The Audio Jack Could Be Gone For Good
To the confusion and frustration of many iPhone 7 users, the lack of an audio jack is being seen as a step forward rather than back. With the advent of USB Type-C, audio will no longer require a 3.5mm headphone port. Instead, that data can be transmitted, along with videos and power, through Type-C.
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) recently announced its awaited audio specifications for USB Type-C to end the reign of our beloved headphone jack so lets take a look at the new standard. Officially called the USB Audio Device Class 3.0, manufacturers that need to feed sound through USB Type-C ports are affected the most by it. Everything from PCs to phones is included and the USB-IF expects Type-C to be the “primary solution for all digital audio aplications, including headsets, mobile devices, docking stations, gaming set-ups, and VR solutions.”
What can we expect from the new specifications? Advanced features such as hotword detection and tools to reduce power consumption on devices are some of the most significant features. Another noteworthy feature is more implicit: losing the headphone jack will let designs be thinner and will also make it easier to create water resistant devices.
Not every company is as enthusiastic as Apple when it comes to embracing the new standards, but for manufacturers who were already considering the switch, these specifications bring compatibility and consistency to the forefront of new development.