The latest rumour claims Apple’s next iPhone will no longer have the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, instead relying on headphones that connect via the Lightning port or wirelessly.

Fresh claims suggest Apple is in talks with audio chip partner Cirrus Logic to adapt the iPhone chipset to make the Lightning port the main audio output, in an effort to remove the headphone jack and make the iPhone 7 thinner.

Philips and Audeze have already produced headphones that use the Lightning connection on existing iPhones. Taking a digital signal from the iPhone's Lightning output, and using a third-party app, allows iPhones to support hi-res audio. Changes to the next iPhone's chip could seee iPhones play hi-res music natively, supporting rumours that Apple Music will support hi-res in 2016.

The latest report, from Fast Company, also claims new Apple Lightning headphones would launch alongside the new iPhone, no surprise there, and were likely to come with the latest noise-cancellation technology from UK brand, Wolfson. These new Lightning headphones could potentially carry the Beats branding.

Sources told What Hi-Fi? that while they hadn’t heard definite plans as yet, there were indeed strong signs that the headphone jack will either be reduced in size or removed altogether. Previous reports suggested Apple was working on a new D-shaped connector or even a pair of wireless "AirPods". Either way, it seems you won’t be able to use your regular headphones with the next iPhone 7 - and, presumanly, other subsequent iOS devices.

If true, it could make dedicated portable music players, such as those from Astell & Kern and Sony, more desirable - not least if you've spent a large amount of money on a pair of high-end headphones.

More after the break

It wouldn't be the first time Apple had dumped certain connections and formats from its devices, having done away with the old 30-pin connection on iPods and iPhones, not to mention the optical disc drive on the MacBook Air.

MORE: Best portable music players

See all our portable music player reviews

Comments

FunkyMonkey's picture

I would never buy Apple on

I would never buy Apple on principle.
Having said that, pre smart phones often used their proprietary charging ports as headphone jacks so this is nothing new.
No likey no buy iPhone.

scarface21173's picture

Another rip off from apple

More expensive accesories to buy for your new apple device.

Readingfan's picture

Apple losing my custom

I have already lost most of my purchased music , can only stream but cannot download music already purchased on iTunes , and have various redundant docking stations and now limited to using their lightning connection headphones , I think the 6S will be my last iPhone.

far too controlling and expensive and no ability to expand the memory etc 

i have had enough  I'm afraid and I don't think I'm alone 

nick_p's picture

A worldwide spot on comment

A worldwide spot on comment in that you should never under any circumstances purchase a product that has a controlling feature on you or even work in such a place and apple being masters at controlling you should always be avoided

Readingfan's picture

Apple losing my custom

I have already lost most of my purchased music , can only stream but cannot download music already purchased on iTunes , and have various redundant docking stations and now limited to using their lightning connection headphones , I think the 6S will be my last iPhone.

far too controlling and expensive and no ability to expand the memory etc 

i have had enough  I'm afraid and I don't think I'm alone 

Graham Luke's picture

A thinner iPhone? Brilliant!

A thinner iPhone? Brilliant!

That should prove durable and the battery life will...er...improve as well, yes?

chebby's picture

So long as B&W come up with a

So long as B&W come up with a compatible replacement lead for my headphones.

How would you listen to headphones whilst charging? Not something I do a lot but i'm sure many people would.

iMark's picture

Solutions?

I don't think dropping the ubiquitious jack is the end of the world, but I don't think it's a good idea. I suppose there will be an adapter (Lightning to jack) for using existing gear. Just like there are Lightning to 30 pin adapters for docks. We had to buy 2, one for a dock and one for the car.

I suppose the Chebby's charging problem could be solved by having 2 Lightning ports so charging and listening can be done at the same time. Especially if they make iPhones even thinner so there's even less room for the battery.

 

Geddy76's picture

Proprietary adaptors on their way

Be prepared to shell out more cash for the headphone/charger adaptors.

I'll stick with my Huawei.

NSA_watch_my_toilet's picture

I'm sad to read that

I used the jack professionnaly when I reviewed audio gear, to connect mesurement microphones and runned all that through a programm to check the dB level.

In making the new Iphone not compatible with that is although meaning that I will have to change my protable gear to something else, probably more specialized and less portable.

I know lots of sound engeneers that used the Iphone for his abilities to record and mesures things quickly and simply. This is now going to end for making a "flatter" product that will not gain in stability through that and will not gain autonomy through that either.

But I believe, if we can all buy a product from a brand using underpaid workslaves in asia, we could although accept that the same brand will not treat us with anykind of regards or respect.

Graham Luke's picture

You think the big 'A' are

You think the big 'A' are alone in exploiting cheap labour...?

Whatever.

Big Aura's picture

“Sources told What Hi-Fi?

“Sources told What Hi-Fi? that while they hadn’t heard definite plans as yet, there were indeed strong signs that the headphone jack will either be reduced in size or removed altogether.”

What do you mean “reduced in size”.  3.5mm to 2.5mm?!  Less deep? or do you mean redesign and replace with something proprietary?

Wonder what this has done to google’s share price!

Gez Ball's picture

Iphone 7

It's the Beats thing worries me.....hell no!

Gilboa's picture

Au revoir Jack in the iPhone (box)

When I first heard of these rumors a good while back, I was pissed off. As I've spent quite a lot of dosh on quality headphones which I have no immediate plans to replace. But the good thing here is that with an affordable adaptor, that'll probably incorporate its own DAC, I'll finally be able to play my high-res tracks on the move with an iPhone instead of just on my Mac. And these dongles can be so compact and small now, that I'll probably have no need to remove it from my headphone cable...just leave it there and plug it directly into Lightning when the need arises.

Phil Spencelayh's picture

Apple from "The land of the free"

 free to do what you are told, buy what you are told. F reedom of choice? But its ok really because I phones only cost about £50 dont they?

Graham Luke's picture

Er...

Do you always do what you're told, Phil...?

Anyway, who's telling you to buy Apple gear? The voices in your head...?

Nurse....!!!

magicrabbit's picture

Sectarism strikes again

How I hate Apple's sectarism.

But I hate even more the headphone manufacturers that may accept to play this game and may market specific earphones for iPhones.

If you buy an expensive earphones you want to plug it on every devices.

AlexAtkinUK's picture

Do people REALLY crave even

Do people REALLY crave even thinner phones, especially after bendgate?

Personally I struggle with how thin my Galaxy Note 4 is, makes it quite awkward to hold and often I end up accidentally registering on the edge of the touch screen.  Much more comfortable to hold a 1cm thick device, at least for smaller models.

I can't get a replacement for my mums smartphone because she NEEDS it to be that thick due to arthritis, but they simply do not exist any more.  Yet they keep getting thinner. Sad