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Lightning-headphones: big step forward or a waste of money?

According to rumors, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will not be equipped with a standard 3.5-mm audio input for headphones. Have the following models of smartphones, which presumably will debut in the fall of 2016, will be only one universal connector Lightning, which will be used for sound output. In light of these data, MacRumors decided to test three popular models of headphones and compare them in terms of sound quality with “analog” counterparts.

The owners of the new iPhone will be faced with a choice: to listen to music through Bluetooth or wired headphones equipped with a Lightning connector. In the test participated three models: Brightech costing $ 45, the Philips Fidelio for $ 300 and Audeze El-8 for $ 800. Thanks to the direct digital connection to mobile iOS devices, the headset is able to receive the audio signal directly without involvement integrated in iPhone/iPad DAC.

Apple was preparing to abandon the audio Jack in the iPhone since 2014 when presented the updated specification for Lightning connector enables third-party companies in the framework of the MFi to release wired headphones connected to the Lightning port. This solution provides users with not just an alternative, and new opportunities and the transition to the next level.

“Lightning-headphones may only be used with iOS devices and not allow you to charge gadgets with proslushivanii music. However, these disadvantages kompensiruet their benefits. Today, our iPhone is equipped with a 3.5 mm headphone Jack and include a digital-to-analog Converter or DAC for music playback, which then passes through the built-in amplifier. The size and cost of smart phones are the limit for these components. But in the case of Lightning models headphone, DAC built directly into the headphones, allowing you to control the sound quality of the manufacturer,” say the authors of the experiment.

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In the test editions of all three models of Lightning headphones, ranging from the model for $ 45, and ending headphones for $ 800 sounded better than comparable models that can be connected via analog 3.5 mm audio interface. The owners of these headphones for yourself can feel the delights of crystal sounding of 24-bit audio. Maybe the sale will be adapters to convert Lightning to 3.5 mm, but this option is not suitable lovers of quality sound, because additional conversion of sound — excessive noise in the audio.

Currently headphones develop Lightning with almost all the leading acoustic manufacturers: Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Master & Dynamic, Bowers & Wilkins, Bang & Olufsen and others. Bose and Philips are already selling these headphones.

What do you think, does it make sense to switch to Lightning headphones or a 3.5 mm models enough?

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