- Aug 31, 2010
I get what you mean and I’d happily see this happen as technically this sounds logical and feasible.I hear you but something doesn't make sense. You can use the 3.5mm cable to lightning to plug into an analog source and that cable will convert that analog audio to a digital signal that transmits to the AirPods Max over lightning. This implies to me that if I could just encode audio the same way as the ADC chip in the cable does before sending it to the AirPods Max, it would just play it.
Now it is possible that the DAC in the AirPods max simply don't support the decoding of any lossless or very high quality audio (although that seems unlikely) but as long as you can format the data properly and handshake correctly with the headphones it would seem that there must be a way to send digital audio over USB directly to the lightning port.
Someone, please hack this together so Apple realizes they simply need to make a cable.
But I see 3 problems:
1. from my understanding, the digital connection between the lightning plug ADC and the APM is Apple proprietary and highly unlikely to be hacked (Apple knows their stuff and interest for this seems low; I haven‘t even found a 3rd party lightning-to-HDMI adapter that delivers lossless audio/video transmission like the original one)
2. As you mentioned, the existing “codec“ is capped at 48 kHz/24 bit so that’s already a bad starting point for true lossless (at least by definition)
3. No matter how great the source / codec, you‘d still be dependent on the DAC of the APM (which is a no-go for true audiophiles)
It would be more straight forward if Apple simply allowed to address the AirPods Max via USB as a DAC but that would still leave #3.
That being said, I‘m not sure I could hear a difference to the current solution anyway so I just enjoy them like they are.