The traditional 3.5mm headphone jack is gone from Apple’s brand new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The tech giant’s “courageous” move has drawn criticism from consumers because most of the headphones, speakers and gadgets they had won’t work with the new iPhone. The iPhone 7 will be able to connect to earbuds only wirelessly or by plugging in Lightning-based headphones (or an adapter) to the same port that you use to charge your device.

iPhone 7
Image Credit: Apple Inc.

Charging your iPhone 7 while playing music: Your options

The removal of the headphone jack has made it almost impossible for users to play music through headphones and charge the device at the same time. Many users are likely to face this problem. For instance, older cars require a cable to connect your iPhone to the speakers. That means the Lightning port is taken up by an adapter if you are listening to the music while driving.

Bluetooth headphones could be your option. But if you have connected any wired headphones with the Lightning adapter, you can’t charge it at the same time. You have to buy a $49 Lightning dock. For regular use, you can consider the wireless AirPods that cost $159 if you are really worried about charging your device while listening to the music. Apple claims that once fully charged, you can use the AirPods for five hours. You can charge them again in their case.

Why did Apple ditch the headphone jack?

Apple has a history of doing away with features that it sees as a hurdle to improving the user experience. It knows that consumers react badly in the beginning, but eventually they fall in love with the changes. The headphone jack had to go because it was a bottleneck to improving audio quality. The Lightning port supplies much more power to headphones than the 3.5mm headphone jack. The shift to the Lightning port will allow for smoother data transference, and shift the audio circuitry from the iPhone 7 to the headphones.

The Bluetooth or Lightning allow for the transfer of audio signals to the headphones digitally. So, the signal isn’t degraded, leading to higher fidelity audio. In short, the wireless and Lightning-connected headphones offer far superior audio quality compared to the 3.5mm headphone jack.