4 Best Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapters for iPhone

Apple got rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack with the iPhone 7 in a move that shook the smartphone industry. More than 6 years later, most OEMs have followed suit and have ditched the beloved jack from their premium phones. Instead, brands are selling wireless earbuds to make up for it which are fine but wired headphones are still better in some ways.

best lightning to 3.5mm adapters for iPhone

A good pair of wired headphones arguably produce better sound and have zero latency which is a huge boon for gamers. You can also experience lossless audio with a pair of wired headphones. If you would still like to use a pair of wired headphones with your iPhone, the only way out is to use a dongle. Here are some of the best headphone adapters for iPhone that you can get to use your wired headphones.

Before we get to the adapters, here are some other articles you may be interested in –

Let’s cut the noise and get to the adapters now.

1. Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

This is Apple’s official lightning to 3.5mm adapter for the iPhone and is surprisingly one of the cheapest adapters you can find. Despite being cheap, it’s easily one of the best adapters in terms of sound output, thanks to a dedicated DAC. If sound quality is of utmost importance to you, you can blindly pick up this adapter and you will not be disappointed.

Apple’s accessories are generally expensive which is why we often recommend similar options from other third-party manufacturers. However, when it comes to a lightning to 3.5mm adapter, the official Apple dongle is both cheap and extremely impressive. It has a built-in DAC that can drive the best of headphones without breaking a sweat.

The DAC also allows you to connect compatible headphones for lossless audio via Apple Music. This is something audiophiles will surely appreciate. Apart from the ability to connect headphones, you can also use this lighting to 3.5mm adapter to connect an external mic for recording videos via the camera app or for online meetings.

While it is quite flimsy and easy to break, the Apple lightning to 3.5mm adapter DAC is quite affordable; so you can get 2-3 of these if you use them frequently. Since it’s Apple’s first-party accessory, you won’t face any compatibility issues either regardless of which iPhone you’re using. This is also one of the most popular products on Amazon which is pretty evident by looking at the number of reviews. Highly recommended.

2. Mangotek Headphone Adapter

If you’re not very careful with your tech and you think you might snap the cable in Apple’s adapter, this dongle from Mangotek eliminates the wire. It’s a small plastic adapter that has the lighting connector on one end and the 3.5mm jack on the other. This way, the adapter plugs straight into the iPhone and your headphones also attach directly to the adapter without any wire or cable.

As we mentioned already, one of the disadvantages of the Apple lightning to 3.5mm adapter is the flimsy wire. If you don’t store it carefully and stuff it in your pockets or backpack, it can end up snapping pretty easily. The best solution for this problem is to eliminate any wire, which Mangotek has successfully done with this adapter.

It’s a tiny piece that has an angled connector which is also convenient if you want to hold the phone in your hands with your headphones connected. You can leave the adapter attached to your headphones at all times since there’s no additional wire that keeps dangling.

The only thing to keep in mind before purchasing this product is that if you use a case with your iPhone, the angled nature of the lightning connector along with the thickness might make it difficult to plug the adapter in, especially if the case is thick. You’re also not getting a superior DAC like the Apple adapter with this one although it is MFI-certified.

3. Ugreen Lightning to 3.5mm MFi-Certified Adapter

Do you want the excellent sound output from the Apple headphone adapter but with added durability? Well, Ugreen has you covered, albeit for twice the price! The Ugreen lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter costs twice as much as Apple’s but comes with a braided cable for improved longevity. You also get a powerful DAC for lossless audio.

Let’s first address the important aspect — sound output. Apple Music lossless outputs 24-bit audio which plays fine via the Ugreen lightning to headphone adapter since it supports up to 26-bit audio output at 48KHz. In simple terms, the audio you’re going to hear with this adapter is going to be similar to what you would get via Apple’s adapter.

Unlike the Apple adapter, though, the attached cable is stronger and more durable, thanks to additional braiding. The connectors also reside in metallic housing, increasing the life span of the adapter if you plug it in and out multiple times. This is an MFI-certified adapter so you shouldn’t have any compatibility issues either.

Just like Apple’s adapter, you can use this lightning-to-headphone jack adapter for music, calls, connecting microphones, etc. It is slightly expensive, but you’re paying for the superior materials and longevity. Thanks to the impressive build quality, it’s also one of the most popular adapters on Amazon for the iPhone.

4. Anker 2-in-1 Lightning to Headphone Adapter

One of the biggest downsides of removing the headphone jack was that you couldn’t charge your phone and listen to music via a wired pair of headphones at the same time. If you too had the same peeve, Anker is here to your rescue! This adapter plugs into the lightning port and gives you a 3.5mm headphone jack along with an additional lightning port to charge your phone.

We’ve all encountered the scenario where we want to watch just one more episode of our favorite show but the iPhone’s battery is about to die so we have to unplug the headphones to connect the charger. This is quite inconvenient which is exactly why Anker has developed MFi-certified lightning to 3.5mm audio adapter that’s smart.

The 2-in-1 headphones adapter for iPhone gives you two ports by occupying the lighting port on your iPhone — a 3.5mm headphone jack that outputs 24-bit audio at 48KHz, and a lighting port that can fast-charge your iPhone at up to 20W. The 24-bit audio support means you can listen to lossless music with this adapter while charging your iPhone quickly.

This is truly commendable and is the reason why Anker has priced the dongle on the expensive side. It’s almost 5 times costlier than the Apple adapter but the convenience you’re getting is unmatched. It’s an excellent accessory to have while traveling or if you want to use the AUX cable in your car. The design is slightly bulky but given the electronics onboard, you can’t complain. If your budget allows for it, the Anker 2-in-1 lightning to 3.5mm adapter is undoubtedly the best and most versatile of the lot.

Have more questions? Move on to the next section.

Frequently Asked Questions on iPhone Headphone Adapters

1. Do lightning adapters affect sound quality?

If you’re going to listen to standard MP3 songs, you won’t notice any difference regardless of which adapter you’re using. If you want to experience lossless audio with high bit rates, it’s best to get an adapter with a good DAC like the Apple official one.

2. Is there a DAC in the lightning to 3.5mm adapter?

Not all adapters have a dedicated DAC. Some adapters like Apple’s official one and the Anker one mentioned here have a dedicated DAC.

3. Does a Bluetooth adapter affect sound quality?

Transmission of sound over Bluetooth involves some amount of loss in quality depending on the codec used. A wired adapter is always the better option if sound quality is paramount.

Enjoy Lossless Audio

No matter how good wireless headphones get, a good pair of wired headphones will always hold their own. So, if you wish to use your existing pair of wired headphones with your iPhone, you can pick up any of these lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapters and enjoy lossless audio on Apple Music or zero-latency gaming while you dominate your enemies!

Last updated on 14 September, 2022

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