Nick Flowers

Apple and 3.5mm jacks

40 posts in this topic

The airpods are regular bluetooth, the special sauce is the automatic pairing between them and the iphone or watch.

If you want to charge an iphone 7 and get audio at the same time:

For home use: Apple lightning dock - $39,  gives you a 3.5mm output and charging.

For pro use: TASCAM CD-200iL

There are probably others too.

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I can't wait to see a pic of Jeff Wexler mixing a movie on Beats headphones....

>>Again, we'll wait and see if this is a good change that moves us forward or just another profit grabbing arrogant act from the company some people love to hate. <<

And some people ....never mind.

Let me know when this "standard" is adopted by any pro gear makers, ok?

I seem to recall mini jacks on cassette etc machines long before the Sony Walkman, like in the 1960sm, BTW.

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I can't wait to see a pic of Jeff Wexler mixing a movie on Beats headphones....

I already posted a picture which represented my feelings on Apple and Beats headphones --- I'll re-post it later.

Let me know when this "standard" is adopted by any pro gear makers, ok?

Actually, I will compile the list of manufacturers who have embraced the Lightning connector, some of them already producing high quality audiophile headphones, companies that we have typically recognized as makers of professional headphones.

I seem to recall mini jacks on cassette etc machines long before the Sony Walkman, like in the 1960sm, BTW.

The Compact Cassette was introduced in 1962, considered to be only suitable for dictation recording and was a mono format. The only portable units available were designed for dictation and some did utilize a mini plug that was mono (2 conductor, tip + sleeve) already in use for many years for portable transistor radios (mono as well). It wasn't until 1965 that music recordings were released on cassette and even then the majority of the recordings were mono. I have done quite a lot of research on this but I would have to do more to really come up with a date and year when stereo (tip + ring + sleeve) mini plugs became commonplace. I still contend that the SONY Walkman was the first portable that used a stereo mini connector and there were few if any stereo headphones equipped with a TRS mini plug.

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I had a semipro Sony cassette machine that predated the Walkman (from 1973 or so) that had TRS mini.  I don't recall seeing Walkmans before '77 or so.   You used an adapter with it, Lafayette etc sold them.

I look forward to your equipment list, especially if it includes gear that a pro location recordist would use (ie not hobbyist audiophile stuff).  I mean gear the people here use on a daily basis, Zax, SD, Aaton, Nagra, PSC, AD, Lectro, Yamaha, AH etc. etc.

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9 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

I look forward to your equipment list, especially if it includes gear that a pro location recordist would use (ie not hobbyist audiophile stuff).  I mean gear the people here use on a daily basis, Zax, SD, Aaton, Nagra, PSC, AD, Lectro, Yamaha, AH etc. etc.

Phil, I really do not get where this is coming from...  Apple deciding to drop a headphone connector on their iOS device has no particular bearing on our professional gear or work. If Sound Devices, for example, did away with the headphone connector to which all of our professional headphones connect, that would be a big deal. We're talking about an iPhone! If in your professional workflow you need to utilize an iPhone 7 with any one of our professional headphones, just use the adapter! My point about headphone manufacturers (and yes, several of them are companies that produce headphones that we typically use professionally) is that those who wish to use headphones with their iOS device other than those offered yesterday by Apple, will have choices.

I think this topic does not have a great future and I'm losing interest, but to add one more thing, here is an excerpt from an article regarding this issue:

"Sennheiser is one of the best-known names in the personal audio world, and with good reason. This company’s range spans everything from the most affordable $20 in-ear and over-ear designs to the marble-encased $55,000 Orpheus system. Here’s what co-CEOs Daniel and Andreas Sennheiser had to say about the Lightning-only iPhone:

'Sennheiser has seen many different connection standards come and go in the audio world over the years. Audio connections have always been continuously evolving. Digital outputs, such as Apple's Lightning connector, will offer new opportunities to take a step forward and to further enhance the sound experience for the customer. For example, 3D audio technology using digital signals is just one possibility.'


To Sennheiser, Apple’s hardware change is just another opportunity. Being pushed into developing Lightning headphones is a challenge that the German company is embracing, and it’s already thinking about ways to exploit that digital connector’s greater capabilities over the classic analog standard.

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Here's the take-away, Jeff: many of us integrate consumer devices with our "pro" audio tools all the time every day at work.  In the consumer device category I include Apple computers (esp laptops), phones and Ipads.  Having a common headphone standard with my gear and all cameras that have headphone jacks and all these Apple etc devices has been a great boon.  Now there is going to be a proprietary interface in the way of this, (with DRM?).  I was as early an adopter of Apple stuff as you were (way before Mac), and I don't like Apple's march away from consideration of how people use their gear as tools, rather than lifestyle accessories.  They are very smart people and have decided that they can get away with this and that it will make them more money.  I can dig, but I don't like it, and will consider alternatives, if there are any.

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Thank you Philip for the clarification --- even though I am a big fan of many of the things Apple has done over the considerable number of years I have owned and used their stuff (and yes, pre-dates even the Mac), I am also very critical of the things they have done that I think are wrong, totally self-serving, etc. It's just that this removable of the standard and ubiquitous headphone jack doesn't seem to be a big deal, for me, as some are seeming to feel. I also have a long history of incorporating consumer and the relatively new term "pro-sumer" gear into my work, while always being very cognizant of the potential pitfalls of using gear that really was not designed to do what we do. You have to remember that the first feature film anyone ever did on DAT was done by me, and with a non-professional grey market consumer recorder. 

I think we can put our differences aside now and get on with any more discussion, if it is needed, regarding the use of Lightening equipped headphones with iOS devices.

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I know I said I was done, but I guess not. Thought of several things from our past (and I think you've been at it long enough to remember these things). Remember when the first Nagra III didn't have a headphone jack at all --- Kudelski used 2 banana jack points (that weren't even spaced the same as existing dual-jack assemblies) and we had to buy Beyer DT-48 headphones with the banana plugs or make up adapters for the headphones we wanted to use. Some people modified their Nagras by installing their own ¼ mono jack wired to the banana jacks. When Nagra finally put a ¼ jack in, it was mono and we couldn't put stereo headphones without making our adapter (Switchcraft hadn't yet made a one piece adapter connector/plug). When the stereo Nagra came along, it had a stereo (TRS) ¼ jack but if we wanted to continue using our DT-48s (still pretty much the standard and preferred professional headphones) we couldn't use our older DT-48s because Nagra changed the impedance with the new stereo headphone output. You could, of course, buy NEW DT-48 headphones (designated with the letter "S") equipped with a ¼ TRS and proper impedance.

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A different and thoughtful take on what this all means...from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

An excerpt:

----

Analog: The Last Defense Against DRM

[snip]

Apple’s motivations for abandoning the analog jack are opaque, but likely benign. Apple is obsessed with simple, clean design, and this move lets the company remove one more piece of clutter from the phone’s body. The decision may also have been a part of the move to a water-resistant iPhone. And certainly, many people choose a wireless listening experience.

But removing the port will change how a substantial portion of iPhone owners listen to audio content—namely, by simply plugging in a set of headphones. By switching from an analog signal to a digital one, Apple has potentially given itself more control than ever over what people can do with music or other audio content on an iPhone. We hope that Apple isn’t unwittingly opening the door to new pressures to take advantage of that power.

When you plug an audio cable into a smartphone, it just works. It doesn’t matter whether the headphones were made by the same manufacturer as the phone. It doesn’t even matter what you’re trying to do with the audio signal—it works whether the cable is going into a speaker, a mixing board, or a recording device.

The Lightning port works differently. Manufacturers must apply and pay a licensing fee to create a Lightning-compatible device. When rumors were circulating about an iPhone 7 with no headphone jack, our colleague Cory Doctorow predicted that big content companies would try to take advantage of that control: “Right now, an insistence on DRM would simply invite the people who wanted to bypass it for legal reasons to use that 3.5mm headphone jack to get at it. Once that jack is gone, there's no legal way to get around the DRM.”

[snip]

----

Rest of the article:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/09/analog-last-defense-against-drm

 

To be clear, I buy and use Apple products and will probably buy an iPhone 7 soon. And the above article is peripheral to our needs-of-audio-professionals debate. And maybe EFF has this wrong, but their article is worth reading. 

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If a lightning to 3.5mm adaptor is included with the iPhone, I don't see how they could inact DRM on the output.  The adaptor won't know if you're plugging in a recorder, headphones, speakers, etc.  Licensing fees on the other hand, there's a lot of money there.

Unique I'd spread spectrum watermarking of content would be more effective imo.

 

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3 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

I know I said I was done, but I guess not. Thought of several things from our past (and I think you've been at it long enough to remember these things). Remember when the first Nagra III didn't have a headphone jack at all --- Kudelski used 2 banana jack points (that weren't even spaced the same as existing dual-jack assemblies) and we had to buy Beyer DT-48 headphones with the banana plugs or make up adapters for the headphones we wanted to use. Some people modified their Nagras by installing their own ¼ mono jack wired to the banana jacks. When Nagra finally put a ¼ jack in, it was mono and we couldn't put stereo headphones without making our adapter (Switchcraft hadn't yet made a one piece adapter connector/plug). When the stereo Nagra came along, it had a stereo (TRS) ¼ jack but if we wanted to continue using our DT-48s (still pretty much the standard and preferred professional headphones) we couldn't use our older DT-48s because Nagra changed the impedance with the new stereo headphone output. You could, of course, buy NEW DT-48 headphones (designated with the letter "S") equipped with a ¼ TRS and proper impedance.

Yes, I made all those adapters too (had 2 Nagra IIIs at diff times, both w/o 1/4" jacks).  But I can't "make" a flash adapter.  I was serious when I said I hope the Chinese knockoffists get into this and make it cheap to have a bag of those adapters around, since I don't see a change in how embedded consumer devices (esp Apple devices) are in our location sound armementarium .

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51 minutes ago, Wandering Ear said:

If a lightning to 3.5mm adaptor is included with the iPhone, I don't see how they could inact DRM on the output.

I'd guess there's some silicon in the Lightning-3.5mm adaptor. At least a DAC, right? So they could include some DRM control there; maybe just spit out limited-quality audio, I don't know. I have no idea what Apple's plans are. Besides world domination and paying as little tax as possible. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Now if they'll just put out some faster Macs...

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On 9.09.2016 at 10:11 PM, Jeff Wexler said:

 Remember when the first Nagra III didn't have a headphone jack at all --- Kudelski used 2 banana jack points (that weren't even spaced the same as existing dual-jack assemblies) and we had to buy Beyer DT-48 headphones with the banana plugs or make up adapters for the headphones we wanted to use. Some people modified their Nagras by installing their own ¼ mono jack wired to the banana jacks. 

I was always wondering why these banana sockets were placed so strange. Back in the day going for modification was a normal thing. Thankly now one can buy many sorts of adapters which are a must have in case of using III.

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