It is one of the most talked about features of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: the lack of the old familiar 3.5mm earphone closure. Despite the storm of criticism that erupted because of this, there are now more and more smartphones that no longer have this connection: we can, therefore, speak of a trend. There is also still hope, at the recent launch of devices such as the Huawei P10 (Plus) showed that a lot of manufacturers still stick to the 3.5 mm output.
What if you have chosen an iPhone 7 and want to connect your favorite high-end earphones or headphones. What are the possibilities, and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The first option is to use earplugs that do not have a 3.5mm jack anymore, but a Lightning connector. Apple supplies iPhone 7 Earpods with a Lightning connection, so everyone can get started right away. Basically a great solution: it works just as easily and it is also possible to obtain a better sound quality via this connection. In practice, however, it has the necessary disadvantages.
To begin with, it is no longer possible to connect your earplugs and the charger at the same time. That is downright awkward and there is no solution when using a headset with a lightning connection. Moreover, there are not so many earplugs or headphones on the market with a Lightning connection. Although the supply is slowly but surely growing, the choice is limited and the offer is usually quite pricey.
Lightning Headphone Adapter
The second option is to work with a Lightning adapter. Apple is so kind to deliver one with the iPhone 7, so it is not even necessary to purchase it separately ... even if you do not lose it! The advantage of a Lightning adapter is that you can continue to use your own familiar earphones or headphones . Especially if you have already treated yourself to a high-quality model, you are not waiting for the purchase of a new set with a different connector.
However, the use of an adapter also has the necessary disadvantages. For example, the use of an adapter is by definition inconvenient compared to a direct connection. You have to remember to take the adapter with you, you have to connect everything together and the whole look really messy. Moreover, the aforementioned problem does not solve: listening and charging is still not possible with an adapter. You can consider purchasing a Lightning splitter. This is an adapter with a separate branch for power, so you can connect a charger or power bank while listening to music.
Bluetooth headphone adapter
The third option is to choose a Bluetooth headphone adapter. These are small devices such as the Griffin iTrip Clip on the picture below, with a 3.5mm output to which you can connect your normal earphones or headphones. The box itself can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to your iPhone. The iPhone then streams the music to the adapter, which then passes it to your headset. You make your wired earphones so, as it were, wirelessly. In practice, this is one of the more user-friendly options. It works fine in practice, the adapters are small and light and the Lightning connection remains free for a charger. However, you already feel it coming: this option also has an important disadvantage and that is the battery.
After all, the Bluetooth adapters need the power to be able to function. They, therefore, have a small battery, which in practice provides a few hours of play time. It will depend on your personal situation whether that is sufficient at all, but even then it is not ideal that you will have to charge the adapter every day. Even though charging is very fast: you only have to forget it once and you have to go to work or school without music.
Wireless earphones or headphones
Of course, charging also plays a role in this last option that we will discuss in this article: wireless earbuds and headphones. Of course, there are the popular Airpods from Apple itself, but also from all other audio brands, there are earplugs or headphones without wire for sale. Whichever you choose: they have to be recharged every so often, although this will be a less regular activity than with the aforementioned Bluetooth adapter because the batteries are somewhat larger.
Wireless headsets naturally have a lot of advantages in terms of ease of use. The absence of cables saves a lot of hassle. No more knots, no chance of cable breakage and no hassle to lead the cables over / past / through your clothing. Especially in sports, the wireless option is absolutely preferable. There is a lot of choice from wireless earplugs that are sweat resistant and the ideal partner during your workout.
Do wireless earphones or headphones then have no further disadvantages? In principle not, except that you may still have to purchase them ...