Apple ditched the 3.5mmm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

This is where you scream and curse at Apple. Done? Okay, now let's move on, talk about the pros, and consider the alternatives, including Lightning headphones. Yes. Those are a thing. They're like regular headphones - only they plug into a Lightning port instead of a 3.5mm socket.

Lightning headphones are capable of receiving lossless stereo 48kHz digital audio output from Apple devices and sending mono 48kHz digital audio input. They can also draw power from an Apple device (even if the device is asleep).

Apple's Lightning port can also support headphones with integrated digital-to-analogue converters and amplifiers, so audio travelling through the Lightning port will pass into the headphones digitally, thus avoiding typical analogue signal interferences you get with other headphones.

So don't panic about the change, embrace it. Browse the gallery of choices we've put together, because we've picked out a few Lightning headphones out now or coming soon - including Apple's new Lightning EarPods. They're basically an updated version of the existing EarPods - only they connect to the iPhone via the Lightning port. 

Our list includes both over-ear headphones and in-ear earbuds, as well as a variety of price points, though keep in mind many of these devices are new, top-rated (based on online reviews), and starting out at the top end in terms of cost.


Price: $799.95/£699.99

Where to buy: Apple Online Store

Features: Lightning cable with DAC and amplifier, Planar magnetic driver

Pocket-lintP1240300 copy

Price: £400 (Converts to $532)

Where to buy: Available from April at Audeze's site

Features: Lightning cable, large driver surface area than dynamic headphones that results in more air movement and and better bass response, and stitched leather headband with padded earcups

FULL REVIEW: Audeze Sine headphones: Lightning port listening never looked so good


Price: $450 (Launching this autumn)

Where to buy: Phaz Online Store

Features: 24-bit DAC and 40mm drivers powered by an integrated amplifier

PhilipsImage 2016-01-14 at 4.04.25 PM

Price: $299.99/£184.99

Where to buy: 

Features: Integrated DAC and amp and Bass Reflex System

JBLImage 2016-01-14 at 4.10.17 PM

Price: $159.95 (Converts to £122)

Where to buy: JBL Online StoreHarman Online Store

Features: Noise cancellation, adaptive noise control, and sweat proof

BrightechImage 2016-08-30 at 4.23.27 PM

Price: $50 (Converts to £39)

Where to buy:

Features: Digital stereo sound, built-in volume control from -100dB to +12dB, amplified bass, and noise canceling, soft silicone earbuds


Price: $29 (Bundled for free with new iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus)

Where to buy: Apple

Features: These headphones appear the same as the EarPod model that Apple introduced in 2012. They just now end in a Lightning connector instead of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Sections Apple Headphones