how to make sure you won't have a“bricked” set of lightning earphones?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by zack fly, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. zack fly, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016

    zack fly macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2014
    Apple dropped 3.5mm audio jack for the iphone 7. There are also some lightning earphones sold on amazon now. Here some tips about how to distinguish good lightning earphone:

    Basically speaking, you must make sure your lightning earphone is latest 3rd generation lightning earphone, otherwise you will have big chance to meet a real rock earphone ( no voice out from the earphone) when IOS’s updating.

    What’s the difference between from 1st generation and 3nd generation?

    Actually most of the lightning earphones currently available in the market are 1st generation. There are 3 steps to determine if yours are 1st generation: NO microphone, NO silica gel covered lightning port, and NO APP will appear that allows you to test the sound quality. Those are the biggest differences when comparing 1st generation with 3rd generation. Here is a quick visual summary:

    First, you must confirm that your lightning earphones come with a microphone.
    Next, you will need to check to make sure your earphone’s lightning port has a silica gel covered buffer on it to absorb and reduce friction.
    Finally, if you plug your earphones into the lightning port, an APP will pop up for debugging and future iOS updates.

    Because Apple LAM (Lightning Audio Module) module did not authorize those functions for those 1st generation lightning earphones. This module is like a key to read Apple audio signal and analytical data. So other parts like DAC can understand&handle the signal and data easier.


    If you have a pair of 1st generation earphones, then be careful! Nearly all of them do not meet MFi certification and you will almost certainly end up with dead lightning earphones once iOS updates for the first time.

    There are a few 2nd generation lightning earphones out there on the market, and if you insist on finding a pair of them, just pick a set without the microphone. Maybe they are great to you, but you can’t call or answer the phone with that 2nd gen model.

    Just keep those 3 main points in mind when considering your next purchase.

  2. Icculus macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    Frisco, TX
    Thanks for the tip!!! I was just about to buy some lightning headphones!

    Very Much Appreciated!!
  3. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    Thanks for the tips.

    ... but this makes me laugh. Remember when we didn't have to worry about what generation a headphone was? As long as the thing fit in the hole, it worked.
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    So much for Apple's environmental efforts since now everyone will have to replace their old headphones, and then replace their lightning ones when it goes totally wireless or to USB C.
  5. zack fly thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2014
    I posted this thread because I found that many media recommended many 1st generation earphones to their readers. Actually 3nd generation has many features just like microphone and App.
  6. Feenician macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    Excellent info op. I was not aware of the silica gel buffer at all.
  7. zack fly thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2014
    Just keep those 3 main points in mind when considering your next purchase ;)
  8. john3319588 macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2014
    Now we can confirm that the best important thing for a lightning earphone is to have LAM.
  9. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    Thanks so much for this post. I was very intrigued as to what the buffer was on the Lightning connectors Apple demonstrated.
  10. AppleRobert, Sep 11, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016

    AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I got the Brightech Ligthning connector earbuds I ordered from Amazon yesterday. I think they sound pretty good. There is no microphone, just play button and volume controls.

    I am running iOS 10 beta 7 on my iPhone 6s Plus. I was not prompted to install an app, I guess that happens with the new iPhones coming out and 3rd gen earbuds.

    They are also returnable, I made sure I did not get them too soon so my trial period would not run out before I get the ones from Apple to compare.
  11. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    This is very odd. Does this mean the 1st gen Lightning headphones are not MFi compliant, or that Apple changed the MFi spec in such a way as to disable devices that followed Apple's published specs exactly? If the latter, then I have to imagine a class action lawsuit is on its way ... that's ridiculous.
  12. Yvette.S.Q macrumors newbie


    Feb 28, 2014
    You mentioned APP, it happens just with the 3rd gen earbuds.

  13. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    The 1st gens are still compatible with Lightning audio but do not include the new features that have just been added.

    I would take the part about future OS updates bricking older Lightning headphones with a pinch of salt. If you click the link it's not actually an editorial but a manufacturer's web site which is obviously trying to sell you their new product and I think there's a bit of scaremongering going on.

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12 September 8, 2016