How does a headphone jack become a lightning connector? [iPhone 7]

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by freepomme, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. freepomme Suspended

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    #1
    So, this means that EarPods as we know it will be discontinued.

    Can anybody tell me what's the benefit of turning the headphone jack into a lightening connector? What benefit does it provide?

    Why would they do such a thing? And how would you be able to charge your phone?
     
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    #2
    The benefit is so people who are still not wireless can still use their old hardware.

    You will have to charge while sleeping.

    Apple has it reasons and there is not too much we can do at this point.

    It is done.
     
  3. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    #3
    The benefit would be to sell Lightning headphones, and liscence the Lightning hardware to other headphone companies and make even more profit.

    Oh, did you mean end-user benefits?
     
  4. chabig macrumors 601

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    #4
    End user benefits include:
    • Water resistance
    • Better audio (pure digital out)
    • Lightning connection provides more control than 3.5mm plug
    • Interior space not used for 3.5mm connector can be used for something else
     
  5. bufffilm Suspended

    bufffilm

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    #5
    There isn't a real benefit.

    But Apple would have you think otherwise.

    PS. Apple can make the phone waterproof even with the 3.5" jack...but they won't tell you that either.
     
  6. cousintim, Jul 25, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2016

    cousintim macrumors 6502

    cousintim

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    #6
    A bigger battery is feature that would be universally welcomed.
     
  7. Hexiii macrumors 65816

    Hexiii

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    #7
    haha, good one
     
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #8
    I don't believe your first point can be backed by very much real world application considering that we already have water resistant/proof devices that don't sacrifice this port.

    Points two and three, while I can agree with, can already theoretically be done on all iOS devices spanning back four years. The existence of the 3.5mm port doesn't take away anything from those wishing to use then lightning port instead.

    I can't disagree with the fourth point. And I'll obviously have to see what it is replaced with. But if you've ever dismantled an iPhone you'll see the space this takes up really isn't all that much. People (not you) keep saying to fill it with battery. That won't happen unless the Lightning port is also moved because batteries aren't (yet) a thing that can simply fill any void. we can also add to that we will see, with current tech, something like a 1-2 dozen mah increase. We could gain much more from that with an overall mm in thickness.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2016 ---
    I had a discussion with another member in where this bit of information was born (the fact that we need to dunk the 3.5mm port to Waterproof devices). I ultimately concluded that I just don't think most people know about the possibilities other devices in the market today give their users.
     
  9. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #9
    • 3.5mm jack can be waterproof too. Plenty of examples of it being waterproof.
    • Totally false. All it does is pushes the digital to analog conversion to an accessory device, rather than being done in the iphone. All audio, eventually, has to be analog - speakers are analog, and so are our ears. Just because the the iphone will output a digital signal does not mean it will always result in better audio - that still depends on the speakers or headphones. Indeed, digital lightning has bandwidth limitations. It might be the case that all the audio will have to be compressed, which will actually result in worse audio.
    • Apple already has a chip in all MFi 3.5mm headphones that can pass control signals over the mic cable. It can do vol up, vol down, next track, previous track, play, pause, fast forward, rewind. It can do more, there is really no limit other than how many buttons you're willing to have on a headphone.
    • Sure, but is that a good reason to get rid of something? The homebutton also takes up a lot of space. The awful speaker also takes up a lot of space. The camera takes up a lot of space. The screen takes up a lot of space. Maybe we can get rid of all those things, and make them external lightning accessories.
     
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #10
    I'd be happy to see the home button go. I actually think ng LG did a phenomenal job putting the fingerprint scanner on the back of their phone, too (as an example of how to get rid of the home button but still provide the functionality).
     
  11. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #11

    Can anybody tell me what's the benefit of turning the headphone jack into a lightening connector? What benefit does it provide?


    • Higher Quality Audio
    • 3D Audio positioning: This means as you turn your head the music will pan according to the position of your head. e.g. if you are listening to a song where the guitar is coming in the middle (both ears) you can turn your head left and the guitar will pan into your right ear (which is what would happen if you were listening to live music).
    Disclaimer: Just because Apple could do 3D positioning doesn't mean they will.
    And how would you be able to charge your phone?

    You either listen to music or charge your phone. If you want to do both at the same time I'm sure Apple will sell some kind of $29.00 splitter?
     
  12. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #12

    Why do people keep saying this? It's simply not true. It can be higher quality, if you use higher quality speakers or headphones, AND those speakers or headphones have a higher-quality DAC than the one built-into the iphone (which is already one of the best) AND those speakers or headphones have a higher-quality AMP than the one built-into the iphone (which is already pretty good for it's power rating), AND the source music takes less bandwidth than available through the lightning interface.

    If those 4 things are true, then yes, it might result in higher quality audio. But notice how none of things have anything to do with iphone or lightning, and everything to do with what the accessory is.
     
  13. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #13
    So you're telling me a lightning port version of Apple's earpods would be at the same quality as the existing 3.5mm headphone jack ones?
     
  14. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    #14
    Not necessarily - they could bundle some EarPods with a lightning connector, or they could bundle a lightning-to-jack dongle.

    They've removed a major mechanical weakness - a little 15mm crowbar sticking into the workings of the phone waiting to wrench the socket from the circuit board (forget waterproofing). The lightning socket is a better mechanical design, held firmly by a much larger area of the phone casing. I'm sure the jack socket would have been in the top 5 AppleCare repairs list.

    Dropping a couple of components and having one less hole in the case probably saves a few cents, too.

    I think that's about it for advantages of removing the socket. Your shiny new high-end Digital headphones with sucker- (cough) sorry audiophile-grade D-to-A converters directly driving the phones (if any self-respecting cat would be seen dead wearing Beats it might notice the difference) would still plug into the lightning socket if the jack was still there.

    By not listening to music while it charges. Or by using Bluetooth headphones. Or by buying an iPhone dock which has both jack and lightning sockets. Or maybe Apple will finally go for inductive charging?

    I think the basic message is, though, buy some Bluetooth headphones (which will work with your iPhone and your Mac).
     
  15. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #15
    Sound quality of music depends on so much. With regard to Apple's earpods, yes, absolutely: The quality of audio from the earpods using 3.5mm would be exactly the same as the quality of audio from the lightning port version.

    Work backwards from your ears. The speaker in a headphone is analog. At some point, digital music data must be converted to analog. Does it matter whether it's a chip in the iphone doing it, or a chip in the headphones? The only thing different is where the chip is.

    Working back further, before the analog audio goes to the speaker, it gets amplified. This is about power. For the power rating, the one in the iphone is already very good. For earpods, more power does not mean better - indeed more power might mean worse. For much bigger headphones, more power does mean better, but many of those super expensive super niche headphones already have special amps anyway. For 99% of users that just use plain earbuds or regular headphones, this makes no difference.

    Working back further, before the analog audio is amplified, it is converted to analog from audio by a DAC. The DAC in the iphone is already one of the best mobile DACs out there. Unless you're willing to carry a brick the size of a deck of cards or larger with you, it's pretty much the best you can get. No third-party headphones will improve on this in any significant way (unless, as I mentioned, users are willing to carry an additional large device).

    Working back further, before the digital audio is converted, it is read from a file. Most users listen to MP3s, or itunes downloads, or spotify, or something of that nature. These files are compressed to various qualities. For most people listening to 128kbps or even 196kbps compressed audio, fancy DACs, amps, and headphones won't make any difference whether it is over lightning or over 3.5mm.

    So yes, with earpods, all other things being equal, lightning or 3.5mm makes no difference what so ever.

    The only scenario that I can think of where lightning might be better is if the user is listening to a lossless file, the user is willing to carry with them a big external amp and DAC, and the user is listening on expensive audiophile-grade headphones or earbuds. What percent of users do you think fit that profile? Maybe 0.1%? Even that might be generous...
     
  16. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #16
    I follow what you're saying. I was under the impression that the power to the headphone jack was less than the lightning port.
     
  17. cynics macrumors G4

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    #17
    That's too broad of a question. If the amp in a set of lightning headphones is of lower quality than amp in an iPhone then yes lightning headphones will sound worse. We WILL see this once shoddy 3rd party manufacturers start farting out sub quality stuff.

    The highest quality set of headphones will always be pure analog 3.5mm or 1/4" connector using an amp in equipment. It doesn't even have to be studio equipment either, a lot of receivers in people's entertainment systems. Clearly that's not a mobile solution.

    Regardless to any of that....removal of the 3.5mm headphone port doesn't produce "higher quality audio". Lightning headphones have been available for over a year, and they will sound exactly the same when Apple does away with the headphone port.
     
  18. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #18
    There are currently higher quality headphones on the market that terminate in a 3.5mm and require no additional power. There is nothing about a lightning earpod that automatically translates to a higher quality earbud. It's obviously not out of the realm of possibility, but the limiting factor was never the plug, it was the rest of the components. My expectations is to have a similar, if not identical, experience to what Apple has been packaging with their iOS devices for years.
     
  19. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    #19
    Power of what?

    The lightning port can supply power to the accessory, but it can't supply more than the iphone has to give. It's true something like Beats studio headphones might be able to work without batteries if they used a lightning power. However, most of the high-end DACs out there, even the ones that take the digital input from the lightning port, still have their own batteries and power supplies as the iphone cannot supply the power needed for truly high-end audio.

    If you're talking about power to the speakers, meaning power of amplified analog audio, more power does not mean better. The power has to be matched to the specific speaker. For example, the little speakers inside the earpods would sound a lot worse and might be damaged if you fed more power into them.
     
  20. freepomme thread starter Suspended

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    #20
    Listen to music or charge your phone? Listen to music or charge your phone?

    Who?

    Something about that scenario just don't sound right.
     
  21. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #21
    I don't have that problem since I have 2 pairs of Bluetooth headphones :p
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2016 ---
    Fair enough. Thanks for the information
     
  22. MxChino macrumors regular

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    #22
    The Audeze Sine sounds quite a bit better with the cipher cable than it does the standard cable. Then again it's a $500 headphone that's using a better dac and amp than the iPhone.
     
  23. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #23
    By the time you have a new iPhone in your hand that has no audio jack, you'll be able to buy adaptors that include audio to lightening and double adaptors so that you can charge while you listen to music.
     
  24. freepomme thread starter Suspended

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    #24
    Why would I want a phone that I need an adapter... Just to listen to music and charge at the same time?
    That's counter-intuitive.
     
  25. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    #25
    You don't have to buy it.
     

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