Recently our digital displays have gone from being mere information displays to high fidelity retina-esque magic mirrors but our ears are still waiting to be pampered by our digital companions.

Yes, Apple iPhones and some recent Androids carry some of the best Digital to Analog Converters (DACs) around and may satisfy the audiophiles among us but the progress is kind of sluggish compared to the display front.

Why do we still rely on analog audio output (3.5mm jack) from our Smartphone/Player? Simplicity is a good enough reason but how do we best this approach? These analog interfaces are known to reduce fidelity and limit us to the inbuilt DAC. Why not use a digital interface such as SPDIF, Optical, HDMI, MHL, etc.?

MHL looks like an apt choice for this! It supports high-def multi-channel audio, carries commands back and forth, shares the same port with USB and even provides power for our external DAC and amplifier. Wonderful!

This way we can upgrade to a better DAC and eliminate the distortion from analog connectors to start with! However, the possibilities are endless and this approach opens up a new arena for innovation and engineering perfection. Imagine multi-channel 3D headphones! :-)