'Lightning' Articles

Teardown Confirms Digital-to-Analog Converter in Lightning EarPods and 3.5mm Adapter

Vietnamese website Tinhte has shared a teardown of Apple's new Lightning EarPods and Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone jack adapter included in the box with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The video confirms that, as expected, each accessory is equipped with a small digital-to-analog converter. The chip in the adapter, labeled 338S00140 / A0MU1621 / TW, does not have branding for any particular manufacturer, but Apple typically sources its audio-related chips from Cirrus Logic, which produces digital-to-analog converters. The chip in the EarPods is nearly identical, with a label of 338S00140 / A0QK1623 / TW. The inclusion of a digital-to-analog converter, or DAC for short, enables both the new EarPods and traditional analog headphones with 3.5mm jacks to function over the Lightning connector, which delivers digital audio. The tiny chip is protected by a metal shield and two layers of plastic. Apple controversially removed the 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, forcing customers to use a growing selection of Lightning-equipped headphones like Apple's own EarPods, wireless Bluetooth headphones, or traditional headphones connected via the Lightning-to-3.5mm

Libratone Debuts Battery-Free Noise Cancelling Headphones With Lightning Connector Ahead of iPhone 7

Just six days before Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack, Libratone has introduced new Q Adapt in-ear noise-cancelling headphones with a Lightning connector in lieu of a standard 3.5mm audio jack. The headphones feature a battery-free design with four levels of active noise cancellation, drawing power from the iPhone or iPad they are connected to through the Lightning connector. The pair have in-line controls for volume, playback, phone calls, and Siri, and one for the four active noise cancellation settings and talk-through. The earbuds have a fabric-covered cable available in four colors: elegant nude, cloudy white, stormy black, and rose pink. They also are equipped with three sizes of interchangeable rubber earpieces. Apple introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable, with features such as passthrough power and active noise cancellation. Libratone says the Q Adapt headphones will be available in mid-September for $179 and will ship to customers at the beginning of October. Other Lightning-equipped headphones released to date include, among others, the Philips Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L.

Jackery Introduces Lightning Cable With Integrated Battery [Updated]

Jackery has introduced the Jewel, claimed to be the first-ever Apple-certified Lightning-to-USB cable with a built-in battery for iPhone, iPad, and iPod models. The 3.2-foot cable features an integrated 450mAh battery that can, for example, fast charge an iPhone 6s up to 26% or an iPhone 6s Plus up to 16%. Like any other Lightning cable, the Jewel can provide a 1 amp charge from any USB power outlet or transfer data from the iPhone, iPad, or iPod to a connected Mac or PC. The cable also has a built-in LED charging indicator:A built-in LED on the battery and charger case gives users information on battery levels. In charging mode, an LED flashes and illuminates in red, green or blue to indicate levels, and users can also push the cable's power button to check battery levels. The LED also indicates levels in recharging mode and will continue flashing until the battery is fully charged.The cable is available now for $19.99 from Jackery or Amazon in the United States. The cable is coming soon to Canada and the United Kingdom. Update: As several readers have pointed out, Native Union also offers an MFi-certified JUMP Cable with integrated 800 mAh battery for

Possible iPhone 7 Lightning to 3.5 mm Adapter Surfaces in New Photos

A collection of new photos and a video showcase a Lightning to 3.5 mm adapter, which has previously been rumored as a bundled accessory for the iPhone 7 this fall as a way to assuage users of the smartphone's long-rumored removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. The adapter in today's photos was reportedly obtained from a Foxconn factory in Vietnam (via [Google Translate], and the report's author believes it could be a genuine Apple adapter. As shown in the pictures shared today, the adapter's cord appears short and visually similar to that of Apple's current adapters sold on its website, including the USB-C to USB and Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet accessories. The Lightning plug does not appear to fit particularly well into its sheath, but it's unclear if it might be an incomplete part, damaged during disassembly, or simply a knockoff product. When the Lightning to 3.5 mm adapter is plugged into a device running iOS 9 or lower, the software displays an incompatibility message to the user, but when used on devices with a beta of iOS 10 installed, the dongle appears to work "immediately" without any issues. The author also notes that if headphones are plugged into both the standard headphone jack on a current iPhone and the adapter connected to Lightning, the device gives priority to the Lightning port for audio output. While the adapter shown today could still potentially be a third-party product, it fits with Apple's design aesthetic and its ability to function with the large number of 3.5 mm headphones already in the wild could be a better

More Photos Show Off Alleged Lightning EarPods for iPhone 7 [Update: Fake]

A series of photos have been posted on Chinese microblogging service Weibo, and later shared by French website NWE, that provide a closer look at what appear to be Lightning-equipped EarPods. However, it cannot be fully distinguished if these are official Apple headphones or simply Chinese counterfeits. Apple is expected to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 series, and multiple rumors have suggested that Apple will release EarPods with a Lightning connector in turn. The headphones, beyond having no 3.5mm headphone jack, look nearly identical to current EarPods. One discernible difference is the larger plastic housing around the Lightning connector compared to the 3.5mm headphone jack on current EarPods. However, the switch to Lightning likely means EarPods will be equipped with a DAC, or digital-to-analog converter, and it needs to be built in somewhere. While these photos could easily be fake, the switch to Lightning-equipped EarPods makes sense given rumors about the headphone jack's impending demise. Apple may also release a dongle for connecting wired headphones with standard 3.5mm jacks, while wireless Bluetooth headphones will continue to be supported. Apple's exact reasons behind its supposed plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack are unknown, but rumors suggest that iPhones could have wireless charging by 2017. The iPhone 7 is also expected to be up to 1mm thinner and have increased waterproofing compared to the iPhone 6s. While the Lightning connector is expected to become an all-in-one port for audio output, charging, and

Apple Supplier Cirrus Logic Releases Kit for Creating Lightning-Based Headphones Ahead of iPhone 7

Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has announced a new MFi Headset Development Kit, a reference platform that is designed to help "Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod" accessory makers quickly develop Lightning-based headphones. The development kit, available through Apple's MFi Program, includes a form factor reference design and other resources to help MFi licensees create Lightning-based headphones. A reference iOS app is also available.The MFi Headset Development Kit demonstrates the advantages of Lightning-connected headsets over conventional analog headsets. For example, digital connectivity with an integrated, high-performance DAC and headphone driver delivers high-fidelity audio to the headphone speakers. In addition, Lightning-connected headphones can interact with an iOS app to create a more custom audio experience, such as personalized EQ settings.Multiple credible sources have confirmed that Apple plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone plug on the iPhone 7 series in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output, charging, and connectivity, but only a handful of Lightning-equipped headphones are available today. Apple introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable, but the rollout has been slow. Philips has unveiled Lightning-equipped Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L headphones, pictured above, over the past two years. Apple may also release Lightning-equipped EarPods, but a more recent conflicting rumor said the iPhone 7 will ship with standard

LMcable Aims to Be World's First USB Charging Cable With 2-in-1 Lightning and Micro USB Connector

LMcable is a new Kickstarter project aiming to be the world's first cable containing a 2-in-1 connector that can charge both Lightning and Micro USB devices. One side of the 2.4A charging cable has a Lightning connector for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and other Apple products, while the reverse side has a Micro USB connector for devices like select Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone smartphones. The stitched leather cable is about 1 meter long and designed with tin-plated copper wires for increased durability. A basic brass buckle is included that allows you to coil the cable neatly so that it remains untangled. Perhaps the biggest caveat of the LMcable is that it lacks MFi certification. Apple's MFi Program has strict guidelines, so it remains questionable if a custom Lightning-Micro USB connector would ever be approved as an official accessory. Another design tradeoff is that the cable lacks the reversibility of an official Lightning cable, meaning it can only be plugged into an iPhone in one direction like Apple's old 30-pin docking cable or a traditional USB Type-A connector. Nevertheless, LMcable is an interesting novelty that has exceeded its $5,000 AUD funding goal by nearly tenfold as of Tuesday morning. Like many other Kickstarter projects, however, there is no guarantee the cable will ever ship to customers. Those interested can pledge $21 AUD on Kickstarter to receive one cable, or $43 AUD to receive three cables, in Sunlight White, Vintage Brown, Moonlight Black, or Cowboy Blue. LMcable aims to begin shipping in mid-April barring any

Supply Chain Rumors Reaffirm iPhone 7 Will Not Have Headphone Jack

Six weeks ago, Japanese website Mac Otakara reported that Apple is planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for both connectivity and audio output. Adding fuel to the rumor, Chinese websites [Google Translate] and Wei Feng [Google Translate] cite supply chain news from unnamed sources that reportedly confirm the controversial rumor is true. Both websites claim the iPhone 7 will not have a headphone jack, and that Apple will release its own wireless Bluetooth headphones, but the unverified reports should be treated with caution until or unless additional sources verify these claims -- nevertheless, they do make for interesting discussion. Mac Otakara's original report said Apple may release Lightning-equipped EarPods, and the company already offers Powerbeats 2, Solo2 and Studio wireless headphones through its Beats brand. Apple also introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create Lightning-equipped headphones, including the Philips Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L. Philips M2L are Apple-approved Lightning-equipped headphones The original report, which cited a "reliable source," also claimed the new same-sized Lightning connector will have a DAC, or digital-to-analog converter, for backwards compatibility with wired headphones using standard 3.5mm stereo jacks. A 3.5mm to Lightning adapter would be required. The rumor has led to speculation that Apple could introduce wireless charging on the iPhone 7, as users would be unable to

Apple Releases Lightning to SD Camera Reader With USB 3.0 Speeds on iPad Pro

Apple has released a new Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader with support for up to USB 3.0 speeds on iPad Pro, and USB 2.0 speeds on all other iPad and iPhone models, as spotted by iDownloadBlog. The dongle retails for $29 on the Apple Online Store in the U.S. and is available to ship for delivery within approximately one week. Last month, it was discovered that the iPad Pro's Lightning port supports USB 3.0 transfer speeds, allowing for data transfer speeds upwards of 60MB/s to a theoretical max of 625MB/s. All other iPads and iPhones can only transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds of around 25 to 35MB/s, since only the iPad Pro has the necessary hardware -- a Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller. Apple has not updated its Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or other accessories to support the iPad Pro's USB 3.0 speeds, but multiple sources have previously confirmed that adapters are in the works. It remains unclear, however, if Apple plans on introducing new Lightning cables that will enable USB 3.0 speeds when transferring files from a computer to an iPad Pro. Apple's new Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader is also available for £25 in the U.K. and $35 in Canada. Prices vary in other

Apple May Replace 3.5mm Headphone Jack on iPhone 7 With All-in-One Lightning Connector

Apple is planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the next-generation iPhone in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector, according to often-reliable Japanese website Mac Otakara. Apple may also release Lightning-equipped EarPods to support the new audio output on future iOS devices. The report, citing a "reliable source," claims the new same-sized Lightning connector will support Lightning-equipped and Bluetooth headphones, and have a DAC, or digital-to-audio converter, for backwards compatibility with wired headphones using standard 3.5mm stereo jacks. A 3.5mm to Lightning adapter would be required. The so-called "iPhone 7" will likely be more than 1mm thinner than the 7.1mm thick iPhone 6s as a result, according to the report. The sixth-generation iPod touch could be a comparable device, with a depth of 6.1mm, but the portable media player still has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple will also reportedly release Lightning-equipped EarPods, which would likely be included in the box alongside the iPhone 7 and sold separately for use with other future iOS devices. Apple's current EarPods with a 3.5mm stereo jack will presumably remain available for purchase afterwards for the foreseeable future. Apple introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable, but the rollout has been slow. Philips has unveiled Lightning-equipped Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L headphones over the past 14 months. Should this rumor prove to be true, Apple's decision to

Belkin Launches MIXIT Lightning to USB Keychain Chargers

Belkin announced today that it has introduced a new lineup of Lightning to USB clip-on fashion accessories in time for the back to school season. The new MIXIT charging cables for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are available now in three designs: a leather tassel, a braided USB clip and a metallic keychain. The MIXIT Lightning to USB Tassel has a chic design made from natural leather and clips onto a bag, purse or luggage for on-the-go use. The accessory is designed to hide the Lightning and USB connectors behind the tassel cords, available in four different colors: fog, camel, coral and black. The 2.4A charging cable is approximately 7 inches long. The MIXIT Lightning to USB Clip is a more simplistic accessory with a metallic keychain and soft cover that slides down to protect the Lightning to USB connector. The 2.4A charger has a braided cable with a multicolored weave and a color-matched mounting loop, sliding cover and cable connector heads. The clip is available in four color combinations. The MIXIT Lightning to USB Keychain has a metallic loop at the top with an aluminum body that houses a Lightning to USB connector that rotates 360 degrees for charging from all angles and added protection. The 2.4A charger also bends up to 90 degrees itself and is available in five colors: fog, silver, gold, pink and blue. MIXIT charging cables can be purchased from Belkin's website and Target for $34.99

Apple Introduces New iPhone Dock With Lightning Connector for $39

Apple today started selling a new Lightning connector dock compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch. The dock retails for $39 on the Apple Online Store in the United States, with an estimated shipping date of 1-3 business days as of publication time. The dock is also available in other countries, although prices vary depending on the local currency. The long-anticipated Lightning dock arrives nearly three years after the Lightning connector made its debut on the iPhone 5 in September 2012, and succeeds the original 30-pin dock that Apple previously sold. Of course, given that Apple's official Lightning dock is long overdue, a number of accessory makers have already released third-party docks over the past several months and years. The new Lightning dock has a smaller form factor that no longer cradles the device, making it compatible with both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and likely other iOS devices with Lightning connectors in the future. The dock also features a 3.5mm headphone port on the rear for audio out, enabling music and podcasts from an iPhone to be played on powered speakers and stereo