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Philips just beat Apple with first Lightning headphones

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Fidelio M2L cans bypass the headphone jack for lossless audio

In a surprising twist, Philips is first to announce headphones compatible with Apple's Lightning port. As spotted by Pocket-Lint, the company's Fidelio M2L headphones utilize Apple's Lightning port to bypass the internal DAC of the iPhone, and can play high resolution 24-bit audio through a built-in DAC and amplifier.

"our first headphone that has a direct digital connection to your iOS device."

"We’re excited to launch the Philips Fidelio M2L, our first headphone that has a direct digital connection to your iOS device," says WOOX Innovations Pascal van Laer. It was widely reported that Apple quietly expanded its Made for iPhone program earlier this year to include headphones that connect to iOS devices via the Lightning port. Set to retail at €250 (about $323) sometime in December, the Fidelio M2L is an unexpected first given that Apple now owns Beats, which is famous for its line of designer headphones.

Although Philips has not listed such functionalities, Apple's Made for iPhone specification can potentially allow Lightning headphones like the Fidelio M2L to extract power from an Apple device or even provide power to such machines via an external power source. This allows users to both charge their devices and listen to music simultaneously. Additionally, such headphones can launch and interface directly with companion apps, as well as offering standard controls like volume and track skipping.