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

124»

Comments

  • Reply 61 of 70
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,273member
    Soli said:
    cnocbui said:
    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?
    Apple's DACs are better than they used to be, but only somewhat better than average. From 2008 to 2010 things were quite rough as Apple transitioned from Wolfson to Cirrus Logic.
    Perhaps they're "only somewhat better than average", but boy, our average today is NOTHING like what it was in the late 90s.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iphone-6-plus.htm#measurements
    baconstangmacgui
  • Reply 62 of 70
    auxio said:
    emoeller said:
    So one concern that is just now popping up ( http://bgr.com/2016/06/29/the-iphone-7-nightmare/ ) about removing the analog 3.5 mm jack is that once everything goes digital it becomes subject to Digital Rights Management (DRM).  Apple once touted that with a Mac and iPod one could rip (music) and store it in your pocket, thus securing iPod dominance.   Now that Apple is in the content provider business, they are tightly controlling DRM for their content (think Airplay).  Once analog options are removed, and there is ONLY digital data streaming (which could be secured by DRM) then content producers and providers will be obligated to enforce DRM.   The "nightmare" scenario is that DRM is end to end over everything (wifi, bluetooth, USB, etc.).  
    This isn't a new issue -- digital audio is no different than digital video (which already incorporates DRM).  One just needs to look at how the DRM for digital video content is handled to see how it'll work for audio.  It's also relevant to look back to the history of DAT and the Sony MiniDisc recorder.
    I don't see why a digital connector would warrant Apple adding DRM back to their music files. They removed it in 2009 and the files are already easily readable/copiable/shareable at will on computers. If the music industry doesn't consider that a threat, why would a Lightning headphone jack be any different?
    baconstang
  • Reply 63 of 70
    Soli said:
    venti21 said:
    "One problem with a single port on the device, be it USB or Lightening, is that you can't do 2 things at once -- say, charge your device and use wired headphones or transfer data."

    .... this is not true. Apple in the past has circumvented this issue by creating a dongle that extends the singular input port into a power + port output. This was done on the 30-Pin for including HDMI output plus power and also for lightening to HDMI + lightening ( http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD826AM/A/lightning-digital-av-adapter?fnode=97 ). another example of this port expansion can be found in apple USB-C digital AV multiport adapter for the new Macbook. ( http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJ1K2AM/A/usb-c-digital-av-multiport-adapter?fnode=8b )
    Let's not forget the magnetic Smart Connector, or another method of charging, not to mention BT headphones when one is making the argument "you can't do 2 things at once" in reference to the device.
    Easily my biggest issue. I listen to music with my iPhone plugged in all day at work. I'd prefer not to have to purchase one of Apple's exorbitantly priced dongles to do what I can already do. The Smart Connector would be a brilliant workaround -- but rumors seem to be pointing to the SC only being available on the iPhone 7 Plus, which sucks!



    baconstang
  • Reply 64 of 70
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 255member
    NEWS FLASH: Coming next:  new improved headphone interconnect  
    * Universal access
    * Easy to use: plug your headphones not just face up or face down --- but from ANY ANGLE
    * 100% PURE ANALOG:  no need for a crappy D/A converter in your headphone, or having to put a D/A converter into every listening device.  

    Oh wait - it's called the 3.5mm port.
    baconstangcnocbuisingularity
  • Reply 65 of 70
    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.

    Why does one have to be at the expense of the other? All of the benefits you mentioned can be reaped without removing the 3.5mm jack.

    Removing the jack would be a huge mistake IMO... for every premium headset that gets it right (and the potential upside for high quality is huge) there will be crap products that use awful DACs or have terrible power management. Just because the potential is there, doesn't mean that all digital headphones will automatically do it better. To your point # 5, why won't we hear that "click"? Power management can still shut down the audio circuitry (or output device) no matter where it lives.

    To others who compared the potential move to Apple removing optical media from PCs, I don't quite see it as the same thing; optical disc use was dropping rapidly at the time and they saw the trend. Wireless sets may be gaining in popularity but there is still, and will continue to be a large demand for wired headphones for some time. Personally I don't think I'll ever drop the need for wires here... I haven't experienced a Bluetooth set that didn't have dropouts or noticeable compression. Add in another battery to keep charged and I fail entirely to see what the benefit is, but I know I'm in the minority here.

    Here are some reasons why I think 3.5mm jacks should stick around:
    1. Cost - I lose/break/replace headphones more often than phones or laptops. Adding DAC/DSP/amp electronics to headphones, along with more conductors and a fancier connector is not going to make them cheaper, especially if you want them for any of the improvements that USB/digital sets can offer. Removing this cost from an $800 phone or a $2000 laptop will not likely have any influence on the cost (to us).
    2. Size - I genuinely don't know how small you can make the necessary electronics, and it surely isn't an issue for bigger over the ear type headphones, but where are the electronics going to go for ear buds and in-ear types? How big would the dongle have to be to provide backwards compatibility to the millions of existing headphones out there (and would it compromise quality like the Lightning-->HDMI adaptor does for wired video out of iPads/iPhones?)?
    3. Simplicity - Couple of wires and a couple of transducers... that's it. Not much to go wrong there. Aside from having more components that can fail now located outside the device (and therefore more exposed to the elements), I don't ever need a driver to connect my headphones to a new device, and never see the message "Your device is not supported". 
    Personally I've never had issues with the sound quality from my iPhones, iPods, or Macbooks. Usually if there was an issue it was with the source (crap compression) or due to using bad headphones. All of them do just fine driving my decent AKG/Grado cans and work perfectly well with the near-disposable in-ears I get because I can't seem to stop myself from losing or ruining any small headphones I have. 

    Please don't do it, Apple!
    baconstang
  • Reply 66 of 70
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,574member
    mac_128 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 I have a 4 year investment in Lightning cables and accessories for my iPhones and iPads. Apple will add a Lightning port to all of its Macs to facilitate those who have a need to use wired audio, but Apple's not looking to establish a new wired standard. They are pushing forward to wireless everything. In 5 years when USB-C is finally reaching market saturation as older devices start to be replaced, Apple will be moving to wireless charging, wireless audio, and wireless data almost exclusively. Apple is saving me money by not switching over to a new "standard" that for the next couple of years is going to be even harder to find than a Lightning cable out in the real world, and isn't forcing me to buy all new USB-C accessories and cables, only to toss them out in another 5 years or less anyway.
    Agreed. Apple is not attempting to become the new standard. The whole point of licensing the Lightning spec for headphones is to give manufacturers the option of adding features to specifically target iOS devices. If Apple removes the 3.5mm jack, it will be because they want to push people towards wireless headphones/earbuds.

    My prediction: If the 3.5mm jack is gone from the next iPhone, Apple will include wireless earbuds that can be plugged into the Lightning port for charging. Anyone who already has and wants to use whatever headphones they currently have will probably need to buy a 3.5mm adapter.

    And in case anyone wants to know whether Apple will switch from Lightning to USB-C anytime soon, just look at all devices the Lightning connector is currently used on: iPad, iPod, iPhone, Siri Remote, Apple Pencil, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard.
  • Reply 67 of 70
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,574member
    rezwits 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?
    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...

    Huh? "in control"? What is that even supposed to mean?

    By the way... http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MK0X2AM/A/usb-c-to-lightning-cable-1-m?fnode=97

    Hate to tell you this, but there are many Lightning to [other connector types] already on the market. HDMI, SD Card, 30-pin Dock, USB Type-B, Micro USB, VGA, etc.
  • Reply 67 of 70
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,536member
    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?


    The lightning connector is superior because it's just like a single piece of metal, no small parts inside. 
    macgui
  • Reply 69 of 70
    cimcim Posts: 197member
    Wireless is the future. The people complaining Apple should add USB-C to iPhones, or Lightning to Macs don't get it: you'll stream your music wirelessly to your headphones and speakers. In a few years, you'll even charge your devices without wires.
  • Reply 70 of 70
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,947member
    If your headphone have a USB-C socket and phone lightening port you'll always have a charger cable with you.
Sign In or Register to comment.