Maxwell Barna takes us on a tour of the best new accessories for the iPhone 7.
There’s really no downplaying it, ladies and gentlemen—Apple kind of blew it with the iPhone 7. A lot of people, including some of the most devout iPhone fanboys, were left in baffled awe after it was announced that they’d be doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack with the iPhone 7.
What’s worse, their main reason for doing so—and I shit you not, here—was because of "courage." Ugh. Courage? What?! What does that even mean?! I cringe just thinking about it, and most critics agree—it was a stupid move.
If you’re not yet up to speed on the whole debacle, at the Apple Keynote earlier this month, the company’s Marketing Chief Phil Schiller made the announcement that the new iPhone 7 wouldn’t include a headphone jack. It ruffled a lot of feathers, to say the least. And when Apple announced they’d be including a Lightning Port-to-3.5mm adapter in the box, it still left Apple fans feeling a certain kind of way—kind of like they'd received a “Yeah, we know we screwed up, but fuck you anyway.” Justifiably so, as the Lightning Port-to-3.5mm jack adapter makes it impossible to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time.
It all really sucks, because there’re so many other cool things going on with the new iPhone that people would love to take advantage of—an awesome new camera, a massive internal processor, a water resistant screen, Retina HD display, etc.—but all progress seems dashed to bits with the 3.5mm input fail.
So, what’s a tech nerd to do? Is it worth the hassle of no headphone jack, or should you not even bother? Well, luckily, there are a lot of cool products coming out for the iPhone 7 that help conciliate the issue. Here are the seven iPhone 7 accessories that will make owning an iPhone 7 less shitty:
Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar—$39.99 (Oct. 10)
Lightning Port headphones are nothing new, and they’re included in the iPhone 7’s basic accessories (along with a Lightning Port to 3.5mm adapter). What neither of these options consider is that a lightning port headphone means you won’t be able to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time.
Lucky, Belkin has our back. Belkin’s Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar, due out on October 10, converts a single lightning port into two separate ports—one for your headphones and one for your charger. At the very least, we have that to look forward to, and it’ll only cost you 40 bucks.
For those of you who just can’t live without a 3.5mm audio input, there’s the Daptr case. Beautiful, modern, sleek and super durable, the Daptr comes with metal bumpers and colored finishes that essentially make the case look like it belongs on the iPhone 7. It comes with not just a 3.5mm jack, but also includes two lightning ports.
Whether you’re using a standard 3.5mm pair of headphones or Apple’s supplied lightning port headphones, you won’t have to worry about running out of battery, or looking like an idiot with those stupid AirPods hanging out of your ears. It’s not due out until December, but you can sign up for the waiting list right now.
Apple Lightning Dock—$49.00
How’s this for some bullshit? Apple creates a product that kills off a component many users still faithfully rely on, only to release an official product to solve your problem later. What’s up with that?!
Anyway, the iPhone Lightning Dock is a sleek and stylish stand that will hold your phone upright, and includes a 3.5mm audio input and a Lightning Port. It comes in all five colors of the iPhone 7, and is actually available now. The 50-dollar price tag is a little on the steep end, but you are getting an officially licensed Apple product…so there’s that.
iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case—$99.00
This is nothing new for Apple (the iPhone 6 received its own Smart Battery Case), but I can’t recommend it enough. It actually kind of baffles me how, everywhere I go, people are always looking for a charger. “Hey man, would you happen to have a charger?” “Aww shit, my phone’s on two percent…” “Dude, let me get your charger for like, two seconds!” Honestly, I’d say it happens on an almost-daily basis, and I’m positive I’m not alone.
The Smart Battery Case increases your phone’s battery for an additional 26 hours of talk time or 22 hours of Internet use, according to the Apple site. I realistically get an additional 16-18 hours with mine, but that’s mixed use for a lot of different purposes.
Anker 2-in-1 3.5 Bluetooth Audio Transmitter Receiver—$28.99
Just because Apple says the 3.5mm jack is dead doesn’t mean you have to listen. The Anker 2-in-1 is a rechargeable Bluetooth transmitter that’s small enough to carry around with you on the go, but powerful enough to make sure you never lose signal—at the gym, on the train or anywhere else you want to listen to music, but don’t want to tie up your Lightning Port or look like an asshole with Apple’s stupid AirPods. God, I hate those things.
Peel iPhone 7 Case—$24.99
Part of what I enjoy about the iPhone is its minimalistic simplicity. It’s the whole world—all your friends and family, news, music and entertainment—all in an unassuming package, right in the palm of your hand.
When it comes to cases, the Peel aligns perfectly with that theme. No gaudy bullshit, unnecessary bulk or even hampering branding. It’s a case that works, and if you hate unnecessarily bulky cases, it’s the only case you need. Period.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones—$349.95
Speaking of those stupid AirPods, I’m sorry y’all, but I absolutely, positively, unabashedly re-fucking-fuse to co-sign on those things. They’re hideous. They look like tiny little white golf clubs, sticking out of your ear and just waiting for the right opportunity to fall out and completely fuck your whole day up. So, instead, I’m offering a superb alternative—Bose QuietComforts.
These things are the real deal. Impeccable sound quality (the best in the business, some would argue), noise-cancelling technology, sturdy design and up to 20 hours of wireless listening per charge. You can toss $159.00 in the bucket to make your ears look like they belong at the driving range, or you can invest in a setup that’ll give you what may very well be the best listening experience on the planet.
If you’re strapped and don’t want to invest in a solid rig (I know those feels), you can grab yourself some Jabra Move’s for under $100. Stylish, comfortable, high-quality and great sound—all in a package that won’t make you look like Tiger Wood’s stupid bastard child. God, AirPods look stupid. What in the honest fuck were you thinking, Apple?!
In case you're still deciding whether to buy an iPhone 7, here's everything you need to know to make up your mind.