It seems Apple isn’t the only one who wants to ditch the 3.5mm analogue headphone port – Intel is suggesting it's replaced by the digital USB Type-C connector.

There’s been a rumour circling for some time now that Apple is planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone port from the upcoming iPhone 7. It looks like Apple will instead make the Lightning port double-up as the headphone connection. Why? Ultimately to make the iPhone slimmer.

And it seems Apple isn't the only one with the 3.5mm headphone jack in its crosshairs. Intel has proposed that manufacturers drop the classic headphone connection and instead use the USB Type-C port for audio. The proposal was made at the Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China, and the company is hoping the rest of the electronics industry will want to follow suit. 

Intel says its new version of the connection would be able to output analogue and digital audio, and it promises to deliver a set of audio specifications by the end of this quarter. Ideally for Intel, manufacturers of mobile devices and PCs would then agree to use these specs when building future phones and tablets. 

MORE: Apple Lightning headphones - everything you need to know

This would allow for the removal of the 3.5mm connection and, according to Intel, could see a push towards digital - with headphones with integrated DACs that are capable of taking a digital signal from, say, a phone. Of course it's already possible to do this using the existing digital outputs on PCs or via the Lightning connection on an iPhone.

More after the break

It may be some time before we see a universal roll out of the new technology, though Google released the Nexus 6P (made by Huawei) with a USB-C connection last year, while Chinese manufacturer LeEco has taken the extra step, removing the headphone connection and only offering USB-C on three new phones. 

The 3.5mm analogue headphone connection has certainly been around a while, so we wouldn't bet against an update, even if the thought of two potential headphone connection options for future phones, tablets and even computers - Lightning and USB Type-C - already sounds like it could be confusing for consumers.

Source: AnandtechThe Verge


Le mastah supah's picture

did some mac users try to fit

did some mac users try to fit jack into USB or what?

NSA_watch_my_toilet's picture

Important forgetting

"The 3.5mm analogue headphone connection has certainly been around a while, so we wouldn't bet against an update"

What would you update in a format that worked well ? It's the same statement as "Democracy has certainly been around a while, so we wouldn't bet against an update"... This decision is just stupid. Instead of accepting limitations due to recognized standards, we are creating new and, at the other way, are condaming lots of hardware to death. For my part, I used microphones for my hobby of hifi reviewing, they all worked on mini jacks. This allowed me to make room sound mesures but some technical mesures too before reviewing some hifi stuff. Now, on those new generations phones, It will be necessary to toss good and functionning gear away. It show us, again, that industry don't care about ecology when it can make some phones be sold.