What is the sound quality like when connecting 3.5mm to lightning on 7?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Zellio, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Zellio macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2012
  2. DustinDev47 macrumors 6502


    Sep 3, 2011
    Las Vegas
  3. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    in theory it should be better since it's digital vs analog.... but who know, i know i won't be able to tell.
  4. DanGoh macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2014
    All I know is that if the 3.5 mm adapter produces sound that is less than that of what I would hear from my 6 I'm returning it and getting the SE, 6S, or possibly some Android phone.
  5. 4rtemidis macrumors regular


    Jun 20, 2012
    Why? The digital data will be converted to analog (via the lightning to 3.5mm adapter), so it should be exactly the same quality.
  6. soundwarp macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2009
    my adapter arrives tomorrow so ill let yall know
  7. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    They may have cheaped out on the DAC/AMP components (since they have to fit in that tiny connector), so the adapter and new earpods may be way worse.
  8. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014

    im not an expert, but as far as i understand, an analog plug will have defects, introduces noise to the signal. but digital plug won't.
  9. rasputin1969, Sep 14, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016

    rasputin1969 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2010
    You do realize that before the audio is digitised it goes through the audio jack in the guitar, then into the audio jack of the effects unit, exits the effects unit via an audio jack and into the audio jack in the amp, is then transmitted through the air as sound waves, which are then picked up by a mike and then enters the mixers audio interface via an audio jack?

    If all these analog plugs introduce discernible noise at each stage why haven't professional audio engineers and musicians digitised the entire audio stack?

    And using the extremely cheap and tiny DAC that comes in a $9 cable doesn't concern you at all?
  10. coconutcrackers macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2016
    There's still an analog plug in the chain, it's just been moved one step away. The adapter is a digital -> analog converter. The components in the adapter used to be inside the phone. That's what they removed, and put into the adapter.

    The question is, did they put a similar quality D/A converter in the adapter compared to what was in the phone. Technically, they probably could have used something better since it didn't need to be as small.
  11. rasputin1969 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2010
    Just a correction - they did not remove the DAC from the phone. You still need one for the speakers.
  12. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Your human ears cannot hear digital. All headphones are analogue, a conversion must happen.
  13. blackreplica macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2010
    are we possibly jumping the gun a little bit? How do we know that there are no analog audio outputs on the lightning connector itself? It doesnt make a lot of sense to stick a DAC in a cable adapter when the iphone already has one built in. All the adapter could be doing is tapping an analog audio signal and converting the output plug to 3.5mm
  14. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Is in the specs for the lightning connector .
  15. 576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    So, before, the iPhone had a built in DAC for the headphone jack. But now, with audio coming from Lightning as a digital signal, will all headphones have to have a built in DAC? Is this better?
  16. drumstr macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2016
    I am very curious about this as well. Most people can't tell the difference btw 16 and 24 bit audio so would love to see someone doing blind a/b tests
  17. elfary macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    As a user of Shure SE846 and Westone W30 earphones if the dongle ouput is not as great (quality and voltage wise) as the built in audio chip of the iPhone 6 then i will be sticking to it until a 3rd party makes a proper lightning cable for my earphones.

    Apple has outsourced the headphone port and i do not know if Cirrus Logic has been able to put a high quality dac/amp in such a tiny enclosure. If they are able to pull it then color me extremely impressed.
  18. Robstevo macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2014
    It can be better, but it can also be a lot worse. Basically it will depend on the manufacturer how much they want to spend on the DAC. The iPhone's built in DAC was pretty good compared to the competition. Basically it could go either way.
  19. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    One of the reviews said, that they couldn't tell a difference.
    Don't remember which one, because i read so many of them.
  20. elfary macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    I think it was Walt Mossberg but he is not what i would call an audiophile. It's nitpickers with high end earphones what would come in handy.

    I will be purchasing the dongle myself this weekend and check how does it drive my SE846 and W30 earphones.
  21. Linas7 macrumors newbie


    Jun 10, 2009
    I doubt there is any major difference based on the fact that Apple has not highlighted it in their keynote and on their website.
    If there were any improvements, I think Apple would have projected it as a game changing improvement in audio technology.
  22. Knowimagination macrumors 68000


    Apr 6, 2010
    As many others have stated lately, no true audiophile has been using the headphone jack anyway so I'm not sure it is really going to matter all that much.

    I personally am excited to see what this pushes bluetooth headphones to, and also to see what manufactures can come up with when they can pair their headphones with exactly the DAC they want. It will mean that manufactures can actually produce headphones that sound exactly as intended when used with an iPhone over lightning, not something that they have been capable of until now.
  23. Seige macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2012
    The lightning port is also supporting analogue audio. There is still a DAC built in, as mentioned before, otherwise the built in speakers would not work. The dongle is a mere adaptor from analogue lightning to headphone jack. This means there is most likely no direct benefit audio-wise from removing the jack from the phone. It all depends on the components built in by Apple.

    Yes, you can also pass through digital audio through the lightning port and use it with an external dac or headphones like Audeze's that have a dedicated DAC built into their cable.

    Realistically, a dongle for $9 does not have a DAC built in. Also the size seems to small for their MFI chip and a DAC.

    I am more interested if the inline remote function still works with the dongle, but I expect that.

    Also, the headphone jack of the 6s is rather good by comparison. For one the road cases it makes a dedicated DAC obsolete. Simply plugging in a headphone with a right angle connector and there was minimal stress induced when carrying the phone in the pocket. This will be tricky with the new dongle and its straight connector.
  24. penajmz macrumors 68040


    Sep 11, 2008
    New York City
  25. book1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2016
    If it turns out not great or you're not happy with it, FiiO is already working on releasing a headphone amp / DAC for the iPhone 7. Think they're hoping for a release this month too and should be relatively cheap at around $40-50 in comparison, if your headphones were a hundred or two (or more).

    It seems like it could work well enough in a pocket if you leave your phone in your pocket upside down so the cable has no bending from the lightning port, and clip the unit on your pants/belt under your shirt (or if you have really large pockets maybe it'll fit fine too). You might even get less interference on the headphone cable, not running through your pocket.

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