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Know what you're buying and why...,
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This review is from: Apple Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter (0.2M) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
This adapter is more than just a connector change. It also has an Digital-to-Analog converter built in for supplying line level audio. This is why the Apple adapter is more expensive and why it's the only one able to play audio on most systems.
The original 30 pin dock supplied a digital signal, analog audio, video, and more; the new Lightning port is digital only. Analog audio is still available via the headphone jack.
What do you need?
1. If your iPhone interfaces with your stereo through a USB connection, then you can use any adapter available on Amazon, even the cheap ones.
2. If your current dock connects to the radio via a 3.5mm stereo plug, RCA connection, or a cassette adapter, then you will have to use this adapter.
3. If the dock interfaces directly with the audio device, then it could be either digital or analog. You will have to research this yourself. Find out what your device uses and get the appropriate adapter (check the owners manual, contact the manufacturer, do your homework and don't be lazy).
Why would Apple do this?
More and more equipment is going full digital. The components and software used by the digital to analog converter can greatly affect the sound quality. This conversion would be handled far better by radio manufacturers than by Apple. Not to mention that we finally get to ditch the cumbersome, ugly, limited, and outdated 30 pin dock. Technology moves forward...
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 12, 2013 7:19:03 AM PDT
desert shopper says:
This is the first time I've understood WHAT this change accomplished and WHY! I thought it was just to make it smaller or to force a change in accessories. Thank you!
Posted on Aug 10, 2013 12:03:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 10, 2013 12:08:11 PM PDT
Minty Freshness says:
this may be a legit explanation, but it still begs the question: why don't these adapters come WITH the iPhones and iPods when we buy them if theyre so important? with this being the first generation that uses these new 8 pin connectors, when everything they'd attach to still uses the 30 pin version, you'd think Apple could at least include adapters just this once.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2013 4:47:44 PM PDT
Simple, because the vast majority of consumers will not run into this issue. Most of the newer audio equipment interfaces via USB, which has no issue. The second most common interface is the cassette or direct connection which uses the headphone jack. Only a very small group of people interface via an analog signal through the dock.
If Apple included this adapter, that would mean that EVERYONE would have to purchase it even though <5% of the consumer base would need it. Imagine how many complaints Apple would receive about that!
It has now been a year since the introduction of the lightning connector and nearly all current manufacturers have converted their equipment to the new requirements. This is how technology moves forward, with a little pain and consternation to a small few, but we are all better off in the long run.
Posted on Sep 25, 2013 12:55:05 PM PDT
Jindo Fox says:
Best Amazon review ever. Above and beyond a product review! I think you did a better job explaining WHY than Apple ever did.
I'm tempted to get one of these for a car stereo connector so the phone can stay in a case, but then again ... forty bucks ...
Posted on Dec 16, 2013 5:08:40 PM PST
T. Kates says:
I just wanted to thank you for your advice to call the manufacturer about whether the audio is digital or analog. That explained why the adapter I was using before did not work. I bought this adapter to use with a clock radio that we love after I called the manufacturer to confirm the type of audio that it uses. Now the clock radio works perfectly with the adapter and without having to remove the iPhone 5 case. Thanks again!
Posted on Feb 19, 2014 8:57:07 PM PST
Posted on Apr 21, 2014 3:12:17 AM PDT
The Iced Priest says:
digital to analog converter or not, the $40 price tag sucks. however the rationale was well explained and had me raising an eyebrow or two...maybe i misjudged apple and they are customer minded/not necessarily in it for a quick buck.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2014 2:58:46 AM PDT
ZTT Fan says:
Yes, it does.
The Lightning connector does not have analog audio outputs.
The 30 pin connector does, and to make that happen the cable connector has a chip with a DAC onboard, reported to be the Wolfson WM8533.
Posted on Nov 11, 2014 5:54:10 PM PST
Can I stream video through this adapter?
Posted on Jan 28, 2015 10:05:53 AM PST
I want to use my iphone along with my older apogee mic which came with the 30 pin cord to record videos. Apogee makes a cord but it is always out of stock and I wondered if this would work to record audio for interviews as along with videos. Thanks