Convert iphone headphones to aux

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How can I connect Lightning headphones to a 3.5mm jack?

Lightning adapter

If you are waiting for an adapter to use Lightning headphones in a 3.5mm headphone jack, don't hold your breath.

Apple includes a Lightning adapter with every iPhone, which allows standard 3.5mm headphone plugs to be used in a Lightning port. These convert digital audio output from the Lightning port into an analog signal delivered to the headphones.

Reversing this adapter to provide a female Lightning connector and a male 3.5mm plug would make it possible to connect Lightning headphones to a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. However, this would mean converting the audio signal from analog to digital and back again.

Apple is not likely to encourage the resulting decline in audio quality, simply to make Lightning headphones backward compatible with 3.5mm jacks.


How to use lightning headphones on laptop


The latest gadgets from Apple (iPhone5 and beyond) comes with a “Lightning connector”. Apple rolled out this upgraded version of connector to replace the old 30-pin dock connector. The 8-pin Lightning connector is way more compact than its predecessor. All iPhones starting from iPhone 5, iPads of 4th generation and beyond along with three successive generations of iPod Touch including the 5th, 6th and 7th generations currently have this kind of connector.

However because of this technical design change, the peripheral electronic accessories also needed a complete revamp and one question remains constant i.e. How to use lightning headphones on laptop?  Headphones, chargers and other accessories had to be made compatible with the new port for daily usage. Thus this engineering evolution from Apple has introduced two kinds of dilemma.

  • Firstly, the electronic accessories designed for the older models of Apple devices have become completely incompatible without an adapter.

For example, the newest models do not contain a traditional 3.5 mm female audio jack in them (the hole on the body of a smartphone where the sharp end of a normal earphone is plugged). Instead one has to use Lightning headphone adapter. This special adapter has one end compatible to be connected to the Lightning connector of Apple devices and other with the standard 3.5 mm audio plugs. It converts the digital form of audio coming out of the iPhone and converts them into analog signal which is then delivered to the headphones connected to the port.


  • Secondly, the peripheral accessories compatible for the Lightning connector were rendered useless for direct usage with any other devices except the selected few we have mentioned earlier.

This means that gadgets like Lightning headphones (headphones designed to plug into the Lightning connector) cannot be directly connected to older apple devices or any other electronic gadgets that are not manufactured by them; including laptops, most of the smart phones and tablets.


The second problem is more far reaching because it affects way too many consumers. And when there is need there is always a way. Detecting the seriousness of this issue, electronic companies have started manufacturing adapters and this will solve the problem of how to use lightning headphones on laptops and other gadgets. There are two ways an audio device can be physically attached to a laptop body. The first one is through the USB port of the laptop, while the other one is through the dedicated 3.5 mm audio jack port. So, depending on that the adapters can also be of two types:

  • The ones with one end compatible to be attached to a lightning headphone plug and a 3.5 mm male audio jack on the other. You can attach your lightning headphone to the adapter and connect the other side of the adapter to the audio jack of your laptop!
  • The ones with one end compatible to be attached to a lightning headphone plug while the other end can be inserted into a dedicated USB port of the laptop. These are called lightning (female) to USB adapters. There are not many reliable single adapters in the market which can do this conversion though. You first need to get a lightning female to USB-C (or USB-A) adapter and then add another USB-C (or USB-A) to USB adapter to it.
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The headphones that come with a standard iPhone nowadays are not like most headphones. As you already know, they use Apple's lightning adapter.

While this makes it easier to waterproof the iPhone, and you will be able to use your headphones with your iPhone effortlessly, it makes it so that you can't use your iPhone headphones on much else other than a modern mac with the same ports.

This is a common complaint with Apple products.

Here's the bottom line if you're asking how to use lighting headphones with a normal 3.5mm audio jack, you can't (at least not yet)

How To Connect Lightning Headphones To Laptop with USB

There is one way you CAN use lighting headphones with a laptop. To use lightning headphones with a laptop, you need an adapter that allows you to turn the lightning cable into a USB cable. If you have a computer capable of outputting audio through a USB port, use the adapter to plug your lightning headphones in there.

The Lightning Port to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Work Around...Why Can't You Do It?

The truth about using lighting headphones with a laptop is that an adapter might come along in the future, but as of right now, you cannot effectively use lighting headphones with a laptop.

As of now, there isn't an adapter that allows you to switch your lightning headphones to work with a traditional laptop...but why? 

The end of your lightning headphones uses the same connector as your iPhone charger. The first thing you need to buy in order to make your lightning headphones work on a normal laptop is a lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack converter.

It is easy enough to find adapters that allow you to plug normal headphones into a lightning port, but not the other way around.

The lightning adapter does more than just transmit audio information, which is why getting it converted to a a headphone jack is so difficult. 

It would be like asking for an HDMI to headphone jack converter, it just doesn't make sense.  

>> Related Content: Best Lightning Headphones

Are Lightning Headphones worth It?

Whether you love Apple or not, they do seem to make their customers jump through hoops to use their products.

While it does make users marry Apple, and create a new level of brand loyalty. It also creates issues. 

If you want to use lightning headphones on a laptop that doesn't have a lightning headphone port, you're SOL. 

Get yourself a regular pair of headphones, and call it a day.

To see some of the best headphones based on your price range, check out our guides:

Tell Us Your Thoughts

How do you feel about this issue with Apple Lightning headphones? Let us know if you know of a work around (that you've tested and confirmed!) in the comments section below.

An iPhone HEADPHONE adapter... that lasts?

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Iphone aux convert headphones to

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Kanex Lightning to 3.5mm iPhone Headphone Jack Adapter - Reviewed!

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