Apple may have created quite a buzz after it removed the 3.5mm headphone jack with the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but it wasn’t the first company to do that. The natural progression of technology is slowly killing the iconic jack and moving towards making the USB port more accessible. To make that happen, USB Implementers Forum recently published its Audio Device Class 3.0 specification, which will provide device makers the solution they need to get audio over USB Type-C port.
Ditching the 3.5mm jack eliminates the need for multiple ports, according to a statement released by USB-IF. This hints towards an all-in-one connector, which Apple is also aiming for after the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Removing the headphone jack also allows for slimmer devices, better water resistance, and room for more innovative features.
USB-connected headphones would provide better audio support with possibilities of inbuilt DACs and noise cancellation. USB sound specifications from USB-IF would also reduce power consumption and bring in features like hotword detection for voice controls.
A jack-less future may not be embraced by all. Many still hold on dearly to the classic 3.5mm jack, but the benefits of jack-less devices do exist and are worth considering as technology progresses.
“USB is the simplest and most pervasive connector available today, making USB Type-C the logical choice for the future of digital audio,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO.
Popular names like Apple, Moto, and Intel have supported the removal of the headphone jack, while some companies like Samsung still believe in the classic rounded port. Meanwhile, other companies were perhaps waiting for a an official support to make that move and we might soon see more brands coming out with devices that leave behind the headphone jack.