9to5Mac reports that Apple is adding a new specification in its MFi program that allows manufacturers to develop Lighting headphones.
Apple has reportedly added new requirements to its MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) program. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is introducing a new specification that will allow MFi device manufacturers to take advantage of Apple's Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack.
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To make that possible, Apple will also release a software update to support the said feature, 9to5Mac added.
The report is promising. By taking advantage of the Lightning port, headphones can receive lossless stereo of 48 kHz digital audio output. It may also be able to send 48 kHz of mono digital audio input, making it possible to support microphone input.
Furthermore, Apple is also reportedly planning to use a passthrough setup that will allow both the headphone and the iDevice to charge simultaneously, similar to audio docks that already uses the Lightning connector.
As for the headphones, 9to5Mac believes that the headphones can also receive firmware updates and can also control apps. Manufacturers might even add the capability to allow the headphones to control volume and music tracks.
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It's worth noting that Apple has just acquired Beats. Implementing the new specification will not be a problem for Apple. Apple declined to comment on the report.