Recently we’ve experienced a barrage off Apple hype this year, beginning with Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference which was followed by the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the announcement of the Watch. Then, just last week we were surprised with the release of the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and the Retina iMac. With all these new hardware releases, it’s easy for some features to get lost in all of the excitement. Specifically, there is one feature in particular that I am very excited about that has received little to no attention.
In June during WWDC Apple announced it’s latest iteration of iOS, iOS 8. Apple had highlighted the operating system's more consumer-centric features, while the more ‘techie’ developer features were somewhat glossed over. One of these features was a new MFi specification for Lightning headphones. Understandably, not many people immediately knew what that meant, including myself, initially.
Made For Apple
MFi is Apple’s Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod manufacturing program. Essentially, Apple gives you technical specifications for their proprietary hardware/connectors and in return you submit your product through Apple and they can approve or deny your product’s “MFi” certification.
You know when you get an accessory for your iPhone and there is a little logo that says “Made for iPhone” on the back of the packaging? That’s MFi in a nutshell.
So, Apple made available to developers all the necessary information to make headphones that plug into the lightning port of iDevices. I can already hear your burning question, “Why is this exciting?”
Most intuitively, the size of the device is somewhat reliant on the AUX port of an iDevice. The AUX port is quite bulky, and is potentially a major hurdle in making devices even thinner. A few years ago Apple did away with the 30 pin connector of old and replaced it with the lightning connector. Apple was quoted saying that it would have been impossible to engineer a phone as thin as the iPhone 5, unless such a change was made. The future could hold similar consequences for the AUX port.
Lightning Headphones as an Apple Accessory
The lightning port is also capable of supplying power to headphones. This would do away with the battery that some popular headphones require for increased bass performance. Powering the headphones is also useful because noise canceling technology requires some form of power as well. Noise canceling, high quality, powered-headphones without fiddling with batteries is appealing in and of itself. However, the most exciting feature, in my opinion, is that the lightning connector is capable of sending digital lossless 48kHz stereo audio and receiving 48kHz mono audio. This means your headphones will play audio at a lossless 48kHz and receive the same quality (in mono) from the headphone’s microphone as well. To put this into perspective, Apple’s EarPods that come bundled with every new iDevice output audio at 21kHz. Lightning enabled headphones providing more than double the audio quality is something that audiophiles and consumers alike can get behind. Can’t wait? Me neither. Philips has already announced lightning-connected headphones set to debut later this year.
Don’t miss out on this exciting evolution in audio quality because your lightning and/or AUX port is broken. Shatter Buggy can repair a plethora of iPhone related issues, including replacing lightning charging ports and AUX ports.
-Shatter Buggy, Denver