Jacking the headphone jack: Are Bluetooth earphones safe?

It’s that time of year again: the two week build-up to the release of the next generation of iPhones. Of course, this is exciting news for the more than one in four Americans who own iPhones (Elmer-DeWitt). Mid-september every year marks a revolutionary time, a time in which the entire world comes to a halt in order to speculate and observe exactly what the innovative Apple will do next. The newest release for mid-September of 2016 is, as promised, the notorious iPhone 7. The whole world has been on the edge of its seat, awImage result for iphone 7aiting to see if the rumors are true. Of course, we now know that everyone’s worst fear has surfaced: the headphone jack has disappeared. It’s obvious that this isn’t the only difference between this new model and previous smartphone generations; the camera is an entirely different story, the interface and processing speed have changed, and even the home button has gone through its own transformation. However, it seems that all people can think about is how they’re going to be able to plug into the aux and charge their phone at the same time anymore.

And yet, Apple’s real goal is to move into a wireless earphones stage, a revolutionary new step that not a lot of people are prepared for. The innovative minds behind Apple have created a wireless earphone named “AirPods” to accompany the new iPhone in order to propel this futuristic change in what’s familiar. Although the majority of Apple devotees are concerned about how Image result for airpods memeridiculous they look hanging out of your ears with no wire, has anyone taken a minute to concern the safety concerns purely Bluetooth earphones present to users? A wireless technological advancement that utilizes electromagnetic waves in order to exchange device data over short distances, Bluetooth inherited its recognizable name from a famed Danish King responsible for uniting Danish tribes within Scandinavia in the 10th century, King Harald Bluetooth (Ghose).

As an advancement that works very similarly to an extremely low frequency Wi-Fi light, Bluetooth has certainly raised fears about the safety of having radiation waves so close to your head, and now, directly in your ears (Ghose). Luckily, according to an accredited LiveScience article, the radiation emitted electromagnetically through Bluetooth device pairing is remarkably low and essentially harmless, especially when the waves come so irregularly. Of course, smartphones themselves have been associated with a number of safety concerns due to the constant radiation emitted as people carry them on them 24/7. A few studies have been conducted, one of which being an experiment that exposes rats to high levels of phone radiation. The results of this study includImage result for bluetoothe the concerning outcome of a handful of tumors developing in the rats linked to the nervous system and brain; however, the ratio correlates heavily with the number of rats expected to develop tumors by chance, which at least brings some appeasement to smartphone users (Ghose).

Certainly, there will always be a few risks associated with smartphone use, such as driver safety while utilizing Bluetooth earphones, or eardrum damage as a result of overly loud music, as author Tia Ghose points out in her LiveScience article. However, at least for now, we don’t have much to be worried about when it comes to the new jack-less iPhone, besides losing aux cord duty for a while.


Elmer-DeWitt, P. (2014, January 16). NPD: Better than 1 in 4 adult Americans now own an iPhone. Retrieved September 16, 2016, from http://fortune.com/2014/01/16/npd-better-than-1-in-4-adult-americans-now-own-an-iphone/

Ghose, T. (2016, September 8). New iPhone Lacks Headphone Jack: Are Bluetooth Headphones Safe? Retrieved September 16, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/56027-bluetooth-headphone-safety-concerns-with-iphone-7.html


iPhone 7





6 thoughts on “Jacking the headphone jack: Are Bluetooth earphones safe?

  1. Samuel Deluca

    This blog post is definitely something I was interested in. I was surprised but understanding when I heard about iPhone’s switch to no jack and bluetooth headphones. I never thought of the dangers of bluetooth headphones until reading this article. I was very surprised by these finding and will probably not be buying the new iPhone.

  2. Randall Stansbury

    I was so angry when I found out about this new head phone situation. Because Apple got rid of the headphone jack you now can not listen to music while having your phone plugged in unless you purchase a pair of bluetooth headphones which apple is selling for over $100. I think that this is all a ploy to get people to spend more money on Apple products, and the worst part is that I think that it will work.

  3. Christina Rae Locurto

    I was intrigued by your blog post, because I never really thought to ask myself that question. I just knew everyone was upset with the headphone jack disappearing, and the wireless headphones being an issue with many. I never realized that the bluetooth headphones could be unsafe. It does make sense that people would be apprehensive of using the wireless headphones especially if radiation had an affect on it. But, as you said our smartphones also have a tiny amount of radiation. I found this very interesting article that really makes a very good point. Just because the rats grew tumors because of smartphones does not mean humans will. Just like in class, with the worms, rats are not humans. So, the study may show a correlation, it does not exactly equal a causation.

  4. Alexis Paige

    I am not too excited about not having a headphone jack myself. It kinda feels like Apple has cornered the market even more! The only wireless headphones I know of is the Apple brand or the Beats brand which is also Apple right now. On the topic of hearing damage, not just earphones can do that damage. Here’s an article on how going to music concerts effect our hearing.

  5. Xander Roker

    I couldn’t find any concrete evidence that supported whether or not bluetooth EarPods would be any less healthy than earbuds with a cord, but I feel the same as you: earbuds with a cord are much better, and Apple should not have gotten rid of the aux. While I’m sure there are some people who are excited about EarPods, Apple could have at least released one phone with an aux and one without, like a 7 and a 7s, like we’ve seen in the past.

  6. dcd5251

    I was a pretty keen follower of the new iPhone releasing, and when I heard about Apple trashing the headphone jack I was pretty upset. I personally never use bluetooth headphones. I have my handy white headphones that never let me down. I never truly thought about the possible harms behind blue tooth head phones, but one thing that you mentioned is ear drum damage. Ear drum damage can come from any type of headphone, and was something that my mom drilled into my head when I got my first generation iPod nano. She always told me don’t play the music too loud or you might hurt your ears. Here is a video that talks about how earbuds can damage your hearing

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