Apple Introduces Lightning Cable MFi Specifications for Headphones

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has introduced new specifications for manufacturers in the company's Made for iPhone (MFi) program that allow them to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable rather than a regular 3.5mm headphone jack, according to 9to5Mac.

    The specification includes two configurations for headphones. The first is called Standard Lightning Headphones, which uses minimum components when paired to a digital-to-analog converter. The second is called Advanced Lightning Headphones, which allows for more complex features like active noise cancellation.

    The Lightning cable-equipped headphones would also allow iOS devices to power or charge headphones that require electricity, and would also allow for headphones to potentially power or charge up iOS devices.

    Reports suggest Apple is planning to allow high definition music downloads and playback on iOS devices as well as new in-ear headphones that could take advantage of high-quality audio and take advantage of Lightning Cable MFi specifications. It is also possible Apple uses newly purchased Beats Electronics' popular headphone line to accelerate adoption for the new standard.

    Article Link: Apple Introduces Lightning Cable MFi Specifications for Headphones
  2. macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2012
    Haha, people will freak out over the pic (an Apple product). :)
  3. macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
  4. macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I guess that means high-end headphones will be able to use their own DAC in order to produce better sound, since the one in the iPhone, while not bad per se, is of course limited by cost and size constraints.
  5. macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2012
    I can see it now... Introducing Lightning Beats.
  6. macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    Welcome to the future, where you have to buy new headphones if you switch to Android :rolleyes:
  7. macrumors 65816

    captain kaos

    Jan 16, 2008
    I can see the internal space of the headphone jack being useful for other things, but using the lightning connector stops you form being able to charge the phone while using headphones. Of course if things shift to wireless charging that would negate that point, but you'd also have to have MFI headphones, you couldn't bring along your own set of favourite headphones with an old school jack. Unless we start having 3.5mm to lighting converters, but that starts to get messy.
  8. macrumors 68030

    Mar 4, 2011
    A new series of Lightning-enabled super-headphones:

    Lightning by Beats by Dre by Apple

  9. macrumors 603


    Oct 13, 2008
    Everywhere And Nowhere
  10. macrumors 68040

    Dec 13, 2004
    There is already an optical audio combo port on the macbook pros. I wonder why they just don't use that standard already in place.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    Thinner rumors may be true?

    Of all the even thinner iPhone 6 rumors I didn't think they could go much thinner because of the headphone jack, guess this will be how they get around that, just get rid of it all together. I think it'll be great so long as it's not a pain to use an adapter to charge at the same time as listening.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2010
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    first thought - "that's stupid."

    Second thought - "that's the coolest thing in quite a while"

    Think about it - never needing to charge your noise canceling headphones? Digital audio out? Sweet!!
  13. macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    Lossless 48 kHz digital output is a huge deal -- with the right headphones and source material, it will *vastly* affect audio quality. Bravo, Apple.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Apple has always been a company to remove features before they were really obsolete. I don't really see how this would work out, considering they are moving to proprietary and not just removing the feature. In terms of listening to music while charging, that seems like a big issue. I'm sure Apple has something in mind. Only time will tell..
  15. macrumors regular

    May 28, 2013
    Besides having to spend alot of money, I kinda like the idea too.

    Am not being sarcastic.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    Of course not. It's an alternative.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2012
    This must mean that wireless charging is in the way; otherwise it would be impossible to listen and charge at the same time.
  18. goobot, Jun 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014

    macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    No thanks. I want a standard for something like this. Not for every other company to have their own port. This means no ones headphones work with each other. OG iPhone anyone? Just make a smaller standard. Pretty sure there is already a 2.5mm jack out there actually.

    Except the rumors say it will still be thicker than the current iPod touch.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    Because Lightning can do more, for example, the microphone function described in the article.
  20. macrumors regular

    May 28, 2013
    I was going to buy an expensive pair of earplugs. Let me hold off for the time being.
  21. macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2012
    You can't charge your iphone at the same time as listen to headphones? Hope this is good and not a disadvantage :(
  22. macrumors 68020


    Sep 22, 2009
  23. macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    i just hope i can still use my Sennheiser HD 598's with some sort of adapter. Quality headphones aren't exactly cheap.
  24. macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Moulton, TX
    Maybe there'll be a Lightning plug on the base of the headphones to help with charging?

    What they could also do is put a Lightning port on Macs so we can take those Lightning headphones and listen to music at home. A Lightning to Lightning cable would be nice too.... won't have to worry about USB speeds or specs to transfer data or charge.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    Except the rumors say it will still be thicker than the current iPod touch.[/QUOTE]

    LOL, I had actually forgotten about the iPod Touch since finally getting my iPhone. If nothing else maybe they can get rid of it and expand the battery, more life out of my phone is what I want more than anything.

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