Apple Supplier Cirrus Logic Releases Kit for Creating Lightning-Based Headphones Ahead of iPhone 7

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has announced a new MFi Headset Development Kit, a reference platform that is designed to help "Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod" accessory makers quickly develop Lightning-based headphones.

    The development kit, available through Apple's MFi Program, includes a form factor reference design and other resources to help MFi licensees create Lightning-based headphones. A reference iOS app is also available.
    Multiple credible sources have confirmed that Apple plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone plug on the iPhone 7 series in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output, charging, and connectivity, but only a handful of Lightning-equipped headphones are available today.


    Apple introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable, but the rollout has been slow. Philips has unveiled Lightning-equipped Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L headphones, pictured above, over the past two years.

    Apple may also release Lightning-equipped EarPods, but a more recent conflicting rumor said the iPhone 7 will ship with standard 3.5mm EarPods and a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter. Apple is also believed to be exploring Bragi Dash-like wireless headphones (AirPods?), but it may hold off on adopting the technology until 2017 or later.

    Those interested in learning more about Lightning-equipped headphones can watch our video: Lightning Headphones: Are They Better or Just an Inconvenience? We also shared a video showing what an aftermarket 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter looks like as they begin to reach the market.

    Article Link: Apple Supplier Cirrus Logic Releases Kit for Creating Lightning-Based Headphones Ahead of iPhone 7
  2. adcx64 macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
    It's the beginning of the end for 3.5mm jack.... And it scares me.
  3. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    This will not convince me to buy an iPhone that does not have a headphone jack. We need a packet no headphone jack no buy. Let Tim stew on a few million useless iPhones that no one wants. That will teach apple to be more consumer aware
  4. Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
    Funny, if Apple would ship an adapter instead.
  5. Matthew.H macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2015
    Norwich, UK
    Hopefully this will mean higher end headphones with detachable 3.5mm cables will be able to have a lightning cable with DAC used instead. I have a pair of B&W P7s which are in the "made for iphone" program. It would be handy if B&W make a lightning cable with DAC that can be purchased separately. Would save me from having waste money buying new headphones.
  6. simonmet macrumors 68020


    Sep 9, 2012
    That's all well and good if you're happy with the iPhone's audio performance, but I'm not. Granted I went to the other extreme and bought $600 worth of not happy with iPhone's audio performance, and that doesn't include the headphones! :p

    This seems like it's just a way for Cirrus to corner a new market and cash in on their cheap DAC circuits.
  7. CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I'm unlikely to buy in September (my 6 is still working fine), but I'm looking forward to being entertained by the spectacle - at this point I don't think there's any path through this Apple could take that won't result in at least some level of outrage, even if they just stuck with the 3.5mm jack ("how dare you not deliver us 21st century technology! Apple is falling behind!").
  8. Corrode macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Are they gonna put a female Lightning port on Macs?? How else do they expect us to use Lightning headphones across devices?
  9. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    i'm wondering if Bose will create a lightning cord for the qc 25. Does anyone know where the conversion happens? Could they do it in a cord or doest it require a rework of the internals?
  10. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    The day Apple gets rid of the headphone jack is the day I stop buying iPhones.

    No way I want some pathetic lightning cable that frays even when stuck in one place and isn't moved.
  11. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    When Apple dumped the CD drive everyone screamed. Looking back, it was a good call. Apple saw that physical media was not where the future was. With the headphone it is a bit trickier. I think one could argue that wireless headsets are the future just like with speakers. Cut the cords we all say about everything. Except that it means there is now one more thing to charge which not a good thing. The idea of removing one connector but still having another connector is not intuitive to me. About the only scenario that would make some sense is if Apple sell the iphone with no earpods (and maybe just with an adapter). Then the consumer is left to choose what to do. Then apple can create a separate product to replace the earpods through their Beats line that can be wireless or 3.5 (through the adapter) or lightning. For the wireless option Beats should then ensure that the charging is done wirelessly so to make that less painful. Again these are my musing of how Apple may be thinking. Overall, just switching out the 3.5 for the lightning does not make sense, but as I have mused, there may be a large strategy at work.
  12. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    So this is a great point if you have seen the renders / spy shots of the new 15 more. The machine has no lighting port for audio it has a headphone jack. I know we have to start some where but this is a new laptop it is not like it is on the market when you decided gee lets really screw them and dump the headphone jack.
  13. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    If we had a say, do we want them to put Lightning on Macs? Or, if they are going to allocate the space for a port, would we rather that port be something much more versatile and not proprietary like USB? As is, one of the gripes of the rMB is it's single USB3 port. Is the best solution to that gripe a single USB port plus a Lightning port on the next rMB makeover? Or would we rather have 2 USB3 ports?

    Of course, choosing the latter doesn't address this particular "solution." But is this "solution" itself actually addressing what is anybody's problem?
  14. DudeDad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2009
    The title of this article should have continued...."Or as we like to call it, get some bluetooth cans and call it a day"
  15. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Exactly the reason I would never buy Lightning headphones. Only if there is a USB to Lightning adapter which allows use with Macs would I even consider it.
  16. EricTheHalfBee Suspended

    Mar 10, 2013
    Now this is what I call a VERY smart and forward thinking company. Making an all-in-one kit to simplify things for any headphone company to make Lightning equipped headphones. Although they didn't mention it, I'd bet $$$ that they also have something similar in the works for USB-C as well.
  17. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2010
    Northern Ca.
  18. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    There will certainly be Lighting to USB adapters AND Lightning to 3.5mm adapters. The latter is far too ubiquitous to not make adapters and the former is the "the future" replacement chosen by Intel to be built into their future chipsets and thus all future Windows and Mac computers.

    I just flew JetBlue this past weekend (and Delta several weekends ago). Both had a good number of live TV stations available, along with a selection of movies. JetBlue also had Sirius XM radio. All of that was complimentary and all it took was jacking in the very same headphones I took on the trip and swapped between my iDevice and my Mac. I just can't look even 10 years into the future and imagine the airlines adding a Lightning jack to the 3.5mm (and Jetblue had a USB) jack. But then again, I can't look 5 years into the future and believe Apple is still using the Lightning jack already in play now (why? tip up your iDevice and look at it's thickness vs. the ever-important goal of "thinner").

    So this "innovation" means adapters for us Apple people for years and years to come... possibly even between iDevices and Macs.

    Those who argue "wireless" while pretending all the issues therein are not issues: there was no "connect via bluetooth" option on either flight... nor do I foresee the airlines getting to that point either in the next 5 to maybe 10 years. The rental car wireless wouldn't connect (and it lacked Lightning too... and I don't foresee all rental cars adding that option in the next 5 years). The client's computers were all locked down by IT Nazis so that only 3.5mm was a reasonable way to connect with their machines. Etc.

    Apparently "adapters" are our "the future" except for those happy to only connect to Apple iDevices and maybe Macs eventually... but nothing else. And even there, eventually the Apple purist will collide with the need to connect to something else... which almost certainly will not have a Lightning jack.
  19. EricTheHalfBee Suspended

    Mar 10, 2013
    Sure. People ALWAYS say this about the next iPhone (or the next Galaxy over dropping SD card support or removable batter), and yet it NEVER seems to have any affect whatsoever on sales. I guess 99.999% of the population just doesn't think the same way.
  20. BangTheDish macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    If Apple had started with a lightning connector headphone and then the industry came along with a headphone jack, everyone would be singing praises along the lines of
    • No external DAC or amp required - it's built into the phone!
    • No external battery or charging - it works off the phone!
    • Uses a small, inexpensive standardized plug/jack, requiring only a small round hole in cases, etc.
    • So cheap that earplugs can be disposable - especially handy around wet or sweaty environments
    • So cheap that if you lose your device, this isn't a factor
    • No dongles!
    • Can charge my phone and use external headphones or speakers at the same time!
  21. MikeSmoke macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2010
    Maryland USA
    The earphone output is more than that. It is also a line output. I connect that jack to line inputs far more than I connect it to earphones. It would be a hassle to work around if omitted.
  22. Dilster3k, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016

    Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    The future is arriving!

    Edit - You silly-nellies sound like the people who were against the removal of Floppy Disk & DVDs.
    If anyone recalls, just like now, so many people claimed it to be the end of the world.

    Anyway, this'll be like WiFi and Ethernet as of today, the cable will always be superior for those audiophiles, whereas the rest of us (casuals) will opt for the more convenient but inferior wireless option instead, as the technology will only get better once Apple goes this route.
  23. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    No you won't:)

    There will be alternative solutions, maybe not very elegant or convenient.
    I find the lightning cables hold up better than the 30 pin monsters.

    The regular 3.5 jack has been around for so long and in so many areas that it will
    take a lot longer to kill it.

    Wireless is not for me, as I do not like to remember that I have to charge another thing.
    If the cable charges the phone and headphones at the same time, maybe I'll consider tit.

    The iPhone and iPad are enough. Plus, if the charge is gone one is toast.

    My AUX port in my car connects via 3.5 and I prefer the cable connection for clarity.
    So, adapter here I come to keep doing that.

    There are certain things were I just don't want to follow Apple, even if they may in the long run be right.

    A few years from now the majority of the people will use wireless head phones. As the younger ones entering usage won't know the difference let alone know there was a 3.5 once and us old timers die off.
  24. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    We'll see.

    I think Apple will be unpleasantly surprised by low sales if they remove the headphone jack, the same way they were unpleasantly surprised by sales of the Apple Watch, Apple Music and Apple Pay.
  25. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I welcome the move if it means a second speaker on the bottom. I use the iPhone speaker daily. Plus personally I rarely use wired headphones. I realize that isn't the case for many others.

    I have to think future Macs will get a lightning port.

    This will be a messy transition. No question. Inability to use Apple and non Apple products together without an adapter for your headphones is just annoying. You will also need an adapter to charge your iPhone and listen to it with wired headphones. In the end consumers will simply adapt to the change.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 29, 2016 ---
    You are implying that iPhone sales will be hugely based on this headphone move. I really doubt that.

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