Charging the iPhone 7 While Using Headphones is a Mess – Tom’s Guide

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

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.

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?

“Courage.”

Source: Charging the iPhone 7 While Using Headphones is a Mess

22 thoughts on “Charging the iPhone 7 While Using Headphones is a Mess – Tom’s Guide

  1. When I drive to work & back I normally have a lightning cable charging my iPhone 6s and plug a 3.5mm cable to feed audio to my car stereo via it’s AUX input. Since I’m usually running Waze (traffic app) I need to be charging as it drains the battery. And I enjoy listening to podcasts or music. A lightning dock isn’t practical in the car and the Belkin option is a little bulky.
    I am disappointed they removed the headphone jack. Really disappointed.

    • Yes, good point. A lot of people have pointed out that they do that in cars that don’t have Bluetooth.

    • Thankfully, my Fiat has a USB port in the glove compartment. I keep a Lightning cable connected for audio and charging.

  2. When I drive to work & back I normally have a lightning cable charging my iPhone 6s and plug a 3.5mm cable to feed audio to my car stereo via it’s AUX input. Since I’m usually running Waze (traffic app) I need to be charging as it drains the battery. And I enjoy listening to podcasts or music. A lightning dock isn’t practical in the car and the Belkin option is a little bulky.
    I am disappointed they removed the headphone jack. Really disappointed.

    • Yes, good point. A lot of people have pointed out that they do that in cars that don’t have Bluetooth.

    • Thankfully, my Fiat has a USB port in the glove compartment. I keep a Lightning cable connected for audio and charging.

  3. Obviously the dock is ,want for situations where you would normally use a dock: at home or at work. Saying “How can you use a dock at a coffee shop?” Is being needlessly obtuse. The Belkin adapter is “a little bulky.” That’s it. It’s really not a big deal.

      • No. I’m sure you can pay for whatever your specific use case is.

        I also like this comment: “Aside from the fact that placing ports on the back makes them harder to use…”

        It’s not a television or something where you have to fumble around the find a port on the back. It’s a one-inch piece of plastic you can literally pick up. The “harder to use” factor is precisely zero.

      • Not really. You get an external adapter that is only needed in very specific situations, instead of having the headphone jack taking up space on the device itself. As noted elsewhere, they needed that space for the improved camera circuitry and taptic engine, neither of which can be used externally.

        • As a user, I don’t care what space they “needed” (a subjective term at best. They could have solved it in other ways. They just chose not to). But if I get an iP7 I will need more space for adaptors and dongles I didn’t need before. So, yes, compared to to having that mini-jack “a little bulky” IS an understatement.

          Joe

  4. Obviously the dock is ,want for situations where you would normally use a dock: at home or at work. Saying “How can you use a dock at a coffee shop?” Is being needlessly obtuse. The Belkin adapter is “a little bulky.” That’s it. It’s really not a big deal.

      • No. I’m sure you can pay for whatever your specific use case is.

        I also like this comment: “Aside from the fact that placing ports on the back makes them harder to use…”

        It’s not a television or something where you have to fumble around the find a port on the back. It’s a one-inch piece of plastic you can literally pick up. The “harder to use” factor is precisely zero.

      • Not really. You get an external adapter that is only needed in very specific situations, instead of having the headphone jack taking up space on the device itself. As noted elsewhere, they needed that space for the improved camera circuitry and taptic engine, neither of which can be used externally.

        • As a user, I don’t care what space they “needed” (a subjective term at best. They could have solved it in other ways. They just chose not to). But if I get an iP7 I will need more space for adaptors and dongles I didn’t need before. So, yes, compared to to having that mini-jack “a little bulky” IS an understatement.

          Joe

  5. The Belkin option seems a better option to me. At least it allows you to charge the phone while listening to either lightning or standard headphone jacks. Even if you use standard jacks now, the Apple dock becomes obsolete if you eventually buy lightning headphones. I think Apple should have added a second lightning port on the dock. Personally, I think getting rid of the standard jack isn’t a bad idea and I’m not too worked up about it.

  6. The Belkin option seems a better option to me. At least it allows you to charge the phone while listening to either lightning or standard headphone jacks. Even if you use standard jacks now, the Apple dock becomes obsolete if you eventually buy lightning headphones. I think Apple should have added a second lightning port on the dock. Personally, I think getting rid of the standard jack isn’t a bad idea and I’m not too worked up about it.

  7. To everyone whining about this, just buy something else. Apple doesn’t owe you anything. They’re a company selling their product into a competitive marketplace. Market forces will dictate whether they’re doing the right thing or not.

    Most people listening on earbuds/headphones etc are not sitting next to a charger, they’re on the move, so for the majority of folks this is a corner case. And the world will keep turning.

    And while we’re on the subject of innovation, these electric light bulbs are no good compared to gas mantles. They’ll be dead as a Do-Do before the year is out. Believe me.

  8. To everyone whining about this, just buy something else. Apple doesn’t owe you anything. They’re a company selling their product into a competitive marketplace. Market forces will dictate whether they’re doing the right thing or not.

    Most people listening on earbuds/headphones etc are not sitting next to a charger, they’re on the move, so for the majority of folks this is a corner case. And the world will keep turning.

    And while we’re on the subject of innovation, these electric light bulbs are no good compared to gas mantles. They’ll be dead as a Do-Do before the year is out. Believe me.

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