During a developer session on “Designing Accessories for iOS and OS X” at Apple’s annual World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), Robert Walsh, manager of platform accessories at Apple, announced the new Lightning headphone module.
This, of course, means that those “Made for iPhone” headphones really won’t connect to anything else and following the recent Beats acquisition you can bet that some Beats units featuring this new connector won’t be long in the pipeline. Thankfully many high-end headphones offer detachable cables, so you could simply switch them over as necessary.
Walsh went on say:
This new type of connector will allow headphones to plug straight into the Lightning connector on the iPhone or iPad for analogue audio, rather than having to use the traditional 3.5mm socket
You’d be able to get better controls over music apps – like iTunes Radio – as well as getting support for app-enabled headphones, as you’ll have both the digital and analogue connections in one.
If your headphones, for example, support, let’s say, noise cancellation, you can offer an app on your device that communicates with your headphones to control how that operates.
There’s an additional advantage too: you can draw power through the Lightning connector, so you wouldn’t need batteries in your headphones, although that will have a negative impact on your device’s stamina.
Switching to the Lightning connector instead of the traditional 3.5mm headphone socket saves internal space on the device. Some people are not convinced but remember the 30 pin socket ? and all the accessories fitted with that standard ? Also you won’t be able to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time.