Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki

The Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter is an adapter dongle that was developed by Apple due to the absence of the 3.5 mm headphone jack from its iPhone line.


The jack was first eliminated from the iPhone 7 in 2016 to make space for additional components such as the Taptic Engine and help achieve its water resistance rating.[1] The adapter was provided with the iPhone 7 through X, allowing users to connect their headphone jack devices to the Lightning port. With the release of the iPhone XR and XS in 2018, EarPods with a Lightning connector were included and the adapter was removed.[2]


The Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter became Apple's best-selling product at Best Buy and the newly-introduced wireless AirPods entered widespread use,[2] leading to suggestions of ulterior business motives for the removal of the headphone jack. Apple marketing head Phil Schiller stated, "We are removing the audio jack because we have developed a better way to deliver audio. It has nothing to do with content management or DRM -- that's pure, paranoid conspiracy theory."[1]


The adapter was criticized for occupying the Lightning port from other uses while plugged in. Third parties have designed split dongles that can connect headphones while providing a pass-through Lightning connector for charging or other devices.[3] Samsung promoted its own competing smartphones with headphone jacks as an advantage, but withdrew its criticism when the Galaxy Note 10 was released in 2019 without a headphone jack, followed by its own line of dongles and wireless earbuds.[4]


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