Headphones are typically plugged into the 3.5mm audio jack on smartphones, tablets, media players, and even computers. There are headphones out there that might require the 1/4-inch plug, but for the most part, the 3.5mm jack is the more commonly found and used in consumer devices.
However it seems that Apple might have other plans because the company has recently introduced a new specification for manufacturers that plan to take part in Apple’s Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod program. This new specification states that instead of connecting headphones via the 3.5mm audio jack, connection via the Lightning port is a possibility as well.
Apple has yet to enable audio support via the Lightning port but did state that they plan on doing so in a later update. In fact this seems seems to be in line with Apple’s plans on offering up higher quality audio to their customers. By connecting to the Lightning port, it allows headphones to receive lossless stereo 48kHz digital audio output from Apple devices, while sending mono 48kHz input, meaning that there will be microphone support as well.
Apple has also stated some of the benefits of using the Lightning port, which is that it will be able to draw on the phone’s power, so that manufacturers will not have to create an extra battery. Devices like headphones with active noise cancellation will benefit from this. The alternative is also true, as this could lead to creation of headphones that could charge the phone at the same time. What do you guys think?