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At CES: Are we expecting an Lightning connector LOD cable for Apple iPhones/iPads

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

With CES next week, do we have any word on new LOD cables being released for Apple's lightning connector? This article mentions lightning-compatable docks being a big thing to expect at the show:

 

http://mashable.com/2013/01/04/ces-2013-trends/

 

I placed an order for the wonky existing solution, of Apple's $30 lightning to 30pin adapter, and then the FiiO L9. A two-step solution for $40! I'd prefer a single cable, and certainly something cheaper than that.

 

Thanks!

-Dan

post #2 of 6

Very unlikely. You still need all the hardware inside the Lightning Adapter to decode the digital signal to analog output, so even with the best case you'll still end up with something pretty sizeable, and probably more expensive.

 

On the other hand, there is really no advantage of using the Apple Lightning adapter to a LOD. The headphone-out of a Nano7 can match (and surpass) the adapter's SQ and I'll rather just double amp it.

post #3 of 6
Currently Apple's only licensing the Lightning connector to a few big-name companies whose only interest is in making sure Lightning-based iDevices are able to connect to their multimedia systems.

Hypothetically it's possible to build a short Lightning->USB cable and your phone would be able to drive any USB DAC, but the short list of official licensees are not in the market of making cable accessories. I wouldn't rule out Apple being willing to eventually accommodate the small players in the accessory market -- though that won't happen until the major companies are sated first -- so I'm guessing it'll happen eventually. Not soon, though.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback. @ClieOS - I didn't fully understand how the headphone out can match an LOD, but I'm not that technical. I'm using an iPhone 5, so I'm not sure if the tech differs from your experience with the iPod Nano 7.

Thanks.

-Dan

post #5 of 6

The assumption of using a LOD will give you better SQ is based on the assumption that 1) the line-out signal is clean and noise-free (or at least offer better SNR than headphone-out) as any amplification (i.e. headphone-out) will add noise to the signal. 2) the amp section in the source is poorly designed (with roll-off and coloration). However. you need to understand that it is no longer the internal DAC inside your iPhone that is doing the decoding, but the tiny DAC chip in the Lightning adapter that is doing it - and it doesn't offer particular better performance over that of a Nano 7 headphone-out. While I haven't compared Nano 7 to iP5, I think it is safe to assume iP5 probably isn't going to be worst, judging from Apple's generally good reputation in SQ. Therefore whatever benefit of using the Lightning adapter is going to be slim, if any at all, as iPhone headphone-out is always known to be pretty noise-free and transparent.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks @ClieOS - you are clearly more knowledgeable about this than I am! I hadn't realized that Apple's 30pin connector was something that anyone could make an adapter for, but the Lightning adapter was some whole proprietary thing that needed to be license. Bummer to hear that, but I suppose I should not be surprised since it's Apple. I'm an Apple fan, but their controlling ways are mighty inconvenient sometimes!

Have a great day.

-Dan

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