A prominent rumor about the Galaxy S8 suggests Samsung will drop the 3.5mm headphone jack from next year's smartphone. If you're not wild about that idea, the company might take the sting out of that move by releasing a pair of wireless headphones to go with the S8.
That's the latest rumor swirling around the still unannounced smartphone, courtesy of Sammobile. The Samsung news site says it's received information that the company plans to launch new wireless in-ear headphones along with the Galaxy S8 next year. Sammobile cautions that it's unclear whether Samsung will bundle the earbuds with the S8 or sell them separately.
MORE: Samsung Galaxy S8 Rumors: What Features to Expect
The prospect of a headphone jack-free Galaxy S8 first popped up earlier this month, again courtesy of a Sammoble report. In that rumor, Samsung would remove the headphone jack and replace it with a USB Type-C port. By getting rid of the headphone jack, Samsung would also be able to add stereo speakers to the Galaxy S8.
Samsung's not the first phone maker to consider axing the jack. Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus — hardly to universal acclaim — as have Motorola and LeEco. Those phones include an adapter for plugging in existing headphones, so Samsung could distinguish itself by bundling its in-ear headphones with the S8 — unless it decides to sell those as a standalone accessory that competes with Apple's wireless AirPods.
Sammobile's report dangles the possibility that Samsung's wireless headphones could include audio from Harman. Samsung bought the audio and car infotainment system specialist this year in an $8 billion deal.
Wireless in-ear headphones wouldn't be uncharted territory for Samsung. The company introduced its Gear IconX earbuds this year, which we found feature-packed though pricey in our review.
Not every mobile user is going to embrace the move away from the 3.5mm audio jack, but we're clearly going to see more phones adopt that design as phone makers look for ways to come out with more compact devices. The key will be for phone makers like Samsung to come up with compelling alternatives to standard headphones.