Are these Apple’s iPhone 7 Lightning EarPods?

MobileFunTV reports, “In today’s video we’ll be taking a close up look at these WORKING iPhone 7 earphones that feature the lightning connector instead of the traditional 3.5mm Aux connection.”

Apple has long been rumored to be dumping the 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning. If not at launch, then relatively soon after, we expect Lightning headphones to be able 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™.

Of course, if you’d prefer no wires at all, you can do as we’ve been doing for years now while exercising and just go Bluetooth. We’ve been using wireless Jaybirds (currently the Jaybird X2 Sport Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (around $115)). They’re easy to charge, easy to pair, light and comfortable, and work perfectly with our Apple Watches and iPhones.

MacDailyNews Take: Why is the Lightning connector so big? Apple’s current cables have smaller Lighting connectors than seen in this video. If there are extra electronics required for audio or whatever, wouldn’t it make more design sense to move them into the volume controller, not put them at the end of the cable making for a bigger connector? Unless this is part of Jony’s new “I don’t give a shit anymore” design ethic*, we’re hoping this is just a third-party knockoff attempt, not a real Apple product. As we’re happily equipped with wireless Bluetooth headphones already, we’ll be leaving these in the box regardless, but, for those who’ll want to use Apple’s Lightning EarPods, hopefully Apple will offer a more svelte solution than this.

*for two recent examples, see the ugly iPhone Smart Battery Case and the awfully-designed Apple TV Siri Remote.

Apple’s next-gen iPhone will feature all-new non-mechanical Home button, no 3.5mm headphone jack – August 2, 2016
Apple supplier preps for removal of 3.5mm headphone jack in next iPhone – June 30, 2016
Mossberg: New Even earphones tune themselves to each individual’s hearing – June 29, 2016
Alleged iPhone 7 chassis lacks 3.5mm headphone port – June 28, 2016
iPhone 7 rumored to get second speaker, larger camera – June 27, 2016
Apple is known for dumping legacy tech before the rest of the world catches up – June 27, 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. To me, it doesn’t matter if they are. I’ve never been able wear Apple headphones for more than a few seconds without them falling out or being incredibly uncomfortable.

    I bought a cheap pair of Anker SoundBuds Sport IE 20 and they’re great. The sound is more than acceptable for when I’m on the tube, they’re relatively light in the ears, the cable is flexible whilst also not tangling, the controls are good, and the magnets for turning them on and off work great and the battery life seems decent. I’ll stick with them. I’d almost rather have the option of a slight discount and do without Apple’s offering.

    Apple’s accessories have never really been any good. You just have to look at their mice over the years.

  2. So were reduced to whining about the size of the lightning connector? Never ceases to amaze me that the backseat quarterback (MDN) that think they know how it should work without ever having designed anything.. Perhaps its a prototype.. The rush to judgement is getting old, lets actually see what comes out in about 5-6 weeks..

    1. The size of that connector will be crucial. There will be much faux outrage over dropping the headphone jack. Anything that makes it look “worse” than it was before will be overtly criticized. MDN knows what they’re talking about.

      1. It’s not “faux” outrage. It will be actual outrage. You’ve heard it for months already at the suggestion they might drop the port. So far I’ve seen no suggested reason that is good enough justification. And I doubt we’ll actually get one; more likely it will be along the lines of Phil Schiller saying, “And we’ve removed that ugly 3.5mm jack for headphones. You’re welcome.” Because that is how Apple rolls lately.

  3. “…we expect Lightning headphones to be able do more than just reproduce sound.” You think? I’m personally hoping for camera controls build into the connector. Features like zoom and exposure are difficult on the touch screen as it often causes abrupt changes and unwanted motion in the recording. Here’s to hope and change.

    1. I do like your idea of putting more camera features in the headphones, especially for video. I have had iPhones for years and jut recently discovered the headphones can act as a remote. Although I did feel kinda stupid when I use the volume button on my phone.

      There is a solution to trying to adjust the zoom and exposure when taking a shot: fix it in post. The digital zoom will be no better before or after a shot. Only a mechanical zoom can be better. The lighting also. You actually have more control after. Of course instant gratification takes to long /s.

  4. For those people who don’t understand the difference between an analog audio port (like a 3.5mm minijack) and a digital one (USB, Lightning, Firewire), allow me to explain the fundamentals.

    All speakers and headphones are analog. If your source music files are digital (MP3, AAC, ALAC, FLAC, OGG, AIFF, MP4, …), then somewhere a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) is necessary. The signal to the speaker must then be amplified as well. It really doesn’t matter much where along the line the DAC and amp are packaged, there are pros and cons to wherever you place the components.

    So let’s say today you decide the DAC & amp inside your iPhone is not good enough, you want ultimate sound. Go ahead and use the Lightning port with a pair of excellent audiophile headphones from Grado or wherever (the best headphones have an analog connection). You can to this today, just break out $300 for this handy little unit:

    Okay, wait a minute, you decide that’s a little too clumsy. Maybe supreme audio quality isn’t so important and we just want a cheap DAC + amp integrated into a big set of headphones. You can do that too. Philips makes a big set of cans (DAC and amp on your ears) with a wired Lightning connection for only $200.

    Oh, but you prefer wireless? Now by definition you’re adding two more battery-powered components — wireless transmitter and receiver — and so you have a big dongle on the phone and an even heavier headset for equivalent quality to a wired unit. Prices start at about $400 for junky sound, and go up from there.

    But what if you want lightweight in-ear models? As far as I know, there are no Lightning earbuds. Wireless models with crappy sound start at about $200.

    Don’t forget that all this stuff eats batteries faster than if it’s all integrated as efficiently as possible on the iPhone chipset.

    So what’s the selling point of removing the analog port from the next iPhone? NONE. If you want to use lightning audio equipment now, go ahead, nobody’s stopping you. The fact that almost nobody prefers Lightning headphones for their daily lives is pretty clear evidence that Apple’s forcing the issue would be a grave mistake.

  5. Steve Jobs hated ports with passion. He despised and never missed a chance to ridicule them in his keynotes. He was always the driving force behind the elimination efforts throughout the past, and history is rich with examples (ADB, SCSI, analogue modem, PC card, ExpressCard, Ethernet, audio input, analogue video in / out, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, ADC, DVI, Mini-DVI…. And I’m sure I still missed a few).

    The Jobs legacy continues, and is evident on Macs, especially the MacBook model (no ports at all — just power/USB-C). So, if the iPhone loses the 3.5mm port, that will be because of the trend set by Jobs decades ago. If the port’s function can be performed by another, already existing, and more versatile port, the inferior one is eventually got to go.

    No amount of rational explanations and justifications for the existence of that ‘inferior’ port can save it if the original Jobs logic is consistently applied.

  6. I’d think that if they had to include a digital to analog converter, that it’s probably in the plug, which is why it’s bigger. This assumes this is real. The existing Lightning connector has a simpler chip in it to enable the data transfer.

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