Philips already got out in front of Apple and Beats with its first pair of Lightning headphones, but now it's got even bigger plans. Today the company announced that it's making a new version of its NC1 noise cancellation headphones, but this time with a Lightning connector instead of the plain old headphone plug. The Apple-only NC1L will be available starting in the spring for $299.99, and we just got a firsthand look at them here at CES 2015. Note that the photos below are of an early prototype and missing the "L" in the product name; the final design seen in Philips' press images differs slightly.
We're all used to putting batteries in our noise-canceling headphones, but the big appeal of these is that you'll no longer need to bother. The NC1Ls are powered completely by the iPhone itself. These are MFi-certified, so it's not as if Philips is going rogue and taking control of Apple's port; you'll probably start seeing more and more Lightning headphones — some noise-canceling, others not — popping up over the next few months.
A Philips representative assured us that the power draw won't significantly downgrade your battery life; Apple's said to be very strict about how much juice accessory makers can pull from the Lightning port. And the company seems excited about the possibilities opened up by Lightning. It could deliver firmware and sound profile updates to the headphones through its iOS app, for example, or one day let users customize performance to better cancel noise in certain environments.