Top 10 Best Lightning Headphones For iPhone 2019 [Reviews & Buyer’s Guide] – Arkartech

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Are you looking for a pair of headphones with lightning connectors? Well, ever since Apple removed the 3.5 mm headphone jack from the iPhone, lightning headphones have surfaced high in demand.

The opinions regarding this move by Apple vary a lot. Was there even a point of removing the jack? Does the lightning connection deliver better results?

It is not uncommon for the consumer electronics landscape to follow the trail that Apple leaves behind. So even if you are not an owner of the iPhone, chances are that you may still need a lightning headphone sooner or later.

Why did the headphone jack remove after all? Well, before you move towards choosing your favorite lightning headphones, allow us to some explaining.

What do you need to know before buying lightning headphones?

In case you do not keep up with the technology trends regularly, you may have a number of questions. Questions like these are not uncommon, however. And we aim to answer them all in this section.

1) Will the lightning connection improve the quality?

The short answer is, yes! The lightning connection does deliver higher resolution audio. However, based on the iPhone’s software, the source code cannot really be played at its full resolution through the headphone jack.

The internet DAC in iPhone is capable of handling 24-bit/96kHz via the lightning connection. However, these specifications are not under confirmation by Apple. Nevertheless, the software puts a limitation on the music that comes out of the headphone socket at 24-bit/48kHz. Hence, access via the lightning connection allows you to receive hi-resolution audio.

2) Do the latest iPhone models come with wireless headphones?

Well, no! The iPhone does not come bundled with a wireless pair of headphones. However, the change in the headphone connection has provided the wireless headphones market a big boost.

There is a range of different Bluetooth wireless headphones in the market that is quickly gaining popularly.

3) Can you use your existing headphones with the iPhone?

But what should you do in case you have already put a lot of money in a higher end headphone pair? In case you headphones lack a lightning connector, you cannot use them with your iPhone.

However, there is one turnaround. You can still use them along with a DAC which has a lightning connection going into the iPhone. The DAC is essentially an iPhone lightning cable adapter.

However, it is true that messing around with adapters and extra cables is nothing less than a nuisance. This is especially true in case you are someone who travels frequently. In this case, you will want to plug your headphones in without having any fuss.

The simplest way around would be to buy a decent set of lightning headphones, or a Bluetooth enabled headset.

4) What is the advantage of a lightning connection?

Well, regardless of all the controversy surrounding Apple’s removal of the 3.5 mm audio jack, the lightning connection remains popular. This is because it carries a range of advantages.

The major advantage of the lightning connector is the fact that they offer a higher resolution. The lightning connection offers a 24-bit audio resolution which is comparable to a master studio recording. This is a big step up from the 16-bit sound quality that audio jacks offer.

Hence, even a pair of cheap lightning headphones is likely to deliver decent audio quality.

5) What are the disadvantages of lightning headphones?

Well, the primary disadvantage is that the lightning cord headphones will not support a 3.5mm audio jack. While electronic devices that play music are slowly transitioning to the lightning connection, there is still a long way to go.

In case you own the iPhone 7, there is no way for you to listen to music or audio while charging your phone. However, this issue does not exist on the preceding models i.e. iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. All the preceding models allow wireless Qi-standard charging.

Our picks for the best lightning headphones

#1- Libratone Q Adapt Lightning In-Ear Headphone

One of the most solid options that you have for pair lightning in ear headphones is the Libratone Q Adapt. This pair offers one sturdy mix of great sound and noise cancellation.

The Q Adapt apple lightning headphones make use of the CityMix active noise cancellation technology, which shuts most of the ambient sounds off. These include the clattering at the gym, the office chatter, and the ongoing traffic/wind noises.

The level of ambient sound can be controlled by four different settings, from within the Libratoe Application on your smartphone.

This feature offers a significant level of control to you as a user. Hence, it allows you to enjoy the music as you want to.

The signature sound of the Libratone is popular for having a very balanced low-end, along with an electrifying high,

As far as the design goes, this pair of lightning headphones boasts a very sturdy design, with a tough fabric wrapped around the cord. Moreover, the earbuds carry a comfortably fitting design to allow hours of usage.

#2- JBL Reflect Aware Sports Earphones with lightning connectors

JBL Reflect Aware Sports Earphones with lightning connectors

In case you are a person who loves to work out while the music plays, the JBL Reflect Aware is worthy of your attention. This particular pair of lightning in ear headphones feature a very robust design that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

This is primarily because their design keeps the fitness lovers under consideration. The unique earbud design fits just right into your ear, without falling off. At the same time, this pair of lightning headphones is comfy enough to keep on for hours.

All in all, the design is highly sports focused. With that, this pair of lightning earphones is sweat-resistant and totally water-resistant. Moreover, they feature a reflective coating. This reflective coating reflects the light in the dark which makes you visible. As a result of this, drivers may be able to see you on the roads during a nighttime walk. Consider this as an added safety feature for the roads.

Moreover, this unique pair of lightning jack headphones also features a noise-canceling technology. This can be turned off or on via the dedicated smartphone application.

Do not, however, that if you are not a fan of the bass, this particular set may not be the best for you. This is because they can sound a little bassy at times.

#3- Beats UrBeats 3 earphones with lightning connector

Beats UrBeats 3 with lightning connector

It is quite unbelievable that the Beats brand despite being owned by Apple can offer a relatively inexpensive pair of lightning headphones. Well, the Beats UrBeats 3 is one of the cheapest pairs of lightning plug headphones out there.

Regardless of its relatively inexpensive price tag, this pair of lightning port headphones delivers a seamless audio experience.

Atop that, this pair has a very sturdy design with a flat cable which prevents the unusually annoying tangles. Moreover, since they feature magnetic earpieces, you can keep it wrapped around the neck throughout the day. The magnetic feature will allow the earpieces to stay intact, after all.

As expected from the Beats brand, this pair of lightning earphones deliver a very bassy and punchy sound. For instance, if you listen to the bassline from the song Another One Bites The Dust Kicks, you will get hooked on to it. Similarly, songs by Cigarettes after Sex are popular for groovy bass lines and sound very addictive in this pair.

However, the higher and the midrange frequencies may not sound as good. Nevertheless, they are still good enough for most of the rock and pop songs.

In case you are something who pays a lot of attention to the detail, the high and mid-range frequency response may not sound as appealing. In this case, a rather balanced set of iPhone headphones may do the trick for you.

Nevertheless, it’s surprising that Beats offers an extremely affordable yet decent pair of in-ear headphones at this price point.

#4- PALOVUE Earflow in-Ear Lightning Headphone

PALOVUE Earflow in-Ear Lightning Headphone

In case you are looking for an apple headphone with a lightning connector that has a minimalist design, look no further! The Palovue Earflow in ear lightning headphones will do the trick.

This particular pair of lightning headphones offers a very tough design which does not cause a dent in the wallet. Atop that, it comes in a wide range of color options for you to choose from. These include the white, red, and black.

At an affordable price range, this set of lightning connection earphones is made of very sturdy materials that provide a solid feel. Having said that, this pair is likely to survive for a very long time.

As far as the frequency response goes, it is around 20 Hz to 200 KHz. Moreover, its sensitivity is rated at around 100 decibels. This would be the maximum volume offered by this pair.

Indeed, these earphones are not the loudest ones in the market. However, they are still loud enough for most of the people. A volume too loud could be harmful to the ears anyway.

Moreover, the cord length of this pair is around 0.8m which is perfect for smartphone users. Considering the low price, this particular pair of lightning headphones can certainly act as a worthy backup.

All in all, the PALOVUE Earflow In Ear Lightning Headphones offer a great value for the buck. Delivering a functioning design, great color flexibility, and competitive audio, this pair of earphones is definitely worth it.

However, do note that this pair does not have the premium features such as water-resistance and noise cancellation. Hence, they may not suit everyone’s requirements.

#5- Audeze SINE On-Ear Headphone with Apple Lightning Cable for iPhone

Audeze SINE On-Ear Headphone with Apple Lightning Cable for iPhone

The Audeze SINE headphones are, without a doubt, one of the best high-end lightning headphones in the market. At a price tag of almost $400, this pair of lightning headphones can be quite expensive for many people.

However, is it worth all the money? Well, this particular pair of lightning jack headphones come to a ‘Cipher’ iPhone lightning cable. This lightning cable contains its own dedicated amplifier along with a 24-bit DAC. As a result of this, you can expect a high-resolution audio experience that is highly focused on bringing great detail.

So in case you are someone who pays a lot of attention to the details in audio, this pair of lightning headphones is for you!

Well, at a $400 price point, you may expect every single pair of headphones to deliver an amazing experience. While this may be true in general, the Audeze SINE still stands out from the rest.

One of the biggest advantages of this particular headphone is that it comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, and a ‘Cipher’ iPhone lightning cable separately. As a result of this, you may be able to use this pair with a range of different electronic devices. After all, not all devices currently feature the lightning jack. Many smartphones such as Samsung is still sticking with the traditional 3.5 mm audio jack.

As far as the build quality goes, the Audeze SINE features two amazing machined metal parts. These carry a soft premium leather finish. All in all, the finishing of the headphones is totally unmatched.

The flat Cipher cable that comes along with this pair features volume controls, inline mic, and a play/pause feature. Atop that, it can also store your favorite EQ profiles (two at a time) digitally. These EQ profiles can be set via the Audeze mobile application.

The only disadvantage of the Audeze SINE is that these are not a portable choice. Although this pair happens to be far slimmer as compared to the rest, it still does not offer a high level of portability.

#6- Pioneer RayZ plus In Ear Earbuds with lightning connector for iphone

Pioneer RayZ plus In Ear Earbuds with lightning connector for iphone

The Pioneer RayZ plus lightning earbuds come at a price point of almost $110. Hence, it falls in the mildly affordable category.

Although, this particular pair of apple earbuds may still be quite expensive for many people. Anyway, there is no doubt that they happen to be the best for those who require sound isolation. In fact, the Pioneer RayZ plus earbuds are the very few earphones that actually offer sound isolation.

One of the most distinctive features of these lightning earbuds is that they have a microphone built in. This microphone helps the active noise cancellation feature to adapt itself based on the ambient sounds near you. Overall, it allows you to have received a higher level of sound isolation.

Atop that, at a price point of $110, you can certainly expect a couple of premium features. One notable feature of these earphones is that the microphone recognizes voice assistant commands seamlessly. Hence, you can invoke Siri without a push of any button.

Apart from having a built-in mic and DAC, the inline controls feature a noise cancellation button and volume control buttons. Apart from that, a smart button is also included which can be programmed for a multitude of tasks. These tasks include muting a call or opening your preferred application.

These earbuds and the cables happen to be very durable and lightweight. Near the bottom end of your cable, there is a charge through the lightning port. This lightning port allows you to power up the phone without having to remove the earphones first.

All in all, this pair of lightning earphones is equipped with a range of premium features. Atop that, the sound quality is quite decent and gives off the vibes of a higher-end device.

#7- 1MORE triple driver headphones with Lightning Connector

1MORE triple driver headphones with Lightning Connector

The triple driving headphones by 1More present an ideal solution for you in case you want more than just one earbud.

All in all, the earbuds that are featured in this lightning in ear headphones feature three drivers. Each of these drivers functions for a different sound frequency.

As a result of this, a far more sophisticated sound quality is achieved as compared to the single full-frequency driver.

Indeed, the difference is quite easily discernible if you listen to it. Moreover, this pair also features the standard 24-Bit 48 KHz DAC. As a result of this, they deliver an extremely high-resolution audio.

#8- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones

The P9 Signature headphones by Bowers and Wilkins themselves do not include a lightning connection. However, if you could afford these high-end headphones, then a couple of bucks more for a lightning connector will be worth it.

The B&W iPhone lightning cable is highly recommended to be used with these headphones. It not only includes a built-in DAC but also features in-line controls for better music playability.

Although the P9 signature headphones are highly expensive and may not fall in your budget, they are worth the buck.

While it does not feature any noise-canceling technology, the over-ear design of the headphones does the trick. It does actually block a good range of ambient noise.

Let us keep it simple, these high-end headphones can offer you an unbelievably great and balanced sound. It is especially suitable for those who want to experience a great number of audio details.

#9- Audeze EL-8 Headphones with Lightning Cable

Audeze EL-8 Headphones with Lightning Cable

Not cheap at a price tag of 700 Euros, the Audeze EL-8 may be your prime music solution. The planar magnetic drivers featured in this high-end headphone may deliver you the best audio experience out there.

Atop that, this particular pair of lightning headphones also features an integrated DAC, built inside the cable. As a result of this, it can handle the highest resolution sounds with great detail.

Since you get what you pay for, a pair of lightning headphones at this price point do not really need any praise

With that, the Audeze EL-8 is designed primarily for the detail lovers and true music enthusiasts out there. After all, why would anyone else want to spend a great deal of money for a pair of headphones?

With a sturdy design, comfortably fitting earcups, and a titanium finish, the Audeze EL-8 offer a great value for their price. After all, this is one expensive pair of headphones.

#10- Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector

Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector

Lastly, let us talk about the signature Apple EarPods with a Lightning Connector. At a cheap price point of $24.46 at Amazon, the Apple EarPods is not a bad investment.

Most of the people prefer these EarPods rather than going for rather expensive ones, because of the design. The Apple EarPods are designed while keeping the geometry of the ear in view. As a result of this, they fit inside the ear like nothing else!

Since this pair of earphones comes with a built-in lightning connector, this could be your single solution for music playability on the go. After all, you would not have to deal with the hassle of managing extra cables.

The built-in lightning connector also features controls for adjusting the volume, answer/end calls, and to control the music/video playback.

All in all, this pair could be your simplest yet most valuable investment that could offer you a great value!

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What does the DAC do?

A DAC stands for ‘digital audio converter’. It primarily converts the quality of the sound coming in from 24-Bit 48 KHz to 24-Bit 96 KHz.

2) Do I really need headphones with a lightning connection for iPhone?

All iPhone models starting from the iPhone 7 and up, lack an audio jack. Hence, headphones with a lightning connection are required.

3) How can I connect lightning headphones to a 3.5 mm audio jack?

Many of the lightning headphones come with a built-in 3.5 mm audio connection. This connection could be turned into a lightning connection via an adapter.

Alternatively, you can use reverse lightning to 3.5 mm jack adapter to plug your headphones into an audio jack.

4) How can I charge an iPhone with lightning headphones already connected?

The iPhone models starting from iPhone 8 and onward have a wireless charging feature. In the iPhone 7, however, you cannot technically charge the phone while listening to music.

Although, lightning headphones from brands such as 1MORE do offer multiple functionalities of listening to music while charging.


In case you want to stick with the traditional Apple design, simply go with the Apple EarPods with a lightning connector. This would be the cheapest investment, that may not bring the best audio experience, but it is good enough for most people.

Serious enthusiasts, however, may want to invest into something that would offer a rather surreal music experience. In this case, the Beats urBeats 3 may provide a great value for the buck.

Those looking for the greatest detail in sound may find it worthy to go for higher-end headphones such as the P9 Signature. However, this will come at the expense of portability.

As a buyer, the things that you need to consider include portability, a balanced sound, affordability, and reliability (for long-term usage).

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