Shure intros $99 MacBook-compatible USB-C headphone cable

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 12
Audiophiles connecting high-end headphones to a MacBook now have the option of a $99 USB-C replacement cable, which can also be used with other USB-C equipped devices.




The cable is built to be thick and tough, and hooks into headphones through an MMCX connector with separate ends for each earpiece. Also included is an inline remote, and a Cirrus Logic digital-to-analog converter.

The connector is designed for Shure headsets that generally start at $80 and up. While made with Shure's products in mind, the cable should work with any headphones that support MMCX.

Apple and some other electronics makers have gradually veered away from 3.5-millimeter jacks, despite the technology still being standard in many quarters. MacBooks, iMacs, and iPads still have those ports, but newer iPhones don't, and many Beats headphones are now primarily wireless.

Some of the most popular Apple accessories are AirPods, despite their $159 pricetag.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    "The connector is designed for Sure headsets that start at $800 and up."

    I just spent 20 minutes on the Shure site and I didn't find any $800+ headsets.  They sell headphones priced from $39 to $499 and earbuds in roughly the same price range.

    What am I missing?  I'm curious about this high end product line.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,689administrator
    "The connector is designed for Sure headsets that start at $800 and up."

    I just spent 20 minutes on the Shure site and I didn't find any $800+ headsets.  They sell headphones priced from $39 to $499 and earbuds in roughly the same price range.

    What am I missing?  I'm curious about this high end product line.
    Nothing. It's just been a long week.
    randominternetpersonracerhomie3bshankSpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 13
    "The connector is designed for Sure headsets that start at $800 and up."

    I just spent 20 minutes on the Shure site and I didn't find any $800+ headsets.  They sell headphones priced from $39 to $499 and earbuds in roughly the same price range.

    What am I missing?  I'm curious about this high end product line.
    My $269 Shure earbuds (SE425) use MMCX connectors, so it should be compatible with those. I think that short sentence has three errors--the spelling of the company name, the price of their cheapest compatible headsets, and the idea that there are multiple starting points.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Any USB-C—to—XLR adapters?
  • Reply 5 of 13
    "The connector is designed for Sure headsets that start at $800 and up."

    I just spent 20 minutes on the Shure site and I didn't find any $800+ headsets.  They sell headphones priced from $39 to $499 and earbuds in roughly the same price range.

    What am I missing?  I'm curious about this high end product line.
    http://www.shure.com/americas/products/earphones/se-earphones/se846-sound-isolating-earphones
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 6 of 13
    "The connector is designed for Sure headsets that start at $800 and up."

    I just spent 20 minutes on the Shure site and I didn't find any $800+ headsets.  They sell headphones priced from $39 to $499 and earbuds in roughly the same price range.

    What am I missing?  I'm curious about this high end product line.
    Nothing. It's just been a long week.
    I'm sure it has. Thanks for updating the article.
    GeorgeBMacbshank
  • Reply 7 of 13
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 851member
    Now if I could just find a reasonably priced adapter so I can plug the earbuds that come with an iPhone 7 into a Mac. I don't know of any unreasonably priced one either. Or a Frankensteinian contraption to do it either...
    cgWerks
  • Reply 8 of 13
    With complete respect Mike (you know I love ya), I think some of you in the AI fold use the term "audiophile" a little too loosely. While it *might* be better than what spews out of a 3.5mm headphone jack (and that's not necessarily a given), a cheap, low-current D-A/amplifier combination small enough to be stuffed into a headphone cable is not a critical listening device.

    I'm not demeaning it, it's a good idea, just like inexpensive USB mics and other devices designed to be better than built-in but still convenient to use. I just think it's a stretch and a misuse of the terminology to refer to things like this and the HomePod as "high-end" and/or "audiophile" because it diminishes the value of genuinely high-end audio products that deliver the real goods.
    baconstangGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 13
    linkman said:
    Now if I could just find a reasonably priced adapter so I can plug the earbuds that come with an iPhone 7 into a Mac. I don't know of any unreasonably priced one either. Or a Frankensteinian contraption to do it either...
    Switch to wireless.
    or get a 3.5mm EarPods from Apple.

    i use the 3.5 mm headphone with the lightning adapter & BeatsX.

  • Reply 10 of 13
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,279member
    linkman said:
    Now if I could just find a reasonably priced adapter so I can plug the earbuds that come with an iPhone 7 into a Mac. I don't know of any unreasonably priced one either. Or a Frankensteinian contraption to do it either...
    Agreed. I'd even take this as a solution with a Lightning adapter for the iPhone. But my guess is, you can't just plug these into a Lightning to USB adapter and have them work. 

    So, two models after removing the headphone jack, there's still no native solution for using Lightning "audiophile" headphones between an iPhone and MacBook. The best solution is still to carry two different headphones, one for the iPhone and one for the Mac, or use old 3.5mm headphones with the respective adapters (so much for the benefits of Lightning over headphone jack).

    Frustrating to say the least, and kind of pokes holes in part of Apple's original defense of removing the 3.5mm headphone jack. I got they want to push consumers towards Bluetooth wireless solutions, but that's still not a solution for "audiophiles", or a replacement for wired headphones in situations which require the . It also doesn't solve the ability to share the same source via two or more sets of headphones, unless a person is OK listening to one of two stereo channels, in one ear only, as depicted in the Winter AirPods commercial.
    edited January 13 cgWerks
  • Reply 11 of 13
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,759member
    With complete respect Mike (you know I love ya), I think some of you in the AI fold use the term "audiophile" a little too loosely. While it *might* be better than what spews out of a 3.5mm headphone jack (and that's not necessarily a given), a cheap, low-current D-A/amplifier combination small enough to be stuffed into a headphone cable is not a critical listening device.

    I'm not demeaning it, it's a good idea, just like inexpensive USB mics and other devices designed to be better than built-in but still convenient to use. I just think it's a stretch and a misuse of the terminology to refer to things like this and the HomePod as "high-end" and/or "audiophile" because it diminishes the value of genuinely high-end audio products that deliver the real goods.
    I think its just that the bar is *SO* low these days, that any of this stuff now looks 'audiophile.'

    mac_128 said:
    Frustrating to say the least, and kind of pokes holes in part of Apple's original defense of removing the 3.5mm headphone jack.
    They never gave a defense... it was just marketing baloney. They wanted the internal space in the phone, end of story. The rest was song and dance.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    Good.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    nhtnht Posts: 4,308member
    Any USB-C—to—XLR adapters?
    Get a Scarlett, NI or Steinberg which is USB...not USB-C.  In a pinch the Zoom H6 also has USB output.

    As far as I can tell nobody has bothered with updating to USB-C.  Even the higher end Babyface is USB-3 and works on USB 2 as well.  In this case a USB-3 to USB-C cable would eliminate a dongle if dongles bother you.
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