How To Use Lightning Headphones on Laptop

Lightning Headphones, and lightning products in general, are one of many defining characteristics of Apple Inc. What makes them special, besides their obvious craftsmanship, is their lightning jacks and connectors. Unfortunately, this makes something like connecting lightning headphones to a laptop difficult. However, it’s not impossible, and we’ll learn here how to use lightning headphones on laptops in a few ways.

How to know a Lightning headset when you see one?

Lightning headphones don’t have a 3.5 connector for iPhones and iPads, unlike other headphones. Lightning headphones have a short compact connector. It is not different from the one in the charging cable. 

Even though you may connect your lightning headphones to your iPhone or iPad with ease, using them on a computer poses a problem. Apple started employing lightning connector and jack technology with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus.

So now that we know what makes lightning headphones different from other headphone types, we know for a fact that connecting them to a laptop is not easy. 

So, what to do if one has to listen to music on his laptop but has lightning headphones with their incompatible connector?

There is another issue to consider. Let’s say you are one of many hapless users of older versions of Apple devices, such as iPhone 3 which has a 3.5 mm jack. what to do? 

Does that mean you are doomed to an Apple-headphone-less future? Will you, unimaginably, need to buy a new iPhone to use lightning headphones?

In addition to answering this question, the following section will enable you to use lightning headphones on your laptop or computer and even smart devices with a 3.5 mm jack.

How to use lightning headphones on laptop? 

Apple has manufactured a lightning adapter so that people with older versions of the iPhone and iPad can use new Apple accessories.

This adapter has one end in which one can plug the compact lightning connector of Apple headphones while the other end is a 3.5 mm audio plug.

This is one valid way of using lightning headphones on a laptop or a computer. Connect the adapter to your laptop then the lightning connector to the adapter.

There is also another adapter Apple has manufactured to meet customers in the middle: a USB adapter. One end is for plugging in a lightning connector and the other is the end that will be inserted in a USB port in a laptop or computer.

So, you can use this other method too if you need to use headphones on your laptop. Connect them to this adapter and connect the adapter to the laptop.

You can expect that substituting the usual 1/8-inch headphone jack has led to not-a-few complaints from customers. Why would Apple do such a thing?

Check also: The 5 Best Sennheiser Headphones for Gaming in 2021

Reasons why Apple has substituted the 3.5 mm jack with lightning jack 

Uniqueness and individuality

Apple has always been constantly striving to achieve uniqueness and individuality to set itself apart from other players in the market. This needs a lot of effort these days and much more than hard work.

Better sound quality

Well, this is somewhat debatable. Although iPhone versions starting 7 and above do indeed have better sound quality, you cannot say for sure that employing the lightning connector has a lot to do with it.


Apple is easing its customers into a jack-less future. Maybe at the time that wasn’t clear, but nowadays more people are using Bluetooth headphones and giving up anything to do with wires.

Boosting popularity and enhancing image

At least you cannot argue with that. Replacing 3.5 mm jack with lightning jack has made Apple more known, more popular, and garnered more attention which was indeed useful.

A slimmer look

The smaller, slimmer, and lighter the better. This is what seems to be the world is all about now: almost-paper-thin phones and bendable phones.

What if I need to buy headphones I can use on my iPhone, iPad, and laptop, do I need to buy an adapter in addition to the lightning headphones?

I am certain that many people don’t like carrying cables around, misplacing them, and looking for them. So, a smarter move than buying an adapter with lightning headphones would be buying wireless AirPods. Apple seems to think that the single left jack is one jack too many.

To Conclude:

To use lightning headphones on a laptop you have to get either lightning to 3.5 mm jack adapter or lightning to USB adapter. The average price for the first is $9.00 while the second is sold for $29.00.

Read also: How to Use Headphones as a Mic

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