It was Philips that managed to beat, err, Beats to the first Lightning headphones last year, and at CES the company has taken it to the next level: announcing a new $299 pair that also offers noise cancellation.
Called the Fidelio NC1L, the battery-free headphones plug straight into iOS devices using the Lightning connector, and boast their own integrated 24-bit digital-to-analog converter rather than the one Apple builds into its devices.
Andy Rooney once quipped that anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.
With that sentiment in mind, a new Kickstarter campaign is in the process of raising funds for a fantastic project: a fully reversible, nigh-unbreakable USB Lightning charging cord for your iPhone. Check out the video after the jump.
According to sources who spoke with Cult of Mac, many smaller, non-Apple companies are currently unable to get the necessary Lightning connectors and authentication chips needed to manufacture products because Apple has snapped up all the available inventory.
Many MFi part distributors won’t give any estimates on availability, which means both manufacturers and end users could be in for a wait before regular shipments of related iPhone and iPad accessories resume.
Ever since the Lightning Connector was first announced two years ago, we’ve known it could do more than just sync-and-charge: it could also play music. So when Apple bought Beats earlier this year, many assumed that it would be Apple’s new in-house headphone brand who would release the first Lightning-connected cans to market.
But nope. As it turns out, the first headphones to connect via a Lightning port to an iPhone, iPod, or iPad won’t come from Beats. It’ll come from Philips, who have just introduced their Fidelio M2L headphones featuring the funtionality.
A reversible USB-to-Lighning cable and redesigned charger. One could be ready to ship this fall. Photo: Moca
A slew of reports and leaked pictures have suggested that Apple could ship a new Lightning cable with reversible USB connector in the iPhone 6’s packaging. That’s not happening, according to venerable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo, who is rarely off the mark with his Apple predictions, has said that a new charging cable won’t debut this month due to “cost concerns” and “limited improvements to overall user experience.”
The Xync is handy, but a bit too bulky. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Moshi’s Xync packs a Lightning-to-USB charging cable into a handy, dangly carabiner-clip package, and adds a secret compartment on the side. But is it better than just carrying a regular Lightning cable in your pocket/bag? The short answer? Hmm…
We now have video of both the new fully reversible Lightning cable and the new iPhone 6 charger in action. They look great, but unfortunately, there’s at least one disappointment: while the charger will indeed ship with the iPhone 6, our source says that USB Lightning cable won’t be available until next year.
The next-gen version of USB will be reversible like Apple’s Lightning connector, meaning you’ll be able to plug it in from either side. Called USB Type-C, the new connector recently entered production, and leaks indicate Apple could ship compatible cables very soon.
If you can’t wait any longer, you can actually buy a Lightning to reversible USB sync cable right now.
We were excited, but there was only one problem: the images seemed a little sketchy. But a new image from reliable leaker Sonny Dickson‘s Twitter feed indicates that the reversible USB plug is indeed coming to new Lightning cables, perhaps as early as the iPhone 6.
With the next-gen USB 3.1 standard now heading into production, the USB connectors of the future will be a lot more like Lightning. Featuring small, reversible connectors, the new USB Type-C cable will be particularly well suited to syncing and charging smartphones and tablets… again, just like Lightning.
But new images said to come from within Foxconn show that Apple isn’t done innovating with Lightning just yet, and that we won’t have to wait until USB Type-C to become ubiquitous to have fully-reversible USB Lightning cables. The shots are purportedly of a fully-reversible USB connector for Apple’s next Lightning cable. In other words, instead of having to plug the Lightning cable into your computer in one specific orientation, you could do it either way.