The USB Implementers’ Forum (USB-IF) has unveiled the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specification. The new specification sets the technical requirements and guidelines for audio products connecting to a device via USB Type-C.
No matter how much you love the headphone jack of your mobile device, prepare yourself to say goodbye to it. The new specification is definitely a stepping stone towards the elimination of the headphone jack, much like Apple moved the audio output functionality to the Lightning port on the iPhone 7.
The new audio specification is coming with advanced features such as hot-word detection, as well can help reduce power consumption on devices. USB-IF says instead of using the headphone jack, piping audio over the USB Type-C connection can shave up to 0.03 of an inch (1 mm) off of the device design. You may find it very little space, but it’s rather a big deal in manufacturing a mobile device where every bit of space counts.
In addition, ditching the headphone jack will make it easier to design water-resistant devices. It’s still unclear whether other companies will embrace this specification like Apple. However, this announcement will be helpful for manufacturers who were thinking of ditching the headphone jack.