Apple’s iPhone 7 may not have been the first smartphone to ship without a headphone jack, but it certainly helped kick off the trend. The move received a lot of criticism, as did the company’s claim that it took “courage” to release a phone that doesn’t let you use wired headphones and charge the device simultaneously unless you have a dock or dongle.

But if you want the latest iPhone and you don’t want to give up your old-school headphones, what other options do you have?

You could just use a dongle that lets you plug analog headphones into the phone’s Lightning Port. Or you could do what Scotty Allen did… and make your own iPhone 7 with a built-in headphone jack. Actually, no… you probably can’t do what he did. But it’s still a pretty cool hack.

The whole process was rather expensive and complicated, but in a nutshell here’s what Allen did:

  • Disassemble Apple’s lightning-to-headphone adapter and put it inside the phone and connect it to the lightning jack.
  • Build a custom printed circuit board (PCB) with a chip that lets you use the headphone jack to listen to audio, but which switches it off when something’s plugged into the lightning port so that you can charge your phone or use other accessories.

Yeah, he still can’t actually listen to music and charge your phone at the same time without using Bluetooth headphones.

Allen says he spent thousands of dollars on spare iPhone 7 units, screens, and other parts, not to mention headphone adapters and other components.

His PCB design is open source, so you can grab the design if you want to make your own. Or you can buy one of Allen’s limited edition circuit boards for $30.

But you’ll still need to crack open an iPhone 7 and modify it on your own, which involves moving the battery, and taptic engine and other parts. I don’t recommend you do that unless you really know what you’re doing and… don’t mind running the risk of breaking your iPhone.

Still, it’s worth noting that Allen’s iPhone 7 modification does show one thing: there’s room for a functional headphone jack in the iPhone 7. Still, with Apple set to launch a new iPhone as soon as next week, somehow I doubt that the company will follow Allen’s lead and bring back the headphone jack.

via 9to5Mac

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8 replies on “Hacker builds an iPhone 7 with a headphone jack”

    1. Good point.

      But you can’t deny that the iPhone is arguably one of the best phones on the market.
      It has a great screen, camera, processor, and sensors… sure maybe not the best in some areas, or all, but overall the hardware is quite good. Design wise its very good too. First-party support is the best by a long-margin, and third-party support is also a distant first.

      However, where iOS really excels is the security, polish, and uniformity.
      Apps and Developers are quite restricted, and this has become a good thing, so that there’s no background tasks eating up battery life and performance, and little to no privacy intrusion by Apps and OEM programs.

      This is coming from an Android enthusiast.
      Ever since the software improvements in iOS version 8.3, I can recommend the platform with little restraint. Also, ever since the iPhone 6 Plus which introduced a hardware more competitive in the marketshare, I also can recommend it with little restraint. It only took Apple 2014-2015 to really compete to the hardware likes such as the Samsung Note (3) series, and to challenge AndroidOS to likes of Clean Android 5.1 and custom skins like the FlymeOS.

      1. Nexus 6P has a better camera, just as good of a screen, and way better of an OS. Sorry, their tricks don’t work on me. I think it’s a shame that so many people fall for their scandals

  1. Yet, after all that, he still can’t use the Headset jack AND charger at the same time.

    So from a practicality point of view, this is no different to having your adaptor permanently attached to the headsets. Or you know, the new Lighting-earPods.

    Yet, it’s obvious to see that there was space in there afterall. Which is a shame, as I figured if they used the space to keep the device same thickness as the iPhone 6S, but put in an extra 700mAh internally, then it would be worth it.

    Yet even that didn’t happen, so it means this is all a great big personal F-YOU from Apple to Consumers. At least the short-term share holders are made happy.

  2. It didn’t kick off a trend, and it’s not a good trend anyway. The other companies are using usb c at least, not apple’s failed proprietary mess.

  3. It sounds like Apple was the one who lacked the courage: courage to engineer a headphone jack into their design, and a hobbyist with greater courage was needed to step in and show them how it could be done.

    1. I guess Ape have their own dictionary because, to most people, it was greed. Millions in licensing fees for certified products, airpods and adapters as well as millions more if anyone dared to make unlicensed adapters.

  4. This is a crazy amount of time and effort. Talk about dedicated. Wonder how he makes the money to cover this hobby, as a self-proclaimed nomad??

Comments are closed.