Apple has introduced support for headphones that connect via the Lightning port.
9to5Mac spotted that the firm has added a new specification in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) programme which will allow vendors to manufacture headphones that connect to iOS devices using the devices’ Lightning connector – rather than the traditional 3.5mm audio jack.
The site added that it was likely the new audio technology would be introduced in a future software update.
The benefit of connecting via Lightning is that headphones could be capable of receiving higher quality audio – up to lossless stereo 48kHz digital audio.
The headphones would also support a microphone for audio input, as well as other new app-specific features.
Apple will reportedly allow two configurations for the headphones: ‘Standard Lightning Headphones’, which will require the use of a digital-to-analog converter supported by the Lightning Headphone Module, and ‘Advanced Lightning Headphones’, which will allow features such as active noise cancellation.
The move could mean big implications for vendors and users – Forbes suggests that the move to the Lightning port could mean a total abandonment of the 3.5mm audio jack, coaxing users into an Apple/Beats hardware ecosystem in order to access advanced features only available via the Lightning port.
The revelations about possible future iOS device audio technology come only a week after Apple purchased Beats for $3 billion.
Beats just released its first post-Apple acquisition advert, which focuses on the use of the firm’s headphones to listen to (and watch) the upcoming Fifa World Cup.
Watch the advert below: