IS THIS THE END OF HEADPHONE PINS ON SMARTPHONES?
The up coming Android L release of Google’s latest reincarnation of Android has several surprises and the latest will be something for the die-hard audiophiles. The Next release of Android will support USB Audio a feature that briefly appeared during the I/O keynote but Google.
HOW USB AUDIO WILL WORK
Just to put things in perspective, USB audio will allow you to connect devices such as headphone amplifiers to the USB port of the phone and get superior audio quality out of it. Many current smartphones these days are capable of outputting clean audio through their headphone jack. But this is not enough power from the built-in amp to drive more power-hungry headphones.
With the USB audio output will be purely digital audio signals especially if you connect an external DAC (Digital to Audio Conveter)/headphone amp to your phone, without any amplification or conversion done at its end. The DAC/headphone amp in turn converts that digital signal into analog audio signal, amplify it and then send it to your headphones.
HEADSET PINS STILL HERE TO STAY
This feature is already available in several Android devices right now from OEMs but Nexus devices and those from other OEMs less concerned about audio quality did not have this feature. But now with it arriving in stock Android, every phone running the ‘L’ release will be able to output audio through its USB port. But at the end of it all we still think that headphone jack pins on smartphone will still be around for sometime.