Cirrus Logic releases Apple-authorized Lightning headphone development kit, strengthens rumors of headphone jack removal on next-gen iPhone
Date: Wednesday, June 29th, 2016, 12:26
Category: Bluetooth, Hardware, iPhone, Lightning, News
It’s looking less likely that the next-gen iPhone will feature a traditional 3.5 millimeter headphone jack.
Amidst rumors that Apple will remove the headphone jack, supplier Cirrus Logic this week announced the release of a new development kit that will enable companies to make Made for iPhone-certified Lightning headphones.
The development kit is geared towards helping to transition products away from the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack toward Apple’s digital Lightning connector. Using the kit, manufacturers will have an easier path to migrating existing products to deliver audio over Lightning.
The Cirrus Logic MFi Headset Development Kit can be adapted to any form factor, including earbuds and over-the-ear designs.
The development kit is designed around the new Cirrus Logic CS42L42 assembly, which contains a 114-decibel headphone digital to analog converter that can deliver up to 35 milliwatts. It also has a 114-dB analog to digital converter with a low noise microphone bias generator and sidetone mixing for phone calls made through a headset utilizing the circuit. Users will also receive code samples, an example iOS application, and two reference design boards.
Rumors have circulated around the removal of the next-gen iPhone’s headphone jack for some time. Such a change would allow for the thinnest design yet. It’s believed that Apple will offer its own Lightning-connected EarPods, and will push headphone makers to offer their own accessories with Lightning or Bluetooth compatibility.
As those rumors have built, accessory makers have responded by preparing their own Lightning headphones, as well as aftermarket adapters that allow traditional headphones to be connected to a Lightning jack.
Apple is also said to be working on its own wireless Bluetooth earbuds, which would be sold separately. It’s been suggested that the accessory could feature completely separate left and right earpieces, and would sync and charge via the iPhone’s Lightning connector, much like the Apple Pencil.
Apple is expected to launch its next-generation iPhone in September.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.