A year late to the discussion..
An important fact I think you overlooked is that this gives manufacturers access to uncompressed audio to do with as they please. The DACs that phone companies use may be the smallest, but they certainly are not the best. By removing this size constraint, and placing the DAC and amp in a dongle (or headphones) improved sound quality should become available, not to mention the quality should be more consistent from phone to phone.
The way I see it, Apple just gave audiophiles some power. I don't know of anytime apple has ever relinquished power to its consumers.
I came to this article looking for a discussion of the benefits of the digital output via the phone's Micro-b, micro-C, lightning etc connector, and the use of a decent quality external DAC (such as the Oppo HA-2). That use-case didn't even rate a mention - just the absurdity of using a cheap probably nasty headphone chord based DAC (which I can agree with).
Wireless audio: I love the idea of having a radio antenna plugged right into my brain. Very healthy.
ravi-19, 11 Jan 2017If they remove DAC/ADC to make phone thinner ,how would sound flow through speaker and ear pie... moreTheir goal is to remove the "giant" 3.5mm headphone jack. As you already correctly figured out, you still need a DAC/ADC/Amp inside the phone for processing audio to the internal speakers and from the microphone.
USB Type-C Audio is not digital audio. It is mimicking 3.5mm jack signals using USB-C signals. so the DAC still remains in the phone..
If they remove DAC/ADC to make phone thinner ,how would sound flow through speaker and ear piece without being converted to analog ??
Hope you answer this.
Love this article! Thanks for spending the time and adding a lot of detail that helped clear up many questions I had.
I agree with your thoughts on the analogue being the reliable and obvious choice is many ways.
I do see the advantage of USB audio thought in the fact that you can record RAW audio with more channels on to the device and then copy that to a PC for high-quality post-processing. If we are just talking headphones, then yes USB is pointless. But for more advanced recording its worth it. I record a local bands gig on my mobile, which is a very decent video solution, but the in-device audio recording and processing is just not up to it. If I were to attach a USB interface or USB mic to the device to record the audio into the video from there, then post-production would yield much better results, without me having to fork out on unnecessary equipment to do the same job.
So, are you able to recommend a USB-C interface I could use on Android phones for this specific purpose?
Is it impossible for analog (processed) audio to be sent through USB port ? that would be the best.
As an avid gamer I always love USB headphones as they offer more control.
Best sleeping headphones
What the review completely ignores is the fact that wireless means batteries, which means depletion an recharging. My life is already an unending series of battery-charging events. I don't want another one, thank you. I'll stick with wired headphones.
zodiacfml, 28 Jun 2016Right. When I bought my Sennheisser's, it was revelation.
I was missing a lot when I listen... moreI completely agree with you. Whatever the technology, the ultimate judge of sound quality is our ear which relies heavily on a pair of faithful earphones. I have been using Soundmagic E10 for the last year. Working fine till now and quite enjoyable to. I plan on trying Sennheiser which I have not used before. Could you please let me the model which has impressed you.
Thanks and cheers.
On point. This will probably damage the USB port faster than when it is only used for Charging & transferring data.
The author failed to mention one major disadvantage of wireless headphones and that is, batteries maintenance. The hassle of monitoring battery level and then charging batteries on a regular basis is quite frustrating in my opinion which is just absent in wired headphones.
venki14, 30 Jun 2016Hi,
Nice article and shown some light to understand layman. as you mentioned ADC small ship w... moreActually the author did mention this fact, that both a DAC and ADC (the inverse counterpart: analog - digital converter) is still needed inside the phone, just that this one will not handle the headphones playback. That's it. That's literally the only task it will not perform.
Some phones actually have 2 DAC/amp chips inside themselves, one cheaper and simpler for the normal tasks like call and ringtone speakers, and the better quality one for the headphones. This 2nd would be moved to headphones. Basically no advantage at all, specially since that 2nd DAC that will now be on the headphones can (and probably will) be of way lower quality, unless you spend a lot on headphones.
Nice article and shown some light to understand layman. as you mentioned ADC small ship will not be available on the phone and it will move with the headphone. This might correct. But basic question is that our handset also has speakers which require ADC to provide the analog output. If the phone doesn't have ADC ic inside, then how digital audio convert to analog and produce sound in the phone speakers. I think the author doesn't talk on that. It would be good to mention
ET - the real one, 29 Jun 2016Yes, I know about the higher end sound formats supported nowadays as well, I just mean that it... moreYes even Sbc is a great format and is widely used in almost all devices with bluetooth and its still good however Aptx shows lots of improvements over Sbc and Aptx has also been around from i guess may be last 3 to 4 years and if i am not wrong however Aptx did not get that kind of awareness in consumers plus even the bluetooth Headsets OEM'S were also not that good to promote the Aptx feature and its benefits of there bluetooth headsets. & I guess the same will happen with Atex HD however what it shows that the technology does not stop advancing but for new improved tech one have to shell out extra money along with that one also need to know how to make use of it properly.