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Intel also wants to replace the 3.5mm headphone jack

It looks like the 3.5mm headphone jack is going to suffer an abrupt end over the next few years. Not only is Apple planning to ditch it entirely on its next iPhone but now Intel has weighed in on the conversation and it seems that the chip making giant would be keen to see the 100-year old connector disappear and be replaced by USB Type-C.

According to Intel, the industry has a “strong desire to move from analogue to digital”, on top of that, USB Type-C has many modern-day benefits.

apple-iphone-7-headphone-jack

Intel has put out a detailed proposal (via Anandtech)to “remove the 3.5mm audio jack from audio sources”, in order to push digital audio connections over USB-C, which can handle higher throughput and data transfers. The move to USB-C would also mean that headphone makers could integrate digital-to-analogue converters and amplifiers into their headphones, which would ensure the same quality across multiple devices.

Anandtech made the observation that the move to USB-C could also pave the way for smart features on headphones, like temperature sensors that could be used to track health data.

KitGuru Says: While tech companies may be signalling the end of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, it will take a while for a replacement to come in to full effect as right now, so many devices and pairs of headphones use the old connection. It could take a while for the rest of the world to catch up. Either way, the change will certainly be interesting. Do you guys think tech companies should move away from the standard headphone jack? 

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17 comments

  1. is the type-c connector more robust then the 3.5mm jack? because i keep having headphone jacks die.

  2. Never had a single jack die only ever the cable’s

  3. WhateverYouWantItToBe

    The main issue I have is that I regularly have my phone on charge whilst listening to music. This would no longer be possible.

  4. Since everything seems to be able to be done from USB type C I can imagine that phones will end up having 2 or 3 of them, they don’t take up as much space so why not 🙂

  5. Gary 'Gazza' Keen

    Double the charging power! exploding batteries incoming! xD

  6. For Audiophiles like me, this is complete BS. The DAC in your headphone can be even worse than that on motherboard. This is not a good way to improve audio quality of an average PC. The best way is to get an external USB DAC and AMP to enjoy great music.

  7. LOL @ 100 years old 😀

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  9. I would presume that they would either make one of them dedicated charging port or make sure only one could charge at the time.

    As long as they keep the sd card slot or at least put a 128GB ssd in them I would be a happy chappy

  10. WhateverYouWantItToBe

    If they were to add a second one then that would be great, but I don’t really see many doing that, especially Apple. They were the guys that chose to only have one on a laptop.

  11. They were handy in the trenches. Though in those days we called the device we “plugged into” a horseman and it required a team of 4 to pull it.

  12. Well apple dont have to compete with anyone so they can do what they like. People still buy their laptops because its the only new apple choice they have. On Android there is a market to compete for so this could be a dession maker if the rest is the same anyway (then a couple of years down the line every android maker will have more then one and we all happy)

  13. But if the phone has no analog audio output, there is no need for a DAC.

  14. DAC is a must to drive a headphone because you need the final analogue signal to drive the membrane to vibrate and cause sound. It is stated in the article that Intel use USB to deliver digital signal to headphone. The digital to analogue processing is to be done by component on the headphone which is similar to Bluetooth headphone except the USB headphone is wired.

  15. Oh I see!

  16. I like the 3.5mm jack. The fact that it’s not smart means that it it’s more secure, won’t need firmware or software updates for functionality, can’t be hacked or used as a vector for malware, et. et. al.

    Plus, it allows you to play audio and use the USB port simultaneously.

  17. The only problem is you lose the antenna for radio…