Watch: Apple's Lightning EarPods sound better than legacy 3.5mm headphone jack

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
As Apple attempts to move beyond the headphone jack, its replacement wired audio input source, Lightning, offers a number of benefits over the legacy 3.5-millimeter technology. AppleInsider shows you how Lightning is truly a step forward for audio quality.







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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Bad experimental design, swapping phones and cables without being double blind, does not reduce placebo effect. Why not just say, AppleInsider guy thinks lightning headphones sound better.
    argonauttitantigermike1jim waylklostkiwirevenantbaconstangsingularityurahara
  • Reply 2 of 40
    Anecdotal and pointless...
    mike1jim waylkschlackrevenantbaconstangurahara
  • Reply 3 of 40
    I'm not sure why this is a video instead of an article. Seeing a guy wearing headphones doesn't really add anything.
    titantigermdriftmeyerjim wLinz Hendersonlostkiwischlackrevenantbaconstang
  • Reply 4 of 40
    Yeah, this is an odd story.  Just watching some dude swap back and forth himself doesn't really do much for me.  I'd say if you did a double blind listening test with a handful of professionals and maybe a couple of regular folks mixed in, it would be more credible.
    mike1jim wschlackbaconstangsingularityurahara
  • Reply 5 of 40
    schlack said:
    Bad experimental design, swapping phones and cables without being double blind, does not reduce placebo effect. Why not just say, AppleInsider guy thinks lightning headphones sound better.
    Yup.  Large sample double blind is the only kind of testing that is useful and worth reporting.
    mike1jim wbaconstangurahara
  • Reply 6 of 40
    dm3dm3 Posts: 152member
    It is absurd to think that because you plug into a 3.5mm jack on an adapter, its somehow magically better than plugging into the same size jack on the iphone itself. 
    Of course, Apple could have decided to make them perform differently, but its nothing inherent in being a lightning port vs. 3.5mm jack. And louder != better, although many people will claim in blind tests that music played louder sounded better even when they are exactly the same other than being louder.
    mike1rogifan_newlarryajim waylktoddzrxbaconstang
  • Reply 7 of 40
    Essentially, he is claiming the DAC in the lightening to 3.5 adaptor is better than the DAC in the iPhone 6/6s. He needs to some concrete spec to sustain that claim.
    larryajim waylkbaconstangHabi_tweet
  • Reply 8 of 40
    dm3 said:
    And louder != better, although many people will claim in blind tests that music played louder sounded better even when they are exactly the same other than being louder.
    Of course louder is better. That's why all those imbeciles drive down the street with music so loud that it's painful for bystanders even through closed car windows. Why else would somebody intentionally expose themselves to sound levels OSHA would shut down factories for?
  • Reply 9 of 40
    They sound better, and louder to me on my new 7. My only complaint is that I don't like loose fitting buds. Prefer the in-ear-canal type that stay put and seal out more ambient noise. 
  • Reply 10 of 40
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    tonglaji said:
    Essentially, he is claiming the DAC in the lightening to 3.5 adaptor is better than the DAC in the iPhone 6/6s. He needs to some concrete spec to sustain that claim.

    http://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/iPhone-7-nachgemessen-Audio-Adapter-liefert-schlechteren-Sound-3325932.html



    http://www.head-fi.org/t/627111/what-is-the-sound-quality-of-iphone-ipad-ipod-touch/285#post_12872457



    jasenj1
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Idiotic.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,988member
    Smart direction by Apple to move DAC outside of phone into lightening cable jack/adapter. Save space inside iphone and provides local enhancements to DAC chip embedded into lightening cable jack. Even 3rd party can put their own better DAC chip(with audio enhancement/ amplification, ) which could sound better than Apple embedded. .
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 13 of 40
    dm3 said:
    It is absurd to think that because you plug into a 3.5mm jack on an adapter, its somehow magically better than plugging into the same size jack on the iphone itself. 
    Of course, Apple could have decided to make them perform differently, but its nothing inherent in being a lightning port vs. 3.5mm jack. And louder != better, although many people will claim in blind tests that music played louder sounded better even when they are exactly the same other than being louder.
    This. Also if the audio quality from the lightning connector was better surely that would have been the #1 thing Apple highlighted in the keynote, not this courage nonsense.
    aylktoddzrxbaconstang
  • Reply 14 of 40
    It's possible that the iP7 sounds better, but the improvement would be the result of better audio electronics, not the connector. It's a positive result, but it has nothing to do with Lightning vs. 3.5mm.
    aylk
  • Reply 15 of 40
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,988member
    One possibility of Apple's lightening connected earpod sounds better than 3.5mm because moving DA conversion function into cable jack providing bit extra space which let Apple added more audio electronics for the better sound.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    dm3 said:
    It is absurd to think that because you plug into a 3.5mm jack on an adapter, its somehow magically better than plugging into the same size jack on the iphone itself. 
    Of course, Apple could have decided to make them perform differently, but its nothing inherent in being a lightning port vs. 3.5mm jack. And louder != better, although many people will claim in blind tests that music played louder sounded better even when they are exactly the same other than being louder.
    This. Also if the audio quality from the lightning connector was better surely that would have been the #1 thing Apple highlighted in the keynote, not this courage nonsense.
    What's nonsensical about citing Jobs and Apple's ongoing courage of its convictions? Apple leads with bold strokes, the industry follows. That takes courage. That use of the word is fine and valid... he's not talking about jumping into a burning building. 

    But you knew that. Anything to troll your imaginary nemesis, Schiller. amirite?
    randominternetpersonrevenantwatto_cobratycho24
  • Reply 17 of 40
    It's possible that the iP7 sounds better, but the improvement would be the result of better audio electronics, not the connector. It's a positive result, but it has nothing to do with Lightning vs. 3.5mm.
    This is false. I don't know why people are even acting like this is unknown or up for debate. Lightning port is is completely different and can output full 24-bit 96Hz audio. 3.5 mm cannot. 

    How that scales down to this guy's test of listening to lossy mp3s, I can't say.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    mac_128 said:
    tonglaji said:
    Essentially, he is claiming the DAC in the lightening to 3.5 adaptor is better than the DAC in the iPhone 6/6s. He needs to some concrete spec to sustain that claim.

    http://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/iPhone-7-nachgemessen-Audio-Adapter-liefert-schlechteren-Sound-3325932.html



    http://www.head-fi.org/t/627111/what-is-the-sound-quality-of-iphone-ipad-ipod-touch/285#post_12872457



    I cannot read the first link, and don't trust google translate. The second link is great. It does show the DAC in the adaptor is better. Thanks! The author of this article should have done what was done in the 2nd link and provide those measurements as objective results, as opposed to his "louder/better" conclusion.
    randominternetpersonmobius
  • Reply 19 of 40
    "Lightning" please, people, "Lightning."

    Please do not type "lightening" unless you mean to say "a drop in the level of the uterus during the last weeks of pregnancy as the head of the fetus engages in the pelvis" (seriously, look it up!).
    edited September 2016 Linz Hendersontheunfetteredmindtycho24mobiuskiltedgreenjim w
  • Reply 20 of 40
    TurboPGT said:
    It's possible that the iP7 sounds better, but the improvement would be the result of better audio electronics, not the connector. It's a positive result, but it has nothing to do with Lightning vs. 3.5mm.
    This is false. I don't know why people are even acting like this is unknown or up for debate. Lightning port is is completely different and can output full 24-bit 96Hz audio. 3.5 mm cannot. 

    How that scales down to this guy's test of listening to lossy mp3s, I can't say.
    I would have bet a week's pay that the connector was just passing an analog signal converted in the phone, but I see by a more recent article that there is actually a DAC in both the EarPod connector and the adaptor. Go figure. I don't believe that was a "known" before now, though.

    A few things still bear noting:

    First, this does not REPLACE the DAC+amplifier in the phone, it's in addition to it. The phone still needs to generate analog audio for the internal speakers.

    Second, moving the DAC+amp outside the phone and into the headphones does not *automatically* make it better. There's no inherent advantage. A headphone designer may choose to use electronics that are better than what's in the phone, or they may simply use something that's about the same or even worse.

    Third, there's no reason a 3.5mm jack couldn't provide the same 96/24 experience as the Lightning connection. It's determined by which converter chip is chosen, not the means by which the audio signal reaches the transducers. Relocating the converter and amplifier doesn't make any difference. If Apple has put a better converter in the cable that's a plus, but it's not necessarily an endorsement of Lightning over 3.5mm. The result could be achieved either way. They could just as easily put the "better" converter in the phone instead of the cable.

    I'm not arguing for or against the removal of the 3.5mm jack here. I'm simply saying that audio improvement isn't a valid case for removing it. OTHER reasons may be, but not audio quality on its own, because that could have been achieved while also retaining the 3.5mm output. The phone still has to have analog electronics on-board anyway, so any space saving was just the jack itself, not electronics, and the Lightning port can provide a digital stream regardless of whether or not the 3.5mm jack is present.


    baconstangHabi_tweetmobius
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