TAPPETY-TAP. TAPPETY-TAP. Hear that, children? That's the sound of another set of nails in the coffin of headphone jacks in mobile devices.
After Apple's launch of the iPhone 7 with the "liberating" EarPods (this blow dries everything), there's now a good chance we're going to see Android devices without the century-old tech after the USB Implenters Forum (USB-IF) announced audio support for USB-C.
It's technically possible already, but USB-C headphones were a significant battery drain. The new technology eliminates this problem and adds in-line remote options.
“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.
“We encourage companies interested in adopting USB specifications to take advantage of USB-IF resources to reduce time to market and deliver reliable USB products.”
One of the main arguments for the removal of the earphone jack, apart from making devices even thinner, is that it will make waterproofing (as opposed to water resistance) much easier, as USB-C can be completely isolated from circuit boards and screens, i.e. the disaster borks.
USB-IF said that it wants to establish USB Audio over USB Type-C as the "primary solution for all digital audio applications, including headsets, mobile devices, docking stations, gaming set-ups and VR solutions".
We suspect Bluetooth will have quite a lot to say about that, especially after the launch of Bluetooth 5 in June, but there is still a lot of love for wired connections.
However, the rollout of USB C has been dogged by compliance issues, mostly caused by the simultaneous power and data carriage properties of the standard.
With a rush to market, especially from the China accessories brigade, corners were cut and as a result, devices got fried and it all got a bit not-pretty, forcing USB-IF to instigate a compliance mark earlier in the year. µ
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