Rumours that the iPhone 7 will have no audio port are a worry, writes Karl Puschmann.

I live in my headphones. They go on my head the second I'm out the door in the morning and don't come off again until I'm walking back in said door after a hard day's yakka.

Being a forward-thinking sort of fellow I bought a pair with an exaggeratedly long cable. This allows me to move around with relative freedom, ensures I'm not huddled over like Gollum when using my precious devices and safeguards me from suffering a comedic connected whiplash if I were to suddenly jump up off my seat because of, say, a fire drill or because I saw a gross creepy-crawly scuttling across my desk.

You could say it's all good. And it is. Apart from the bad parts.

First, when I'm out and about there's an unsightly bulge in the front of my jeans. This isn't because I'm happy to see you but because I've had to stuff miles of headphone cable into the front pocket so it doesn't drag along the ground.


And second, there's the time wasted each day untangling the damn speaker cord. No matter how carefully I wind the wire up each night it somehow manages to mutate into a horrifying mess of knotted cable by morning. It'd be impressive if it wasn't so infuriating.

But mostly I don't think about my headphones at all. They just are. I imagine you're much the same. Apple, it appears, is out to screw that up.

Current rumour-mongering on the web is that the iPhone 7's big feature will be its lack of a headphone port. If this turns out to be true, the humble 3.5mm headphone jack will have just received its death notice.

It's a slippery slope from rolling out on the iPhone to the iPad to the iMac and then out to the rest of the tech world.

Their vision is that instead of plugging in, you'll sync up. You'll stream your tunes from your device to your Bluetooth headphones. No cables necessary.

On paper this seems a good call. I could certainly do without my daily struggle with miles of headphone cable. But in the real world it means that I'll have another thing I have to charge every night.

Which will, ironically, mean plugging in another cable ... This is exactly the kind of design problem that hinders the Apple Watch. Apple assumes you'll always be within cooee of a power plug. I mostly am but there are times when I'm not. Like travelling or camping or long-haul flying. You know, those times when you most want to listen to music or check the time.

This is something I never have to think about with my current watch or headphones. And anything that requires me to do more thinking than absolutely necessary immediately gets a black mark against it.

In an effort to negate some of the inevitable cord-cutting bad buzz, the word on the street is that Apple plans to bundle a pair of Bluetooth earbuds in with the new iPhone. Which is fine and dandy if you're the type of audio sadist who listens to music through Apple's craptacular earbuds.

But if you're a sane and rational person who uses real grown-up headphones, then I hope you're also well off and won't have to think twice about dropping another 50 clams to pick up Apple's inevitable Lightning port-to-3.5mm connector cable. An inelegant solution to a forced problem and another thing to carry around each day.

Of course with nothing confirmed their murderous motivations can only be guessed at. Apple's anorexic obsession with making phones slimmer is an obvious one. But as the current model can barely be gripped without being safely ensconced inside a bulky case this seems a little counterproductive.

A more practical reason could be to do with their struggling music subscription service, the snappily titled Apple Music, and its rumoured plans to switch to HD audio streaming. This is one resolution too far for the trusty 3.5mm headphone jack, whose audio reproduction is hamstrung at CD quality.

From here we enter the realm of the speculative. There's everything from full-body wraparound screens necessitating the port's removal to conspiracies surrounding the company's purchase of overpriced headphone manufacturer Beats, right through to the mean-spirited "because Apple are big jerks" reasoning being mooted.

The only certainty is that the headphones currently sitting on our collective heads are now definitely living on borrowed time. It might not happen until the iPhone 8 or 9 or 100 but there's no doubt that the wired headphone that has endured for almost 130 years will soon be relegated to obsolescence.

I sincerely hope you didn't just buy an expensive pair ...