Well folks, it happened. The iPhone 7 has finally been revealed, and — surprise, surprise — there’s no headphone jack in sight. Instead, you’re going to have to either use headphones that connect through Apple’s W2 chip, use Bluetooth headphones, or use headphones that plug into the phone’s Lightning cable.
Turns out, Apple anticipated at least a little backlash to this decision, and has come out with a few options for listening to music while charging. For example, the company licensed the tech to Belkin to build a dual-Lightning port dongle. Yes, that means that if you use standard headphones with a 3.5mm connector and want to charge while listening to music, you’re going to need two dongles: one 3.5mm to Lightning adapter, and one dual-Lightning to Lightning adapter.
Of course, if you don’t want to deal with dongles, you can deal with charging docks instead. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, has sent an email to customers suggesting that they buy a Lightning charging dock, which has a headphone jack built into it. That, however, is a solution that really only works when you’re at home.
The new Lightning dongle from Belkin costs a cool $40. Apple licensed the product to Belkin, which will be sold on Apple’s website and in Apple Stores. The dongle has two Lightning ports, one of which can be used to listen to the music and the other to charge a phone, so if you want to listen to music with standard headphones, you’ll still need to get the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter, which thankfully only costs $9. According to Belkin, the new adapter supports 48 kHz, 24-bit audio, which, if you’re not an audio buff, is even better than CD-quality audio. The dongle also supports remote control and mic support for Apple-built headphones.
Of course, the real issue isn’t the cost — it’s the fact that simply by removing the headphone jack, Apple has now forced traditional headphone users to use two dongles if they want to charge at the same time. Still, some argue that this is the direction tech is going and that wired headphones no longer make sense.
The new dongle will be available for purchase in October.