Where is the 3.5mm TO Lightning Headphone Adapter?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Mac 128, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #1
    Where is the 3.5mm (source) to Lightning (headphone) adaptor?

    I kept shaking my head during the keynote, then went online to check things out. No way to use your new Lightning headphones with your old Apple gear like iPods and Macs, or anything else, all but guaranteeing that a customer needs to carry two sets of headphones with them!

    They're bundling Lightning headphones AND a 3.5mm adapter, so why not just bundle the old 3.5mm headphones with the 3.5mm adapter? At least that way a customer only needs one set of headphones, and an adapter to use them with the iPhone. I guess existing iPhone customers can just use their old earbuds with the new adapter which just seems to defeat the purpose.

    I'm all for lightning headphones, but this seems like a half-baked roll-out. I hope to see Lightning ports added to the Macs at an event in October, but even then, it doesn't address legacy Macs. And where are the adapters? Heck I would take a Lightning to USB-C adapter even, but they would also need USB-A. So why not just a much simpler and cheaper 3.5mm adapter with an analogue passthrough chip, which could be used on all current Apple products?

    Seriously where's the support for this transition?
     
  2. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #2
    I think the included adapter is only there to prevent any bad publicity due to the elimination of the 3.5mm socket. I'm sure the early leaks about it being removed were orchestrated by Apple to gauge public reaction and they must have realised there was the potential for a lot of backlash if they didn't include a simple fix in the box.

    The lack of any news about a Lightning to 3.5mm (male) adaptor suggests it isn't of any great importance to Apple and the freebie headphones are not intended for use on any current non-iOS devices.
     
  3. Mac 128 thread starter macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #3
    Oh I get that it isn't of any great importance to Apple -- the who removal of the 3.5mm jack, music and audio in general seem not to be of any great importance to Apple lately.

    Here's the problem -- Apple took away a wired solution, and in it's place offered a wired solution -- not a wireless one which would have mitigated this problem. So while Apple may be giving a free set of headphones for use solely with the iPhone, they are creating a situation of greater inconvenience for their customers who must now come up with another option for using the rest of their Apple stuff. Any Apple product other than iOS devices no older than about 3 years (some of which is still covered under Apple Care), won't be able to use these headphones -- headphones which Apple is promoting.

    Including the adapter basically encourages their new customers whom they are trying to move over to Lightning, to resort to using their old headphones so that they have compatibility with their own Apple products, never mind third party devices. If Apple needed to include any adapter, it was one to encourage the use of the Lightning headphones. So why would anyone make it harder on themselves by trying to actually use them, when Apple gave them the means right in the box to use their old headphones instead, ensuring maximum compatibility even with their own Apple products?

    This move was so poorly thought out by Apple it's staggering. Seriously, $9 is not to much to ask even the most upset Apple customer by this move, and it would make them think twice about continuing to use their old headphones, while unlikely making a difference as to whether to buy the phone in the first place. But they've essentially guaranteed by not offering a way to connect Lightning headphones, not just their own free ones, but any Lightning headphones licensed by third party manufacturers, that customers will opt to use their old headphones rather than deal with having to carry a Lightning set for ONLY their iPhone 7, and a 3.5mm set for everything else.
     
  4. Blaze4G macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    #4
    We and many others were trying to debate/explain this to you months ago and you kept defending Apple and predicting they will do "xyz" to make the customer happy. Now here we are and reality hits you Lol.

    Apple does what it feels like and customers buy whatever they offer. So no need for Apple to change.

    On a positive note (although not on topic) the A10 is such a beast. Can't Apple allow Google to use it in their Pixel phones? Sigh.
     
  5. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #5
    It's also bizarre that Apple and their Beats offshoot don't offer any higher quality alternatives to the cheap Lightning headphones included with the iPhone 7. Beats even released a new set of headphones with a 3.5mm plug on the same day.

    Beats Releases $130 Wired 'EP' Headphones With 3.5mm Plug

    They don't seem to be very confident about Lightning headphones being a success.
     
  6. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #6
    I'm not sure if you're serious. The 3.5mm jack presents an analog signal. It would require a powered digital to analog converter to change the signal to Lightning, which would then have to immediately converted back to analog. It's a complete non-starter.

    If you have multiple devices, and you insist on only carrying one set of EarPods, carry the old style and use your Lightning to 3.5mm converter when you listen on the iPhone 7.
     
  7. Mac 128 thread starter macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #7
    Yes I am serious.

    So you're suggesting Apple's solution so that I don't have to carry more than one set of earbuds to use with my new MacBook and iPhone 7, is to not use the Lightning headphones they gave me to use with my new iPhone, but instead use my old 3.5mm earbuds, with a 3.5mm adapter? So much for moving forward with Apple's vision then. In order to use Apple's other non-recent iOS products, I'll need need to keep using 3.5mm tech they they're trying to tell me is old? Doesn't really make a lot sense does it?

    So how about I float this to you a different way -- where's the USB-C to Lightning headphone adapter? That solves your concerns and allows me to use one set of headphones, albeit only with new Macs with USB-C, and nothing else. But at least this way Apple is encouraging me to use Lightning, while I use their own products!

    I'm well aware of the ridiculous problem of what it would take to convert an analogue signal into digital and then back into analogue in the headphone. But consider this -- the Lightning connector is smart with software assignable pins. So there's no reason that an adapter can't be made that has a Lightning chip in it that identifies itself to the Lightning headphones as an analogue adapter. At which point the Lightning chip in the headphone could reassign the pins to bypass the internal DAC of the headphones and pass the incoming analogue signal straight to the headphones. Not a problem, and it would result in a much lower adapter cost.

    As it is, Apple has removed any way for someone to use Lightning headphones with anything other than a newer iOS device, and that's kind of ridiculous since their goal seems to be to move customers to Lightning while mitigating the loss of the 3.5mm Jack. Talk about a non-starter.
     
  8. aPple nErd macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Jailbreaks/IOS Hacks
    #8
    we'll just have to wait i guess. I'm going to be watching for this on amazon as well as a charging cable with 3.5 imput to use in the car.
     
  9. UhFive macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Here is the cable you're looking for: http://www.scosche.com/lightning-to-3-5
     
  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    I'll say it again. Apple missed the elegant solution to this problem.

    Should have included an inexpensive set of bluetooth headphones in the box (not completely wireless like the airpods, just regular bluetooth). Those would have a usb-c port on them for charging. Included in the box would also be a usb-c to lighting cable that would be used to charge the headphones. When connected the bluetooth pairing would happen automatically (like the Apple Pencil, so no need for a fancy separate W1 chip in these), you could listen via the wire while charging. AND, that same usb-c to lightning cable could be used to charge your new iPhone on your new Macbook or Macbook Pro. Want to use your new headphones on your laptop? Connect them via the usb-c to usb-c cable those laptops all ship with. Same deal. Automatic pairing, charging, and wired listening built in.

    Sounds like a lot to explain, but demonstrated visually this would have been simple, elegant, and solved most of the complaints about the loss of the headphone jack.
     
  11. tgi macrumors 65816

    tgi

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    #11
    So is the audio on the lightning EarPods supposed to be better than the 3.5mm EarPods?
     
  12. Mac 128 thread starter macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #12
    Who knows. It will hopefully be equal, but Apple should have improved it considering what's at stake with this transition.
     
  13. hjstubel24 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    #13
    Just got the iphone 7- I have the Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter, however I want to use the new earpods at work with my computer. Recommendations on the best adapter for the reverse of what comes with the iphone?
     
  14. Mac 128, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2016

    Mac 128 thread starter macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #14
    No. There is nothing. Apple did NOT think this one through.
     
  15. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #15
    And another reason why I am glad I stuck to my 6s+ for now.
     
  16. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #16
    For the price of the adaptor you can get better headphones.
     
  17. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #17
    I'm stuck at 6s too for different reason, but will use wireless from now on. No more wired for me. Buying wired headphones will be a headache in a next few years.
     
  18. Mac 128 thread starter macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #18
    Not sure how you figure that. An adapter to convert 3.5mm to Lightning headphones shouldn't cost much more than the $9 adapter Apple is already offering. Instead of a stereo DAC, a stereo amp, and a mono ADC, it would be a stereo ADC, a mono DAC and mono amp. It would need power which could be supplied externally from something like a Lightning port, which would also charge the headphones if needed, or, it could be self-powered with a rechargeable battery. I have a $20 BT transmitter/receiver that has all of that technology in it, as well as a BT radio, antennas, and a 10 hour battery in a tiny package the size of my thumb for $20. I doubt you could get a decent pair of headphones for that, much less constitute an upgrade.

    And if Apple gave this any thought, they would have modified the MFi specs to allow Lightning to accept an analogue signal in devices like headphones, such that a 3.5mm adapter would let the Lightning headphones know to bypass it's internal DAC and amp, and merely pass the analogue signal straight to the transducers. That kind of adapter would cost extremely little. Probably couldn't even buy a cheap set of headphones for something like that.

    Then there's a simple USB to Lightning adapter for computers. That's likewise an equally inexpensive solution, and the most likely use of headphones outside of the iPhone.
     

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