just brew it! wrote:End User wrote:As far as cabled headphones go both USB and Lightning have us covered. Time to move on.
It adds cost, limits consumer choice, and given there are two different standards, it ties the headphones to being used with only a subset of the devices out there. What if I have one device that uses Lightning and one that uses USB? Do I need two sets of headphones? Extra adapters? Yuck.
Truthfully, I don't have a magical attachment to the 3.5mm form factor as long as there's cabling that generates analog audio that has a standardized plug. But I also don't see USB ports with analog audio on every single piece of audio gear in my home anytime within the next decade or two. I mean, think for a moment. Every single audio chain in my house hold, without exception, has a 3.5mm audio jack somewhere along the way. And in many of them it's in multiple places like my TV and AV receiver both having jacks. The bottom line is that analog audio is just electrical wave signals designed to power magnetic speakers. Which means all equipment that connects to speakers generates analog audio should have the same audio connection available. (P.S. I'm excluding such things as soundboards because just like I don't expect SAS in my consumer gear, I don't expect XLR in my consumer audio.)
The truth is that USB cables as analog audio cables actually leaves a great deal to be desired due to a combination of the short lengths, and surface area of contacts. It's also not objectively a better connector for pure audio equipment. There's literally no reason to use a USB form factor when there's never going to be USB data also carried over the connection. Which means I expect that it may not get as much traction in audio equipment. Truthfully the constraints that would lead one to want a USB audio or Thunderbolt audio are only really strong in the smartphone space. And I just don't see smartphones vs everyone else who uses 3.5mm as breaking in the smartphones favor. I honestly don't.
Admittedly there was a period where 'serious' audio gear had 1/4" and I needed a passive 1/4" to 3.5mm adapter. But a) that period is passed, and b) that adapter is inline, trivial and in my experience most of them even have screw threads so that it's as close as possible to not having an adapter.
ETA: cable=/=jack apparently. Who knew? Plus I clarified a point