I pointed it out after the announcement but, if I’m being honest, it’s not going to be a massive deal-breaker for most iPhone owners. See, I can understand to some degree because Apple give you just a single USB-C port in the MacBook Pro. It looks neat, it looks stylish. However, with a MacBook you can afford to carry around some adapters to make your data, power, video output and other accessories work.
The 3.5mm audio port isn’t going to vanish. Headphones will continue to be sold with that plug on the end. Other smartphone manufacturers will, I very much doubt, integrate audio into the main charging plug anytime soon.
Bluetooth headphones are great, it’s something else to charge, something else to think about and they’ll probably be going flat after a few hours at best.
The biggest problem with the iPhone 7 is that you can’t charge and listen to your tunes at the same time. Not without an adapter. Something else to carry around. The people at Belkin have actually already got an adapter solution on the way, but it’s £34.99, and it’s £34.99 just to make your iPhone 7 work like an iPhone 6s. The adapter looks a bit like the older iPhone 30-pin adapter, and doesn’t actually output a 3.5mm audio port. Instead it has two Lightning ports, so you plug your charger into one and your Lightning Audio headphones in the other.
I should mention, of course, that there’s a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter in the iPhone 7 box. You’ll lose it of course, and you’ll need to buy another one for $9 in the US which, thanks to some utterly insane exchange rate and crazy Apple wizardry, somehow translates to £9 in the UK. For the uninterested, $9 equals £6.77 at the time of writing. Perhaps the other £2.13 is to pay the little fine?
So, there’s a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter in the box. There’s the Belkin Lightning-to-Lightning and Lightning audio adapter. Great.
Where’s the Lightning-to-Lightning and 3.5mm audio adapter?
Perhaps this video will help. It’s got swearing in it, but I think it’ll keep me calm..
More detail on the Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar cable thing below..
BELKIN INTRODUCES LIGHTNING AUDIO + CHARGE ROCKSTAR™ FOR IPHONE 7 AND IPHONE 7 PLUS
Belkin Works with Apple to Develop the Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus; Enables Simultaneous Charging and Listening Using Lightning Audio
Rushden, UK – September 9, 2016 — Belkin®, market leader in mobile accessories, today announced the Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar adapter for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Developed closely with Apple, Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar plugs into the Lightning connector making it possible to use Lightning Audio headphones or the Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter and charge your iPhone at the same time.
“We’re excited to offer the Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar to our customers, extending our family of RockStar multi-port products and creating an easy way for people to charge and listen on the go,” says Steve Malony, VP, GM Belkin.
The Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar offers dual functionality for charging and listening. Whether you want to charge in the car, on the go, or at home, the Belkin adapter makes it possible to listen to Lightning Audio and power your iPhone, simultaneously.
The adapter is designed to work with the full ecosystem of Lightning Audio headphones and there’s no need to remove your phone case while using it.
Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar
Dual functionality so you can listen to Lightning Audio and charge at the same time
Compatible with Lightning Audio headphones† and Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter
Supports pass-through charging up to 12W for iPhone and iPad
Supports up to 48 kHz, 24-bit audio output
Works with the Apple iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case and battery packs for on the go charging
† Supports one Lightning Audio device and one charger only
The new Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar™ will be available in October for an MSRP of £34.99 on Belkin.com, Apple.com and at Apple retail stores.