USB-IF Unveils Standard for Audio over USB Type-C, Will this Kill the Headphone Jack?


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.

[via Engadget]

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  • Kirk

    Some people think Apple is crazy for ditching the headphone jack but will definitely fool soon after, if not now.. in the future.

  • Pilz

    No, this is a true standard not some apple proprietary bs. The USB port is universal hence its name therefore using USB-C makes more sense than s lightning port. Furthermore apple will have to use it too on their macbooks alongside the lightning port that will need to be added otherwise fheg will just piss more people off. Apple screwed themselves if you think about it

  • Shameer Mulji

    USB-C Audio & Lightening are just stop gaps. Future is wireless anyway.

  • Jon

    Yeah all of this USB-C vs lightning for wired audio is kind of missing the point… and not even just for audio, for power too. The lightning port isn’t going to be on the iPhone for much longer either.

  • Kael

    I hope they remove the lightning port and move the standard USB-C connector. It will also be nice to have a connector that is standard across devices. (laptop and mobile devices)

  • Pilz

    Not unless they are able to stream larger amounts of data using less power. You can’t can’t stream lossless audio uncompressed even with the new BT 5.0 standard. There will be a point in time when wireless does take over; however, it doesn’t appear to be anytime soon.