Apple Lightening Jack Headphones
Starting from the bottom of the headphones, we find a lightening port only available to iPhone models made after the iPhone 7. This silver port is smaller than the size of a pea and features an oblong, white oval and a handful of vertical aluminum lines.
Connecting the port to the cord of the headphones is a glossy white, plastic material that is about one and a half centimeters long. This hard material is one of the two primary materials composing the entire pair of headphones.
The other material used is a neutral grey plastic that is both highly malleable and posses a soft matte finish. This is used on the cord of the headphones. Its primary function is to coat the wire below it, as exposed wire is hazardous. However, here it is also used as a means to display the neutral grey mentioned before.
This is significant because now we can see how the light grey and white compliment each other to create a traditional minimalist look. This intentional design is meant to make the headphones look clean and simplistic. As we move up along the cord, we can see how other parts of the headphones also reflect this purpose.
The thin grey cord is abruptly separated into two much thinner cords about two feet from the lightening port, located at the bottom of the headphones. This creates a left and right cord which holds the left and right ear pieces, respectively.
The left cord has an adjustable small piece that is used to hold the two cords together. This square shaped tool is made of the same soft material as the cord and is matte white.
The right cord has a slim white remote that is used to control the volume of the headphones, when it plays or pauses, and it houses a microphone. The remote itself is completely white and features a matte grey center. This unlabeled center is used to pause or play music. The vary top and bottom of this piece is labeled with a ‘+’ and ‘-‘ symbol, respectively. These buttons are used to control volume.
At the very end of these two pieces are identical EarPods. They are made of the same glossy white material as the lightening port and slim remote. Each ear piece is labeled with a plain ‘L’ and ‘R’ to denote with ear the piece fits in. The only opening on the EarPods is a narrow oval that exposes the black plastic netting of the speaker inside of it.
This description helps us understand why these headphones were designed the way they were by drawing answers from physical attributes. It also helps us understand the reason why this item would be significant to its user.
I assumed these headphones would be an object Cameron uses every day to primarily listen to music. I came to this conclusion because of the dirt on the headphones– clearly exhibiting how often they have been used in a short period of time. This was confirmed when I asked Cameron the following questions:
1. How long have you had these?
Cameron: I got them with my new phone. Shows me iPhone X. So, I’ve had them since December.
2. How often do you use these?
Cameron: Every day, probably 3-4 hours total.
3. How would you feel if you didn’t have them for a day?
Cameron: Totally lost. If I didn’t have them, I’d probably have a bad day.
In conclusion, it appears that the connections I made between Cameron and his headphones were accurate. This activity would be an example of how someone studying material culture could apply Prownian analysis to everyday objects in their own lives.