Apple supplier paves way for third-party Lightning headphones

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EarPods aren't going wireless in 2016.
EarPods might get a Lightning upgrade this year.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Transitioning to a future when iPhones no longer come with 3.5mm headphone port is going to be a lot easier thanks to one Apple supplier that is ready to make Lightning headphones a thing.

Cirrus Logic, which makes analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, revealed that it has created a new headset development kit that will allow accessory makers to quickly develop Lightning-headphones that are made for iPhone and iPad.

Pricey Lightning headphones will make you care less about headphone jacks [Reviews]

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Audeze EL-8 headphones
With a Lightning connector and an $800 price tag, the EL-8 headphones from Audeze are very Apple.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

They don’t call them “headphones” for nothing.

Slipping on a pair of quality closed-back headphones puts you in a rarefied headspace where sound envelopes you completely and nothing matters but the music. Just close your eyes, cue up the perfect tracks to suit your mood, and drift away.

The Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones, which use a Lightning connector to plug into your Apple device, will take you to that special place. But you’ll pay a steep price for your trip to aural bliss.

Apple would be stupid to drop the iPhone headphone jack

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iPhone 6 headphone jack
Gone and almost forgotten.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If Apple is really planning to kill the iPhone headphone jack in the model it reveals next year, it’s ditching 60 years of history.

Rumors that the next iPhone could do away with the industry-standard 3.5mm port in Apple’s relentless pursuit of thinness have been around for a while, but they’re seeing a resurgence thanks to a post on a Japanese blog. The article cites “a reliable source” that claims the Cupertino company will shave 1mm off the phone’s thickness by dropping the just-way-too-fat jack in favor of proprietary Lightning connectors.

But if Apple actually does this, it’s kind of a huge deal.

‘Sound, design and simplicity’ guide creation of world’s first Lightning headphones

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Philips M2L headphones will be the first to use Apple's Lightning port. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Philips M2L headphones will be the first to use Apple's Lightning connector. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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LAS VEGAS — The wait for the world’s first Lightning headphones is almost over.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 Philips’ upcoming Fidelio M2L bypasses the analog headphone jack, instead sending the digital audio signal through the Lightning port used in late-model iOS devices.

“You keep the digital signal as far as possible until you have no choice,” Benoit Borette, a Philips audio engineer, told Cult of Mac.