Reading Suggestion: PopSci’s “The Noise Issue”

And we are baaack! Silver lining of the coronavirus, after 20 months we are reactivating on this blog! While I am working on new content, here’s something interesting to read if you had previously missed it…

The “The Noise Issue” of the Popular Science magazine has a total of 32 sound and audio related articles You can look at the list of articles at their website with excerpts for all. A few of them are in full even, a couple of which I linked to down below…

You can find the issue with the full articles if your local library includes digital magazine subscriptions or you can read it if you have a Netflix-style digital magazine subscription or you can digitally buy the single-issue online, or look for it on eBay and such.

Of potential interest to headphonalia:

  • the secret to noise cancelling headphones
  • McIntosh’s audio gear factory
  • mondegreens, why you mishear song lyrics {apart from singers not singing clearly I presume}
  • earplugs for everyday solutions
  • hidden hearing loss hitting people of all ages
  • Pete Hutchinson restores old music
  • ASMR, mechanical keyboards,early recordings, crying babies [no, not on the audio forums!], mysterious sounds, Stradivarius, surround sound, the frog’s …sound signature and MORE

The word of the day is definitely “mondegreens” 🙂

List of Smartphones Without a 3.5mm Headphone Jack

LATEST UPDATE: April 17 in 2018 – another Sony XZ without… with more smartphones abandoning the headphone jack, the time was right to create a parallel list to this, Headphones WITH a headphone jack

Even the best of futurists sometimes have a hard time beating a coin toss with their predictions, so I have no way of knowing where the headphone jack will be in five or ten or twenty or thirty years from now. At the moment however, it reigns supreme in smartphones, despite some high profile defectors to the Lightning cable (Apple) and USB-C (a few Android models).

Given the situation today, it is a lot easier to keep track of the smartphones that do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, rather than keep track of all the ones that do (the vast majority of them). There is only a handful of defectors so far. 2016 created a mini panic, but as of mid 2017, the existential crisis that was predicted did not materialize.

Samsung’s Galaxy 8 co-flagships along with the LG G6 and Sony XZ*, Huawei P10 flagships continued to embrace the headphone jack. Heck, even the brand new iPad Pro 10.5″ has a headphone jack 🙂 But the year is not over yet, we are still waiting for the new Note 8, LG V30, Pixel 2, iPhone 8, Moto Z flagships.

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List of Smartphones With a 3.5mm Headphone Jack

LATEST UPDATE: March 29 in 2018: the new Oppo flagship loves the headphone jack :)… Samsung and LG lead the way… for now, I am only including smartphones announced in 2018 or later (excluding entry-level and lower mid-tier phones) and a few select pre-2018 models…

More and more manufacturers are making the mistake of abandoning the headphone jack, so I think the time is right now to start listing the headphones that come with a headphone jack.

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Smartphones with Bluetooth 5

LATEST UPDATE: March 1, 2018 – I need to backfill this but the latest model with BT 5.0 is the ASUS 5Z flagship (Snapdragon 845)…

Bluetooth is a tug of war between convenience and compression. Some vow never to use it on the grounds of the additional compression step. Others will under certain circumstances. Certainly, after one ruins enough headphones and earphones during specific tasks and activities, one may be more inclined to give bluetooth a chance, at least during those activities.

Which brings us to Bluetooth 5, a point of hope and hype that you can listen over bluetooth without noticeably sacrificing audio quality. It is too early to tell as of June 2017, as we only have a couple of smartphones and no headphones supporting Bluetooth 5. But IFA is just around the corner, and so is CES 2018, so we should expect more action on this front in the next few months.

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