How to Use Wired Headphones with an iPhone

If you’re ever in a situation where you need to use your wired headphones with your iPhone, this guide is for you. With the removal of the headphone jack on newer iPhone models, it can be a bit confusing to figure out how to use wired headphones with your iPhone device. But don’t worry, this guide has got you covered. 

In this article, I’ll show you the step-by-step process of how to use wired headphones with an iPhone. Whether you’re looking to get better audio for music or movies, or you want to make a phone call, there are different methods you can try.

Find out how to use wired headphones with an iPhone for an improved listening experience

How to Use Wired Headphones with an iPhone

Five years ago, Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone, and the feature will not be returning. This change happened as Bluetooth headphones and earbuds grew in popularity, making it easier to listen to music while on the go. Although Bluetooth headphones and earbuds have improved over time, they still provide a compressed listening experience when compared to wired headphones because music is transmitted wirelessly from the device to the headphones. 

This compromise in the listening experience is a significant issue for those who prefer wired headphones. If you’re one of the iPhone users that feels this way, try any of these techniques described below to listen to music using wired headphones.

Using Lightning Headphones

The iPhone does not have a headphone jack, but it does feature a Lightning port. Although its main function is charging, this port can also carry data. A few companies have created headphones that connect directly to an iPhone’s Lightning port, the best of which are Pioneer’s Rayz earbuds.

Many of the convenience features you’d expect from wireless headphones are there in the buds, like noise cancellation, auto pause when a bud is removed, and the option to adjust the EQ to your preferred sound levels. It also has a neat feature called Smart Mute, which turns off the earbuds’ microphone when you aren’t speaking on a call.

If you’re interested in getting a new pair of wired headphones to use with your iPhone, using Lightning headphones such as the Rayz, or options from Apple, Beats, or Belkin is the most straightforward method.

To use wired headphones with an iPhone using lightning headphones, follow these steps:

  • Plug your headphones into the lightning port on your iPhone.
  • Make sure your headphones are turned on and properly connected.
  • Check that your device is not in silent mode and that the volume is turned up.
  • Open the app you want to use (e.g. Music, Podcasts, or a phone call).
  • Start playing audio or making a call. You should hear sound coming from your headphones.

Use An Adapter To Plug In Your Current Headphones

If you currently have wired headphones and are satisfied with them, you can use Apple’s Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter to connect them to your iPhone. This adapter connects to the Lightning port on your iPhone and terminates in a regular 3.5mm headphone jack (the same type that was originally built into the iPhone). It therefore allows you to connect most wired headphones to your iPhone directly. If your headphones terminate in a ¼-inch jack, you’ll need an adapter to convert it to the ⅛ -jack size.

Additionally, Belkin’s Rockstar adapter, which has both a Lightning and 3.5mm audio output on it, is a good choice if you want to listen to music at your desk all day. You can charge your iPhone and use wired headphones simultaneously with the Rockstar adapter.

Use An Adapter To Connect A USB DAC

Find out how to use wired headphones with an iPhone for an improved listening experience

If you want to use wired headphones with your iPhone and get the best audio quality while you’re at it, you should get Apple’s Lightning Camera Adapter. This adapter has a standard USB-A port for accessories and an additional Lightning port for charging your iPhone.

You can connect your iPhone to AudioQuest’s Dragonfly Cobalt USB DAC (digital-analog converter) using this adapter. The Cobalt is a flash drive-sized DAC that substantially improves the audio quality of your digital music by presenting it in its most basic form.

The Cobalt includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing you to plug your headphones right into the DAC. Although this method requires the most pieces, it is definitely beneficial if you use streaming services like Apple Music, TIDAL, and Amazon Music Unlimited to listen to music.

Here are the detailed steps on how to use this method:

  • Purchase an adapter that connects to the Lightning port. Apple’s Lightning Camera Adapter is a good option. 
  • Plug the USB DAC into the adapter.
  • Connect your headphones to the USB DAC’s 3.5mm headphone jack. 
  • Once your headphones are connected, you can start using them with your iPhone. Your iPhone should automatically recognize the USB DAC and route audio through it.
  • To listen to music, open your music app and play a song. The audio should now play through your headphones.
  • If you want to adjust the volume, use the volume buttons on your iPhone or the volume controls on your headphones.

To conclude, wired headphones provide high-quality audio that many people prefer over wireless headphones. However, with the removal of the headphone jack in newer iPhones, using wired headphones is a bit more complicated. However, if you follow the methods above, it should be far less challenging to work around wired headphone usage with your iPhone device. If you need more useful tips to navigate iPhone usage, check out this category.

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