RIP: Galaxy S20 just killed the headphone jack for good

(Image credit: Future)

The last headphone jack stronghold has fallen: Samsung has finally given up on the venerable minijack after making fun of Apple for doing the same for several years. The Galaxy S20 kills the headphone jack for good.

Samsung has lasted quite a few heroic years since Apple eliminated the 3.5 mm headphone jack in 2016 with the iPhone 7. But it was bound to be the chronicle of an announced death.

Three years later — and after plenty of commercials and company statements criticizing Apple for not including one in their $1,000 phones — the Korean company started to phase out the headphone, turning it into a “luxury” feature in the S10. It didn’t matter that the company’s then-CEO DJ Ko assured everyone that Samsung wasn’t going to get rid of the port

Yes, it’s not the first time that Samsung has not used the minijack in one of its phones. The company killed it in the Galaxy Note 10 and, before that, it did the same with the Galaxy A8, presumably to test consumers’ reactions. And all consumers except a very vocal minority don’t give a damn.

But this is the first time that Samsung has eliminated the port in the S family, the epitome of smartphones for the company. None of the Galaxy S20 models — not even the Galaxy S20 Ultra with its bigger body and all-features-and-the-kitchen-sink-included design — has the beloved 3.5mm audio port. 

Like we said back in 2019, “it seems inevitable that Samsung eliminates the minijack from the Galaxy S11 [now S20], too. This Note 10’s dongle seems like a clear sign that the venerable 3.5-millimeter port is dead for the Korean company.” Indeed, it was. 

None of this should be a surprise, though. While the iconic minijack has been a staple of portable electronics — from the Gameboy to the iPod to the iPhone — since Sony released the Walkman in 1979, I’m afraid it has ran its course. In a world where everyone and their dog are migrating to wireless earbuds and AirPods have become as ubiquitous and iconic as the iPod’s white earbuds once were, it was only a matter of time.

It's not a coincidence that Samsung announced its new Galaxy Buds Plus on the same day as the Galaxy S20 lineup, complete with 11 hours of battery life and better audio quality. The writing was on the wall.

Sure, wired headphones don't require battery charging at all and it’s always there to use. But, if you want wires, you can get new USB-C headphones or a USB-C-to-headphone jack dongle if you already have some expensive cans. Or, if you are like the majority of people, give up and go wireless. 

So now, for real, goodbye headphone jack. You were fun while you lasted.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.