Chinese company advertises new Lightning-to-headphone adapters ahead of Apple's 'iPhone 7'

Posted:
in iPhone
With Apple's next-generation iPhone rumored to ditch the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, one Chinese accessory maker is hoping to capitalize on the anticipated switch, and is now advertising a series of Lightning-to-headphone adapters with separate volume controls.




Tama Electric is currently advertising three Lightning-to-headphone adapters, two of which also include a micro USB port for charging while using headphones. The dongles were first spotted by Macotakara.

There are a handful of Lightning-connected headphones currently available on the market, but Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone adapters are not yet sold as certified Made for iPhone accessories. Presumably, if the "iPhone 7" does ditch the headphone jack as rumored, Apple or authorized accessory makers will need to offer some form of adapter for legacy headphones.

The new accessories from Tama do not appear to be available for purchase yet, with no price listed. As such, the products may simply be mockups or concepts, and they most likely are not Made for iPhone certified through Apple.




Rumors about Apple's anticipated iPhone refresh have consistently claimed that the 2016 model will ditch the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, allowing for a design that could be the thinnest ever. Eliminating the headphone port would leave customers relying on either wireless Bluetooth headphones, or Lightning-connected headphones -- with or without an adapter.

Apple is rumored to be working on new Bluetooth EarPods that will pair and charge with a handset through the Lightning port, just like the Apple Pencil does with the iPad Pro. It's expected that those headphones will be sold separately, with a traditional pair of EarPods -- wired via Lightning --?shipping in the box with the next iPhone.

Apple is expected to launch its next-generation iPhone in September, its usual annual timeframe. It's likely to start at the same $649 starting price as Apple's current flagship handset, the iPhone 6s.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    lukeilukei Posts: 353member
    Why on earth do you need a volume control? Any decent headphones have one. 
  • Reply 2 of 38
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,786member
    Such adapters might have to have their own digital-to-analog converters, the quality/fidelity of which may vary.
    anton zuykovrezwits
  • Reply 3 of 38
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I'm usually the first to complain about removing the headphone jack but I fotgot about adapters. Doesn't seem too shabby.

    In iHater news, fandroids are claiming Apple isn't the first to remove the headphone jack. They reached into the abyss of 3,000+ androids and found some obscure Oppo that doesn't have one.
    pscooter63rezwitschia
  • Reply 4 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    cali said:
    I'm usually the first to complain about removing the headphone jack but I fotgot about adapters. Doesn't seem too shabby.

    In iHater news, fandroids are claiming Apple isn't the first to remove the headphone jack. They reached into the abyss of 3,000+ androids and found some obscure Oppo that doesn't have one.
    I thought it was just a rumor that Apple has removed the headphone jack in the next iPhone. I guess it's been confirmed then? 

    By the way there's at least three phones from China's LeEco with USB Type-C digital headphone support using the charging port, ditching the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. I wasn't aware that Oppo had too but it's not terribly surprising if they have.

    EDIT: You're correct, the Oppo R5 released back in January. First I'd seen about that. Do you know why they ditched the headphone jack? At a ridiculously thin 4.85mm a traditional headphone jack won't fit. 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 5 of 38
    With the adapter available and it was always likely to happen, I don't see what the big deal was about the Lightning port replacing the standard headphone jack. People yell and moan over nothing before it even happens. Maybe they were complaining about having to pay for the extra cost of the adapter which will likely cost around $30 knowing how companies like to price gouge Apple customers.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    If Apple wants to remove the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, it can just do so.  It can provide a bluetooth or wifi headphone.  
  • Reply 7 of 38
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    What an awful future. Those things have batteries and have to be charged, which sucks for anyone who wants to keep using their current headphones. In addition, how many people who would upgrade from the supplied earpods would consider buying expensive Lightning headphones that work only with iOS devices? Want to use them with other equipment that uses the standard port, including your Mac, or a real stereo? You need a different kind of adapter that requires power. What an awful future.
    baconstang
  • Reply 8 of 38
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Yikes. Apple really will be doomed if they remove the headphone jack and don't offer a much better adapter than these.

    Any company who is trying to get ahead of this is likely to get burned. There's no guarantee that the way Apple currently implements audio output via Lightning will remain the same when they decide to remove the 3.5mm Jack. While I suspect these presumably cheap adapters will work, there will likely be a much better, and more elegant solution offered by Apple and official licensees that most customers are probably going to prefer.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 9 of 38
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    jonl said:
    What an awful future. Those things have batteries and have to be charged, which sucks for anyone who wants to keep using their current headphones. In addition, how many people who would upgrade from the supplied earpods would consider buying expensive Lightning headphones that work only with iOS devices? Want to use them with other equipment that uses the standard port, including your Mac, or a real stereo? You need a different kind of adapter that requires power. What an awful future.
    No they don't. They don't need to use any more power via the Lightning bus than the built in DAC and amp currently uses.

    and wrong again about buying expensive headphones that only work with iOS devices. If you've been in the market for any headphones, you'd know they all mostly have removable cords now. Demand will not only reduce the price of digital headphones, but combo digital/analogue ports will allow one set of headphones to be used with any device a customer wants with the appropriate cable. 
    edited May 2016 radarthekatnolamacguy
  • Reply 10 of 38
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    The people spreading this rumor is idiot. iPhone 6s talk time is unto 14 hours.  If you forget to charge the phone for one day, you may need to charge it while answering calls.  
    SEngineer
  • Reply 11 of 38
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,796member
    gatorguy said:
    cali said:
    I'm usually the first to complain about removing the headphone jack but I fotgot about adapters. Doesn't seem too shabby.

    In iHater news, fandroids are claiming Apple isn't the first to remove the headphone jack. They reached into the abyss of 3,000+ androids and found some obscure Oppo that doesn't have one.
    I thought it was just a rumor that Apple has removed the headphone jack in the next iPhone. I guess it's been confirmed then? 
     

    No, this is just Chinese companies trying to stay ahead of the curve. The internal electronics are probably sub-par and won't work with iOS devices.
    tallest skilbobschlob
  • Reply 12 of 38
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member
    No mention if these adaptors incorporate their own DACs. Which they'll probably need to do to function properly as Lightning is an all digital interface...unless Apple has adjusted Lightning's specification slightly on the upcoming iPhone 7 to compensate for this.
    edited May 2016 baconstang
  • Reply 13 of 38
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    mac_128 said:
    jonl said:
    What an awful future. Those things have batteries and have to be charged, which sucks for anyone who wants to keep using their current headphones. In addition, how many people who would upgrade from the supplied earpods would consider buying expensive Lightning headphones that work only with iOS devices? Want to use them with other equipment that uses the standard port, including your Mac, or a real stereo? You need a different kind of adapter that requires power. What an awful future.
    No they don't. They don't need to use any more power via the Lightning bus than the built in DAC and amp currently uses.

    and wrong again about buying expensive headphones that only work with iOS devices. If you've been in the market for any headphones, you'd know they all mostly have removable cords now. Demand will not only reduce the price of digital headphones, but combo digital/analogue ports will allow one set of headphones to be used with any device a customer wants with the appropriate cable. 
    I stand corrected about the charging requirement for Lightning-to-3.5, though these adapters may vary in their energy usage depending on the headphones they are able to drive.

    I can already use traditional headphones anywhere, and they don't need built-in DACs/amps or removable cables for digital/analog operation or adapters. Worse still, others have set a small precedent with USB-C, while Apple will break away with its proprietary Lightning. So the present is simple, universal compability due to a standard, while the future is complexity, added cost, and incompatibility due to manufacturers going different ways.

    baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 38
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member
    Go with USB-C and add 1mm to phone thickness to double the battery life.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    larryalarrya Posts: 581member
    jonl said:
    mac_128 said:
    No they don't. They don't need to use any more power via the Lightning bus than the built in DAC and amp currently uses.

    and wrong again about buying expensive headphones that only work with iOS devices. If you've been in the market for any headphones, you'd know they all mostly have removable cords now. Demand will not only reduce the price of digital headphones, but combo digital/analogue ports will allow one set of headphones to be used with any device a customer wants with the appropriate cable. 
    I stand corrected about the charging requirement for Lightning-to-3.5, though these adapters may vary in their energy usage depending on the headphones they are able to drive.

    I can already use traditional headphones anywhere, and they don't need built-in DACs/amps or removable cables for digital/analog operation or adapters. Worse still, others have set a small precedent with USB-C, while Apple will break away with its proprietary Lightning. So the present is simple, universal compability due to a standard, while the future is complexity, added cost, and incompatibility due to manufacturers going different ways.

    You are correct. Also, I think a lot of the Apple apologists don't fully comprehend the impact of having to carry an adapter around. I had one for an old Windows Mobile phone, and the short answer is, you always leave it at home/never have it when you need it. 
    baconstangcnocbui
  • Reply 16 of 38
    dgatwooddgatwood Posts: 4member
    mac_128 said:
    jonl said:
    What an awful future. Those things have batteries and have to be charged, which sucks for anyone who wants to keep using their current headphones. In addition, how many people who would upgrade from the supplied earpods would consider buying expensive Lightning headphones that work only with iOS devices? Want to use them with other equipment that uses the standard port, including your Mac, or a real stereo? You need a different kind of adapter that requires power. What an awful future.
    No they don't. They don't need to use any more power via the Lightning bus than the built in DAC and amp currently uses.

    and wrong again about buying expensive headphones that only work with iOS devices. If you've been in the market for any headphones, you'd know they all mostly have removable cords now. Demand will not only reduce the price of digital headphones, but combo digital/analogue ports will allow one set of headphones to be used with any device a customer wants with the appropriate cable. 
    First, it does take more power, because the iOS device still has an amplifier and a DAC to drive the internal telephone speaker and the internal speakerphone speaker.  Therefore, you don't save any power by removing the headphone jack at all.  You just add the power consumption of the external device.

    Second, although what you say about removable cords is true only for large Bluetooth headphones.  It isn't true for any of the cheap analog headphones, and more importantly, it isn't true for earbuds, which make up the majority of headphone sales.  The cost of adding digital electronics to earbuds would increase their cost pretty dramatically from an average of $10 per set to probably about $30, without providing any actual benefit for customers.  That sure sounds like "expensive headphones that only work with iOS devices" to me.

    baconstangcnocbuijasenj1
  • Reply 17 of 38
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    dgatwood said:
    mac_128 said:
    No they don't. They don't need to use any more power via the Lightning bus than the built in DAC and amp currently uses.

    and wrong again about buying expensive headphones that only work with iOS devices. If you've been in the market for any headphones, you'd know they all mostly have removable cords now. Demand will not only reduce the price of digital headphones, but combo digital/analogue ports will allow one set of headphones to be used with any device a customer wants with the appropriate cable. 
    First, it does take more power, because the iOS device still has an amplifier and a DAC to drive the internal telephone speaker and the internal speakerphone speaker.  Therefore, you don't save any power by removing the headphone jack at all.  You just add the power consumption of the external device.

    Second, although what you say about removable cords is true only for large Bluetooth headphones.  It isn't true for any of the cheap analog headphones, and more importantly, it isn't true for earbuds, which make up the majority of headphone sales.  The cost of adding digital electronics to earbuds would increase their cost pretty dramatically from an average of $10 per set to probably about $30, without providing any actual benefit for customers.  That sure sounds like "expensive headphones that only work with iOS devices" to me.

    No it doesn't take more power. When you plug in a set of Lightning headphones, the internal DAC and amp are powered down.

    Second, I believe we were talking about expensive headphones, and it's not just Bluetooth headphones either, it's true of good wired headphones as well. And who the hell cares about cheap headphones or earbuds? Good riddance. Apple's probably gonna give me a new set of Lightning earbuds anyway. And if someone's using cheap headphones, why are they buying the flagship iPhone? There will still be excellent iPhones Apple will continue to sell with the 3.5mm Jack for those who want the worst sound experience possible.

    Considering your wildly inflated cost estimates, I suspect it will surprise you to learn that all of Apple's iPhone I/O chips cost less than $18, of which the DAC and amp are but a small part. So no. You're just flat wrong on every point you're trying to make.

    Not to mention, Intel is actively pushing audio over USB-C. So within a year of Apple doing it, all mobile phones, at least the flagships, will likely be using digital interfaces of one standard or another. So it won't be just iOS. And as the demand increases for digital headphones, the price will drop. and yes there will be benefits for the consumers -- lower prices on digital headphones with potentially better sound is but one. But you go ahead and keep grinding that axe.
    radarthekatchianolamacguy
  • Reply 18 of 38
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    larrya said:
    jonl said:
    I stand corrected about the charging requirement for Lightning-to-3.5, though these adapters may vary in their energy usage depending on the headphones they are able to drive.

    I can already use traditional headphones anywhere, and they don't need built-in DACs/amps or removable cables for digital/analog operation or adapters. Worse still, others have set a small precedent with USB-C, while Apple will break away with its proprietary Lightning. So the present is simple, universal compability due to a standard, while the future is complexity, added cost, and incompatibility due to manufacturers going different ways.

    You are correct. Also, I think a lot of the Apple apologists don't fully comprehend the impact of having to carry an adapter around. I had one for an old Windows Mobile phone, and the short answer is, you always leave it at home/never have it when you need it. 
    The question I have is how many iPhone users actually care? Without some kind of study demonstrating that the vast majority of iPhone users are pairing expensive wired headphones with their phones, and using multiple devices, cross platform, daily, then this is all sort of moot. This poll from Macnn would seem to suggest that few iPhone customers would actually miss the headphone jack: 

    http://www.macnn.com/articles/16/01/10/we.took.a.few.hours.on.saturday.to.ask.apple.shoppers.what.they.thought.131986/
    we said that "rumor has it that Apple will eliminate the headphone jack in favor of wireless or Lightning-connector headphones. If true, will this have any effect on your day-to-day use?" The majority, 723 users, said that the removal of the headphone jack would have no effect, with 189 saying it would have a detrimental effect on usage of the devices. The remaining 88 users had no opinion.
    Here's an interesting data point -- not all of the 189 who claimed that they would be negatively impacted thought that the removal would be a bad idea. Only 132 of the 189 thought that the removal would be bad for Apple and the phone. There's still no overwhelming majority in favor of the eradication of the headphone jack, though -- 412 of the full pool said that the removal was a good idea, leaving 466 with no opinion one way or another.

    nolamacguy
  • Reply 19 of 38
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 720member
    Bluetooth Headphones are so rock solid now days, I don't really see what the big deal is, other that a Studio Gangster, wanting to use his iPhone Plus for some kinda recording studio/rig, with a mic or headphone setup, but really? Bluetooth 4.x is a beast!
  • Reply 20 of 38
    croprcropr Posts: 1,041member
    With the adapter available and it was always likely to happen, I don't see what the big deal was about the Lightning port replacing the standard headphone jack.
    Because I'll have to carry these adapters.  And I'll tend to forget the mini display port to VGA adapter for my MBP at least once a month
    baconstangcnocbui
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