AfterDawn: Tech news

Samsung developing a proprietary headphone jack after Apple controversy?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 15 Sep 2016 16:18 User comments (25)

Samsung developing a proprietary headphone jack after Apple controversy? Apple's removal of the headphone jack from the latest iPhones seemed to many a huge mistake. However, it can be argued that it is a move that others will follow. After all it is an antiquated analog connector from years past.
It does sound crazy though that Samsung would be trying to develop a completely new separate port for headphones but that is exactly what Digital Music News reports. The report claims that Samsung is thinking of introducing a connection that would not be compatible with Apple's newest devices.

It seems like conspiracy theory but Apple's and other competing manufacturers' aren't really on the same page in a lot of things. Apple has approached connectors and connectivity in general in a very closed fashion.

What seems odd though is that the new USB Type-C connection in many of the new Android flagships would seem to be a way more sensible choice. Why would Samsung replace a headphone jack with another one instead of following Apple suit.

Also Apple would probably not be hurt too much from a incompatible connector since it's trying to move more and more to wireless.

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25 user comments

115.9.2016 17:13

Apple: "We have a terrible idea!" Samsung: "We can top anything Apple does, let's have an even worse idea!"

215.9.2016 19:06

Sounds about right.....At least Apple iPhones don't explode in their user's hands while being used, LOL.

USB would be the logical replacement for the "antiquated" 3.5mm or 2.5mm connector.....Then again, if it ain't broke, why fix it?!?

315.9.2016 21:32

The lighting cable was always brilliant and led the way to the reversable USB C cable. You get much better sound from those connectors and we've been depriving ourselves by sticking to the 3.5mm. Courage indeed.

415.9.2016 23:44

Originally posted by Rezer:
The lighting cable was always brilliant and led the way to the reversable USB C cable. You get much better sound from those connectors and we've been depriving ourselves by sticking to the 3.5mm. Courage indeed.
First, you do not get better sound quality from lightning; they sound better than normal apple earbuds but so do the $5 units you can pickup in most gas stations. Plug a pair of $500 studio headphones into a 3.5mm port (because you can) and then tell me how terrible 3.5mm sounds.

Second, the world still uses 3.5mm...bring your phone to someone's house and odds are it will plug into their stereo (unless it is an iPhone7 of course). If your car has one kind of input it is an AUX...if it also has a USB, the USB probably doesn't work correctly with any phone made in the last 5 years...either it doesn't work at all because new phones don't pretend to be flash drives, or the audio quality is garbage, or you have terrible delays, or you are forced to use the LCD display and buttons to navigate your 50,000 tracks...I've yet to find one that just acts like a USB version of an AUX input. AUX just works...and it works really well if you have quality gear plugged into it.

Third, having a 3.5mm port does not stop you from using USB/Lightning/BT devices...it is just another option. It adds real-world functionality to a device that exists in the real world...not really any different than having a 3G radio in an LTE phone, except that most people will never be able to hear the difference between 3.5MM and digital unless you are talking about a true 5.1/7.1 system or if you skew the tests by using the terrible earbuds that come with a phone (for that matter, you could make digital seem bad by using something from Apple versus a quality analog product)

Last...and this is the big one...ALL HEADPHONES ARE ANALOG! Yes, you can get them with BT/USB/Lightning support, but all you are doing is moving the audio chip from inside the phone to inside the headphones, and there is really no difference between 6mm of analog wire going to analog drivers and 6 feet of analog wire going to analog drivers unless the wires are crummy.

So...with all that in mind, why would any consumer actually want the port gone? The only thing I can think of is if you wanted a phone that you could keep under water all day...and that isn't anything from Apple or Samsung.

516.9.2016 14:37

The reason why Apple eliminated the headphone jack is because they want YOU to buy their AirPods. Apple is the “King of Accessories”. Apple always wants to sell you an accessory and the typical fan boy (or girl) will buy it. Look what they have done to the MacBook Pro, no more CD/ DVD drive; buy their $80 SuperDrive if you still have DVDs or music CDs (better yet, buy your movies/shows/ music from iTunes). The MacBook has 1 USB-C connection and headphone jack (which most likely will be gone); you want connect a USB, buy their $80 adaptor. They are evil geniuses!

616.9.2016 18:27

Originally posted by Rezer:
The lighting cable was always brilliant and led the way to the reversable USB C cable. You get much better sound from those connectors and we've been depriving ourselves by sticking to the 3.5mm. Courage indeed.

a) USB-C happens to be superior to both Thunderbolt and Lightning connectors, a little fact you forgot to include.

b) No, audio doesn't sound better over ANY connector, than it does over the good old 3.5mm "mini" jack. You simply will not be able to support any assertion otherwise, although you're welcome to try.

c) Apple audio hardware is hideously overpriced crap. Seriously, check out professional reviews of any Beats product, as just one example. Enjoy your proprietary garbage, I guess..?

717.9.2016 2:38

ALL HEADPHONES ARE ANALOG!?

my viewpoint mp3,acc is a digital audio format. the iPhone plays digital audio and has to down convert to support analog devices what ever listening device you use that connects to the audio 3.5 jack. a better digital audio connection for a digital audio player device is always good even if it's from apple

817.9.2016 9:29

Yes, all headphones are analog. What's the confusion? Are you under the impression that it's physically possible to listen to a true digital square wave-based signal, or that you'd want to, if you could..?

The conversion from digital to analog must happen somewhere or no sound happens, period; sound is not "digital". Furthermore, making a digital connection "better" does NOT affect the sound of a signal in any way, unless the original connection was lossy-compressed in some way and/or had other flaws. Bluetooth is a perfect example of this, and is ALWAYS inferior to a traditional 3.5mm jack for the same signal, assuming the same output device and no damage, although newer iterations are progressively less crappy.

Tl;dr? No, you don't get better-quality sound by using a digital connection to your headphones; as noted above, you're merely changing the place the digital-to-analog conversion happens. Yes, you CAN use a better DAC than that supplied by the source device, but that's already possible, thank you very much (see also "external DAC")

You are exactly the type of person who buys Shakti Stones for their stereo, apparently. Enjoy! Supposedly they also increase the horsepower of your car, if placed on its CPU; woot! Who needs physics and electronics knowledge when you have bromides and nostrums?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Sep 2016 @ 9:57

917.9.2016 10:24

everyone let apple have their new head phones and stuff and flood the market with them .it will just drop the price of the 3.5 mm headphones. just think beats for under 30 bucks

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Sep 2016 @ 10:24

1017.9.2016 10:37

Originally posted by deak91:
...just think beats for under 30 bucks
Hell no. If I want decent cheap headphones, JVC "Flats" are $20 or so and, especially with a convolver or other similar mechanism for a neutral response curve, quite sufficient. If I want true quality, however, Beats Audio IS NOT the way to go. Skullcandy is also utter crap. I will admit, however, that both have several cool-looking designs but I prefer good and affordable audio over aesthetics.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Sep 2016 @ 10:38

1118.9.2016 10:21

Originally posted by Rezer:
The lighting cable was always brilliant and led the way to the reversable USB C cable. You get much better sound from those connectors and we've been depriving ourselves by sticking to the 3.5mm. Courage indeed.
Lightning was yet another proprietary solution to another non-existent problem from Intel. USB 3.0 offered a solution to most of the same things Lightning addressed without an Intel chip being required. I would like you to note the resounding collective yawn that the non Apple manufacturers greeted it with and that continues to this day.

As to the 'much better sound', I would suggest you listen to the other more knowledgeable posters here and at audio forums throughout the 'net as to the folly of your assertion.

BTW the true beauty of the 3.5mm and its big brother the 6.3mm or 1/4 inch phono plug and their smaller 2.5mm lesser known 'sub-mini' which are still used world wide due to the simplicity and reliability of the socket design. Plug in and forget til tear down, ask any roadie. The ubiquity of these things is similar to the RJ45 in networking, you just don't have to mess with it. BTW gold plated plugs don't help these at all.

Calvin: Sometimes, when Im talking, my words cant keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we can speak.
Hobbes: Probably so we can think twice.

1218.9.2016 10:39

Originally posted by Bozobub:

You are exactly the type of person who buys Shakti Stones for their stereo, apparently. Enjoy! Supposedly they also increase the horsepower of your car, if placed on its CPU; woot! Who needs physics and electronics knowledge when you have bromides and nostrums?
In for a penny, in for a pound. Don't forget the Hallograph so as to expand your listening presence. /s

Calvin: Sometimes, when Im talking, my words cant keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we can speak.
Hobbes: Probably so we can think twice.

1318.9.2016 13:47

just wondering who here is a developer for the apple iphone 7 ? who here was involved in designing the new iphone 7 ? there are reasons why the jack was removed. making it thinner, lighter, more space for battery ,camera,bigger better board,not wanting to pay royalties.

we may never really know the truth as to why but with bt devices(headphones,receivers) getting below $30 this may be a good thing

1419.9.2016 17:09

The real question is, where do you want to put the DAC and the amplifier? Those components have a real cost and take up physical real estate. So, in a mobile audio application, where is the best place?

The obvious answer is to put the DAC and amp in the phone. Cost-wise, headphones get lost, eaten by the dog, etc. They need to be replaced more often than the phone. When that happens, replace as little as possible, ergo, put the DAC/amp in the phone.

The only advantage you gain by putting the DAC/amp in the headphones is flexibility. If you want a really nice DAC/amp, you can spend extra on headphones with better components, but if you are cost conscious, you can go with cheaper headphones with cheaper components. However, Apple makes so many phones that it can spend far less and get higher quality DAC/amp in the phone than what you could get by spending a lot of money on headphones with nice DAC/amp built in.

Overall, there is no technical reason to put the DAC/amp in the headphones. This is simply a ploy by Apple to push people to buy their headphones.

1520.9.2016 2:06

problem solved !!!!!

link

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Sep 2016 @ 2:06

1620.9.2016 8:13

Originally posted by SoTired:

The only advantage you gain by putting the DAC/amp in the headphones is flexibility.
Actually...you don't even gain that, since even if the phone has a 3.5mm jack, you can still use "digital" headphones of one kind or another. Forcing people to use "digital" headphones removes flexibility, something Apple has built their business on come to think of it.

That said, do we even know if the adapter cable has a dac/amp combo in it or if it is still in the phone? It seems theoretically possible that the wired headphones for the iPhone7 are actually just 3.5mm heaphones with a proprietary connector. That is one "advantage" of using proprietary connectors after all...you can do stupid things that no one would ever bother putting into a USB specification.

1721.9.2016 1:36

Also Apple would probably not be hurt too much from an incompatible connector since it's trying to move more and more to wireless.

Jeez, people. Proofread.

------------------------------------

The Syntax Socialist

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Sep 2016 @ 1:42

1821.9.2016 2:37

i love the way this was about Samsungs headphone jack but it turned into apple and the iphone 7 . lol

1921.9.2016 2:41

Teardown Reveals DAC in Lightning EarPods and Lightning to 3.5mm Adapter
[Video]
link

2021.9.2016 5:35

Yeah, deak, we knew that.

2121.9.2016 8:25

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Yeah, deak, we knew that.
Actually, I couldn't be bothered to check.

2230.9.2016 8:09

Screw this proprietary crap......Why can't they have a toslink (fiber optic) jack if they want high quality sound and why hasn't anybody developed toslink enabled headphones?!?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Sep 2016 @ 8:09

2330.9.2016 18:52

Originally posted by ivymike:
Screw this proprietary crap......Why can't they have a toslink (fiber optic) jack if they want high quality sound and why hasn't anybody developed toslink enabled headphones?!?
TOSlink would be great for connecting to home stereos, but it would be less than ideal for headphones because it is not powered.

2430.9.2016 19:17

Agreed. That would make it necessary for ALL headphones to include expensive battery systems (and weigh at least somewhat more).

2530.9.2016 19:54

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Agreed. That would make it necessary for ALL headphones to include expensive battery systems (and weigh at least somewhat more).
Not really......A small Lithium Ion battery should be enough to power the circuits as it's all a relatively low voltage / low amp draw anyways.

My late dad used to have wireless circumaural headphones......How do you think that those were powered?!?

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