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.

Top Rated Comments

digitalhen Avatar
79 months ago
If there wasn't a DAC....how else would make sound?
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
79 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
79 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
79 months ago
It would literally be magical if it didn't include a DAC.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil A. Avatar
79 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
79 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)

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