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Wednesday
May152019

Google explains why it brought back the headphone jack for the Pixel 3a

Google joined the no headphone jack club when it launched the Pixel 2 devices. The reasoning behind it was they wanted to establish a “mechanical design path for the future.” According to Google’s Mario Queiroz, “We want the display to go closer and closer to the edge. Our team said, ‘if we’re going to make the shift, let’s make it sooner, rather than later.’ Last year may have been too early. Now there are more phones on the market.” And when the Pixel 3 came out, we got those almost all-screen devices.

But now with the launch of the Pixel 3a, Google’s Sonyia Jobanputra explains in an interview why the headphone jack makes a comeback. In a nutshell, she says it’s about convenience and affordability. This midrange phone targets consumers who don’t exactly want to invest in wireless or USB-C headphones, especially since they probably have 3.5mm headphones already.

She said, “We debated on this headphone jack but we really felt that consumers at this price point in this price tier really needed flexibility, and that’s what that headphone jack gives you. We still support digital audio, and it is the ultimate way to consume your audio. You can either use the USB-C adapter on the bottom, or you can use Bluetooth headphones. And digital audio is incredible. But, a lot of people have headphones, and we didn’t need to create anymore e-waste in the world so we’ve decided to put a 3.5mm headset jack in so that people could use the accessories that they already had available to them.”

Don’t expect to get new headphones with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, though. These don’t come with headphones in the box.

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