One of the least expensive Lightning cables is also the fastest

Most Lightning cables look the same, sometimes with varying colors, but what’s inside can vary widely.

The materials used in the Lightning cables can affect everything from long-term durability to charging speed.

Wirecutter recently measured the charging speed of nearly 50 Lightning cables and then sent the fastest 11 cables to an electrical engineer for teardown analysis and found that the three-foot long Anker Lightning to USB Cable, which starts at $5.99 in white (prices vary per color), is the one to buy.

Anker's Apple MFi Certified Lightning to USB Cables
Anker’s Apple MFi Certified Lightning to USB Cables
Anker Lightning to USB Cables are Apple MFi Certified, so they feature complete charge and sync compatibility with iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5s, 5c, 5, iPad Air, Air 2, iPad mini, mini 2, mini 3, iPad (4th generation), iPod nano (7th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation).

The cables sport a compact (0.34in × 0.22in / 8.6mm × 5.6mm), heat-resistant Lightning connector that fits into virtually all external case cutouts. Anker cables also come with a long 18-month warranty.

Wirecutter reports, “The Anker stands out among the competition thanks to solid build quality inside and out, a Lightning-connector plug that works with almost any case, and a price tag that’s less than half of what you’ll pay for one of Apple’s cables.”

MacDailyNews Take: Interestingly, the Apple MFi Certified Anker cables are the exact same make of Lightning to USB cables we use when we’re not using Apple’s.

We also use the shorter Anker 12-inch Lightning to USB cables in conjunction with Anker PowerPort 4 USB Wall Chargers featuring 4 ports with a with foldable plug ($26.99) when on the road. These are smart chargers that provide the fastest possible charge for iPads and iPhones no matter which of the four ports you use. Each wall outlet spouts 4 Lightning cables for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod touch devices. It’s perfect. Nothing goes uncharged!

Anker PowerPort 4 ($25.99) 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger with Foldable Plug for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod touch
Anker PowerPort 4 ($26.99) 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger with Foldable Plug for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod touch

12 Comments

  1. I use these Anker cables with a different Anker plug – it has a 6-foot cord from the wall plug to a small, black 4-Lightning plug box. I have it in my cable bag for traveling. Bang it around and it still looks/works perfectly. Anker makes good stuff that lasts.

  2. Unfortunately when a good product comes along, fake versions pop up. Be careful out there and buy from a reputable source. Even though it may say it’s Anker, Apple, or MFi, it might not be true.

    Chances are when you see a one star review, it’s from a knock off.

  3. I have several Anker cables and a 6 port charger all of which work very well.
    I switched when I had 2 separate Apple lightning cables fail within a year(lightning end falling apart)
    For rough use(car charging) I use the armoured cable which is tough

  4. Yep, after the last time MDN reported on Anker I ended up getting cables, chargers and also one of their Bluetooth portable speakers for work. Having fun beaming Apple Music from my iPhone, and all for a mere pittance.

  5. All the Anker products I’ve bought (bluetooth speaker, portable chargers, mains chargers, cables) have been great.

    The company was formed from ex Google engineers.

  6. Love Anker products. In addition to cables, my family’s got several external power banks we use to keep our iPhones charged when we’re going to be out and about all day. Good stuff.

    1. All cables look pretty similar and it’s often tempting to buy the cheapest. However when a modest priced cable demonstrably outperforms higher priced alternatives, then it’s worth talking about.

      The advantage here is not the bullshit sort of thing talked about with high end audio cables ( such as, “the cable seemed perhaps cleaner and a little more articulate on the leading edge”, or “it offers a subtractor of artifice” ). Instead, the comparison made here is one that anybody can verify for themselves. Run your iPhone completely down and then time how long it takes to recharge using this cable compared to another. No need for pretentious language and florid descriptions of things that are reminiscent of the Emperor’s New Clothes, just a repeatable experiment that needs no special equipment or superhuman powers of perception.

      I would add that charging speed isn’t actually the most important factor for me. Durability is a much more significant factor and I choose cables that are more rugged than most because I use them in rather unforgiving circumstances and I’ll happily trade a few minutes of charge time for a lead that keeps working when abused.

  7. I can vouch for the Dynex cables which are the “runner up” in the article. Good build quality.
    Couldn’t help feeling a sense of deja vu. That is not a new article, MDN linked to it previously. Slow news day ? 🙂

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