Getting your old headphones to work with the iPhone 7

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.

Saturday, 10th September 2016, 1:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:05 pm
Wireless headphones have been around for some time.
Wireless headphones have been around for some time.

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

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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.