Exchange your doubtful iPhone 7 headphone dongle with this $40 Lightning adapter

As an instance you dropped $300-plus on a pleasant set of wired AKG, Beats, Beyerdynamic, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Grado, Oppo, Sennheiser or Final Ears headphones. Then later, you acquire an iPhone 7 and found it does not have a Three.5mm headphone jack onboard. Are you going to toss your headphones to get a set of Bluetooth headphones that do not sound nearly as good as what you might have now? That does not make any sense.

FiiO’s nifty i1 headphone amplifier and digital converter


Apple nixed the three.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7, and there is not a lot likelihood it will return on iPhone eight, however what are of us with good wired headphones to do? Certain, they may use the Lightning-to-Three.5mm adapter which comes bundled with the 7, however that is removed from an optimum answer. And that is not simply my opinion, it is one of many poorest-rated merchandise on Apple’s personal web site with 209 one- and two-star opinions! Apple clients actually do not just like the adapter.

Now, with FiiO’s nifty i1 headphone amplifier and digital converter, iPhone 7 (and presumably iPhone eight) customers have a greater choice. It sells for $39.99 on Amazon within the US and £49.99 within the UK. (The Australian value hasn’t been set, however you possibly can count on it to promote for round AU$80.)

Comparability of Fiio i1 and Apple Lightning Adapter

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Naturally, we needed to examine the 2 adapters, FiiO and Apple. Beginning with a Sennheiser Momentum, the i1’s bass definition firmed up in contrast with the Apple Adapter. With “Pink Up” from Spoon’s “Scorching Ideas” album, the drums and vibes have a variety of reverb, and the i1 sounds clearer than the Apple adapter. Not by an enormous quantity, however the variations are there.

The modifications have been extra apparent once I plugged in my Beyerdynamic T51p on-ear headphones. The Apple adapter sounded muted and boring; the i1 had extra life and power.  

I additionally tried the i1 with some in-ear headphones, beginning with my Final Ears UE900, and the sound high quality variations have been slight. So I am not all that satisfied that i1 is a large enough sonic improve over the Apple Adapter with each headphone. Nevertheless, the excellent news is that considerably higher sound is on the market from the AudioQuest DragonFly Black ($99, £89, AU$160) and DragonFly Pink ($199, £169, AU$320) moveable headphone amplifiers/digital converters that work with iPhones. The catch: they’re the dimensions of a USB flash drive, in order that they’re larger and bulkier to hold round than the i1.

The i1 cable has a mic and inline controls, however name sound high quality was just a little muffled. There have been cases the place the i1 did not play music at first, however unplugging and replugging the Lightning connector a couple of times often introduced the sound again to life. What can I say — the Lightning plug is not probably the most dependable connector for audio units.

The FiiO i1’s 32-inch (81mm) cable was too lengthy, I would be happier if it was half that size, however because it stands, the i1 is a viable different for iPhone house owners who’ve a good pair of wired headphones and wish one thing just a little higher than Apple’s less-than-stellar Lightning adapter. I am hoping even higher adapters will ultimately present up, however for now, I am sticking with my iPhone 6S that has a Three.5mm headphone jack and the Lightning connector. 

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