Take Your Mixes To The Next Level

Monday, June 9, 2014

Goodbye 3.5mm Jack

headphones with lightning connector
Don't you just hate those 3.5mm mini-phone jacks and plugs? The jacks are really fragile, and now that most headphones come that way, you always have to have a 1/4" adapter handy when connecting to professional gear.

I'm happy to report that the 3.55mm jack may be headed for obsolescence, as Apple has quietly announced that it will soon be providing headphones with a Lightning connector on its upcoming gear. That means that the A/D and D/A convertors can be moved to the headphones so they will be capable of receiving 48kHz stereo audio and send 48k from the microphone. It will also allow more remote control features from the headphones as well.

Apple will supply two headphone configurations: a simple one where the convertors live on the playback device, and a premium version with the convertors onboard. Since the premium headphones can draw power from the playback device, they can also incorporate noise canceling features as well.

There's some speculation that the first units will come from Beats, now that Apple owns them. That said, I wonder what one does when you need a headphone extension cable? And will it be a hassle when we won't be able to use our current phones with our iDevice?
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2 comments:

Juan said...

With itunes turning into a hi-def media distribution/sales website, doesn't make too much sense to downconvert music program to 48KHz. If they're going to take advantage of beats brand expertise on headphone design, they should go for some serious d/a converters that supports at least 96KHz to future proof their gadgets a little longer. Making the move from avoiding the 3.5 jack to another standard deserves a huge improvement so they can be followed and accepted by all kind of listeners.

Juan said...

With itunes turning into a hi-def media distribution/sales website, doesn't make too much sense to downconvert music program to 48KHz. If they're going to take advantage of beats brand expertise on headphone design, they should go for some serious d/a converters that supports at least 96KHz to future proof their gadgets a little longer. Making the move from avoiding the 3.5 jack to another standard deserves a huge improvement so they can be followed and accepted by all kind of listeners.

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