The 3.5mm headphone jack may have carried a large bit of nostalgia and perhaps the widest support for any bit of tech around, but it is not very sophisticated. As new formats such as Lightning and USB Type-C rise up, companies such as Intel are striving to help phase it out in favour of digital forms of data transfer.
Intel, in particular, is teaming up with LeEco which announced its first phones that ditched the Type-C in favour of the headphone jack and is giving a proposal to help strengthen the process.
The move will allow the increase in usage of digital sound and more advanced forms of audio-processing tools such as acoustic echo cancellation, DAC support and more.
The implementation of USB Type-C could also mean more and more headphones which can also function as fitness devices, among others thanks to extra power and sophistication.
The process will be expensive at first and may not be as widely accepted especially in low-end devices, but Type-C certainly is miles ahead of old audio jack, which has been around since the 60s, is analog and can only be used for one purpose only: audio transfer.
Type-C, on the other hand, can be used for varying purposes from charging a smartphone, to data-transfer and audio-transfer. It is increasingly found in varying types of devices such as the laptop and the smartphone, which should further boost convenience. It even supports analog audio via adapters so you won’t have to upgrade all your phones and laptops right away.
Most of these features are already available in Apple’s Lightning and it won’t be a surprise to see more and more phones get them in the future. Wide-scale implementations could mean that the headphone could be phased out in the same manner as VGA, though, the process here can take decades too.