New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

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.

earpods-2
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.

EarPods-1
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 accessories, only a handful of Lightning-equipped headphones are available today, including Philips' Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L models.

Last month, Apple supplier Cirrus Logic introduced 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 is available through Apple's MFi Program for registered licensees.

Those interested in learning more about Lightning-equipped headphones can watch our video: Lightning Headphones: Are They Better or Just an Inconvenience? We also shared a video showing what an aftermarket 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter looks like as they began to reach the market in recent months.

Update: NWE editor Steve Hemmerstoffer has updated his article to confirm that these are not official EarPods.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

34 months ago
Faker than my top-model girlfriend.
Rating: 25 Votes
34 months ago
Convenient how the looping of the wires disappears out of the frame picture. That's literally a pair of regular earbuds and a lighting wire, with the headphone jack and USB portions outside of the image.
Rating: 20 Votes
34 months ago
That's hideous. Definitely fake.
Rating: 7 Votes
34 months ago
Rating: 7 Votes
34 months ago
If true, more painful earbuds from Apple. A little silicone or foam on the tip of each would go a long way! Surely that cost can be absorbed due to the ridiculous profit margins these phones carry.
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago

You would have the option of using a digital connection to used the DAC in the headphones, or use an adapter to use your old headphones.


This is not directed at you, so please don't take it that way. I have been getting very frustrated with Apple as of late:

<Rant mode on>

In addition to the options you have pointed out, I also have the option of going with a different phone and computer ecosystem. My wife and I have had iPhones since the first one was released. We also have been using macs since 2006 after switching from the Windoze world.

The DAC in the iPhone is actually excellent, but don't take my word for it: Just go take a look at the headfi forums. Most if not all users on this forum will never be able to hear the difference between any modern DACs in a double blind test.

Considering the current assumed trajectory of App$e, my family is sadly starting to look alternatives considering the fashionista direction of the company.

Case in point, when you consider that all of the devices we use headphones with and that have 3.5/1/4" connections with in our home:

We have three receivers, a 2500.00 professional DAC, a 1000 watt PA, guitar/phone interfaces, 5 computers, and our cars all use 3.5" jacks for universal COMPATIBILITY . That is just off the top of my head, we probably have more. Count how much money those devices might cost together. 50-100k depending on the price tag of the cars.

Now here comes Apple with a 800.00 phone that requires a proprietary connector... Now all of these devices are going license and add a lightening connector because Apple says the connector is old? Yeah right!

Oh so I can buy an adapter for 19.99!

Adapters do have one universal rule, they get lost easily and usually at the worst possible moment. I outright refuse to buy a dozen or more proprietary adapters from App$e just so they can pretend that they are moving the world forward from a technology that has nothing wrong with it.

I don't boast, but for the sake of this rant, I have been on about a dozen published CDs and many more recordings, many of which have been mixed in or recorded in my home studio. I have a very experienced and trained ear.

In my studio I can currently listen to and record 24 bit/192 Khz music with the crappiest 3.5" headphones with the right music sources and DAC. That is right, you bring me the worst but working analog headphones, and I will play 24 bit/192 khz music through them. Amazing isn't it????!!!! They won't sound anywhere as good as my $600.00 Beyer Dynamics, but they WILL play any bitrate of music available.

Anyone who knows anything about digital audio reproduction knows that going to "digital" headphones is mostly snake-oil when it comes to delivering the best possible audio reproduction. The lightening connector and moving the logical location of the DAC and amplifier will not magically make headphones better, but will in fact shrink the possible use cases for higher end users like myself and make us gallop to the competition. Oh and the competition knows this btw.

It has been a good run with Apple, but I am probably getting off the train at the next stop (Yeah go ahead and tell me good riddance, I don't care. I have music to enjoy and use cases that App$e apparently no longer cares about. I will gladly take my money else ware).

You know what is an older connector than the 3.5" jack? Yeah the three prong electrical outlet. Apple, it's time to ditch those old fashioned outlets. You should come up with a new safer and convenient design that requires us to replace our old fashioned electrical outlets. Oh and you can sell them to us at 79.00 a piece. I know there are a lot of people on this board who will gladly rewire their entire houses for you, then buy adapters for their old fashioned lamps, appliances, and other electricity consuming devices and laugh at me for my old fashioned 3 prongers.

</Rant>
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago
If these are real, they are ugly AF.
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago

I don't mind this honestly, but I definitely would want to be able to listen AND charge at the same time.


They'll be happy to sell you an adapter. :p
Rating: 5 Votes
34 months ago
Just posted this to the iphone forum, but I thought it would be relevant here.

Apple will remove the 3.5 mm audio port, but will not remove the DAC for headphones. Instead, Apple will pass the analog audio output to the lightning port, using four contacts on sides of the port. Two will be on the sides (let's say for the right and left channels), and will double as the contacts that hold the lightning connector in place. A headphone adapter would have two corresponding contacts on the side of the connector. Two more connectors will be at the rear of the port. These would function as the microphone channel, and a single corresponding contact would be on the connector. The phone would recognize the orientation of the adapter based on which of the two contacts on the port makes contact.

Port
__0____0__
|..............|
0.............0
|..............|

Connector/Adapter
_____0__
|...........|
0..........0
|...........|


Adapters for old headphones would be trivial to make, as they would simply pass each contact to the corresponding channels on the 3.5mm port through a basic connection. I would imagine that third party accessory makers could make these available for a couple bucks.
Rating: 5 Votes
34 months ago
How are these ugly? Apart from the connector which is thicker (because people don't take care of them so they break and then cry at Apple) they are exactly the same.

They are thicker so they can take more abuse from the people who don't look after them.
Rating: 3 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]