When rumors surfaced that the iPhone 7 would ditch the 3.5mm audio jack in favor of accessories that would use only the Lightning port the first thought to cross many a person’s mind was: “Crap.” If you had a favorite (or expensive) pair of headphones that you loved, this was potentially devastating (or at least annoying) news since it meant one of two things: 1.) a headphones upgrade or 2.) a less-than-sleek adapter setup or some sort of jury rig. And so… Lightning headphones are going to be a (potentially) big thing now.
Of course you could simply go the wireless route and ditch worries about cables and ports altogether. But there are downsides to wireless headphones: namely battery life and potentially spotty connections.
But maybe it’s not all bad news, this business of headphones that need a Lightning connector. For one thing, wouldn’t it be cool if your iPhone could charge your headphones while you listen to your favorite music or podcast? Or what if your headphones could charge your iPhone! Those are both possibilities that wouldn’t have been possible with a 3.5mm jack. Plus, a digital connection is just better and, of course, the space normally occupied by the old headphone jack can be used by Apple in creative new ways.
But then again, there is a major drawback to Lightning headphones: you can only use them with Apple devices. Well, most Apple devices; they certainly won’t plug into your Mac without an adapter.
One thing you should keep in mind is whether or not the pair of headphones you are looking into is MFi certified. MFi stands for Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod and it’s essentially Apple’s seal of approval on third party products and accessories.
Even now, before the launch of the iPhone 7, there are several companies making some great headphones with Lightning adapters and I’ve done some research to narrow down the very best for you (in a few different price ranges) to make your search simpler and easier.
As with any headphones, you’ll want to consider price, style, special features and probably above all else the sound quality and overall comfort. I’ve actually put together a very comprehensive headphone buying guide which might be useful to check out before proceeding if you have some time.
Philips Fidelio M2L/27 – $280
I’m listing these Philips Fidelio M2L/27 headphones first because I like the way they look. ...