Apple has released the new iPhone 7 – and simultaneously put a nail in the coffin of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Here are six of the best Lightning headphones you can buy in light of the change.
Apple proved the rumours to be true when it announced the scrapping of the faithful headphone jack on its new iPhones. Instead, the new devices require you to connect headphones through the Lightning port, the socket iPhones use for charging and data transfer.
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Of course, you could just buy wireless headphones – there’s a great selection available. But a true audiophile is likely to forgo this option, as Bluetooth results in a loss of sound quality.
In other words, you should really buy a pair of Lightning-ready headphones, but which are most worthy of your hard-earned cash?
Here’s our pick of the best ones to jam in the Lightning port of your new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.
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These elegant in-ear headphones come equipped with active noise cancelling technology. The Libertone headphones let you choose the level of ambient noise they output, so you can set them to suit your environment.
Pre-order:Libratone Q Adapt from Libratone.com from £200
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The Audeze Sine are some of the most advanced headphones on the market. In addition to offering that all-important Lightning connector, they’re chock full of ear-pleasing technology to make your music sound great, such as a high-quality DAC. What’s more, they’re portable, comfortable and look great to boot. The price won’t appeal to everyone, but if you can stretch to it, these are a great buy.
Buy Now: Audeze Sine at Amazon.co.uk from £399 | Amazon.com from $499
Philips was one of the first companies to embrace the Lightning connector when it introduced these headphones not long ago. It was a brave move, but Philips has never been afraid of getting ahead of the curve. They look kinda funky, too, in a slightly WWII-fighter-pilot kind of way, making them a great option if you want to stand out from the crowd.
Buy Now: Philips Fidelio M2L/00 at Amazon.co.uk from £200 | Amazon.com from $199.99
These may be a shade more expensive than Apple’s own EarPods, but they offer a few more features and are still a solid, affordable option. For instance, they have an inline remote and are fitted with silicone earbuds that should ensure a good seal in most ears. Plus, they look pretty gnarly in chemical blue.
Buy Now: Brightech SHARKK at Amazon.co.uk from £39.99 | Amazon.com from $42.99
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One for the fitness freaks, JBL’s Reflect Aware earbuds feature moulded hooks and come in three different silicone tip sizes, so you can make sure they stay securely in your lugholes during workouts. They also have active noise cancelling so that you can better manage the levels of sound in your environment, depending on whether you’re jogging around town or trying to block out noise on a plane.
Buy Now: JBL Reflect Aware from Amazon.co.uk from £169.99 | Amazon.com from $199
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These are the traditional Apple EarPods, but now equipped with a Lightning cable. They’ll come bundled with your iPhone 7 or you can buy them separately for £30. Apple claims these are a more ergonomic fit than traditionally round in-ear headphones, and as a result should sit better in your ears.
The design is certainly iconic, but the reality is that people either love or hate the fit, and there’s unlikely to be a noticeable improvement in audio quality compared to previous models, which have all offered distinctly average sound. There are better options around, but this might still be the most straightforward buy.
Buy Now: Apple EarPods from Apple for £29.99
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Innovative or annoying? What do you make of Apple’s decision to scrap the 3.5mm headphone jack? Let us know in the comments.