With Apple expected to ditch the headphone jack for this year’s iPhone 7 series, fans are going to have problems plugging in all their existing headphones. But it won’t be impossible. Here’s the Lightning adapter you’ll use to make 3.5mm pins iPhone 7-ready.
Apple won’t remove the headphone jack without good reason to do so. If it isn’t doing it to make the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus thinner than their predecessors, it will do it to make room for new components that add additional functionality.
It might be a hard change to accept, then — but it will be worth it in the end. And it doesn’t mean that all of your existing headphones are no good to you anymore.
In the video below from MacRumors, we get a look at a nifty adapter from a Japanese company called Deff that allows you to connect common headphones with a 3.5mm pin to an iPhone’s Lightning connector.
This particular adapter is pretty pricey at $70, but as soon as the iPhone 7 goes on sale without a headphone jack, these things will flood the market — and prices will quickly fall as manufacturers compete to make theirs more attractive.
“It’s also likely Apple will develop its own Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter and we can expect to see that sold for around $20-$30 based on the pricing of other types of adapters,” MacRumors adds. One rumor claims we will get an adapter free.
Despite all this, there are still plenty of iPhone fans who don’t want the headphone jack to disappear. One of them is Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge, who says“ditching the headphone jack on phones makes them worse, in extremely obvious ways.”
Not everyone feels this way, though. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber supports the move, and compares it to some of the other technologies Apple has killed off over the years — such as floppy drives, FireWire, USB ports, and optical drives.
“The outrage is as palpable as it is comical. Then everyone calms down,” Gruber writes. “People buy the new Apple device anyway. Life continues. All competitors copy Apple’s once-controversial move. And technology ends up in a better place as a result.”
If Gruber’s right — and we suspect he will be — then you can expect the headphone makers to take different steps in the future. Lightning-compatible headphones will become much more common, as will affordable wireless headphones.
Of course, this could still be a lot of chatter over nothing — at least for now. We don’t know for certain that Apple will take this step this year, and some recent reports have promised the headphone jack is going nowhere.
But we do know the Cupertino company is at least planning to drop it from the iPhone — and likely other mobile devices later — at some point in the not-so-distant future.