Mobile phone manufacturers might be ready to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack for good, but consumers aren't. Every new announcement of a phone dropping the standard port last year - following Apple, of course - was met with groans and kvetching, and for good reason. We've all got years' worth of 3.5mm headphones, and not everyone wants to replace them with £160 earrings.
There are official dongles to bridge the gap, of course, but a new product by Podo Labs offers one of the best solutions we've seen to this problem so far.
Simply called 'Jack', this Bluetooth headphone adaptor looks like a tie clip and connects your wired headphones to your phone - wirelessly. In other words, you plug your headphones into the 3.5mm port on the Jack, then Jack communicates with your phone via Bluetooth to transmit sound to your un-smart old headphones.
Need a diagram? Have a diagram.
While products like this exist already, the real genius of this product is in the syncing. If you and a friend each have a Jack, the one-push sync lets you connect them wirelessly to send the same audio from your smartphone, tablet, PC etc to both of you. So if you're watching Netflix together on the train, for example, synced audio transmits wirelessly to both your headphones, even if they're just the naff ones you got free with your phone.
Jack currently comes in three colourways: black/silver, white/gold and blue/gold, and launches today on Kickstarter with a funding goal of $20,000. The company behind it, Podo Labs, previously crowdfunded and shipped two versions of its 'stick and shoot' camera, raising over $1m and absolutely smashing its funding goals. That product is now available in Urban Outfitters, which lends some rare credibility to the Kickstarter campaign - although of course, it's never guaranteed that products will come to fruition.
Jack is compatible with all Bluetooth audio products and any 3.5mm aux - which means you can use it to send audio from your non-Bluetooth TV to your headphones, for instance, or set it up as a Bluetooth receiver for your car stereo. It offers a 300mAh battery - considerably larger than many competitors - which the creators say will give 12 hours of playback. At Kickstarter early bird prices, it costs $25 (about £20) for one, or $49 (about £39) for two, plus shipping. They ship worldwide.
We reckon Jack is going to smash its funding goals - you can back it here if you want to be one of the first. Either way, it's guaranteed to be better received than yet another phone with no headphone jack, right?
All images: Podo Labs