Lightning-connected headphones proliferate with new models from Philips and JBL

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2015
Six months after Apple first announced a program that would allow headphone manufacturers to connect their cans directly to an iOS device's Lightning port, the first models to take full advantage of the Lightning port's capabilities are being shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.




The two new models --?JBL's Reflect Aware in-ear version and Philips's Fidelio NC1L on-ears --?not only draw audio signals from the Lightning port, but power as well. That enables both sets to provide active noise canceling without the need for batteries.

JBL's Reflect Aware are designed for athletes, with a system that JBL says is the first to specifically allow the mixing of ambient sounds with active noise cancellation. This could allow runners, for instance, to hear a car horn but remove engine noises when running on the road.

Reflect Aware also features a four-button remote control and a "rugged, sweat-proof design." There is no word yet on availability, but they will come in at $149.99 when they do go on sale.




Philips's Fidelio NC1L, meanwhile, is the company's second set of Lightning-connected headphones. They announced the Fidelio M2L last September, though the earlier model has yet to ship in the U.S.

Like its predecessor, the NC1L features a 24-bit DAC. The NC1L adds active noise cancellation -- powered by the Lightning connector --?with four microphones that analyze the environment inside and outside the earcups.

Philips expects the NC1L to hit North American shores in April with a suggested retail price of $299.

At press time, AppleInsider had not yet been able to confirm if either of these headphones could be used with a standard headphone jack, either through an adapter or other means.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Seems rather embarassing that Apple's Beats did get there first.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member

    seems rather odd to use cords for headphones designed for sports use.  however, I'm not in marketing so who the heck am I to question.

  • Reply 3 of 22
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,749member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     

    seems rather odd to use cords for headphones designed for sports use.  however, I'm not in marketing so who the heck am I to question.




    Cords are not a hindrance to running, walking, biking etc. The alternative is an uncomfortable band that connects the two ear pieces and contains the wireless electronics. I'd rather have the wire.

  • Reply 4 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snova View Post

     

    seems rather odd to use cords for headphones designed for sports use.  however, I'm not in marketing so who the heck am I to question.




    You don't need to be in marketing to figure this out: it depends on the activity. Headphone cords are inconvenient for some sports, less so for others. Walking, cycling, running? Cords are not really a big issue.

     

    Football quarterbacks throwing warmup passes on the field? Yeah, the cord is an issue. In the gym? Yes, the cord can easily catch on equipment.

     

    In some cases, the cord is a benefit. Let's say you're a snowboarder and you have your smartphone in your inside jacket pocket and listening to earbuds. You pull out an earbud to talk to your lift chair partner but your hands slip and you drop the earbud. Say goodbye to the wireless earbud which falls into the powder 60 feet below the lift. A wired earbud falls six harmless inches, dangling against your jacket.

     

    Back in the day, I used to run string through my ski jacket sleeves, from wrist to wrist. At each end, I tied my glove/mitten to the string. Never lost a glove from the lift chair. Wireless/cordless isn't always better.

  • Reply 5 of 22
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member

    Is this the beginning of iPhone audio jack's demise? I would think Bluetooth headphones

    would work better than this. Seems like a waste to go this way using Lighting with

    Bluetooth options at the ready.

     

    DM

  • Reply 6 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member

    Bluetooth headphones require their own power source. Headphones connected via Lightning do not.

     

    How useful is a pair of Bluetooth headphones with a dead battery? Might make a nice paperweight.

     

    For that reason alone, I doubt if the audio jack is going away anytime soon. I typically use wired earbuds with an inline microphone on the cord. Do you know how many times I've had to change/charge the battery? Zero. It doesn't have a battery. I could use them for years, never worry about running low on power, at least with the headphones/ear buds.

  • Reply 7 of 22
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    Seems rather embarassing that Apple's Beats did get there first.

     

    im not sure you know what the word "embarassing" means. if apple wanted to have done it first, they could have. you know, being the biggest, richest, most successful tech firm in the history of mankind, and all.... both Beats and Apple are too busy eating profit. therefore, they have nothing to be embarrassed about.

  • Reply 8 of 22
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    Bluetooth headphones require their own power source. Headphones connected via Lightning do not.

     

    How useful is a pair of Bluetooth headphones with a dead battery? Might make a nice paperweight.

     

    For that reason alone, I doubt if the audio jack is going away anytime soon. I typically use wired earbuds with an inline microphone on the cord. Do you know how many times I've had to change/charge the battery? Zero. It doesn't have one. I could use them for years, never worry about battery.


    "not only draw audio signals from the Lightning port, but power as well" Seems like these two models draw power from the iPhone..so whats your point? Plus Beats Bluetooth headphones last 12 hours on a charge....Unless your running 24 hours....you should be good my man.

  • Reply 9 of 22
    dimmok wrote: »
    Is this the beginning of iPhone audio jack's demise? I would think Bluetooth headphones
    would work better than this. Seems like a waste to go this way using Lighting with
    Bluetooth options at the ready.

    DM
    Bt protocols are not particularly high fidelity. The Lightning headphones sound like they pass a digital stream which are then converted to a analog by the headphones, a solution that give you far higher quality audio if done properly.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DimMok View Post

     

    "not only draw audio signals from the Lightning port, but power as well" Seems like these two models draw power from the iPhone..so whats your point? Plus Beats Bluetooth headphones last 12 hours on a charge....Unless your running 24 hours....you should be good my man.


     

    The point is that you don't have to charge two devices (your phone and your headphones), just one. That means one less charger.

     

    Do you not have enough chargers in your life?

  • Reply 11 of 22
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post





    Bt protocols are not particularly high fidelity. The Lightning headphones sound like they pass a digital stream which are then converted to a analog by the headphones, a solution that give you far higher quality audio if done properly.



    Hey Im down for some digital streaming for High Fidelity. My fickle ears pick up the difference. Wonder if in the future Bluetooth could ever

    do that...would be cool. That plus wireless charging I'm in.

  • Reply 12 of 22

    I am glad that a non-Beats company has this technology.  I personally wont buy Beats headphone under any circumstance.  I have always heard that BT is a very low quality way to transfer the audio signal so i like the idea of the lightning port.  Plus with the ability of lightning to transfer power you can get noise canceling without the bulk of a battery.  As far a s the cable goes i have always just run them under my shirt so they don't catch on anything whether at the Gym or mountain biking or mowing the lawn.  I cant wait to be able to test these in person soon.  i wonder how the JBL buds compare to the Bose QC20i.   

  • Reply 13 of 22
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    im not sure you know what the word "embarassing" means. if apple wanted to have done it first, they could have. you know, being the biggest, richest, most successful tech firm in the history of mankind, and all.... both Beats and Apple are too busy eating profit. therefore, they have nothing to be embarrassed about.

    Yet they DIDNT. The Beats division has yet to prove its acquisition cost worth.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post

     

     

    if apple wanted to have done it first, they could have. you know, being the biggest, richest, most successful tech firm in the history of mankind, and all.... both Beats and Apple are too busy eating profit. therefore, they have nothing to be embarrassed about.


    Ha, agreed. They're probably not embarrassed that their market capitalization increased by more than 24 billion dollars in the past 7 1/2 hours, either. The whole of Philips is worth less than 26 Billion, and JBL presumably much less.

  • Reply 15 of 22
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    retrogusto wrote: »
    Ha, agreed. They're probably not embarrassed that their market capitalization increased by more than 24 billion dollars in the past 7 1/2 hours, either. The whole of Philips is worth less than 26 Billion, and JBL presumably much less.

    Cool and the Apple TV is 3years stale and a full TV 4years late.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    I love this idea. Time to remove the headphone jack.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,331member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

     

    The point is that you don't have to charge two devices (your phone and your headphones), just one. That means one less charger.

     

    Do you not have enough chargers in your life?




    Also, rechargeable batteries hold less and less charge over time.  For those of us who aren't rough on our headphones, it means we'll be throwing away a perfectly good set of headphones in 3-5 years.  These ones would last much longer.

  • Reply 18 of 22
    So tell me how to listen to music and charge the phone?
  • Reply 19 of 22
    guyrguyr Posts: 41member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

     

    The point is that you don't have to charge two devices (your phone and your headphones), just one. That means one less charger.

     




    So if your phone battery is dying - say, at your office desk - and you want to listen to music too, you can't charge and listen at the same time. So you better keep your white ear buds handy...  Unless someone now comes out with a 'dual lightning' charger.

  • Reply 20 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member

    That's right.

     

    Neither manufacturer has released enough information for us to know whether or not these products will have some sort of adapter that allows for in-line sharing/splitting of the iPhone's Lightning port.

     

    We already know that there are iPad Lightning HDMI adapters which allow simultaneous video output and charging. I would be very surprised if there won't be some sort of support for Lightning-based headphones.

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