Skip to main content

Here's why Xiaomi got rid of the headphone jack in the Mi 6

There's a lot to like in the Xiaomi Mi 6, but one change that has frustrated potential customers is the removal of the 3.5mm jack. Xiaomi isn't the first company to ditch the ubiquitous port for USB-C audio, and we now have a clearer understanding of why the move was carried out.

In a statement to Android Central, Xiaomi revealed that the headphone jack was removed to facilitate a larger battery:

Smartphones are highly-integrated products and internal space is precious. By removing the headphone jack, we can save room for other components such as a bigger battery. Audio through USB Type-C is becoming more common, and will continue to provide excellent sound quality.

The Mi 6 has the same 5.15-inch screen size as its predecessor, but Xiaomi managed to increase the battery capacity by 10.5%, from 3000mAh to 3350mAh. The phone also has dual rear cameras even though the overall size of the chassis is roughly the same as the Mi 5. With the 3.5mm jack positioned at the top in the Mi 5, Xiaomi would have faced space constraints with the addition of dual cameras.

Xiaomi Mi 6 next to Mi 5

The removal of the 3.5mm jack also makes the Mi 6 splash resistant. There's no IP rating for the device, and Xiaomi was careful not to use the term water resistance, but it should withstand the occasional splash of water. While a bigger battery and better camera tech is always welcome, ditching the 3.5mm jack to achieve that is a shortsighted move by a company that has otherwise been very cognizant of its customers' needs.

Xiaomi Mi 6 USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

If you're eyeing the Mi 6 as a prospective purchase, then you'll either need to switch to Bluetooth headphones or use a dongle to hook up your audio gear to the device. If you're opting for the latter, Xiaomi includes a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter in the retail box.

What are your thoughts on Xiaomi's decision to remove the 3.5mm jack in the Mi 6?

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

44 Comments
  • Excuses... Excuses...they are just trend following
  • Did you whine when screens got bigger? Times change. Grow up.
  • The main concern is the fact will be lower quality, or non existent. The DAC will really need to be emphasized by reviewers, specially on these 3.5mm-less phones.
  • In addition, headphone jack is one of the most thick component in the phone, even thicker than screen, battery and PCB, so get rid of the headphone jack is helpfut to make the phone thinner.
  • Hehe...
  • Who wants thinner phones? Actually why they insist on that? Just make the phone 3mm thicker and pack a giant fat battery there.
  • Amen, the headphone jack was necessary in the last decade but Bluetooth has taken us to next level, can't live in the past!
  • Heh my hifi headphones are never getting replaced by ****** Bluetooth headphones
  • Hehe no one cares about super Hi Fi. Hehe just freaking sound is fine. Hehe pretentious BS. HEHE.
  • Definite sound advantage to even my ~$50 wired headphones over any of my bluetooth headsets - not exactly elite expensive headphones here. I use my wired headphones when I'm at my desk or in bed, and I typically use Bluetooth when exercising or in car. I think people misinterpret desire for headphone jack as an exclusive one or the other. I use and see advantages to both in certain situations... so for me, the benefit of "living in the future" is that I have options and can pick the best tool for the job. Not to mention the countless times I leave both my wired and bluetooth headsets at home - I can run to Walgreens or Dollar store and buy a cheap pair in a pinch.
  • Most users want the headphone jack, I've seen iPhone users use their old iPhone just to play music which is hilarious
  • As both an S8+ and an iPhone 7 Plus user, I am glad to have the headphone jack back with the S8+. The iPhone 7 Plus is a pain in the rear end in this regard. What a dumb decision. I can also confirm what you said above actually being real. What a dumb decision by Apple. Unfortunately their arrogance will not allow them to ever go back on this decision.
  • I will choose not to spend money on something that does not have a very important feature to me. Thankfully Google, OnePlus and several others haven't made this idiotic decision.
  • So far...
  • Lenovo/Motorola are bringing the 3.5mm jack back on the coming Moto Z2 series. So we'll see.
  • Yet. They're just letting Apple and other OEM's take the hate before they do the same
  • Even if the headphone jack becomes a niche feature, there will always be manufacturers who are willing to set themselves apart by giving customers what they want. Just look at blackberry's physical keyboard.
  • Just copycats...
  • Hahaha, okay sure, and courage too. Let's not forget courage.
  • Um, that's not a good reason. You can incorporate a bigger battery without removing the jack by making it slightly thicker and/or smart component arrangement. And USB-C audio still needs more time to catch on. There's a reason why many have kept it and some, like the Moto Z2, are rumored to have it back.
  • Probably still a dealbreaker for me to not have a headphone jack.
  • Not sure if I'd get a phone without a headphone jack or not but at least they're using the saved space productively and not just shaving a pointless (to me at least) 1mm of the thickness off the phone.
  • | This!
  • If this phone comes out with a global rom,does that mean I can use it in the US? T-Mobile?
  • Yes, you'll be able to use it. I've used several Xiaomi devices with T-Mobile. One thing to keep in mind is that you'll be limited to 3G service, which may or may not be a problem where you live. It's perfectly fine here in Minneapolis, because T-Mo's 3G coverage is good and the lack of congestion (nearly everyone else now uses 4G) allows for solid speeds. But your mileage may vary.
  • Xiaomi is not popular enough to thrive through such stupid design decisions.
  • Actually they're up there with Huawei, especially in asian countries. I believe they are somewhat responsible for Apple/Samsung losing market share in many non-western countries.
  • I still don't get it. If the 3.5mm jack is too difficult to pack into a phone why don't manufacturers get together and create a smaller headphone jack standard? One that doesn't require a battery in the headphones, doesn't use up the charging port and can have a small adapter to 3.5mm.
  • like 2.5mm jack? https://www.google.si/search?q=2.5+mm+jack&oq=2.5+mm+j&aqs=chrome.1.69i5...
  • Either way people will complain about buying different headphones.
  • How about we quit making them rediculously thin. Make my phone 2mm thicker, give me a headphone jack and a bigger battery that will last me all day. So sick of this.
  • Why are these phone manufactures so obsessed with making anorexic phones?
  • Nope. This is BS, and ALMOST as consumer hostile as when Apple did it. Bluetooth simply isn't there yet, dongles suck, and I like the headphones I have. I'm not against change, but change for the sake of change is just stupid.
  • The real reason is because Apple did it.
  • Xiaomi have always copied/looked up to Apple.
  • 90% of the time I am on Bluetooth. The other 10% I MAY be using a wired headset while my Smartbean is charging​. So I would to use a dongle for 40 minutes; I'd survive.
  • I find this to be a poor excuse, my Z Play has a larger battery than the Mi 6 and includes the headphone jack.
  • Unsurprising, PR nonsense. The S8 and G6 are proof you can have the best of all these worlds (headphone jack, bluetooth, dual cameras, thin profile) and still manage to retain a relatively large battery (3000 mAh in the S8 and 3300 mAh in the G6) so I'm not sure how any company can come out and say it was a necessary move. It's really not. Trying to convince us that it is, and that we're somehow getting such big gains because of it, is warped boardroom shenanigans from people who have thoroughly convinced themselves their reasons are sound...and this coming from someone who does most of their listening through Jaybird X3's...
  • Xiaomi is basically admitting their engineers are INCOMPETENT. Many Android phones are waterproof and kept the headset jack. LG, Samsung, even Motorola is bringing it back while being COMPLETELY WATERPROOF. Battery size is a LIE. You have as much room as you want for battery size. My 5.2" Moto XT1225 has a 3900 mAh battery. Last year's Moto Z Force had not headset jack, but then Motorola added it back to the Moto Z Play and had a LARGER battery than the Moto Z Force. The difference was .02 - 0.03 mm in size. This year's Moto Z2 Force will have a headset jack while being completely waterproof. Nobody is begging for credit card thin phones, while everybody wants a larger battery. You just make the phone slightly thicker is all.
  • you can have headset jack AND wireless ear buds AND be waterproof AND have a bigger battery. It's not either/or. You can have it all.
  • I've read a lot about phone coming out, as I'm sure everyone on here has done.
    I cannot begin to count the number of times people have said words to the effect of ;" I will do anything if only they will put a bigger battery in the phone". Now the article says that that is a bad move?
  • I have a LeEco pro3, and I will tell you, the sound tech through the usb-C port is fantastic. Have to hear it to believe it. And I am not just blowing smoke, try it.
  • No headphone jack is fine ,as long as the phone has wireless charging. USB TYPE C is way better in sound quality and people complaining need to just get some usb headphones and see for your self. Oh if you want to complain , complain about not all phones having wireless charging. Either way , it will save more of the life of the USB TYPE C plug. The amount you plug in for music or videos, will be less then plugging in to charge it. God bless you all
  • "The removal of the 3.5mm jack also makes the Mi 6 splash resistant. " So try explaining the Galaxy S8 and LG G6? "By removing the headphone jack, we can save room for other components such as a bigger battery." Bullshit, there's many phones out there that have much bigger batteries that still retain the headphone jack. Everyone here in the comments beat me to it but there's no excuse for removing it, there just following other companies.