In the battle for headphone jack domination, only one can win! Intel USB-C vs. Apple Lightning Jack. Who will come out on top?
Intel USB-C vs. Apple Lightning Jack
Ok, maybe we’ve gone a bit overboard, but the fact remains, Intel has proposed a worthy opponent to Apple’s rumored headphone jack replacement – the USB Type-C.
First, let’s explain why everyone is so concerned with nixing the standard audio jack. As The Verge explains, the standard jack is an analog port that can only be used for one purpose on digital devices that were meant for multipurpose.
The iPhone 7 is suspected to be replacing the archaic headphone jack with a lightning jack, which is pushing many iOS users to start thinking wireless and lightning jack-friendly. Some headphone manufacturers have already made the switch in recent models, like Audeze.
Intel is calling for a universal move to the USB Type-C port for a few different reasons. The tech giant says the USB-C boasts added benefits, like high speed transfer rates. As cited by 9to5Mac, this could have “the potential to add additional smart features to headphones in the future that can pass data down the same USB-C cable.”
For instance, a fitness earpiece may have the ability to track the wearer’s inner-ear temperature. The results could be sent via the Intel USB-C – a feat not typical for an analog cable, but more than possible with the USB-C all the while handling musical capabilities.
The 3.5 mm jack’s internal components are also larger than that of the USB-C. This is said to have become increasingly important as digital devices become smaller.
Intel also cites the bad news. The switch to a USB-C may make digital headphones more expensive because these headsets will have to include amplifiers and DACs.
The talk of various audio jacks makes my head spin just a little. And while I’m hoping for an industry standard to help the consumer out, I also feel it is hard to imagine all Apple products featuring anything other than the lightning jack. Regardless, one thing is for sure, the tech industry is pushing for a digital overhaul. It will be tough to say farewell to the beloved 3.5 mm port, but have some have already said we will be thanking these tech giants in the future.