OnePlus was among the last holdouts while the smartphone industry was quickly ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. The company followed on the footsteps of Apple, Google and others and dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack when it launched the OnePlus 6T last year. The Chinese smartphone maker argued that the omission of the proprietary audio jack would allow for inclusion of a bigger battery. While the OnePlus 6T did not bring anything new to the table that would justify the company’s decision to drop the audio port, it could be because of development of wireless earbuds.
With the launch of OnePlus 6 during the first half of 2018, OnePlus introduced its wireless earphones called OnePlus Bullets Wireless. While they were not truly wireless like Apple’s AirPods or Samsung Gear IconX, it showed OnePlus’ intention to build wireless earphones or headphones for its smartphone users. Now, Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus, has shed more light on why the company dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack and hinted at the launch of a truly wireless headset. He believed that dropping the headphone jack will allow for polishing the wireless experience.
In a Weibo post, Lau advocates for the advancement of wireless standard and says that dropping the audio jack will help wireless becoming a key standard. In a translated post, he says that by dropping the earphone jack, “a wireless headset with the ultimate experience will be a product that we can polish for a long time.”
The post has led to speculation that the Chinese smartphone maker will introduce its first truly wireless headphones alongside the flagship OnePlus 7. He adds that while the Bullets Wireless from last year is good, the company can make it better. The post from Lau ends with request for suggestions on how to improve earphones for mainstream consumers. There is no evidence to suggest that the company is working on developing wireless headphones.
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However, considering that OnePlus Bullets Wireless is nearing its first year anniversary, the company could introduce its AirPods challenger alongside the OnePlus 7. OnePlus could also be working with Qualcomm to integrate aptX adaptive audio, which was announced for wireless headphones last year. We will know more about OnePlus’ plans around its next smartphone and wireless audio segment in the next few weeks.