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Best Lightning headphone adapters for iPhone 2020

Let's face it - you're not here because you're interested in the dynamics of the burgeoning adapter market. Either you've got a pair of headphones that you want to use on your iPhone, or are frustrated by the Lightning and wireless options on the market. 

Whichever of these applies, you've come to the right place. Apple has stopped including an adapter in the box (despite still manufacturing one), so you'll have to make a special purchase. For most people, the Lightning EarPods included in the box just won't cut it, both for sound quality and comfort. 

Fortunately, there are loads of options at various different price points. Here's our round-up of the best on the market. 

Best Lightning headphone adapters for iPhone 2020


Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

This is the Apple adapter that comes in the box, so you may not need another, but then again it is pretty easy to lose. £9 isn't too bad a price for an Apple product, even a tiny one like this. If you want a spare, you shouldn't balk too much at getting this one.


Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar

This Belkin adapter solves the issue of being able to charge your phone while listening to music using headphones.

Beware, though - this doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack (Belkin does offer that as well for £28.29/US$34.99, but we have not tested it), it's just to plug in and charge via Lightning while using the bundled Lightning headphones. We hope that Belkin will add the option to do both at the same time. 

Daeeto iPhone Headphone Dongle

Daeeto iPhone Headphone Dongle

Naturally with small accessories like this, there is already a raft of third-party adapters. Here is one. It does what the Apple one does and costs less.

Daeeto's adapter is almost identical to the one Apple makes, but undercuts it on price.  

If you're looking for the absolute cheapest dongle on the market, this is the one to go for at the time of writing. 

It's available on Amazon for £7.69.

FiiO i1

FiiO i1 Apple Lightning Amplifier

Apple's adapter has been criticised for poor sound quality, and also for being incompatible with many headphones and headsets. So if you've spent a fair bit of money on some high-quality headphones then it's worthwhile looking for an alternative that provides better sound, such as the FiiO i1.

With a decent set of headphones plugged in, you'll notice that the i1 produces a more balanced and natural sound than Apple's little adapter, with a slightly more expansive sound stage that works well with live recordings.

The DAC in the i1 also works with its internal microphone to provide high-quality voice calls as well. Our only complaint is that the 80cm cable is quite long, and can get snagged when you're moving about. However, FiiO designed it that way so that you can leave your iPhone in a pocket or bag to keep it safe, and just use the long cable to connect to your headphones.

Griffin iTrip Clip

Griffin iTrip Clip

This small Bluetooth clip is an excellent way around the headphone conundrum. It works with any headphones with a 3.5mm jack, and wirelessly transmits music from your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus to your ears.

It charges up via the included micro USB cable and will give you between 4-6 hours playback. Pairing with your phone is easy and means you can charge your iPhone while listening to music wirelessly. 

You can also buy the universal version for a more affordable £9.99.

It's a good, affordable way to make existing headphones wireless without forking out for Bluetooth headphones.


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