The lightning headphone adapter for Apple’s next-gen iPhone

“Rumors are circulating that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will drop the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, with new iPhone headsets relying on the lightning port or Bluetooth instead,” Dave Mark writes for The Loop.

“Whether or not this is true, there is another report of a Chinese accessory maker advertising a series of Lightning-to-headphone adapters with separate volume controls,” Mark writes. “This all makes sense to me, feels believable.”

Mark writes, “I suspect we’ll have no problem finding the right adapter for our existing headphones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring it on!

Also, as we’ve explained before, don’t discount the ability for Lightning headphones to do more than just reproduce sound:

For one example, see Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”

Apple’s patent abstract: A monitoring system that can be placed proximate to the head or ear of a user is disclosed. According to one embodiment, the monitoring system can be used with headphones, earbuds or headsets. The monitoring system can, for example, be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities. The positioning of the monitoring system can also facilitate sensing of other user characteristics (e.g., biometric data), such as temperature, perspiration and heart rate. The monitoring system can also be used to control a an electronic device. In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures. More info here.

From your ear to your wrist in the blink of an eye™.

Also, if you’d prefer no wires at all, you can do as we’ve been doing for awhile now and just go Bluetooth. We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds for some time now (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones). They’re easy to charge, easy to pair, light and comfortable, and work perfectly with our Apple Watches and iPhones.

Analysts: ‘iPhone 7’ likely to dump 3.5mm headphone jack for second speaker – February 16, 2016
iOS 9 code reveals Apple’s plans to dump 3.5mm headphone jack in future iPhones – January 20, 2016
Apple’s intention to kill the 3.5mm headphone jack is brilliant – January 13, 2016
iPhone 7 said to be waterproof, replace 3.5mm headphone jack with Apple’s Lightning – January 8, 2016
The fastest Lightning cable is also one of the least expensive – January 8, 2016
Apple will drop headphone jack to make the iPhone 7 super slim, source confirms; wireless charging and waterproof, too – January 7, 2016
Petition demands Apple keep 3.5mm headphone jack in the ‘iPhone 7’ – January 7, 2016
More reports claim Apple has dumped the 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7 – January 5, 2016
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may be poised to kill off the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 7, 2014
Apple may ditch analog 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning to make thinner devices – June 6, 2014
Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, iOS software update to deliver support – June 5, 2014
Apple preps HD audio for iOS 8 plus new Apple In-Ear Headphones and lightning cable – May 13, 2014
Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014
Apple paves way for more affordable iOS accessories with lower MFi and Lightning licensing fees – February 7, 2014


  1. The headphone industry is quite large. Between Bose, Apple’s own ‘Beats’, Senheiser, Sony and many others, there is a certain percentage of population that chooses to replace the default (Harman-Kardon) earpods with something else. There is a part of this population that will be pissed about the loss of the old 3.5mm headphone connector. Interestingly enough, people have a tendency to replace their $700 phones every two years, but will hold onto their $20 Sony headphones for years.

    The high-end makers will certainly quickly come out with lightning-connected models for iPhones. More entrepreneurial owners of the old Bose or Beats headsets will simply unload them on eBay/Craigslist to some Android user and get new ones for their new iPhone. The rest of the world will have to learn to live with these headphone adapters.

  2. I like the idea of Bluetooth headphones. The radiation tickles my axons and makes them jiggle and glow end to end. Who cares if they’re being fried at the same time.

  3. Does anybody know: does the Lightning connector carry analog stereo, or will the adapter have to draw power with its own digital to analog converter?

    1. You will have to spend around $100 on a digital/analog converter and then give Apple $500 for no reason because they like fleecing their customers.

    2. Since nobody bothered to take the question seriously, I had to look it up myself (probably should have done that to begin with, if I weren’t so lazy):

      The pins on a Lightning connector are dynamically assigned. The cable contains electronics that communicate with the iDevice so that it will provide the requested power or signal outputs to each of the eight pins, whichever way the plug is inserted. The cable or adapter is responsible for processing those signals into whatever else (e.g. HDMI) is required at the other end.

      So, a Lightning to headphone cable could either (1) passively transmit analog audio data that is output by the iPhone itself, (2) passively transmit digital audio to upscale headphones that do their own digital signal processing and analog conversion, or (3) contain a DAC to actively process digital audio signals output by the device into a signal usable by analog headphones. Apple can do it whichever way is cheaper or more efficient, since the choice would be essentially transparent to endusers.

  4. I am looking for Bluetooth options for adapting the aux port on my wife’s car. This seems to be the best solution to losing then audio jack. However we do use the jack with headphones and to me having an adapter for headphones harckens back to the early naughts, where many feature phones, such as Sony-Erickson decided that the audio port was unnecessary, instead, providing a stupid adapter to hook up to the charge port.

    So we go backwards – it seems.

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