Apple headphone adapter.

Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 in 2016, other smartphone manufacturers have been dropping it as well. You should know you don’t have to ditch your wired headphones just because your phone did.

Headphones Don’t Need a Headphone Jack

Finding a phone with a headphone jack is not easy anymore. There are still a few solid options out there if you’re okay with using Android, but Apple fans are completely out of luck. So what can you do if you want the better audio quality from wired headphones and a high-end smartphone?

Some manufacturers included adapters in the early days of smartphones shipping without headphone jacks. As time has gone on, this has become less common. However, you still have options to use wired headphones without the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

USB-C Headphone Jack Adapters

USB-C has become the common charging port for Android devices and iPads. The USB-C port can also be used with wired headphones. All you need is a simple, affordable adapter. You have a few different types to choose from.

Want to be able to charge your phone and still use wired headphones? The JSAUX adapter includes a 3.5mm port for your headphones and an extra USB-C port. It even supports 30W PD for fast charging many Android devices.

Best for Listening and Charging

JSAUX USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone and Charger Adapter

This adapter lets you charge your phone while using the USB-C port for wired headphones.

For something a little simpler, the UGREEN adapter is a simple 3.5mm port. You won’t be able to charge your device while using headphones, but that may not be something you care about. For about $10 you can bring back the headphone jack.

Simple 3.5mm Adapter

UGREEN USB-C to 3.5mm Adapter

If you just want to simply add a 3.5mm port to your headphone jack-less phone, this is an affordable way to do it.

Lightning Headphone Jack Adapter

While most devices may be using USB-C, the iPhone is still a special case. Apple is sticking with the Lightning port. The good news is there are still plenty of adapters to choose from.

Occupying the Lightning port for a headphone adapter means you can’t use it for charging—unless the adapter has a charging port, too. The Belkin adapter is a little pricey, but it supports fast-charging up to 12W and allows you to listen to your tunes at the same time.

If charging isn’t a concern while jamming out with wired headphones, just get Apple’s simple adapter. It’s less than $10 and gives you the headphone jack back on your iPhone. Apple used to include these with new iPhones, but it doesn’t anymore.

Apple's Official Adapter

Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Adapter

Apple makes an affordable adapter so you can listen to wired headphones with an iPhone. "Affordable" and "Apple" don't often go together.

Skip the Adapter Completely

The adapters above are great if you already have a pair of headphones with a 3.5mm jack that you really like. However, you don’t have to use headphones that have a 3.5mm jack. There are USB-C and Lightning headphones as well.

Apple has its own pair of earbuds with a Lightning connector. These are your basic Apple earbuds, known as EarPods—nothing special. They’re affordable and get the job done if you want to ditch the adapter.

Lightning Earbuds

Apple Wired Lightning Earbuds

Classic Apple earbuds with a Lightning connector for iPhones.

Google also has its own pair of wired earbuds in the USB-C variety. These feature adjustable ear loops and Google Assistant integration. The downside is they’re over $30, which is kinda pricey.

USB-C Earbuds

Google Wired USB-C Earbuds

Google's wired USB-C earbuds offer clever adjustable earloops and Google Assistant integration if paired with an Android phone.

These are just a few examples: You’ll find other Lightning and USB-C headphone from other manufacturers, too.

It’s unfortunate that high-end smartphones don’t allow you to use high-end wired headphones with a 3.5mm jack anymore. You aren’t stuck with Bluetooth earbuds, though. A simple adapter is all you need to get a classic headphone jack.

The Best Headphones of 2023

Sony WH-1000XM5
Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Overall
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Philips SHP9600
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Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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