Apple on Wednesday confirmed that it had indeed eliminated the “dinosaur” (Apple’s description, not mine) 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. To ease the transition, Apple is bundling a set wired EarPods with Lightning plug as well as a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter with every new phone.
That’s great and all but what if you want to listen to audio via wired headphones while charging your iPhone 7? Well, you’re going to need an additional accessory for that.
Apple’s own solution to the issue is the Apple Lightning Dock, a standard dock that cradles your Lightning-equipped iPhone (even when using an Apple-designed case) and provides a Lightning port and a 3.5mm audio jack. It’s available in five colors different colors and will set you back $49.
If you plan to use 3.5mm headphones, this is all you'll need but if you want to use wired Lightning headphones and charge at the same time, this isn't for you. Belkin’s new Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will, however, do the trick.
For $39.95, this accessory is essentially a Lightning port splitter, turning the single Lightning port on your new iPhone into two Lightning ports. This will allow you to charge your iPhone and listen to audio via wired Lightning headphones simultaneously.
Of note is the fact that Belkin’s dongle doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio jack. That said, you’ll need to use Apple’s included Lightning-to-3.5mm audio jack dongle along with Belkin’s dongle to charge the phone and use 3.5mm-equipped headphones at the same time. What a mess of cables that’ll be.
The other solution, of course, is to use a wireless set of headphones either over Bluetooth or with a solution using Apple’s new W1 chip such as the AirPods.