iPhones with USB-C port appear; it’s almost certain. Exactly when is still up for debate, but the EU says Apple should add USB-C charging ports to iPhones from 2024, and while the UK won’t actively follow the EU in enforcing this requirement, it doesn’t matter.
The EU has mandated a single USB-C charger to power them all from Apple, and the Tim Cook giant has been given an official deadline of two and a half years to achieve this.
Add to that some conflicting reports claiming that the iPhone 14, due to launch in September, will be the last iPhone with Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector, and it appears to be Apple’s 2023 iPhone 15 (and even the long-discussed foldable iPhone if it materializes) can get USB-C – even less waiting!
Lightning first struck the iPhone 5 in 2012, and I, for one, will not mourn its passing. Yes, USB-C ports are a bit wider and thicker than Lightning connections (8.4mm x 2.6mm vs. 6.7mm x 1.5mm), but that’s hardly noticeable in the weight or size of Android phones these days. , is not it?
Why should you be concerned about Apple’s forced ditching of Lightning in favor of USB-C? Several reasons, including potentially faster charging (which will only improve with the advent of USB-C 2.1) and increased data transfer speeds since USB-C provides faster power delivery than Lightning and allows for faster charging at the same voltage .
If that’s all you need to know about data transfer, skip to the audio paragraphs below, friend! But if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of USB-C power management, buckle up: Lightning supports a maximum current of 2.4A, but USB-C supports 3A with support up to 5A because Lightning devices transfer data at speed USB 2.0 speeds are 480 Mbps, while USB-C can currently transfer data at USB 3.0 speeds (using the USB 3.1 Gen 1 protocol) at 5 Gbps. All of this basically means less waiting time and more enjoyment time. Plus, it’s a more versatile, reliable, brand-agnostic charger.
But as a music lover, I don’t want to master any of those things. I want to tell you how good your USB-C iPhone will sound in a few short years.
The USB-C connector will finally solve the problems with the availability of high-resolution audio on the iPhone.
USB-C chargers basically mean much easier access to 24-bit hi-res audio.
But let’s step back for a second. High-Resolution Audio is defined as any file that has been mastered above the CD bit rate and sample rate at 16-bit/44.1kHz. The usual high-res combinations here are 24-bit/96kHz, also known as Apple Music’s lossless maximum level resolution, and 24-bit/192kHz, where Apple Music’s Hi-Res Lossless offering is at its maximum.
The fact is that having these Hi-Res Lossless files with you (which, let’s not forget, Apple gave to its Apple Music subscribers at no extra charge just over a year ago) on your iPhone at this time, you need a complex wired system of components, starting with an Apple Lightning to USB camera adapter (which is limited to 24-bit/48kHz) and then a third-party portable DAC. to get permission then a set of good wired headphones. Not exactly a neat setup.
Why DAC Outsourcing? The built-in D/A converter built into even Apple’s latest iPhone 13 line can’t support these high resolution files – so you need a different, better external converter to do the hard work.
Now USB-C: While USB-C wired headphones themselves can still be a bit of a hit in terms of sound quality, as they can either be passive (meaning you still owe the DAC in your phone for quality) or active, which meaning that the conversion process takes place within the earbuds themselves, the USB-C DAC is where things become a revelation – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The main benefit of active USB-C headphones is to extend the state of the digital signal and bypass your iPhone’s internals – all that distortion from other smartphones’ signals and so on. But this is not a standard solution that will cure everything, since the original device (read: smartphone) must support audio accessory mode, and some currently do not. Also, it’s not always obvious which headphone models are active and which are passive, resulting in a super-detective mission to determine if it all works.
But take a look at the Astell & Kern AK USB-C Dual DAC above. Suddenly, 3.5mm headphones with smartphones are back on the menu! (Although if you still want a 3.5mm jack smartphone from 2022, take a look at the Sony Xperia 1 IV, which lists support for wired and wireless Hi-Res Audio connectivity out of the box, though the extent of that support is unknown.)
But back to this DAC. Astell & Kern, one of the biggest names in the field of portable music players, has already shown unmatched magic with built-in DACs. And for this your first autonomous off-board DAC, as far as I understand, the company got rid of it completely.
This dual USB-C DAC consists of two small units (USB-C male and DAC) connected by a flexible braided cable. It stands next to any other portable DAC, it’s tiny and weighs around 25g. But A&K still found room for two DAC chipsets capable of handling audio files up to 32-bit/385kHz as well as headphone amplification. Read it again: 32-bit… 385kHz, that’s serious high-resolution audio, no extra adapters, dongles, or add-ons.
I currently use this setup along with a trusty set of Austrian Audio on-ear headphones and a Samsung Galaxy S21. Yes, it’s still a two-part system (or three, if you count the phone), but it beats the three-way attack I’d have to use to get anything close to it with an iPhone. And with that, my music intensifies and opens up, becoming clearer and more defined, more detailed and with more space around each note or musical passage.
This Astell & Kern DAC connected to an iPhone for simple hi-res audio may be a few more years away, but when it does, I can’t wait to hear it.
#Lightning #wait #USBC #music #iPhone