We shouted fiercely when we learned that Apple was considering saying goodbye to the traditional mini jack for connecting headphones. That little slot 3.5 mm, the rumors said, was to be abandoned in the future iPhone 7 in favor of the Lightning connector.
That announcement again makes plantations us that times change and technology makes them. And maybe the 3.5mm effectively have their days numbered, because Apple’s intentions have now been officially bolstered by Intel, which wants to make your next headset is connected to your mobile device via USB-C port.
Changing times for audio on mobile devices
Intel makers have indicated in the IDF is taking place in Shenzhen populous. There the semiconductor giant has told us about how the ubiquity of minijack must come to an end: the advantages of creating a digital audio technology that makes use of USB-C port will finally a valid alternative to a connector He has been with us since the 60s.
As revealed in AnandTech, the headphone jack of 3.5 mm was a modification of 6.35 mm connector that is still another classic in hi – fi equipment. The minijack has undergone some improvements, of course: they have contacts added to the microphone holder and some remote controls, but limitations are obvious to manufacturers such as Apple and Intel, who want to give back to this fact standard in the industry.
Actually the standard that defines the USB-C ports are ready for something. The SBU1 and SBU2 pins can be exploited to transmit analog audio, and more importantly, need not affect the data or the capacity of our devices.
USB Type-C Digital Audio on the horizon
Intel is already working on technology called USB Type-C Digital Audio, the specification, they say, will be ready during the second quarter of this year. Among the improvements, without specifying too, talk of upgrading the USB Audio Device Class 2.0 standard, expand the list of specifications and audio capabilities available in that standard, improve energy management and simplify the model of discovery and device configuration.
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This type of development would allow for example make components such as the DAC were part of the headphones and not of smartphones, or independent DACs that are connected, for example via USB to our devices- which would add to the use of small chips They are responsible for managing noise cancellation, echo suppression or linear processing.
Many are therefore the advantages proposed by this new specification Intel, and the truth is that everything seems prepared to sooner rather than later we begin to see how the mobile terminals of the future – as well as desktops and laptops and even specific equipment audio- begin to take advantage of these capabilities.
Those cries that many threw (we launched) to hear of the death of our beloved may minijack were not so justified after all. That’s right: be prepared for that annoying stage of transition in which the adapter’s minijack USB-C ports will eventually accompany us everywhere.