Apple has apparently introduced a new specification to their MFi program to allow manufacturers to build headphones that run audio through an iOS device's Lightning, rather than the 3.5mm headphone jack. Headphones utilizing the spec will be able to receive stereo 48 kHz digital audio and send mono 48 kHz audio. They will come in two configurations, according to 9to5Mac:
Apple will allow two configurations for the headphones. Standard Lightning Headphones are described by Apple as using minimum components when paired with a digital-to-analog converter supported by the Lightning Headphone Module. It also has an Advanced Lightning Headphones specification that allows digital audio processing features like active noise cancellation and uses a digital signal processor and digital/analog converter.
Manufacturers will still be able to use the standard playback controls found on most headphones. They will also be able to add controls to launch specific apps. Headphones will also be able to work with a specific iOS companion app, and they will apparently be able to launch certain apps when connected to an iOS device. Headphones connecting through the Lightning port will be able to charge iOS devices, as well as charge from them, if needed.
Would you buy headphones that used your Lightning port instead of the headphone jack? Sound off in the comments below.