There have been a lot of rumors surrounding a change to the headphone jack in an upcoming version of the iPhone. Basically, Apple is working with its supplier to use the iPhone’s Lightning port for audio and get rid of the traditional headphone jack.
If you look at the way Apple typically does things when introducing new technologies like this, there is no reason you wouldn’t be all for this new plan. They make it better, not worse.
I would fully expect that if Apple did implement this idea, the audio would sound better through the Lightning connector than the older headphone jack. Not only because Apple can add technology to the chip (noise cancelling, etc.), but because the headphone jack is not very efficient. It’s been around forever and hasn’t really improved how we listen to audio in a long time. A fully digital connection would improve everything.
One of the main complaints from people that I’ve seen is that their old headphones will no longer work with the new iPhones. That’s a pretty big assumption to make. We don’t know for sure, but Apple—or a third party—could make an adapter that would allow audio to pass through the Lightning connector and into your older headphones.
I would expect Apple headphones to adopt the new connector, of course, but I don’t see any reason people couldn’t use their old headphones. I don’t know why you would want to, but you could.
Let’s also not forget that pulling the headphone jack would make more room in the iPhone for other things, like battery. Seems like a win/win to me.