The USB Implementers Forum (USB IF), the preeminent standards group for all things USB, has added another nail into the coffin of the 3.5mm audio jack by releasing a new standard for delivering digital audio over USB Type-C ports. This means that headphone and audio product manufacturers who support the USB standard will now have to take into consideration a standard across all USB Type-C ports for audio output.

The USB IF officially calls this the Audio Device Class 3.0 specification, and it gives manufacturers a standard for usage if they want to output sound via USB Type-C ports on any device. The USB IF isn’t dawdling around with what it wants to do, it says that this new spec is really for the hastening of the removal of the now ancient 3.5mm port from devices.


In theory, this means a lot of good things for mobile devices. They can now go slimmer, have better element resistance, and output better quality audio using purely digital processing. Not everybody is joining the bandwagon as of now. But since the audio spec is now standardized, we assume a lot more companies will be more comfortable in putting out USB Type-C headphones.

As of now, only Apple and Motorola are the major names that have gone without the 3.5mm audio jack, and even then, Apple is using its Lightning port technology rather than USB Type-C. So how long do you think before mobile devices finally kick out the 3.5mm audio jack?