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The best Lightning headphones for iPhone

When Apple introduced the iPhone 7 in 2016, it proudly announced that it had the “courage” to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack. Since then, all iPhone owners have had to use wireless Bluetooth headphones, headphones with a lightning cable, or a 3.5mm adapter with standard headphones, to get their music fix. Whether or not you agree with Apple’s decision to kill the headphone jack, you’ll likely need to get used to it if you plan to stay within the Apple ecosystem. If you’re not a fan of Bluetooth headphones, then Lightning headphones are your best choice. Here are the best Lightning headphones for iPhone.

The best Lightning headphones: 1More Triple Driver with Lightning Connector

1More Triple Driver with Lightning Connector

Why you should buy them: At less than $100, they offer an excellent listening experience for iPhone users without breaking the bank.

Who they’re for: Listeners who want the best in-ear headphone experience without needing to take out a second mortgage on their home.

Why we picked the 1More Triple Driver with Lightning Connector:

There has been enough time on the market for quite a few companies to release their Lightning headphones, but 1More does so while delivering an exceptional package at an affordable price. At less than a Benjamin, these 1More Triple Driver headphones offer a premium sound experience, great for listening to Apple Music or your latest podcasts. The bud’s internal triple drivers help reproduce sound with increased fidelity, and the integrated HD amp ensures the headphones are always appropriately driven. We also love the five-directional button control that allows you to adjust the music and volume or activate Siri with ease.

The best runner-up Lightning headphones: RHA MA650i with Lightning Connector

RHA MA650i with Lightning Connector

Why you should buy them: They deliver a solid listening experience with reliable drivers and comfortable foam ear tips.

Who they’re for: Music listeners who want better sound than the in-box Apple Lightning Earbuds but don’t want to spend too much.

Why we picked the RHA MA650i with Lightning Connector:

The MA650i earbuds deliver a substantial listening experience and offer an excellent upgrade for anyone looking to ditch the Apple Lightning Earbuds included with their iPhone. RHA uses what it calls a 380.1 dynamic driver to deliver good sound, whether you’re listening to classical music or hip-hop. While the headphones don’t feature active noise cancellation, the included ear tips help cut down on external noise during your listening sessions. RHA also throws in a nifty carry pouch for keeping your MA650i headphones stored when they aren’t in use. The MA650i headphones also included an inline remote with a microphone for controlling music and answering incoming calls.

The best sounding Lightning headphones: Audeze iSine10 with Lightning Cable

Audeze iSINE10 in-Ear with Lightning Cable

Why you should buy them: Audeze offers a true premium sound experience that is hard to beat thanks to a planar magnetic design.

Who they’re for: Extreme listeners who demand the absolute best sound experience, don’t mind paying the high price, and aren’t active.

Why we picked the Audeze iSine10 with Lightning Cable:

When it comes to pro-grade audio equipment, Audeze needs little introduction, as the company has made a splash with its planar magnetic headphones. The Audeze iSine10 in-ear semi-open headphones ditch traditional dynamic drivers for planar electromagnetic drivers; the result is less distortion and better response. Whether you’re listening to the high treble responses in a rock album or the low bass frequencies in a trap-house album, you’ll be pleased with the result. The iSine10 with Lighting Cable edition includes Audeze’s Cipher Lightning Cable with a built-in amp, which you can tweak using the company’s official app for iOS.

The best noise-canceling Lightning headphones: Pioneer RayZ Plus with Lightning

Pioneer RayZ Plus with Lightning

Why you should buy them: They offer solid sound quality, along with built-in active noise cancellation for blocking out the sounds around you.

Who they’re for: Public transportation commuters or anyone looking to cancel out the noise around them for a more isolated listening experience.

Why we picked the Pioneer RayZ Plus with Lightning:

If you find yourself commuting on a public bus or train, you’ll likely find your music drained out by the noise around you. One solution is Pioneer’s RayZ Plus headphones, which sport smart noise cancellation technology. Not only do the RayZ Plus earbuds offer a solid listening experience, but they can also adapt to your ears and fine-tune their active noise cancellation abilities. The RayZ Plus from Pioneer also includes Smart Mute, a feature that mutes your microphone whenever you aren’t speaking on a call, and AutoPause, a function that pauses your music or other content when you take your headphones off. Pioneer even includes a built-in adapter, so you can still charge your iPhone while listening to music.

The best Lightning headphones made by Apple: Beats urBeats

Why you should buy them: A real upgrade from the headphones included with your iPhone; these urBeats made by Apple take your music experience up a notch.

Who they’re for: Apple fans who don’t want to purchase their tech directly from Apple, as well as listeners who enjoy a bass-heavy experience.

Why we picked the Beats urBeats:

When Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in cash and stock back in 2014, it turned a few heads. The once-mediocre audio brand offers up a few stylish audio products that offer a decent listening experience. For listeners who want to stay within the Apple ecosystem, these headphones are made by the company itself and can even be serviced at the Genius Bar. The sound quality on these buds is quite good, and as usual with the brand, those who listen to hip-hop and other bass-heavy mediums should enjoy them. The Beats urBeats do come in two editions, both 3.5mm and Lightning, so be sure to pick up the correct option when you go shopping. If you enjoy accessorizing, the urBeats are also offered in a decent array of colors.

The best sport Lightning headphones: JBL Reflect Aware

JBL Reflect Aware

Why you should buy them: They offer good sound quality for everyday listening, along with noise cancellation and a design great for more active users.

Who they’re for: Runners, joggers, and other active sports-folk who need to ensure that their headphones stay firmly in their ears.

Why we picked the JBL Reflect Aware:

JBL’s Reflect Aware headphones offer an excellent option for active users who wish to pick up a pair of Lightning headphones. JBL has been in the audio game for quite some time, and the Reflect Aware headphones with 14.8mm drivers help deliver a solid experience. We didn’t quite expect to find on these earbuds is active noise cancellation, but it is here and adapts to ambient sounds. The hook-style design of the earbuds is one of the factors that makes them great for anyone engaging in sports or other activities, but the bonus is the cord that was designed to be highly reflective and visible when out running. You can pick up a JBL Reflect Aware headphones pair in four colors: Black, blue, red, or teal.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
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