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Charging the iPhone 7 While Using Headphones is a Mess

For every person who agrees with my stance that Apple is wrong to take the 3.5mm audio jack out of the iPhone, there are another five who ask why folks can't just use the adapter that comes with the iPhone 7. Of the many reasons why that's not enough, I put the inability to charge and use headphones at the very top.

Image: Apple

Image: Apple

Both accessory-maker Belkin and Apple offer a solution to this problem, but neither provides users with a good experience.

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Apple's solution, according to an email response from Apple marketing exec Phil Schiller, is the company's Lightning Dock. This flat, elongated platform connects to the Lightning port and offers both Lightning and 3.5mm audio ports on its back.

Make a better adapter, so we don't have to use two dongles at once like a savage.

Aside from the fact that placing ports on the back makes them harder to use, this dock isn't a full-time solution either. Using 3.5mm headphones and charging your phone at an airport or coffee shop can be complicated enough as is — do you really want to also have your phone on an upright stand where it can fall over, or worse, get snatched?

Next, look at Belkin's Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar adapter when it's plugged into an iPhone 7 and the free 3.5m to Lightning Adapter. This glorified Lightning splitter allows users to charge their device while rocking out on headphones — as long as they use a Lightning connector.


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As a photo that I found on Twitter demonstrates, you'll need to use both Apple's boxed-in adapter and Belkin's splitter if you want to use traditional headphones while charging via lighting. Because your desk ought to be this cluttered if you can't follow Apple's courageous lead and jump into wireless or Lightning audio.

So, please, someone, release a Lighting + Headphone adapter in the style of Belkin's. It won't be a perfect solution to the problem Apple created, but it'll be the best option out there for those us with good headphones we've invested in. No one should have to use two dongles at once like a savage.