It’s been almost a year since the iPhone 7 was released, but Apple’s vision of a “wireless future” and its decision to ditch the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 is still a contentious point with some iPhone users.
One of those users is Scotty Allen, a software engineer based in Shenzen, China, who took it upon himself to add a headphone jack to an iPhone 7.
You may remember Allen from one of his previous YouTube videos where he built an iPhone 6s from the ground up using spare parts he bought from regular electronics stores in Shenzen. So, it’s safe to say Allen likes to tinker.
The good news about Allen’s adventure to add a headphone jack to the iPhone 7 is it that the procedure worked, which means it’s actually possible. The bad news is that it’s not easy, and no one should actually try it themselves.
In Allen’s YouTube video, he had to take iPhones apart, use headphone jacks from an iPhone 6s, use the chips inside Apple’s Lightning headphone jack adaptor, use machine drilling, make his own circuit boards, use microscopes, use soldering irons, and do some crazy wiring.
Mishap after mishap, hundreds of Dollars, and 15 weeks later, Allen finally got a working headphone jack in the iPhone 7. Despite his success, I feel safe in assuming that most of us won’t go through what he did to add a headphone jack to the iPhone 7. It’s a lot more trouble than simply buying a pair of Bluetooth headphones, dealing with Bluetooth headphone battery lives, and the frustration of the occasional Bluetooth pairing issues.
Still, at the end of the day, Allen’s iPhone 7 was barely worse for wear. It could still charge via the Lightning port while using the make-shift headphone jack, and he could still use the volume controls on Apple’s Ear Pods earphones. His music would even pause when he unplugged his earphones from the headphone jack, just like it would on an iPhone with a built-in headphone jack.
Check out Allen’s video to see how he did it: