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.

lightning_dac
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 adapter.

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
iOS 18 Calendar Feature

iOS 18: Calendar App Design Changes and Reminders Integration

Tuesday June 18, 2024 6:16 am PDT by
Apple in iOS 18 has given the Calendar app a major update, adding some welcome interface design changes, not to mention long-awaited integration with Reminders. In the month-by-month calendar view, the month now appears in large bold font in the top left, while the Events list toggle has been replaced by a new button that lets you choose between Compact, Stacked, Details, and List views. ...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...

Top Rated Comments

digitalhen Avatar
101 months ago
If there wasn't a DAC....how else would make sound?
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
101 months ago
Apple [S]controversially[/S] courageously removed the 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Fixed that for you.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
101 months ago
The strangest thing happened. I got my iPhone 7 on Friday, and despite it having no jack, the sun has continued to rise every morning. Who knew?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
masotime Avatar
101 months ago
It would literally be magical if it didn't include a DAC.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil A. Avatar
101 months ago
If there wasn't a DAC....how else would make sound?
It would literally be magical if it didn't include a DAC.
You'd be amazed - I've seen quite a few posts suggesting that Apple had somehow changed the lightning port to output analog sound as it was "impossible" to include a DAC in the plug as there wasn't enough room!


DAC includes "protection" so you only can play iTunes purchased music?
Why would it? iTunes purchased music isn't protected anyway ;)
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bladerunner2000 Avatar
101 months ago
The 3.5mm plug is a gold standard, there's really nothing wrong with it. But it's disgusting how Apple is trying to FORCE a change with this just so they can sell more headphones and make money through licensing the lightning port.

So what, now we need to switch over to Apple's proprietary crap just because Apple wants to? Everyone can currently use their 3.5mm jack headphones and stick them into almost any other device... WHY does Apple want to pointlessly fragment this???
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)