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Galaxy S23 series won’t bring back old and beloved audio feature


Last updated: January 24th, 2023 at 21:43 UTC+01:00

Although Samsung removed the 3.5mm headphone port from its high-end phones a few good years ago, this standard has remained in use for some of the company’s low-cost Galaxy models. So, if you’ve been using a Samsung flagship phone released in mid-2019 or later, you probably already understand that the upcoming Galaxy S23 series will not feature a 3.5mm headphone port.

But if you’re new to the world of flagships and are planning to upgrade from a budget phone to the Galaxy S23 series, you might need a quick rundown. Samsung’s high-end phones, and most other low-cost-to-mid-range Galaxy phone (save for a few budget models) no longer use the 3.5mm audio standard. And if you are planning to use your existing 3.5mm wired headphones with the Galaxy S23 series, your only option is to use a USB-C dongle.

As to why Samsung did this years ago, it’s up to interpretation. Some customers will tell you that Samsung wanted to sell wireless earbuds, even though the company bundled and continued selling wired USB-C earbuds for a while after the 3.5mm standard’s retirement.

Other smartphone users will say that the 3.5mm headphone port made it more difficult to add water resistance to phones. Or that the 3.5mm port is too large for modern smartphones and can rob them of other features. Plus, USB-C earbuds can get better with firmware updates, while 3.5mm-based headphones cannot. And they can also use features like SmartThings Find, in case you forget them somewhere. Needless to say, there are some benefits to using wireless earbuds.

Revival of 3.5mm headphone port on Samsung flagships is unlikely

Whatever the case may be, the reality is that Samsung’s wireless earbuds have become the norm, and the Galaxy S23 series will not revive the 3.5mm headphone port. The company has often bundled wireless Buds with new flagship phone pre-orders. It’s unclear if Samsung will do the same for the Galaxy S23 early next month. For now, the only official offer is a $50 gift in Samsung Credit for customers who reserve the Galaxy S23 online.

By now, many customers are sold on the idea of using wireless rather than wired earbuds because of their convenience. Once you go wireless, it’s hard to go back to walking around with wires hanging out of your ears.

Just look around, and you’ll see that not many people prefer wired headphones if they can help it, regardless of whether they use Samsung or a different brand, in-ear or on-ear, etc. There’s a reason for that, and it has to do with convenience and comfort when in motion. And that is precisely when many people use earbuds with their smartphones — in motion.

Meanwhile, pickier customers who want to connect bigger, heavier, and more professional audio equipment to their smartphones, for whatever reason, will probably not have that big of an issue using a USB-C dongle. So, in conclusion: no, the Galaxy S23 series won’t bring back the old 3.5mm headphone jack, and although this may seem like a huge loss, many existing wireless earbud users would probably argue that it isn’t.

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