The overhaul of the headphone jack is not so far away when the people at the modern day tech giants are constantly trying to remove the 100 year old technology from the 21st century devices. First when we heard about Apple replacing the 3.5 mm jack with lightning connector or wireless Bluetooth in iPhone 7, we were pretty sure about the advantages of such a huge change. Now, Intel also wants the modern day gadgets to get a fresh way to listen to music by replacing the conventional jack with the all-new USB-C connector.
Intel says that the industry is having a strong desire to move on and adapt ‘digital’ while breaking up with the analog technology. The new technology will have many modern-day benefits like potential addition of additional smart features right into your headphone which can have a possible software potentially upgradable via USB-C. This kind of transmission of information over typical analog cable is not possible but USB-C can handle it pretty well. Measurement of the inner ear temperature while working out seems a possible use case of the technology out of many.
The traditional 3.5 mm jacks require smartphone designs to shield them from interference while a digital cable will not need such headaches. Accommodation of USB-C will be much easier considering the size of the smartphones (mainly the thickness) and their designs in the generation.
The new technology already supports using side-band pins to transfer analog audio signals which is helping in simplifying the engineering steps required to completely replace the jack with USB-C. In the second quarter the company is also finalizing a USB-C standard for digital audio transfer.
With every good comes bad. Intel says that this new technology will also make the new headphones cost way more than today’s pieces as the headsets will have to be installed with amplifiers and DACs, but gradually as the technology will become mainstream, which it obviously will, the prices will drop, hopefully.
This major change will disrupt competition among the headset manufacturers as a myriad of inventions and features backed by the USB-C or Lightning jacks (because we believe Apple will not be into adapting USB-C anytime soon) will be waiting for you in no time as soon as the technology is announced. However we don’t have any idea about Apple and Intel maybe working together situation but we believe that such a change is important for the 21st century guys like us.