Apple audio chip supplier releases MFi Lightning headphone development kit

Apple's EarPods with a lightning connector
Apple's EarPods with a lightning connector (Image credit: iMore)

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.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.