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Philips, not Beats, announces first Lightning-equipped headphones (update)

Billy Steele
September 10, 2014
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Back at WWDC, Apple announced a new spec for its Made For iPhone program: the ability to use a Lightning cable to connect headphones with iOS devices. With that in mind, and Apple's recent purchase of Beats, many (myself included) assumed that Dr. Dre and Co. would be the first to unveil a set of cans featuring the newfangled feature. Nope. Today, Philips announced that its Fidelio M2L set that will digitally connect with the diminutive jack rather than the 3.5mm port, with a built-in 24-bit digital to analog converter (DAC) to boost sound quality. In addition to the higher-resolution audio, using the Lightning connector will also cut down on crosstalk and noise. Unfortunately, the increased quality appears to be the only spot Philips leveraged the port's abilities as there's no mention of controls and the like. If these look familiar, you might remember the Fidelio M1BT that debuted last year carrying similar stylings. Ready to take the leap? Well, you'll have to wait until December, but when the M2L headphones arrive, they'll set you back €250 (around $323 converted).

Update: Looks like Philips' claim to be first would've been true... had it announced these headphones ahead of IFA. There, Sony outed the MDR-1ADAC that, like the Fidelio M2L, features an on-board DAC for higher-resolution listening. While a mention of Lightning connectivity is absent from the blog post announcing the set, it's listed in the full specs on the cans' product page. You can expect 7-8 hours out of a charge for that Sony DAC that's rechargeable via USB (we surmise the same goes for Philips' pair as well), with a price tag is set at £249 (around $404 converted).

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