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Good news for Apple Lightning fans?

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by _j_, Jun 3, 2014.
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  1. Koolpep
     
    But it would remove the bulk from the phone (!!). Also, it could be easily integrated in the headphone. 
     
    Also, some beats headphones have an amp build in, at least the ones with active noise canceling. One of the reasons why they don't work without batteries.
     
    Let's see how that plays out. The only thing I can say is that Apple is not afraid of abolishing what they deem "old, bad or redundant" technology. Serial, parallel ports, optical drives, 30 pin adapter, Firewire ports, etc.
     
    You can use bluetooth wirelessly for your headphones or the super duper cable if you need a proper plug. Maybe that's the way they will go....maybe not and the 3.5mm isn't going anywhere....
     
  2. jazzman7
    I think you are spot on.  The current Lightning-to-30-pin adapter has a DAC, and it is a line out which means no volume change.  All Apple has to do is make volume change work on this DAC, and it is now a "headphone out."  Of course, it won't work well with hard-to-drive headphones, but that is what the Lightning program is about.  This will mean a thinner iPhone, which is what the design change is really about. 
     
    I think this means good sound out of an Apple headphone jack is unlikely moving forward, but on the bright side, this means head-fi is the future:  DAC/amps that use smartphones as transports is something we already know well.  Perhaps it will grow the market and lead to more choice. 
     
    A bad side though:  It will mean another expensive Apple dongle that can get lost. 
     
    A headphone out would also differentiate an iPod Touch from an iPhone, if this path turns out to be true, because I can't see an iPod Touch going without a headphone jack.  (And I do think they will keep the Touch as an entry-level device so that kids can get into the Apple ecosystem without a data plan.) For all this to work, Apple will have to convince customers that 3.5mm jacks are "bad quality", which is probably where the marketing will start to ruffle feathers on this board...
     
    EDIT:  It already ruffled the feathers of a Forbes writer.  He's given a more-complete description of the rollout and lock-in effects.  Starting with Beats makes sense as it dominates the high-end headphone market, so Apple can use that market dominance to convert headphone users to Lightning. 
     
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2014/06/05/apple-to-abandon-headphone-jack-suddenly-beats-deal-makes-sense/
     
  3. _j_
    Makes sense.
    Apple benefits, the common consumer won't notice much other than a different wire, but for a portable audio fan, this has huge potential for awesome 3rd party toys. 
     
    I hope HD audio catches on to the masses, then we'd get some good stuff for sure.
     
  4. _j_
    New article:
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/06/05/apple-announces-lightning-enabled-headphone-standard-in-wwdc-session
     
    Interesting quote.
     
  5. jazzman7
    Pictures of the module?  Anyone find any?  Or is this a description of the spec only? 
     
  6. _j_
    Haven't been able to find any pics of the 'module' would love to see one though. 
     
  7. heatofamatch
    Quote:
     
    I'm sorry, but I thought we all realized this right from the start, that a main difference between Lightning and Dock is that Lighting outputs digital audio only? Was there any confusion over that? [​IMG]
     
    Apple's line out in the Dock days was never line out in the traditional sense anyway, because "line out" doesn't exist in the architecture of many iDevices (or other consumer-grade, non-audiophile DAPs). For the most part Apple is just providing a fixed-volume signal of identical purity to the headphone out. I think you can even EQ this line out if you so wish. I've always thought this is partly why Cowon would not provide a line out - there's no need for it from an SQ point of view.
     
     
    In the case of the standard config it's just gonna be the mandated Wolfson chip.
     
    It's just like how the current made-for-iphone remote controls all have the same chip that Apple makes all the headphone manufacturers purchase and build into their products.
     
    Even with iFixit's incessant teardown exercises, people forget how small these audio chips are, and they usually come built-in with a ton of features so that you can build a DAP around it with few or no extra chips required.
     
  8. jazzman7
    No confusion at all on my part.  Let me reiterate.  The current Lightning-to-30-pin adapter has a DAC -- a digital-to-analog converter built-in to the adapter.  This has been widely-reported. 
     
    The point being made is that, if Apple gets rid of the headphone jack on a device, it needs to offer a "legacy" solution of a Lightning-to-analog-out headphone adapter of some sort.  I am guessing it will be something like the Lightning-to-30pin adapter, except that it will only have a headphone jack on it. 
     
    No one's seen one, and in fact all this discussion about no headphone jacks on Apple devices is guesswork off of announcements. 
     
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