Getting your old headphones to work with the iPhone 7

Wireless headphones have been around for some time.
Wireless headphones have been around for some time.
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Despite the addition of new features such as waterproofing, twin high-resolution cameras and a pressure-sensitive button, most of the fuss about the iPhone 7 has been about something that’s missing.

The news that Apple has removed the regular headphone jack from the latest model of their best-selling device has caused consternation among some users.

Basically, if you want to listen to music from your iPhone then you’ll need a compatible pair of headphones - or a Bluetooth pair.

Lightning standard

Compatible, wired, headphones connect via the Lightning port - Apple’s new standard for connecting the iPhone, as well as charging.

In the box is a set of phones of course, which attach via the new port - meaning that you will be unable to listen to music or use the phone while your device is charging.

The iPhone 7 also ships with an adaptor, so you can use your old headphones or earbuds - though this makes the jack a little more cumbersome as well as meaning that your headphones are plugged into the bottom of the unit.

The new Lightning standard makes for a more compact device connector - but it also ties in neatly with Apple’s AirPods - which will come in at a cool £159. Plenty has already been said about these - the fact that they require charging up every five hours, issues over the sound quality, and the smallest elephant in the room - the ease with which anyone purchasing a pair will lose them.

Alternatives

There are plenty of people already enjoying the benefits of wireless headphones - as well as being tangle-free, they use Bluetooth which is a much more common standard than Lightning, meaning they will be compatible with other devices.

It’s also possible to make your existing cabled headphones Bluetooth - and therefore, semi-wireless. Instead of connecting your existing headphones to your phone, you can hook them up to a Bluetooth adaptor. You can then pair your smartphone and, perhaps, keep it safe in your bag, and carry the smaller and lighter Bluetooth adapter in a pocket.

As well as receiving sounds from your phone, these typically act as transmitters too - a bit like the iTrip devices which allowed you to stream music to your car stereo, so there’s a bonus in being able to turn other devices into Bluetooth players too - using an a adaptor such as the AGP Portable Wireless Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver.

There’s also the option to go for a Bluetooth DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter), like the Creative Sound Blaster E5 which will boost the sound quality - important to audiophiles who already own a set of top-notch phones that might otherwise be heading for obsolescence.