Consumer Reports: Port-free smartphones

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The latest iPhone just came out, but rumors are already focused on the iPhone 7 and possibly getting rid of that headphone jack. (WLS)

The latest iPhone just came out, but rumors are already focused on the iPhone 7 and possibly getting rid of that headphone jack.

Consumer Reports explains why that might not be such a bad thing.

Right now, this is how most of us listen to music on our phones. But Consumer Reports says soon we may see phones with no ports or jacks at all.

"The technology already exists. Without ports, smartphones can be slimmer, thinner, and better able to resist damage from moisture, dust, and other debris," said Mike Gikas, Electronics Editor, Consumer Reports.

There's already a growing selection of affordable, high-quality Bluetooth headphones that wirelessly connect to your phone.

No headphone jack? What about no speaker holes? That technology is on the Sharp Aquos Crystal and several models from Kyocera. How is that even possible? The technology uses your face as a conductor.

"You don't need speaker holes because on these phones, the display vibrates. Those vibrations are interpreted as sound by your ear," Gikas said.

Although it's not very common yet, Consumer Reports tests show the technology works well.

To eliminate the need for a charging port, there's wireless charging. You just put your phone on a mat when it needs some juice. Wireless charging is already available on phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Motorola Droid Turbo2.

But without a charging port, how do you connect your phone to your computer to update your music library?

"You have lots of options. You can sync your music over Wi-Fi. There are a ton of streaming services," Gikas said.

Some streaming options are free while others cost as little as $8-$10 a month.

If want to listen wirelessly now, Consumer Reports has tested wireless headphones. It recommends the Bluetooth JBL by Harman for $50 or, for a little more, the Shadow Wireless from SOL Republic for $100.

For more information - see the blog on Consumer Reports.org.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2016. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org

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