Does the New Apple iPad Have a Headphone Jack?
By Solomon Poretsky
As of August of 2012, Apple equips every iPad, including the iPad 3, with a standard headphone jack. The only other connector on the iPad is the standard 30-pin dock connector which is located on its bottom edge. While the iPad has a headphone jack, there are actually a number of different ways that you can get audio out of the device.
The Headphone Jack
The iPad's headphone jack takes a standard 3.5 mm, or one-eighth inch, headphone plug, like the one on the included white earbuds. The jack also includes an extra element, letting you use headsets and wired earbuds with microphones to both listen to the iPad and talk through it. This can be useful with iPad telephony applications, voice recorders and the like.
The Dock Connector
The iPad's dock connector can output audio data in two different ways. It has a regular analog output, much like the headphone jack, as well as the ability to output data from the device digitally. There are a number of devices, including car audio and home theater receivers, that have a dock cable or a physical docking station that allows you to listen to your iPad.
Camera Connection Kit
One of the many accessories available for the iPad is Apple's Camera Connection Kit. This device includes a dongle that attaches to the iPad's dock connector and provides a USB port. While you are supposed to use the USB port to connect cameras to download photos to the iPad, you can also use it with USB audio devices, like headsets or even audiophile amplifiers and digital-to-analog converters.
If you do not want to use wires to listen to your iPad, the device also supports Bluetooth and AirPlay. Its support for the A2DP Advanced Audio Distribution Profile lets you listen to and control your iPad through Bluetooth Audio capable devices. If you want to send your iPad's sound to devices on the same network, like speakers connected to an AirPort Express base station, an Apple TV or a third party device that supports it, you can use its built-in AirPlay functionality.
Solomon Poretsky has been writing since 1996 and has been published in a number of trade publications including the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." He holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Columbia University and has extensive experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology.