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Apple specs out Lightning headphone output


HiWire
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Well, they killed the headphone jack (an act of courage)... and nobody is surprised. That Beats acquisition makes a lot of sense in retrospect.

It won't affect me for a while, since I'm going to be using the iPhone 5S for the next few years.

Edited by HiWire
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Apple is including Lightning port earpods (headphones) with the new iPhone and they are also including a Lightning-3.5mm jack adapter. It's still going to be a pain in the ass, though. I can foresee the elimination of the headphone jack in the rest of their products in the near future as well – a lot of money will be made on adapters and new Lightning headphone/mic products.

I'm curious about the technical details of their wireless solution – no doubt they are charging 3rd parties to develop new products for wireless audio.

Regarding Lightning – I wonder if they will formally step up to USB 3.0/3.1 speeds on this interface, if they're going to bank so heavily on it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The new USB Audio Class 3.0: http://www.anandtech.com/show/10719/usbif-publishes-audio-over-usb-typec-specifications

My issue with this is the fact that they are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (in audiophile terms)... you're simply pushing the DAC outside your device to the external gizmo. At some point, you're still going to need a proper analog stage in an even smaller external package (e.g., your headphones), or a big box thing to do what was inside the other box thing to begin with.

For mainstream consumers, it's fine, just fine. One less thing to require adapters once they've switched all their headphones to USB Type-C connectors, Lightning connectors, Bluetooth... and let's not forget charging the batteries for all these devices.

Adding new digital formats doesn't magically make things sound better, for all the hype MQA is garnering.

Edited by HiWire
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