USB-C Audio Is "Dead"

BloodyIron

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While we're at it, how about some phone options with user removable batteries?

I fucking love my LG v20, but some day I'm likely to need to upgrade. And fuck me if I'm going to be in an airport and my phone won't turn on because I need to disconnect and reconnect my battery. Fuck. That. Shit.

Trust me. I've had phones like that. It ain't cool.
 

BloodyIron

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BT 5.0 is most certainly not lossless.

It's not 2008 anymore. Read up about aptX HD and Bluetooth 5.0.

It's lossless compression. Nothing is lost. It's literally the same 24 bit audio you can listen to through a cable.
 

Sonicks

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If you want to listen to unaltered source audio, it's not Bluetooth. It's 3.5mm.

That doesn't take a DAC out of the equation and they most certainly are not all created equally especially on cheap Android phones.

Lets get it straight, the headphone jack on it's own isn't the savior of every audiophile's issues. It's a start but definitely not the end all on audio quality when it comes to mobile devices. People act like you can pair any set of fantastic headphones with any device and get phenomenal audio quality just because the headphones can be physically plugged into the darn thing but source audio is always being altered by either the onboard software or onboard DAC, or both, even through your magical 3.5mm headphone jack.

Before I get quoted to hell and back for being wrong, I'm speaking within the context of mobile devices such as phones.
 
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sixpac

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Bluetooth sucks, period.

I use a dongle :(

I hate dongles.

bring back the headphone jack stupid fucks
 

emphy

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MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

If you even had any idea of the bandwidth limitations of BT, you would not be saying this.... basically, it mutilates the sound quality.

Meh, for me BT audio quality would be perfectly fine for my usage: listening to podcasts and the like on my stereo.

...

My decades old stereo, that I am not going to replace just because the latest gadget requires BT to connect. Which, despite claims that only audiophiles would prefer the headphone jack, brings us back to the so-called convenience of BT.
 
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viper1152012

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I have a v30with an amazing DAC and I use my 3.5 when possible but riding a bike or working out I suffer the BT connection which does sound worse. Sorry.

I may have sensitive ears or whatever but a Bose quiet comfort II has nothing on my audio technica cans.
 

Tweak42

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why did we stop using the 2.5mm headphone jack? i know 3.5 is the standard but the other one worked too, even with a microphone.

I recall years back reading that manufactures stayed away from the 2.5mm because it was significantly less durable than 3.5mm. This was before the explosion of smartphones and even pocket MP3 players though. Given that both phones and portable music players are meant to be handled, connected and disconnected often during the device lifetime, the durability argument does have weight.

The only devices I ever used with 2.5mm was cordless phone set from late 90's to early 2000's and my 1st flip phone from the same time. Every device after that used 3.5mm
 

Dirty Butler

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I’m kinda glad Pantera concerts did some hearing damage, I really can’t tell the difference between BT or wired headphones.
 

Necere

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Seems like some of you haven't experienced a good Bluetooth setup with a decent codec. It doesn't have to sound bad at all.

Remember that Bluetooth headphones aren't just a headphone, but a DAC, amp, and bluetooth receiver built in to a pair of headphones (plus a battery). Any of those can suck (and have a negative effect on sound quality), but they don't have to suck. And of course you're not going to get comparable sound quality with a $150 pair of BT headphones as you would from a $150 pair of wired headphones - the cost has to cover all those extra components on top of the headphones. In order to hit the same price point with a BT headphone, corners are going to get cut somewhere. That's not a flaw inherent in Bluetooth, however.
 
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Shoganai

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Seems like some of you haven't experienced a good Bluetooth setup with a decent codec. It doesn't have to sound bad at all.

Remember that Bluetooth headphones aren't just a headphone, but a DAC, amp, and bluetooth receiver built in to a pair of headphones (plus a battery). Any of those can suck (and have a negative effect on sound quality), but they don't have to suck. And of course you're not going to get comparable sound quality with a $150 pair of BT headphones as you would from a $150 pair of wired headphones - the cost has to cover all those extra components on top of the headphones. In order to hit the same price point with a BT headphone, corners are going to get cut somewhere. That's not a flaw inherent in Bluetooth, however.
It’s true that BT can sound good, but like you said, all the parameters must be there, and that can be a hassle from situation to situation. The headphone jack is just simpler to deal with and sounds consistently better in general. Having the option to be able to use both is the most optimal scenario for me, so it’d be nice if people would stop arbitrarily removing the headphone jack from phones because they think it’s trendy. I’ll never use wired headphones in the gym for a million reasons, but the quality of audio is still important to me, so I make sure my device and buds have compatible high quality codecs. But when I’m in my car, I’ll always be wired in.


I’m kinda glad Pantera concerts did some hearing damage, I really can’t tell the difference between BT or wired headphones.
Yeah I can’t do metal concerts anymore. I like having my hearing. Believe it or not, the loudest concert I have ever been to was when I saw Johnny Cash as a kid. It felt like he had the damn speakers up to 160 decibels.
 

pcgeekesq

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Cutting to the chase: I won't buy a phone without a headphone jack unless there is no other choice.
I'd even rather get an old used phone, if I had to -- I don't even need something as good as my current Galaxy S8.

The last thing the cellular phone industry needs to do right now is give me another reason not to "upgrade."
 

nutzo

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Most of my listening is in my car as I drive all day for work. I have a lot of music in my phone. Just because it doesn’t make sense to you is completely irrelevant. These “pocket” devices cost upwards of a grand these days. It’s not absurd to expect great things from them.

I find it much easier to simply copy all my MP3's to a thumb drive and plug it into my car's stereo.
I can create my own play lists and don't have to worry about dealing with all the phone issues.

Even so, I still prefer a headphone jack on my phone, just in case I need it.
 

rigurat

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Dead huh? It was never alive to begin with.

Now an external high end DAC and amplifier thru USB is a different story.
 

Advil

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It's not fine. It's not even fine for a phone call. It's trash. It's not JUST the bandwidth issues but also just the whole damn implementation. BT never should have survived the early days. It's one of the worst abominations in all of wireless computing.

But aside from that, the freaking HELL with having yet another device to charge. I have less than no interest in wireless headphones. Never have. I keep trying... but I don't have time for all the crap. I can take any pair of earbuds, headphones, speakers, even worst case line level to any receiver and just PLUG THEM IN and they wrork. No worries about audio quality, BT pairing issues, compatibility, charging, higher battery consumption with BT on...
 

nilepez

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I don't like Apples lightning headphone connector either. Just meant I had to buy an adapter. Those saying bluetooth , that may work for you, but I have quality headhphones and I'm not trashing them for wireless. What's more, I use headphones (a lot) on long flights and I don't want to charge headphones. Besides, with both USB and Liightning, you need an adapter just to charge and listen to music at the same time (or carry a wireless charger to plug into your battery to put next to your phone while you travel :rolleyes:
 
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Audiophiles say they might as well bring the headphone jack back.
Real audiophiles don't use a phone as the audio source. Some even complain CD is not as pure as a vinyl record, and anything that is not tube amp is not pure.
 

Oldmodder

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Seem like this smart age, well not so smart after all.
Was easy in the good old days, get your walk / disk man, plug in your headphones and be rocking.

Okay i can see the value of just carrying one devise as opposed to 2 in today's world, but i would prefer to carry a quality audio product, and then leave my phone at home in that case.
And YES you can easy be without your phone for a couple of hours, i guarantee you the world will still be standing when you get home to your phone.

Same if audio in my video recordings was a issue to me, i would use a dedicated audio recorder for my sound and then mix the 2 parts in post production.
 

MaZa

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Real audiophiles don't use a phone as the audio source. Some even complain CD is not as pure as a vinyl record, and anything that is not tube amp is not pure.

I know you are being cheeky but I'll respond anyway. As a sole source, no. But even for the weakest systems we have we want to make the best of it. I have said before, if I cannot connect my Koss Porta Pro, which I consider the baseline for good portable headphones, into my phone then I do not want it. The quality should go up from that, not down as is the case with most of the crappy bluetooth sets.
 

ZodaEX

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How is something on life support, dead? These Megalith news posts are lowering my iq.
 

Patton187

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While we're at it, how about some phone options with user removable batteries?

I fucking love my LG v20, but some day I'm likely to need to upgrade. And fuck me if I'm going to be in an airport and my phone won't turn on because I need to disconnect and reconnect my battery. Fuck. That. Shit.

Trust me. I've had phones like that. It ain't cool.
Don't break or lose it. I did and they sent the v30 which has a non user removable battery. At least it has a 3.5 mm.
 

cyriak

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BT audio almost works for me
( music/handsfree in car and handsfree at home )
but there is a problem - after a week or so of seamless switching between car and home system BT fails to initialize connection - i have to turn it of and on again in phone to make it work for another week.
and while in car this is quite annoying as i cannot accept incoming call with handsfree
this occurs both with my xiaomi and wife's samsung...

i could just turn it off for a night
but its still much more hassle unlocking my phone and disabling/enabling BT
than just plugging the jack in...
 

Nafensoriel

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IIRC even BT5.0 compression clips peaks so harshly you actually drop below radio quality.

USB-C isnt the answer though. Cable design issues alone killed the entire idea. The fact that a counterfeit cable will not can toast the port eventually is just bad design.
 
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The quality should go up from that, not down as is the case with most of the crappy bluetooth sets.
I have seen cellular reception going downhill. My old Nokia dumb phone has better cell reception than any smartphone.
 

steakman1971

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I've been using BlueTooth for a few years. I'm not an audiophile - find the audio quality to be good (depending on which headset I use). I got a free pair of Beat's - they are the best set I own. They work great, have good battery life, and are pretty comfortable to wear for a while.
I also own a few pair of what I call "ChiPods" - Chinese knock offs that look like AirPods. Last pair I bought cost $11 from Amazon. These have passable audio quality - I'd probably give them a 2/5? I wear these on walks on riding the bus. Battery life is about an hour.
Back to USB-C, the other problem hindering its adoption is its still not on the majority of devices. For cell phones, there are a few. Newer computers have usbc, but a lot of existing ones do not. No iPhone's have usbc (lighting only with current models). If you build the device, your market just isn't that big.
No market research to back me up, but I theorize that the majority of people use the included headphones. If they do buy a replacement, they buy cheap ones (like the ChiPods I described).
 

Spire3660

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At least with the introduction of bluetooth 5.0, I have to agree. The bandwidth available to modern bluetooth (2Mbps) is more than sufficient for lossless quality audio playback, particularly when combined with aptX HD.

Just got a CIPHER bluetooth module for my Audeze iSine 20s and I can't tell the difference between it and the hardwire.

Thats great, it still doesnt change the fact that wired and wireless are not the same thing.
 

MaZa

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I have seen cellular reception going downhill. My old Nokia dumb phone has better cell reception than any smartphone.

I fail to see the connection between this and headphone quality? *Edit* or were you simply talking about technology going backwards in some instances? In that case, I agree.
 

Yaka

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there still a market for usb pocket dac/amp which is why there arnt any usb c cabled head/earphones
 

Auer

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Most phones sound like crap with 3.5mm too as even today not many have a better than mid grade DAC.

Obvious solution for people who care enough about portable Audio is a external DAC/Amp. Many available like this Topping.

LG has a few phones that have a decent DAC, I think the latest version in the V40 was massaged by the folks from Meridian, as among other formats it decodes MQA.
It does sound pretty good.

A
 

bigdogchris

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USB-C could become a completely universal connector, especially when you consider Thunderbolt 3. It should be taking off.
 

tangoseal

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Ummm? It's called "Bluetooth"...

Nope
Compression and loss are massive side effects of BT.

Audiophiles and there are alot of them prefer good analogue that can be easily ran through a DAC Amp for best results.
 
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Auer

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Nope
Compression and loss are massive side effects of BT.

Audiophiles and there are alot of them prefer good analogue that can be easily ran through a DAC and Amp for best results.

?

You don't run analog to a DAC. You run digital so it can convert it to analog.

A
 

IdiotInCharge

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USB-C could become a completely universal connector, especially when you consider Thunderbolt 3. It should be taking off.

It is- the issue is the half-assed 'audio' stuff the industry has done. Too many differing implementations; USB-C (and USB period) has alternate modes that can be used in various ways. Many are not compatible with each other.

What will likely happen is that 'USB-C headphones' will just migrate toward being 'USB headphones' with DAC and amp stages included, instead of being analog only devices that receive their signal through the USB-C connector.
 

Auer

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As most people just listen to Spotify and other non-RedBook sources Bluetooth will continue to be "Good Enough" so little future market for analog out USB-C.

A
 

tangoseal

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?

You don't run analog to a DAC. You run digital so it can convert it to analog.

A

Sorry for the typo man. I was trying to imply the scenario with as little energy as necessary. Human mistake. I only have so much attention to detail when posting sometimes. You know exactly what I meant. And you can run analog to an amplifier all day long.

I edited it with strikethrough
 
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gunbust3r

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It's telling that not even the most shady Chinese ebay/amazon brand even tried making a USB-C charging dock with a DAC/Headphone jack built in.
 
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