I can’t be the only one. The only lifelong Apple fan boy who wears shirts with collars on occasion. Am I?
I ask because if there were others, if maybe even one of us worked for Apple on the iPhone team, the iPhone headphones would be designed differently. It’s a fact – no two ways about it. That somehow this critical design flaw should never have survived the Apple design process, unless of course, they really all do wear t-shirts – exclusively.
Hey, I wear t shirts. Cool ones too. But now and again – and maybe more often than some, I wear similarly stylish button-down shirts with collars. And this is where the design flaw reveals itself.
See, the wired iPhone mic catches on your shirt collar. And by catches on your collar, I mean the sharp edge of the mic invariably snags your collar with enough force to tug the earpiece out of you ear, and then the earpiece and mic fall 4 feet to your knees mid-conversation. It never fails. Turn your head an inch too far and – pop.
“Wait, HELLO!? Hold on, I can’t hear you – sorry! Hello? you still there? Oh hi, sorry – my headphone just popped out of my….” Never fails. I really don’t get it.
Oh sure, it looks nice. It looks awesome. And it even feels nice in your fingers; that little wired mic. But by God, as sure as I am writing “mac genius” that headphone catches on my collar and pops out of my ear.
Maybe like you, I’ve become subconsciously sensitive to the problem. I have developed this acute reflex due to “the pull”. That feeling when the cord tugs at my earbud, the mic having snagged my collar. At the slightest resistance, my head freezes and I carefully bring it back to center, just shy of popping the earbud from my ear. There was a point where I would use my patented oval-head-move to release the mic from said collar. I’d gotten pretty good at that too, that oval-head-move; made me look like a pigeon walking down the street. But alas – whatever momentary satisfaction I may have had at releasing the mic – it only caught again a moment later. Without fail.
As a result I finally gave up and now walk around with one hand holding the mic to my mouth. Just like I did years ago with poorer sets designed by your average run-of-the-mill, low-end industrial designers. It would appear to most passersby that I am actually holding the mic to my mouth so that my voice is better heard, but no. The mic works fine without that. No, I am simply trying to keep the earbud in place, simple as that.
Naturally, this never happens when I wear a t shirt. And maybe that’s the idea.
…………………….. UPDATE ……………………..
With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple has introduced Ear Pods. Apple has clearly attempted to address this problem with the new Ear Pod mic (pictured right) which now has rounded edges at the top of the mic – limiting the likelihood of catching. Additionally the functionality of the mic buttons feel improved – they are much more responsive and easily controlled. The sound quality of Ear Pods is better, the fit, in-ear, is also vastly improved. To be honest, I’m not sure what they could do to make these much better. An “untangle” button maybe?
Indeed I can report that if the previous mic made you crazy, you will be quite please with Ear Pods. What a relief.
If you would like to get Ear Pods – and forego the added cost of a new iPhone 5, they can be purchased at Apple’s website. I did, and for less than 30 bucks it was totally wort it.