Adapter iphone headphones: Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter

The Best Headphone Adapters of 2023

For the millions who groaned in dismay when Apple did away with the headphone jack on its iPhones when it debuted its iPhone 7 back in 2016, a headphone adapter for iPhones is an affordable solution to right this wrong. This simple device consists of two ends — a male lightning cord end and a female 3.5-mm headphone jack. The jack attaches a set of corded earbuds or headphones to the charging port on the iPhone, eliminating the need to invest in a set of Bluetooth headphones. 

Although this device looks simple enough, there are numerous options on the market, which can make choosing the right one more confusing than one might think. This guide will examine the characteristics one should consider when shopping for the best headphone adapters while reviewing some of the best options on the market.

Best Overall: Jsaux Lightning to 3.5 mm Adapter
Best for Stereo Headphones: MOBOREST 3.5 mm Pure Copper Adapter
Best With Charger: Belkin 3. 5 mm Audio + Charge Splitter
Best Design: Mangotek Lightning to 3.5 mm Female Jack iPhone Adapter
Best Budget: Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter

How We Picked the Best Headphone Adapters for iPhones

As one who is as of yet unwilling to make the leap (or financial investment) in a set of AirPods—I use an adapter to connect my old-fashioned earbuds to my iPhone—I know what factors are important when shopping for the right adapter for the job. In researching dozens of adapters, I used the following criteria to make my list:

Durability: As with charging cables, adapters must endure being yanked and stretched in all directions. As such, I only chose models designed to hold up to daily abuse without quitting.

Size: The cord that attaches the headphones or earbuds to the iPhone is already enough to manage. An adapter should add as little bulk and length to the cord as possible.

Compatibility: As with aftermarket power cables, not all adapters work well with the iPhone. As such, I only chose models that had Apple’s MFi certification.

Sound Quality: Since these adapters are designed for headphones and earbuds, sound quality is an important factor. Only adapters that offered excellent sound quality were selected for the list.

The Best Headphone Adapters for iPhone: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Jsaux Lightning to 3.5 mm Adapter

Jsaux

Why It Made The Cut: An iPhone adapter should be able to endure a lot of abuse and this is one of the toughest we could find.

Specs:
Length: 2.7 inches
Connection: Male lightning to female audio jack
Compatibility: iPhone

Pros:
— Braided nylon jacketing and rubber stress relief cuffs
— Aluminum housing
— Apple-certified

Cons:
— More expensive than other options

With its durable construction, this adapter from Jsaux is one of the best options for attaching a set of wired earbuds to an iPhone. It consists of a male lightning end and a female 3.5-mm audio jack end connected by a short wire. While there are more affordable options than the Jsaux adapter on the market, those cheaper models don’t match the durability of the Jsaux’s construction. 

Whereas other adapters use vinyl jacketing and plastic plug ends, the Jsaux has an aluminum housing on its plugs and tougher braided jacketing on the cord that better resists blistering and tears. It also boasts beefy rubber strain relief cuffs at both ends that prevent the cord from pulling away from the plugs. This construction makes it ideal not just for listening to tunes while sitting at a desk but also makes it a great choice for more rigorous use, such as working out or commuting.

Thanks to its Apple MFi certification, this adapter fits tightly with iPhones, iPods, and iPads, which create reliable high-quality audio. The Jsaux is also one of the flashier adapters, thanks to its seven vibrant color options.

Best for Stereo Headphones: MOBOREST 3. 5 mm Pure Copper Adapter

MOBOREST

Why It Made The Cut: This pair of adapters makes it possible, when used in concert with a lightning adapter, to connect stereo headphones to an iPhone or iPad.

Specs:
Length: 1 inch
Connection: 3.5-mm male to 6.35-mm female
Compatibility: iPhone

Pros:
— All-copper construction creates a strong connection
— Multiple color options
— Creates tight connection

Cons:
— Must be used with another adapter to connect to an iPhone

Attaching a set of stereo headphones to an iPhone requires more than one adapter. You’ll need two and this adapter from Moborest is one of the best options to make that bridge. It consists of a 6.35-mm female end and a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack.

With solid brass copper connections, this adapter from Moborest boasts excellent audio quality with no static or dropouts. That said, it’s a bit of work to set up. You first need to connect your iPhone to the lightning end of a separate headphone jack adapter, then connect the Moborest to the adapter’s female audio jack before finally plugging the 6.35-mm headphones into the Moborest.  

It’s a bit of work and creates a somewhat longer adapter connection for an iPhone, but it should be easy for audiophiles who prefer the sound quality that headphones with a larger 6.35-mm jack offer. The adapter comes in three color options, including blue, red, and black, so you can coordinate the Moborest with your high-fidelity headphones.

Best With Charger: Belkin 3.5 mm Audio + Charger Splitter

Belkin

Why It Made The Cut: Belkin’s adapter eliminates the need to choose between charging and listening to music by offering both functions simultaneously.

Specs:
Length: 5.7 inches
Connection: Female lightning and 3. 5-mm jack ports to male lightning
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod

Pros:
— Allows you to charge and listen to music simultaneously
— Apple-certified
— Excellent audio quality

Cons:
— Expensive
— Bulky size

Even with a lightning to headphone jack adapter, there’s still the issue of charging, which you can’t do simultaneously while using earbuds to listen to music unless, of course, you’ve got one of these. This adapter from Belkin, one of the giants in consumer electronics, consists of one end that includes a 3.5-mm headphone jack and a female lightning socket that connects to a male lightning plug end via an inch-long cord.

These three ports give you the ability to both charge (or sync) and listen to music at the same time. And, since this adapter has Apple’s MFi certification, you can be sure it will create a tight fit for optimal audio quality.

Just keep in mind that, at nearly 6 inches long and measuring 1½ inches wide at the plug end, this multifunctional adapter is a bit bulky. Its large size means you’ll likely need to purchase a second smaller adapter if you plan to use wired headphones with your iPhone while exercising or commuting. This cord is clearly designed for use on a nightstand or desktop. You also need to be willing to pay a premium for the dual functionality the Belkin adapter offers—it costs two or three times a standard headphone iPhone adapter.

Best Design: Mangotek Lightning to 3.5 mm Female Jack iPhone Adapter

Mangotek

Why It Made The Cut: Since it’s an official Apple product, it creates a secure connection with iOS devices that results in superior audio quality and no connection issues, even during vigorous exercise, and it’s inexpensive.

Specs:
Length: 1.3 inches
Connection: Male lightning to female 3.5-mm audio jack
Compatibility: iPhone

Pros:
— Low-profile design
— No delicate cords
— Noise-reduction technology

Cons:
— Rigid shape can cause the plug to move in the socket

Those looking for a low-profile adapter for their iPhone should consider this thoughtfully designed model from Mangotek. Rather than use a lightning adapter attached by a small wire to a female 3.5-mm headphone jack input, the Mangotek uses a rigid adapter that forms a right angle between the two connections. 

The adapter addresses the weak points of cords — the joint between the plug and the cord and delicate wires that can pull or fray. The right-angle shape of the adapter also preserves the headphone cord by directing it around the phone, so it can travel from iPhone to ears without having to make any hard angles. This means you can slip your iPhone inside a pocket or backpack and listen to music without having to worry about stressing that vulnerable connection between the headphone cord and the plug.

This Mangotek is MFi-certified and works with iPads and iPods as well as iPhones. And, with integrated noise-reduction technology, it produces excellent sound quality. With five color options ranging from black to yellow, you can coordinate the Mangotek with your iPhone’s case.

Best Budget: Apple Lightning to 3. 5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Apple

Why It Made The Cut: Since it’s an official Apple product, it creates a secure connection with mobile iOS, ensuring superior audio quality and no connection issues even during vigorous exercise, and it’s cheap.

Specs:
Length: 2.7 inches
Connection: Lightning
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod, iPad

Pros:
— Excellent sound quality
— Tight connection
— Affordably priced

Cons:
— Thin cord is susceptible to damage

When Apple became the first major manufacturer to ditch the standard headphone jack from their smartphones, it angered many iPhone devotees by eliminating their ability to use a standard set of headphones or earbuds. This little adapter changed that, (somewhat) appeasing those scorned users.

The Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter consists of a male lightning end and a female headphone jack end joined by about an inch of cord. It’s simple to use, taking just seconds to make the bridge between headphones or earbuds and the iPhone’s lightning port. Although the cord connecting the two ends is a bit thin, bringing into question just how much abuse it can take, it’s more flexible than adapters consisting of one rigid piece, which makes a difference if you’re carrying your phone in your pocket. 

Since it’s an Apple product, it fits perfectly into the power socket of your iPod, iPad, or iPhone with no wiggle room that can negatively impact sound quality or create static when you’re engaging in more vigorous activity, such as working out or walking to work. For those concerned about looks, this adapter’s design mimics the look and feel of other Apple cords—it’s barely noticeable when used with a set of Apple earbuds. Plus, it’s surprisingly affordable for an Apple product.

Things to Consider Before Buying an iPhone Adapter for Headphones

Construction: An iPhone adapter can experience a fair amount of abuse, especially if you’re wearing headphones while commuting to work via public transportation, running through the park, or mowing the lawn. It should be able to survive accidental yanks when the cord gets caught on some obstacle as well as being stuffed in the bottom of a backpack when it’s not in use. Adapters with thick vinyl jacketing and cuffs that reinforce the joints between the cord and plug are good. Adapters with braided jacketing and thick rubber joints that flex are better.

Sound Quality: Any adapter that’s compatible with an iPhone will allow you to listen to music through your headphones using the iPhone’s power port but not all offer the same sound quality. An adapter that shifts inside the phone’s lightning port can cause crackling and static as you move, especially if you’re running on a treadmill or doing chores around the house. Choose Apple-compatible adapters that fit tightly into the port. They should consist of solid copper, which has better conductivity and corrosion resistance than other metals.

Compatibility: There are numerous iPhone headphone adapters on the market but not all will work well with the iPhone. Luckily, there’s an easy way to figure out which are contenders and which are pretenders. Look for adapters that have Apple’s MFi certification. This means Apple has tested and approved these adapters for use with its iPhone.

FAQs

Q: Do headphone adapters affect sound quality?

While headphone adapters may not be able to boost sound quality, they can certainly detract from it. A headphone adapter that doesn’t fit snugly inside the iPhone lightning port can result in reduced sound quality or even cause one side of the headphones to stop working. A poor fit or poor construction can also cause crackling or static while walking or running.

Q: Do you get a headphone adapter with an iPhone?

Sadly, Apple did not start including adapters with the iPhone once it stopped including a standard headphone jack in the device. That said, the company does sell its own headphone adapter at a very affordable price.

Q: What is the best headphone adapter for the iPhone?

With durable construction that can endure a fair share of abuse, the Jsaux Lightning to 3. 5 mm Adapter is one of the best all-around adapters for the iPhone.

Final Thoughts

When shopping for an adapter, it’s important to consider how you plan on using it before making a purchase. If you simply need an adapter to listen to music as you work at your desk, go with an affordable option, such as the Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter. If you plan on using your iPhone as a fitness companion on runs and trips to the gym, or if it will see use on a daily commute, consider spending a little more for the durable Jsaux Lightning to 3.5 mm Adapter.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post. 

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The 6 Best iPhone Headphone Adapters

By

Elvis Shida

If you would still prefer to use a 3. 5mm headphone jack or AUX cable with your new iPhone, here’s a range of options for you.

Apple was generous enough to include a headphone adapter with the iPhone 7 when it killed the headphone jack. But two years later, it stopped including the invaluable adapter in the box with its newer iPhones.

If you still want to use 3.5mm headphones on your iPhone, you can pick up the original adapter or a more durable alternative from other brands. These adapters bring back the 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing for a simple and no-frills listening experience.

Here are the best iPhone headphone adapters available today.

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The Belkin 3.5 mm Audio + Charge Cable RockStar is the best iPhone adapter for headphones and charging. It has a 3.5mm aux port for connecting wired headphones and speakers to your iPhone, as well as a Lightning connector that lets you charge your phone at the same time.

It allows fast charging of up to 12W, which is fast enough to give you plenty of juice in a few minutes. It also fully supports remote audio controls, so you can play, pause, or adjust the volume on headphones with in-line controls.

The 3.5 mm Audio + Charge Cable RockStar will cost you more than the official Apple headphone adapter, but the extra money gives you charging compatibility and better build quality that will last you a lot longer.

Key Features

  • Lightning and 3.5mm ports
  • 12W pass-through charging
  • Supports data syncing
  • MFi certified

Specifications

  • Brand: Belkin
  • Input: Lightning
  • Output: 3. 5mm Audio Jack, Lightning
  • Cable Included: No

Pros

  • Charge and listen to music at the same time
  • Works for phone calls and remote music control
  • Officially certified for compatibility and safety

Cons

  • Expensive for an adapter

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The Amazon Basics Lightning To 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter is a more durable alternative that outlasts many of the cheaper headphone adapters. It has a little thicker cable and a strain relief design that prevents damage from bends, pulls, and everyday use.

The adapter is MFi certified by Apple for compatibility with the iPhone and iPads with a Lightning connector. It allows high-quality and crisp audio passthrough along with remote music controls. In addition, the smaller cable makes it easy to throw the adapter in your pocket or bag to use it while on the go.

Key Features

  • MFi certified
  • Thick cable and reinforced connectors
  • Shorter cable

Specifications

  • Brand: Amazon Basics
  • Input: Lightning
  • Output: 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Cable Included: No

Pros

  • Compact, durable design
  • Officially certified for compatibility
  • Allows mic and music control passthrough

Cons

  • Only available in black

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The Apple Lightning To 3. 5mm Headphone Jack Adapter is still the best option for most people. It’s the adapter that was included with the iPhone 7 when Apple tossed the headphone jack.

It undercuts the pricing of most third-party offerings while delivering excellent sound quality and full compatibility with all iPhone models.

However, the thin cable and flimsy connectors mean it’s not the most durable, but it should last a long while if you don’t bend it pretty often. It offers pass-through support for music control, and you can even answer phone calls on your headphones.

Key Features

  • Original Apple product
  • Built-in DAC
  • Music control and microphone pass-through

Specifications

  • Brand: Apple
  • Input: Lightning
  • Output: 3. 5mm Audio Jack
  • Cable Included: No

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fully compatible with all Lightning devices
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • Not durable

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The Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter from UGREEN is another excellent iPhone aux adapter that focuses on durability. It combines a braided cable and aluminum construction into one solid adapter that can withstand fraying and damage caused by bending and folding the adapter.

It’s one of the best options if you’re looking for something that will last longer. It delivers a sonic masterpiece when connected to a good pair of wired headphones and supports in-line music controls and microphones for calls and recording.

To top it all off, the UGREEN adapter is MFi certified by Apple for flawless compatibility with the iPhone.

Key Features

  • Braided cable
  • MFi certification
  • Supports microphones and in-line headphone controls

Specifications

  • Brand: UGREEN
  • Input: Lightning
  • Output: 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Cable Included: No

Pros

  • Braided for durability
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Certified by Apple for compatibility

Cons

  • Could be cheaper

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The Anker 3. 5mm Audio Adapter with Lightning Connector doesn’t offer anything fancy, but it is a solid solution for connecting 3.5mm headphones to your iPhone. Anker designed this adapter to withstand more than 12,000 bends, so it will last just as long as most braided options.

The adapter is available in black or white, and both options are MFi certified. It also lets you use the play, skip, and volume control buttons as well as the mic for phone calls when you connect a headset.

With Anker’s reliability and official Apple certification, the adapter works right away with the iPhone without any compatibility or audio quality issues.

Key Features

  • MFi certified
  • Supports volume control and mic
  • Available in black or white
  • 12,000 bend lifespan

Specifications

  • Brand: Anker
  • Input: Lightning
  • Output: 3. 5mm Audio Jack
  • Cable Included: No

Pros

  • High-quality audio
  • Flawless compatibility with iPhone
  • Solid and durable build quality

Cons

  • Expensive

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The MOOU Lightning To 3.5mm Adapter stands out from the rest of the adapters on our list with a unique right-angle design. The design allows the adapter to sit flush against the bottom of the phone without protruding too much like other adapters. This makes it super compact and lets you easily use the phone in both portrait and landscape modes.

The adapter is small with a metallic unibody resistant to bending and fraying. It even has a small keyring, so you can attach it to your keys to listen to music just about anywhere. There’s no noticeable loss in sound quality, and the adapter lets you use your headphones’ in-line controls and microphone for calls.

Key Features

  • Right-angled design with an integrated ring
  • MFi certification for compatibility
  • Supports audio controls and mic

Specifications

  • Brand: MOOU
  • Input: Lightning
  • Output: 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Cable Included: No

Pros

  • Compact and portable design
  • Lossless audio quality
  • Durable

Cons

  • Only available in black

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Q: Do iPhone Headphone Adapters Affect Quality?

There is a slight sound degradation when using an iPhone headphone adapter compared to connecting a headphone directly to a 3. 5mm port.

However, the difference isn’t discernable to most people, meaning you’ll hardly notice any loss in sound quality when connected to a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter.

Q: Can You Convert Lightning to 3.5mm?

You can convert Lightning to 3.5mm using an adapter, allowing you to connect standard wired headphones to your iPhone or iPad with a Lightning connector.

There are many available Lightning to 3.5mm adapters from Apple and other brands, including Belkin and Anker.

Q: Does Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Adapter Have a DAC?

The Apple Lightning to 3.5mm adapter includes a DAC chip that converts digital to analog, allowing you to listen to lossless audio at up to 24-bit resolution. The adapter works well with other wired headphones, not necessarily Apple’s, and fully supports in-line controls.

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About The Author

Elvis is a Buyer’s Guides writer at MakeUseOf, covering everything related to PC, hardware, and gaming. He has a BS in Information Technology and over five years of professional writing experience.

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TOP 5 Best Lightning Headphone Adapter for iPhone

iPhone 8 and later does not include a headphone adapter that allows you to use the Lightning connector with 3. 5mm wired headphones. Don’t worry, you can buy an adapter separately. In this list, you will find the official headphone adapter from Apple, as well as several from other companies.


Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

This adapter used to come with iPhone. Now you need to pay for this accessory separately. If you only buy Apple accessories for your Apple products, this is the only thing you can buy for your iPhone.


2in1 headphone and iPhone charging adapter

2in1 headphone and iPhone charging adapter

Here’s a great solution to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time. It features a rugged and attractive body design for added durability. Universal. Now you can stream music and sound to any audio device via mini-jack, 3.5 mm: headphones, portable speakers, car radio, etc.


Baseus Lightning 9 Adapter/Adapter0373 Baseus Lightning Adapter/Adapter

One of the downsides of using an Apple adapter is that you can’t listen to music while your iPhone is charging. This is not the case with this triple Lightning connector from Baseus, which is slightly more expensive than the official device and also available in multiple colors.


Lightning to Jack 3.5 adapter

Lightning to Jack 3.5 adapter

Thanks to the HOCO LS25 adapter, you can connect headphones and a charger to your iPhone. The use of this adapter is especially convenient with a phone without a headphone jack. The adapter is made of high quality materials, which guarantees a long service life and safe use. The audio converter supports microphone for wired headphones.


Borofone BV6 Lightning Adapter/Adapter

Borofone BV6 Lightning Adapter/Adapter

You can charge your iPhone and listen to music at the same time with this cool adapter from Borofone. This is the place to go if you are looking for a unique look. Lifesaver remotely during endless audio conferences and online meetings.

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