It took a whole year after the iPhone 7 was released for Apple to start selling a dongle that allows you to plug in headphones (or your car’s aux cable) and charge them at the same time. but now it’s here. Apple is just selling the thing, mind you, it’s not. In September, Belkin quietly announced a new second version of its “Rockstar” adapter that now includes a 3.5mm jack and a Lightning port. Last year’s version had two lightning ports, so if you wanted to use wired headphones, you had to plug the apple headphone dongle into another dongle. using double dongles is bad enough on a laptop, but on a phone?! Caramba.
A few days ago, I decided to fork out the absurd $34.95 that belkin and apple charge for this plastic adapter, which is actually $5 cheaper than the lightning model. I did so reluctantly as the original product has received very regular reviews from customers and is often criticized for its unreliability and unfortunate incompatibility with the apple iphone battery case.
Reading: Lightning to headphone and power
So far, this new one is working as expected. In fact, the adapter allows you to listen to music through headphones and charge your iPhone at the same time. audio performance is similar to apple adapter; remember that the headphone dac is built into these adapters instead of the iphone.
but this is a much bigger dongle than the one that comes bundled with your iphone, so it will look awkward and silly if you use it in public. maybe you are someone who is unfazed by it! And if you keep it in your car, it’s pretty easy to ignore how it looks. Just be aware that it doesn’t have the same level of flexibility as Apple’s $10 headphone adapter, since the cable is thicker. I wouldn’t try to bend it too much.
Unlike the version with two Lightning ports, there will be no double-dongling with this adapter. You can’t use it as a headphone splitter. Belkin notes that the Lightning connector is only for syncing and charging. If you plug Apple’s dongle or Lightning EarPods into it, nothing happens. In fact, the iPhone will keep playing audio out of its speakers until headphones are connected to the 3.5mm jack.
This also means that some lightning accessories (like external microphones) won’t work with it, so if you’re a musician or audio professional hoping to use it as an extender for an iPad in a bulky case, this isn’t the case. . I’m not going to do that. the adapter does not provide the necessary data for those devices.
I’m almost certainly going to return the new Rockstar soon. I regularly rotate through Bluetooth headphones, and even when I’ve got only my trusty (wired) $13 Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds with me, there’s rarely a situation where I feel so adamant about simultaneously charging my phone and listening to music that I would find it to be worth a $35 accessory. This in some ways the ideal iPhone dongle, but it still comes with the same side dose of indignity as other dongles. But if you’ve been stuck with a chaotic, double-dongle setup in your car for the past few months, eliminating one of those adapters might very well justify the Rockstar’s expensive price. You can find cheaper, off-brand adapters that do the same thing on Amazon, but if they don’t have the Made for iPhone seal, some of those might stop working with future iOS updates.
I still really miss the headphone jack. but I manage without one. and no dongles for the most part.