In the iPhone‘s long history, it’s only had two different connectors—30-pin and Lightning. The latter has been in use since 2012, and there have been countless adapters made for the iPhone’s Lightning port in that time. Let’s look at some weird ones.
Before the Lightning connector was added to the iPhone 5 in 2012, it featured a wide 30-pin connector. Like Lightning nowadays, the 30-pin connector amassed a huge catalog of accessories.
If you still want to use one of those old accessories that utilized the 30-pin connector, you can bridge the gap between the past and present with this Lightning to 30-pin adapter from COVS. Perfect for those of us who never got rid of our iHome iPod speaker docks.
COVS Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter
Bridge the gap between the modern Lightning port and the old-school 30-pin adapter. Allows you to use modern iPhones with older accessories.
Speaking of older connectors, you’re not out of luck if you want to share an iPhone screen with an older TV or monitor. An adapter from NAKVMN with an HDMI port, VGA port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack fits the bill.
You can share your iPhone screen in 1080p to an HDMI-equipped and a separate VGA-equipped TV or monitor at the same time. There’s just something funny about seeing a bulky, bright blue VGA cable with thumb screws connected to an iPhone.
NAKVMN Lightning to HDMI and VGA Adapter
Hook up your iPhone to a TV or monitor that accepts HDMI or VGA with this adapter. It can share the screen to two devices at the same time.
Speaking of older video connectors, you can also share your iPhone screen with TVs that have the three-color RCA ports. This adapter from YEHUA can come in handy for some displays in vehicles and planes or trains.
One end goes into the iPhone, one end goes into a USB-A power plug, and the three plugs go into the TV or display. Again, I just love the idea of connecting a super modern device to something that uses an RCA connection.
YEHUA Lightning to RCA Adapter
You can still share your iPhone screen to a TV or other display that takes the red, yellow, and white RCA cables.
You need an adapter if you want to use 3.5mm headphones with an iPhone. What if you want to connect two pairs of headphones to an iPhone? Why stop there? What about three pairs of wired headphones?
With this adapter from Unitrox, you can connect two pairs of 3.5mm headphones and one pair of Lightning headphones. Perfect for those times you need to share audio with two other people. Plus, the extra Lightning port means you can still charge while using the adapter.
Unitrox 4 in 1 Headphone Jack Adapter
Connect up to three audio devices with this adapter that features two 3.5mm ports, an Lightning audio port, and a Lightning charging port.
There’s a very good chance your iPhone is almost always connected to either Wi-Fi or mobile data. But what if you find yourself in a place that only has internet through ethernet?
Weirdly, you can connect an iPhone to ethernet if you have the right adapter, like this one from Giochem. If you use your iPhone as your primary “computer” device, this can come in handy when you’re in places that don’t have routers or solid mobile data reception.
Giochem Lighting to Ethernet Adapter
An ethernet adapter is the best solution when you're in a place that has internet, but not Wi-Fi (or a solid Wi-Fi connection).
Let’s get into some hyper-specific adapters. The Nreal Air is AR (augmented reality) glasses that can be used with a number of video game systems and operating systems, including the iPhone if you have the adapter.
This allows you to connect the Nreal Air to your iPhone and view the display as a virtual 130-inch screen in your own private theater. As a bonus, it’s compatible with the PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch as well.
Nreal Air Adapter for iPhone
The Nreal adapter allows you to connect your iPhone to the Nreal Air AR glasses and see your iPhone display as an 130-inch virtual screen.
Lastly, perhaps the most specific iPhone adapter out there. A “slit lamp” is an instrument used by ophthalmologists to shine a thin sheet of light into the eye. It makes it possible to examine the front and back of the eye.
The slit lamp adapter allows slit lamps to be aligned with the iPhone’s camera and to take digital photos of the eye. It includes three sleeves for different lamp diameters and a remote shutter button. Do you need this? Probably not. but it’s very cool for a specific use.
While many of these adapters are strange, they do serve valuable purposes for specific situations. It may seem odd to use a modern iPhone with a 30-pin accessory, but if it still works, why trash it? Sometimes all you need is the right adapter to solve a problem—even if it is a bit cursed.