Tomorrow, Apple will take the wraps off the iPhone 7, and it's a pretty poorly held secret that this model could be the company's first major product without a headphone jack.
For now let's table the discussion over whether this is no big deal (Lightning-powered headphones do deliver a true digital audio experience -- in your face, analog jack) or a blunder so colossal it'll drive you to Android. Instead, let's get practical: Millions upon millions of iPhone fans will buy the new handset, and some of those folks will want compatible wired headphones.
Good news: Some such products are available already, and more will invariably follow (starting with the inevitable Beats headphones that are sure to accompany the iPhone 7 tomorrow). But if you want to be among the first to plug headphones into the iPhone's Lightning port, here are seven options you can order (or at least preorder) right now.
Audeze, makers of premium audio gear, already offers two options for the Lightning crowd: the Sine headphone ($449) and the EL-8 series ($699 for the open- or closed-back model, $799 for the Titanium version). All of them are made in the US, in case that's of interest.
The Sine headphone goes on your ears; the EL-8 goes over them. Both promise pro-grade fidelity due in part to a 24-bit digital Lightning cable, while the Audeze iPhone app serves up a 10-band graphic equalizer for tweaking the sound to your liking.
The on-ear Fidelio serves up just the basics, without any kind of inline controls or noise cancellation features. This is just a mid-range headphone for folks who want the benefits of a Lightning connection without the sky-hight price.
Just take note, however, that while inline controls include a microphone for hands-free calls, these don't.
Because the Lightning port can supply power, even earphones can now deliver active noise-cancellation features. The JBL Reflect Aware sport earphones ($199.95) deliver sweat-proof design, inline controls (including a microphone), reflective cables and your choice of colors: black, blue, red or green.
What's more, a JBL companion app lets you adjust the level of outside noise the Reflect Awares let in -- good if you're, say, out for a run and want to make sure you can hear oncoming cars.
The Libratone Q-Adapt Earphones offer similar capabilities -- adaptive active noise cancellation here referred to as CityMix. Just by pressing a button on the inline remote, you can toggle between four levels of noise blocking.
These definitely aren't designed for exercise, though, as they're not sweat-proof or otherwise gym-friendly. Pricing has yet to be determined, but the Q-Adapt will likely sell for around $200.
Have you found another Lightning-compatible earphone or headphone you like better than these? Tell us about it in the comments!