signal from the USB-C port to analog, then through the amplifier to play through the headset. High-end DAC models can deliver outstanding sound quality, even being able to “pull” professional headphones. However, high quality DACs are usually quite expensive. If you choose a cheap or poor quality DAC, the sound can be distorted and reduce the experience significantly. The downside when using DAC is that the USB-C port on the phone is occupied, users cannot both charge the battery and listen to music. In short, wired or wireless headphones have their own pros and cons. Wired headphones can deliver high-quality sound, but some Bluetooth headphones can also do this. Next, the wired headset lacks many technologies such as active noise cancellation or 360-degree sound, but the connection stability is always appreciated. In addition, choosing a phone with a 3.5mm port can make users hesitant, especially when Apple, Google and Samsung do not focus on the headphone port. If you can’t choose the right phone model, you can just buy a dedicated music player.



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