This morning’s Apple Event in San Francisco had some news, some surprises and some very predictable outcomes too. The most predictable given the rumours was the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack from the device. We told you about this months ago, yet today the questions are coming thick and fast.
So, let’s have a chat about all things audio and headphones now that the iPhone 7 is official.
What headphones come with the iPhone 7?
A set of very familiar Apple EarPods will come in the box with your iPhone 7. They are identical in almost every way to the white EarPods that have been coming with iPhones for years. Except for one thing. They plug into the lightning port on the bottom of your phone – not into the round 3.5mm headphone socket we’re all used to.
Can I use my existing headphones with the iPhone 7?
Yes. In the box, with your iPhone 7 is an adaptor. This adaptor plugs into the lightning port of your iPhone and has a 3.5mm round socket at the end for you to plug your headphones into. Simple.
Of course, if your existing headphones are Bluetooth they will work as normal.
Are the standard headphones the wireless ones shown at the Apple Event?
No, the AirPods announced at the Apple Event are a completely separate product. Available for $229 they are Apple’s own wireless headphones but are optional – not included with the iPhone 7.
How much is an adaptor to use my existing headphones on the iPhone 7?
Should you need one, they are $12. But there is one included in the box when you buy and iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.
How can I charge my iPhone and listen to music on the iPhone 7?
Here’s your problem. That’s not possible. Apple I’m sure would like to think that the future is most certainly wireless, so this question is redundant. However, we’re not quite there yet.
At this stage, searching Apple’s online store, we see no product that would offer this functionality.
However, I’d pause and hold that thought. Just given the number of questions I’ve had, I’d think “Lightning Double Adaptor” or similar products will come to market very soon. Third Party accessory manufacturers like Belkin are already making things like cables and adaptors in direct competition with products being sold with Apple Branding so it makes perfect sense to plug a hole in the market that Apple doesn’t plan to be in.
How do Apple’s wireless AirPods work?
Ok, so aside from all the drama over the headphone jack, these new AirPods are pretty cool.
They are Apple’s attempt at wireless headphones without the hassle. With existing wireless headphones you need to enter settings, go to Bluetooth, find the pairing list click your headphones and off you go.
AirPods are made to ‘just work’ as Apple likes it. And they seem to do just that.
The AirPods come in a little container. This is multi-use, with a battery inside which holds 24 hours worth of charge and the AirPods themselves will last 5 hours at a time out of the case.
A lightning adaptor charges the container.
When you open the case, they are “active” and once paired they can be paired across multiple devices, a phone, watch and iPad.
What’s very cool is that after being paired once, they activate as soon as you open the case, plus they know when they are in your ear and will turn off when you take them out.
In a short test today at the Apple Event, I found them to be the same comfort levels as existing wired Apple EarBuds, but I did think there was some lag in the volume adjustment and device switching. Expect some poor attention to that in reviews going forward. In reality, in day to day use, I doubt it will be much of an issue.