Apple May Switch Headphone Jack With Lightning

Future Apple headphones could have Apple’s unique Lightning module instead of the traditional 3.5mm jack, a WWDC session has revealed.  Robert Walsh detailed the inclusion of Lightning at the session, titled “Designing Accessories for iOS and OSX”.

This connector, usually found on Apple products, would enable the headphones to plug in via the Lightning port found on the iPad or iPhone for analog audio. Whilst this would make your ‘made for iPhone’ headphone non-compatible with other devices, you may still be able to swap out cables for third party headphones if detachable cables are made available.

Walsh went on to detail some of the advantages of Lightning, such as having better interaction with software on your device, such as music apps like iTunes Radio, plus third party app controlled headphones, since the device lets you use analog and digital connections all in one.

Walsh said that “If your headphones, for example, support, let’s say, noise cancellation, you can offer an app on your device that communicates with your headphones to control how that operates.”

See also: Apple Details iOS 8 at WWDC 2014

Another way that Lightning could make headphone connections a lot better is the fact that the cable can draw power from the host device in order to negate the need for batteries in larger and more complex headphones. A drawback however, would be that the power demands could reduce the operating time of your device without it being apparent to the user.

The new Lightning connection on the iPhone 5s would make these headphone adaptations possible, plus on future models the possible removal of the traditional headphone jack would save space. However, limitations would include a lack of ability to charge and listen to music simultaneously, so we can’t really say if Apple would fully implement this Lightning proposal in all their future products.

Possibly in future Lightning headphones may be made available, especially in the Beats by Dr. Dre range which Apple has recently purchased, and maybe even from Apple themselves. Devices may allow the option to use either Lightning or traditional headphones, giving the user both options to choose from. We will keep you updated as info arrives.

Source – Appleinsider