iPhone 7 headphones to be Lightning-based

We’ve been talking here at Aptgadget about the next iPhone that has been rumored to ditch the long-held 3.5mm headphone jack. The decision to ditch the headphone jack was confirmed by even more evidence, such as code from iOS 9.3 beta, Lightning Fidelity (or Li-Fi) capabilities in iOS 9.1, as well as another rumor that pointed to the presence of a second audio speaker in place of the 3.5mm headphone jack, followed by Apple’s iPhone 7 wireless headphone patent.  A new source of this rumor confirms that the iPhone 7 headphones will be Lightning-based — courtesy of MacRumors. The source says that Apple is partnering up with Cirrus Logic, an audio chipset company, to see to it that the new iPhone 7 headphones can connect to the Lightning port.

Cirrus Logic has created an MFi Headset Development Kit that is designed to demonstrate “the advantages of Lightning-connected headsets over conventional analog headsets,” one being “a custom audio experience,” Cirrus Logic says in its development kit (as quoted by the source). Since Apple and Cirrus Logic are working together, then, this MFi development kit that is pushing Lightning-connected headphones comes from none other than the fruit company itself.

A number of individuals are upset about this move, in large part because they won’t be able to charge their iPhone 7 and their iPhone 7 headphones simultaneously. In the past, one could put his or her headphones into the 3.5mm headphone jack (atop the phone) and then use the Lightning port to charge the device; now, both charging and audio will have to work with the new Lightning port — eliminating the ability to kill two birds with one stone (or enact it, depending on perspective).

There are a number of problems with bringing an end to the 3.5mm headphone jack and inaugurating an era of Lightning-based headphones, but there may be an advantage to this: if the rumors are right, Apple could very well inaugurate wireless charging into the iPhone 7 — a first for the iPhone line as a whole and an implicit nod to Samsung, who has already had wireless charging in its devices for the second year in a row (the first was in 2015 with the entire lineup). Apple’s decision to have iPhone 7 headphones include a different type of connection may have to do with the company’s decision to offer wireless charging for its devices (in other words, if you want to charge your headphones and the phone at the same time, just connect your headphones to the Lightning port, then place the phone on the wireless charging mechanism.

All these evidences tell us that the iPhone 7 headphones will be Lightning-based, which means that they will come wireless without the tried-and-true headphone jack we’ve all seen on smartphones. Apple will not be the first company to incorporate this, though: Motorola, upon iPhone 7 headphones rumors, decided to go ahead and make itself the first in something by ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack on the announced but not-yet-arrived Moto Z and Moto Z Force.

Apple may very well come in second place in this regard, but I don’t necessarily see this as a significant thing to ditch. After all, I’ve been using wireless headphones on devices since the Galaxy Note 3 — so the change to wireless headphones is something I made 3 years ago. It’s good to see Motorola embrace it, and Apple is sure to. At this point, there’s simply too much evidence to deny it, even if the occasional rumor is there to poke us every now and then.


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