First Lightning-to-headphone adapter surfaces, offering a sign of things to come

By , May 31, 2016

Lightning to audio adapter image 001

Apple is widely believe to remove the more than century-old 3.5mm analog audio jack from the iPhone 7 in favor of Lightning-enabled headphones and wireless Bluetooth headsets. Chinese vendor Tama Electric is advertising at Computex 2016 in Taipei the first Lightning-to-headphone that would let folks connect their existing analog headphones based on the 3.5mm audio jack to the iPhone 7.

The listing was first discovered by the oft-reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

The Lightning-to-3.5mm-audio adapter, appears to be MFi-certified (it’s more likely that it’s being prepared for certification) and is rather bulky in appearance.

It has a male Lightning connector on one end and the standard 3.5mm audio jack on the other, with built-in volume up/down controls and the power switch. These products are not available for purchase yet and have no price tag attached them.

Vendors often build iPhone accessories based on rumors in the hope of being first to market when the new handset releases. Putting aside for a moment the fact that this particular vendor is actively advertising its unsanctioned accessory, it very existence offers a sign of things to come provided the rumors are true.

If the 3.5mm audio jack is really going to be ditched on the iPhone 7, Apple will likely include a wired, Lightning-based edition of its EarPods in the box, with a wireless, Bluetooth-driven version of the headphones likely to be an optional purchase.

Apple could also drop a 16GB SKU from the iPhone 7 lineup, replacing it with a 32GB base model, and is said to be moving to a three-year iPhone refresh cycle, abandoning the tic-tock cycle that has served it so well in years past.

Source: Mac Otakara (Google Translate)

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  • Riley Freeman

    That thing looks big and Apple is all about small. If this is the result of them removing the audio jack, I can see a lot of unhappy campers. I personally have a pair of beats headphones and they are cheap lives of Croatia. I’ve had it replaced 3 times because one ear stops working over and over and of course the last time was outside of the warranty.

    Never buying beats anything again. Not even sure what I want to do headphones wise anymore.

    • Gabriel Anaya

      Make the switch to Bluetooth earbuds or headphones. Plenty are pretty affordable now and it’s so nice to not have a wire in the way. I’m glad I made the switch.

      • Jackson Grong

        I’m glad you have no fine taste in music and can’t spot the difference.

      • igorsky

        You definitely sound like you’re an expert in “fine taste”.

      • Jackson Grong
      • askep3

        It’s really convenient but I agree with you, a lot of the little details are lost, so there’s no point having $500 wireless headphones. I personally like having earphones, wireless on ear headphones, and (high end) wired over ear headphones

    • Jackson Grong

      Go for the ath-m50, pretty much everyone on Amazon and YouTube rated them 4.5 or 5 stars, not expensive, strong build, great sound. I have mine for 3 years and they still look brand new.

      • Riley Freeman

        Can you use it to talks well?

      • Jackson Grong

        The M50x have alternative cables, maybe one includes a microphone. But those are bigger headphones, great for music, with good sound and isolation. I would not use those for phone calls.

      • Riley Freeman

        but if im listening to music, i don’t care to take it off to take a call. i would rather just take the call.

        I bought a new case that is similar to a gun holdster around the back and shoulder and i think im going to go bluetooth. The chord hanging from my chest is annoying.

    • I love my M50x. Have had it for about two years now. I just don’t know the best company for earbuds because I just use the Apple EarPods.

      • Jackson Grong

        M50x are the same as the m50, the only difference is the connection cable.

      • Riley Freeman

        Can you use it to talk as well?

  • watsgongon

    Oh man, having to use one of those things would absolutely suck

  • That thing looks really big and uncomfortable to use. I’m sure Apple’s version will be a lot smaller and lighter. Hope it improves sound quality too.

  • Rowan09

    If they make this move it would make sense to have “wireless charging” when someone needs to charge their phone and use the adapter.

  • bucksommerkamp

    i don’t think the 3.5mm jack is a century old…that would mean it existed in the early 1900s. Do you mean a decade, maybe?

    • Yes. The audio jack was invented circa 2005.

      • Jim Olson

        The “mini” connector with a diameter of 3.5 mm (approx. 1⁄8 inch) is actually derived from the the phone connector which was invented for use in telephone switchboards in the 19th century and is still widely used.

        In its original configuration, the outside diameter of the “sleeve” conductor is 1⁄4 inch (exactly 6.35 mm) and for mini connector the outer has a diameter of 3.5mm .

        Now, the original 1⁄4 in (6.35 mm) version dates from 1878, when it was used for manual telephone exchanges, making it possibly the oldest electrical connector standard still in use.

        so the 1/4 inch has been in play for over a century, which is where the 3.5 came from.