Intel pushes USB-C as 3.5mm jack replacement, touts better sound, thinness & power management

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Comments

  • Reply 40 of 70
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 817member
    mazda 3s said:
    If USB-C is the future, and Apple definitely thinks so given the adoption of the standard on the MacBook, why doesn't Apple just go all in and put USB-C on the iPhones going forward? You'd have a universal standard and you could use just about any USB-C cable between ALL of your Apple devices.

    Better yet, what's the advantage of Lighting over USB-C anyway? Aren't they pretty much at feature/speed parity?
    You know how USB-1 had one end that was a flat rect, and the other was a square? Well just think of Lightning and USB-C the same was. I have a feeling Apple's "In-control" cable is one that has a USB-C end and on the other end a Lightning connector. Specifically so you couldn't plug two iPhones together if they both had USB-C, etc...
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 42 of 70
    Considering how much money and effort Apple has put into the Lightening connector for the iPhone/headphone connector, wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to support its own technology before supporting this?
  • Reply 43 of 70
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,570member

    melgross said:
    Let's not forget that the 12.9" iPad Pro uses the USB 3.1 standard through its Lightning port. So Apple could use the Intel USB 3.1 standard for audio through its port. That would be a good thing, and I hope Apple will be doing that, assuming Intel has the software layer ready now. I can't imagine that Apple won't go to 3.1 through all of its devices using the lightning port. If not this year, then hopefully next year.

    this is one area in which there's no good reason for Apple to go its own way. I find that charging times for my iPad Pro 12.9" are much shorter using the lightning to USB C cable and the MacBook 29 watt charger than the measly 12 watt charger Apple insists on supplying.

    it would be good if the audio standards are the same across all devices and manufacturers. We really do not need different standards between manufacturers. A cheap physical adapter is fine. One containing electronics simply for the purpose of translating between differing carry protocols is not fine.

    To me, It would make more sense, at least on the iPad Pros, to replace the Lightening Port with a full featured USB 3 port & 3.1 support if there aren't other issues like power requirements, etc.  That way, for example, you could use the iPad Pro on a Mac instead of a Wacom tablet.

    I suspect that IBM will pressure Apple to include a USB 3.1 port on the new iPads.



    Not at all necessary. The example you mentioned is already possible with iPad Pros. Furthermore, iOS devices are specifically about mobility. As long as Apple keeps the WiFi radios up to spec, IBM isn't going to care.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 44 of 70
    eightzero said:
    I call bullshit on "better sound." It's digital. 1s and 0s going down that wire.

    I don't think that you quite understand.  The sound quality of the new jack will allow for the D/A processing to be onboard the headphones/speaker instead of the laptop (like the iPhone 7).  This allows for higher quality recordings to be used by the Apple platforms (Lossless audio) which will allow for a really exceptional experience...which Apple has touted as its attitude about the products it makes...always working for the best experience for the customer.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 45 of 70
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,525member
    Why did Apple make lightning proprietary? It's superior to USB type C and it would be great if more people used it!
  • Reply 46 of 70
    imagine Apple Pay was more cumbersome than a chip reader credit card..... it'd be counter productive).
    It _is_ more cumbersome. Whenever there's a long line at the checkout I just stick my card in the slot instead of fumbling to get the double-click right, select the right card, then hope I'm holding the phone at just the right spot while holding my finger, careful not to actually press the button, so as to avoid the ire of those waiting.
  • Reply 47 of 70
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    eightzero said:
    I call bullshit on "better sound." It's digital. 1s and 0s going down that wire.

    I don't think that you quite understand.  The sound quality of the new jack will allow for the D/A processing to be onboard the headphones/speaker instead of the laptop (like the iPhone 7).  This allows for higher quality recordings to be used by the Apple platforms (Lossless audio) which will allow for a really exceptional experience...which Apple has touted as its attitude about the products it makes...always working for the best experience for the customer.
    If you play an Apple lossless track on an iPhone, you effectively get lossless audio out of the headphone jack.  There will not be an improvement in audio quality just because the DAC and amp have been moved from the phone to a dongle or headphone.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 48 of 70
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    clemynx said:
    Why did Apple make lightning proprietary? It's superior to USB type C and it would be great if more people used it!
    So they could make money by licensing it to 3rd parties.
    singularity
  • Reply 49 of 70
    joe28753 said:
    melgross said:

    Well, you can make the case either way, depending on your proclivities. Both have advantages. The big advantage to digital is that the signal doesn't deteriorate while moving between steps, or going down the wire. Really, the best case is that the signal remains in digital form until the last amplification step. The closer that last step is to the transducer, the better.

    so, digital to an on headphone amp is the best we can hope for in the present.
    And to expand on this, an analog signal going down 3 feet of headphone wire will only have a negligible effect on the sound. You probably won't notice. The noticeable change is the DAC. Right now it's converted to analog inside the iPhone and you have to do the best you can with that signal. If you plug in really high-end headphones to the analog headphone jack on the iPhone, it won't sound optimal. If the output is digital, then the headphones or device you plug in will be in charge of taking those 1's and 0's and converting them to what you end up hearing. So you could potentially have phenomenally better sound than currently possible.
    You can do that now.  This move just limits your options.
    cnocbuispheric
  • Reply 50 of 70
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 112member
    tokyojimu said:
    It _is_ more cumbersome. Whenever there's a long line at the checkout I just stick my card in the slot instead of fumbling to get the double-click right, select the right card, then hope I'm holding the phone at just the right spot while holding my finger, careful not to actually press the button, so as to avoid the ire of those waiting.
    It's not. You just don't know what you don't know.

    But really good point because I've seen older people and clueless people in line at grocery stores fumbling through it, using both hands, opening an app, swiping screens..... it's like, wow that's totally not how it's meant to be used. It defeats the purpose if it's not any easier than a credit card.

    My phone's in my left pocket. I take it out with my left hand, as I'm moving it close to the terminal my left thumb is already on the fingerprint scanner, phone detects the reader and pays all in 0.8 seconds, I put the phone back in my left pocket. One handed, take out, 0.8 seconds, put back. Easy squeezy.

    But no. Ppl want to take out with one hand, unlock the phone with 4 digit passcode, swipe to find the wallet app, open the wallet, choose a credit card because they don't know about default card settings, move the phone to the reader, use the opposite hand to put a finger on the fingerprint reader, have trouble accepting the fingerprint cuz they never put the fingerprint correctly and don't take the time to re-do the fingerprint settings, then finally pay to the audibly loud sighs of the annoyed people in line. I've seen it in person. Trust me, I know. It's like using a bicycle with your right leg on the left pedal and saying "hey bicycles aren't as efficient as ppl say"...... and it's like "uhhm no those ppl aren't using it as intended."
    williamlondon
  • Reply 51 of 70
    Considering how much money and effort Apple has put into the Lightening connector for the iPhone/headphone connector, wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to support its own technology before supporting this?
    Considering that Apple played a large part in the development of USB type C they kind of are supporting their own stuff.
  • Reply 52 of 70
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,243member
    Proponents of the 3.5mm jack are really missing out on what is possible through a digital port, and yes "better sound" is possible because we already know that 2-Channel audio isn't the nicest experience available in listening.

    1. Firstly there are the obvious multichannel abilities, so you can have headphones with speakers dedicated to, and accurately addressed to, reproduce the various ranges of audio. At the moment we basically have a "hack" method that attempts to bandpass certain frequencies to different speaker types, this compromised approach leads to a highly variable experience, but also rarely an ideal one.
    2. Using an all-in-one port we can simplify and reduce the cost of progress into technologies such as VR
    3. We can utilise better electronics to aid the listening experience, everyone has probably noticed that the forward and back buttons on their analogue headphones aren't anywhere near as reliable as their bluetooth counterparts. Similarly you can expect the microphone-on-earphones quality to improve since better technologies can be included to enhance noise cancelling.
    4. Energy management can be both more intelligent, but also entirely separate.
    5. You will no longer hear a subtle, yet audible "click" noise as your smartphone/laptop switches off the audio hardware to conserve battery.
    Meanwhile DRM is not a legitimate concern, the idea that the industry will be demanding it is naive and old thinking – the music industry has already realised that DRM never did anything to slow piracy, it did however slow sales and frustrate legitimate consumers. It's also not particularly relevant in the streaming culture, also keep in mind that getting around DRM in the past didn't involve wiring the analogue port to an audio-in, it was (and remains to be) as trivial as running audio hijack pro.

    Soliwilliamlondon
  • Reply 53 of 70
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    staticx57 said:
    Considering how much money and effort Apple has put into the Lightening connector for the iPhone/headphone connector, wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to support its own technology before supporting this?
    Considering that Apple played a large part in the development of USB type C they kind of are supporting their own stuff.
    I've heard that rumoured but I've seen nothing substantial that makes me believe it's a likely possibility.
    cnocbui
  • Reply 54 of 70
    croprcropr Posts: 1,075member
    melgross said:
    mazda 3s said:
    If USB-C is the future, and Apple definitely thinks so given the adoption of the standard on the MacBook, why doesn't Apple just go all in and put USB-C on the iPhones going forward? You'd have a universal standard and you could use just about any USB-C cable between ALL of your Apple devices.

    Better yet, what's the advantage of Lighting over USB-C anyway? Aren't they pretty much at feature/speed parity?


    Because Lightning has extra contacts that connect directly to the hardware which USB C doesn't have, it's not just an Apple take on USB.
    Who cares about that??  The convenience of a single universal USB-C connector is much more important for the average user.
    cnocbuisingularity
  • Reply 55 of 70
    croprcropr Posts: 1,075member
    mjtomlin said:


    To me, It would make more sense, at least on the iPad Pros, to replace the Lightening Port with a full featured USB 3 port & 3.1 support if there aren't other issues like power requirements, etc.  That way, for example, you could use the iPad Pro on a Mac instead of a Wacom tablet.

    I suspect that IBM will pressure Apple to include a USB 3.1 port on the new iPads.



    Not at all necessary. The example you mentioned is already possible with iPad Pros. Furthermore, iOS devices are specifically about mobility. As long as Apple keeps the WiFi radios up to spec, IBM isn't going to care.
    Maybe IBM not but the market will.   The EU will impose in 2017 a universal charger for smartphones.  This can only be an open standard like an USB-C type charger.  And I cannot imagine that Apple will make an iPhone with a USB-C connector just for the European market.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 56 of 70
    USB-C hs way to hulky to replace the old analog jack. Personaly I preffer the Lightning connector. DRM isnt an issue too, since I could simply grab the audio signal after the DSP/AD/DA Bridge.

    The news is about Intel who of course see the importance of USB since they produce the chips for it. But USB-C inherited all disadvantages. After a while of usage it has connections issues. If a device drops while connected the interior tends to break. That does not happen with Lightning nor do I see any worn out connectors.

    USB-C is not the solution. Its just an attempt to get one of Lightnings advantages, but they hat to stick to the old design by all means. Instead of saving room u need more in a device and the male part sits in the device too. That is by the way the part that breaks. We have some ruined Samsung development phones where this did happen.

    well just my 3 cents
    baconstang
  • Reply 57 of 70
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 253member
    melgross said:

    eightzero said:
    I call bullshit on "better sound." It's digital. 1s and 0s going down that wire.
    Well, you can make the case either way, depending on your proclivities. Both have advantages. The big advantage to digital is that the signal doesn't deteriorate while moving between steps, or going down the wire. Really, the best case is that the signal remains in digital form until the last amplification step. The closer that last step is to the transducer, the better.

    so, digital to an on headphone amp is the best we can hope for in the present.
    Too funny. For the last 100 years, audio quality has improved with technology and time ... that is, until the advent of the iPod and iPhone ... Digital playback over iPods and iPhones etc using low quality lossy mp3s have given rise to the biggest downgrading and reversal in audio quality ever. Cable length is the least of your worries. If you are serious about audio quality, get yourself an SACD player, delete anything wireless in your house, and some quality headphones with a wired 3.5mm plug. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 58 of 70
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 253member
    3.5mm has been around forevers ... and will be around forevers. 
    USB-C today will be around for a few years, then be replaced by USB-D, then USB-E etc ... The plugs will change, and this will be out of date in a few years, just like every other digital connector that has ever come out. Remember Firewire? Ohh - what to do with my USB connector? Buy a dongle? Where do I plug my Thunderbolt in? Just another Intel plug ... ohh look ... we've got a new one now.

     Stick to the standard. it's called 3.5mm. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 59 of 70
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    wozwoz said:
    melgross said:

    Well, you can make the case either way, depending on your proclivities. Both have advantages. The big advantage to digital is that the signal doesn't deteriorate while moving between steps, or going down the wire. Really, the best case is that the signal remains in digital form until the last amplification step. The closer that last step is to the transducer, the better.

    so, digital to an on headphone amp is the best we can hope for in the present.
    Too funny. For the last 100 years, audio quality has improved with technology and time ... that is, until the advent of the iPod and iPhone ... Digital playback over iPods and iPhones etc using low quality lossy mp3s have given rise to the biggest downgrading and reversal in audio quality ever. Cable length is the least of your worries. If you are serious about audio quality, get yourself an SACD player, delete anything wireless in your house, and some quality headphones with a wired 3.5mm plug. 
    An iPod or iPhone is as good as a dedicated CD player if you play back reasonably high bit rate AAC or MP3 tracks.  Apple's Airplay streams losslessly, so you can send bits through the air with no possible performance hit vs sending them down a wire.  There is also the aptX bluetooth codec - which Apple don't use in i devices - which also is lossless.

    The problem with SACD and all such supposedly high-end sources is that 99% of the music in the world will never be distributed on them, so if you delude yourself into thinking they sound sonically superior, you will have to limit and surrender your musical taste to only the tiny catalog available, or suffer the never-ending angst of listening to stuff you actually do like, but never really enjoying it because of the nagging belief it could have sounded Soooooo much better, if only....

    Listening to the content is ultimately far more rewarding than listening to the medium.
    macguipropod
  • Reply 60 of 70
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,189member
    Soli said:
    cnocbui said:
    joe28753 said:
    And to expand on this, an analog signal going down 3 feet of headphone wire will only have a negligible effect on the sound. You probably won't notice. The noticeable change is the DAC. Right now it's converted to analog inside the iPhone and you have to do the best you can with that signal. If you plug in really high-end headphones to the analog headphone jack on the iPhone, it won't sound optimal. If the output is digital, then the headphones or device you plug in will be in charge of taking those 1's and 0's and converting them to what you end up hearing. So you could potentially have phenomenally better sound than currently possible.
    Total and complete garbage.
    What's garbage about it? Are you saying the DACs in Apple's devices are so good that a better one—while not impossible—isn't going to make a lick a difference?
    For one:
    They actually are.

    Apple's DACs have been in line with the top high-end DACs since at least the iPhone 5. 
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iphone-6-plus.htm#measurements

    For various reasons, this isn't quite as easy in a laptop, especially regarding noise, though.


    For another:
    You already have that option. Removing the analog out doesn't change that. Not having an analog out on my MacBook would be an annoyance to my daily work. 
    baconstangmacgui
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