'Do Google Pixel phones have a headphone jack?': Here's what you need to know

Google Pixel 3

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The Google Pixel 2 and 3 models have no headphone jack.

The tech world has a way of cannibalizing itself: Trends become standards, and progress is made. Apple was the first to announce that it would forego the headphone jack in favor of a wireless future - despite pushback from iPhone users due to the ubiquity of the jack and the fact that removing it entirely meant removing their ability to choose what sort of headphones to use.

Apple's announcement came months before the original Google Pixel, which features a standard headphone jack, made its debut on the phone market in October 2016. Samsung responded to Apple's move with criticism - before doing a sharp course-correction and removing the jack from some of their phone models as well.

So what about Google's newer phones?

Here's what you should know if you're interested in either the Pixel 2 or 3:

Google Pixel 2 and 3 models do not have a headphone jack

In keeping with the industry trend, both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 forego the headphone jack that the original Pixel featured, instead featuring a single USB-C audio port. The phones do, however, also come with a 3.55mm headphone jack adaptor, or dongle, which fits most existing headphones. The adaptor itself is about 3.5 inches long, which can make use a bit awkward.

Google Pixel 2 Dongle 3

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Google offers multiple dongles to help connect your headphones to the Pixel phone.

If for some reason you don't have the adaptor, Google sells the piece for $12, and you can find other options online. But, if you have a Pixel 2, be sure to get an adaptor with a built-in Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), otherwise it may not work properly.

Compared to the Pixel 2, the third generation does make strides toward a better headphone situation for users: The Pixel 3 comes with a pair of compatible (though not wireless) earbuds, removing the issue of the dongle when in use. So Google may be learning from the backlash it faced in the move to eliminate the headphone jack and is even taking steps to minimize it - even as it continually lurches forward.

Google Pixel 2 3

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The Pixel's dongles connect through the charging port.

Alternative options

If you aren't interested in the more cumbersome adaptor setup, or you just want a way to be able to listen to your phone while it's hooked up to the charger, you can opt to use wireless headphones instead.

The Pixel 2 and 3 are both compatible with bluetooth-enabled devices, so it would simply be a matter of pairing the headphones with your phone.

One wireless-headphone option is Google's own Pixel Buds, which cost $159 when bought through the company, although cheaper options can easily be found elsewhere. Or, if you prefer a wired-in situation, sans dongle, you could instead buy headphones with a USB-C port-compatible hookup.

Google Pixel Buds

Hollis Johnson

The Pixel Buds are Google's official wireless headphones.

What about future Google Pixel models?

Google hasn't said anything about what users might expect from future Pixel models. But according to information about the rumored Google Pixel 3 Lite (not yet announced), which was reportedly leaked by Russian bloggers and subsequently reported on by the Verge in late 2018, that phone appears to feature a headphone jack.

There's no news yet on whether the upcoming Pixel 4 will have a headphone jack or not. But if it follows the precedent set by the Pixel 2 and 3, chances are that the headphone jack will be absent.

Of course the headphone jack itself won't make or break your overall phone experience. And although the transition has proved to be an issue, one that even the manufacturers have waffled on a bit, momentum seems to be leading us in a wireless direction.

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