Tablet and phone users everywhere are slowly coming to the realization that compatibility matters – a lot. In fact, it’s a miracle things like headphones and phones even sync up. But problems can stem from the countless case makers on the market. The idea of making customizable covers to fit virtually every electronic is a great idea. However, there was one small aspect the designers forgot to address after figuring out what type of material would work the best. The headphone jack access areas are too small. Probably made small to reduce exposure of the actual device to the outside world, the circumference ended up being a bit too restricting for many headphone plugs. This then led to headphones of any kind not being able to fit in the jack. Instead of getting to listen to music on the way to work or enjoying the sounds of an app game, users now had to accept silence or buy another case altogether. Even the more professional cases ran into the problem of blocking any access to audio.
While headphone jacks are relatively regulated, cases openings are not. So long as they snap around the device and have openings in the proper places, they’re considered good enough. For users that can’t go around buying new cases because of a defect and can’t risk breaking the case, there is a solution.
Adapters have long been used to help bridge the gaps between compatibility issues and the time it took companies to work with one another to find a solution. Now is one of those times. Until all cases and all phones can agree upon a proper headphone jack size, it’s up to the adapter to solve the issue. Costing around $2.00, slim, straight, 3.5mm stereo headphone adapters have been created as a solution for this issue. About three inches long, one end provides you with a jack that actually works while the other is skinny enough to fit into a case’s slot. It’s a plug-in that doesn’t add much extra length, only compatibility. Best yet, the plug does support stereo, meaning the sound quality will be little affected. It is also designed to fit the jacks of cases from Speck, Targus, LogiTech, LifeProof, Griffin, Otterbox and Belkin, case companies are well known for their products.
Individuals aren’t the only ones that can benefit from this tiny piece of ingenuity. Hotels, airlines, schools and libraries are all perfect places to carry extras should their customers require assistance. While most people will have their headphone situation figured out by the time they sit down a flight, there will always be those that need a little extra help in an aural dilemma. Carrying just a few of these means certain accidents can be avoided. People generally buy cases to protect their electronics and if they have to take these out of the protective shell to listen to, there’s a much higher chance of both the electronic and the case itself getting lost or broken in some way.
We live in an incredibly transitional time period in regards to technology. While most pieces seem to have found common ground (remember old AT keyboard connectors?) there is still room to grow, especially with the myriad of portable devices now serving as our own miniature computers. It seems that until case builders begin widening the holes at the top, audiophiles will find no peace as they are unable to plug in their special headphones. Luckily, these skinny 3.5mm adapters are out on the market, providing us with an inexpensive way to connect further with our technology.