The best Lightning headphones and adapters for your iPhones and iPads

There is always an adjustment period when technology makes itself obsolete. In my lifetime I have seen vinyl records be replaced by audio tapes which were then outdone by compact disks. Compact disks have since been replaced by digital media and none of it was an easy transition mainly because it took a toll on my pocketbook. When Apple when away from the 30-pin connector to the Lightning port, many balked at the idea of having to replace cables and docks. It costs money to make the change and is annoying. After almost five years of using the Lightning port I have truly come to appreciate its reversibility and compact size.

One recent change we have seen in smartphones is the elimination of the trusty old 3.5mm audio jack. Android phones were the first to trade the audio jack for USB C which also doubles as the charging port. The USB C port has the ability to transfer more data and power through the audio cable than the 3.5mm audio jack and also allows to free up wasted space. Apple followed by eliminating the audio jack in the latest iPhone and made its phone waterproof instead.

The change might seem annoying to most right now, but the advancement of improved audio through newer connectors will play out over the next few years. We’ve seen some pretty solid examples of Lighting headphones from high end audio companies this year and there are many to come. USB C headphones are a little slower to catch on, but adapters are making their way to market rather rapidly. If you lose the connectors provided to you with your latest smartphone purchase, or you simply want more on hand, here are a few great examples of audio products and links for you to consider for your Apple devices.

The official Lightning adapter – $9.00 at Apple 

When it comes to new Apple products, your best bet it to stick with OEM. It takes a good six to 12 months for manufacturers to nail down Apple connectors and in this case you’re going to want the original Lightning to 3.5mm audio jack from Apple. Anyone with an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus is required to use this with their 3.5mm audio products, but this adapter can be used on any Apple device with a Lightning port running iOS 10 or later.

Apple AirPods – $159 at Apple and Best Buy

Just about all of the major tech outlets balked at Apple’s wireless AirPods, but consumers just can’t get enough of them. These true wireless earbuds from Apple connect to your iOS device as soon as you open the case which also doubles as a portable power pack. The AirPods officially made their debut in the past couple of months and they are still on backorder. Users can expect anywhere from three to fours hours of playback time and they can also double as headsets for phone calls too.

Audeze iSine 10 and iSine 20 In-Ear Headphones – Starting at $399 from Audeze

Audiophiles know the name Audeze. It has been an industry staple for the past decade for anyone who desires detailed, rich and beautiful sound reproduction. Audeze recently released its in-ear headphones that use planar magnetic technology instead of traditional dynamic audio that you’re used to. Audeze is the first company to pack planar magnetic technology into small ear buds and reviews so far make these first rate. Anyone who loves crisp and detailed music will without wearing huge headphones will enjoy the iSine 10 and 20s which use Apple’s Lightning connector to power an inline 24-it inline amplifier for improved sound.

Libratone Q Adapt in-ear earphones – $179 at Libratone and Amazon

For those of you who want better than the standard ear buds that came with your iOS devices, Libratone made the Q Adapt in-ear earphones just for you. Libratone gives music lovers the ability to completely tune out background noise with its earphones. However it’s not always safe to block out 100% the noise, so the Q Adapt earphones can be adjusted to allow music with conversations, background noise, or minimal background noise.  Because these earphones are powered by the Lightning port, there is never a need to charge them.

Philips Fidelio – $164 at Amazon

Tuned specifically for iOS devices, the Philips Fidelio are designed for those who want full and detailed sound. These headphones have an integrated 24-bit amplifier and DACto drive the huge 40mm neodymium drivers. While these will make any music sound good, you should consider using higher quality music from Spotify or TIDAL to maximize the potential of these beauts.


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