Macworld iPhone 5 Superguide (1.0) SAMPLE - Take Control

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Macworld iPhone 5 Superguide (1.0) SAMPLE - Take Control

CHAPTER 7 Find New Accessories

If you’ve got expensive older accessories that you don’t feel like replacing with newer, Lightning-connector–

equipped versions, there are a few ways to use them with your new iPhone. Specifically, Apple offers a $29

Lightning to 30-pin Adapter and a slightly longer $39 Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (0.2m), each of which lets you

connect older 30-pin dock-connector accessories to the iPhone 5.

Each of these adapters lets you connect accessories for the 30-pin dock connector to the latest iPhone models

by offering a Lightning-connector plug on one end and a female 30-pin port on the other. You insert the

Lightning-connector plug into your iPhone, and then attach the 30-pin end to the dock connector of your favorite

speaker system or other compatible accessory. The main difference between the two adapters is that the

standard version is a single piece, just 0.8 inches long (not including the Lightning plug), while the cable version

separates the 30-pin port from the Lightning plug with a flexible, 7.5-inch (20cm) cable that’s a little thicker and

stiffer than Apple’s standard Lightning to USB Cable. The two adapters function identically.

According to Apple, the adapters support analog and USB audio, as well as syncing and charging. Based on our

testing, here’s what you can expect when using the adapters with older, 30-pin accessories.

SPEAKERS AND AUDIO DOCKS The adapters will let you play audio with any 30-pin speaker or audio dock. This

includes newer speakers and audio docks that grab your player’s digital-audio (specifically, USB audio) output,

and then use a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in the speaker or dock itself to produce an analog signal.

But the adapters also work with speakers and docks—generally older models—that require an analog-audio

signal. These speakers normally connect to dedicated analog-audio pins in the 30-pin connector, relying on the

iPhone or iPod to handle the digital-to-analog conversion. The challenge here is that the Lightning connector

doesn’t offer analog-audio pins—the new connector is all digital. It turns out that hidden away inside each 30-

pin adapter is a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that converts the Lightning connector’s digital audio signal to

an analog version. (The high price of the adapters is at least in part because of the inclusion of a DAC.)

The adapters also support syncing, so if your speaker dock or dock cradle has a pass-through 30-pin or USB

port for connecting to your computer for syncing, that feature will work with the latest iPhone.

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