With the iPhone 7 rumored to be ditching its headphone jack, Apple audio chip supplier Cirrus Logic has released its MFi Headset Development Kit for the creation of Lightning-based headphones. The reference platform is compliant with Apple's MFi accessories program, and is meant to help manufacturers develop these headsets quickly.
From Cirrus Logic:
The MFi Headset Development Kit demonstrates the advantages of Lightning-connected headsets over conventional analog headsets. For example, digital connectivity with an integrated, high-performance DAC and headphone driver delivers high-fidelity audio to the headphone speakers. In addition, Lightning-connected headphones can interact with an iOS app to create a more custom audio experience, such as personalized EQ settings.
The kit comes with a reference design, along with a development board. The design is meant to be adapted to any headphone form factor, from earbuds to over-the-ear cans. The kit can be obtained by licensees of Apple's MFi program.
If the iPhone 7 does indeed ditch its headphone jack, wired headphones will need to utilize the phone's Lightning port in order to work. With this kit, manufacturers can get a head start on new products, and may even be able to announce new headphones soon after the next iPhone ships.