Apple officially ditched the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. The company explained the move allows them to design the iPhone 7 thinner than its predecessors. This also IMO will encourage other audio makers to design their headphones with lightning connector. If you have ordered the Iphone 7, you now have 2 options for your headset: Lightning earbuds and Airpods/Bluetooth headphones. A Lightning adaptor can work for traditional headphones with 3.5mm jack, but it is a mess if you use it regularly.
Bluetooth headphones’ sound is not as good as wired models (many critical reviewers stated) but with recent innovations in tech, I guess their sound is getting better and closed to wired headphones. If you are still interested in this option check out this guide for best Bluetooth headphones, where you can find any types and styles.
The latter option is using lightning earbuds, which directly plug to the lighning port on the iPhone 7. According to Apple, connecting headphones through lightning port will improve sound quality, but we need time to verify, and lightning headphones can draw the power from the phones for other features like active noise cancelling. Some companies have prepared their gadgets for non-3.5 jack Iphone, and for those of you who are Iphone owners we’ve rounded up the best Lightning connector earbuds available today.
1MORE Triple Driver have been our favorite earbuds so far, recently 1More released the new version for Iphone 7 with lighting connector. The build quality is great considering the price, except the button feel a bit cheap and sometime you could hear the noice casued by rubber cable bouncing.
Equipped with trible drivers on each earpiece, the 1MORE Triple Driver delivers clear, airy sound. The bass has a strong impact and boost an extension. The sound is qualified for warm tone and balance, but full and pleasant to listen for a long period of times.
New Apple Beats earbuds, the urBeats3 features a “fine-tuned acoustic design” that sound quite natural with considrable bass response. It has secure-fit wingtips for sports and nifty feature that earbuds magnetically clip when not in use.
One single button control lets you activate Siri, take calls, and stop/play music. Compared to urBeats2, the urBeats3 has a different look with tilted, polished earbuds that look much like BeatsX’s
Libratone, a company is best known for portable Bluetooth speakers, now joins the lightning earbud race. They are impressively effective ANC earbuds with no battery, no charging. This set of earbuds draws power from your Iphone and yes it only works with iOS device.
Their eartips are designed particularly with 3 different sizes. If you are not lucky all of those tips may not fit perfectly on your ears, but for most people one of those pairs would fit right.
Libratone Q Adap sound good, but do not outperform $150 sets we’ve tested. But plugging a headphone through lightning port means the sound is transferre digitally, so you can customize the sound by EQ App. If you don’t touch anything on EQ, the earbuds sound clear and balanced.
The Q Adap In Ear earbuds are set for deliver last December for $179.
JBL Reflect Aware: Look sporty but far from being a true noise canceller
JBL Reflect Aware lightning earbuds are designed for active listeners, who are going to need a secure fit and sweat-proof feature. The earbuds have a sporty look with wingtips and durable, free-tangle cable. Plus, it features noise cancellation.
It is the first lightning ANC earbuds to use with iPhone 7. The active noise cancelling function is powered directly from the phone. That means there will be no more charging and inline battery compartment, which users feel it bulky and not very portable as you’ve seen most ANC earbuds today.
The Lightning earbuds sound good with powerful, solid bass, according to JBL, it is enough for your beats while you run. However, when we tested the product, aside from balance-sound profile and open-soundstage, actually its low-end is fairly tight. With ANC turned on, the detail and clarity of sound are superior and the headphone speaks itself for the treble, but it’d be more energetic.
Getting tight seal not only improve the sound quality but the noise isolation, and the Reflect does the job by supplying various sizes of eartips for best fit.
The noise cancellation of Reflect Aware isn’t top-notch like Bose QC 20, but they offer a decent capacity, and with Aware mode, you can adjust to let how much ambient sounds you want to hear.
The JBL Reflect Aware C are available now on the JBL website for $199.
Brightech – Apple MFI Approved Pure Lightning Earbuds
Brightech Lightning earbuds is another option, but they don’t have ANC. They are affordable, which sells for $49. With eartips, they provide a better seal than Apple lightning earpods, so you get more bass and better sound isolation.
The entire construction of earbuds are durable, with Aluminum Alloy housings and tangle-free cable. There is also an remote control with mic and controls, which fully works with Iphone.
The Hoco L1 sounds great for the price with decent clarity and solid bass. It features a inline remote with 3 buttons that works similarly to ones found on Apple earpods.
The lightening earphones offers good noise isolation, and secure fit when you wear them following the over-ear style.
Apple Lightning EarPods
Switching from Apple earpods to lightning earpods, the sound didn’t get better, it just changes the way earpods connects to Iphone. Both sets offer a bright and clear sound that can occasionally be a little bit harsh and lacking in bass. Additionally, bloat bass and recessed treble are commonly known for Apple headset. But for the price, buil quality they seem to be a standard earbud.
Here are the others that will pop up on the market soon
Thunder noise-canceling Lightning earbuds
Currently pre-order on Indiegogo, they have 2 versions: $149 Thunder and ($76)Thunder Fit for sports. As the company promises the Thunder will have smart ANC, which you can control the level of noise you want the earbuds to filter out and customize the sound you prefer through app settings.
The most affordable option for sound quality and ANC performance. The Sporty earpods, the Linner will cost $69.
It is worth to mention that while you listen to music, you can’t not charge the iPhone if its battery is low. Though you can use the Apple iPhone lightning dock, which sells for $39.
The battery also drains faster than normal if you turn on NC, if the iPhone’s battery is not strong enough we’ll see another drawback of using light port for ANC headphones.
Lightning earbuds plugging through lightning port may not be as secure as 3.5m headphone plug, so they are not the best choice for sports, and there are several reasons you like lightning earbuds for your iPhones. First, they potentially have better sound quality if the makers integrate their own digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and amplifiers and are easily equalized, lightning headphones are a hardware of Iphone, you are able to manupulate it better than 3.5 jack headphones.
Other options to output audio from the iphone 7:
- Wireless speaker
- Wireless Adaptor
- Apple Iphone Lightning Dock
Lightning earbuds vs traditional 3.5 jack earbuds which one sounds better?
According to CNET editor and audiophiliac, Steve Guttenberg, the sound will lose a bit clarity and amount of bass, when you switch your earbuds from 3.5 jack to lightning adapter via lightning port. He tested several earbuds on his iPhone 6.
Updated on 10/17/2017