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If you have been a loyal Apple user for more than a decade, you know that they have changed many things regarding their earphones. There was a time wherein iPhones came with free wired earphones, which you could easily plug into the phone’s 3.5mm audio jack. Unfortunately, they decided to remove the audio jack, starting with the iPhone 7, and they’ve been using a lightning port for all the new phones since then. You have the option to buy Apple’s wired lightning earphones or wireless AirPods, but not everyone is content with its quality and fit. This is why people look to other brands for their headphone needs. Many brands realized that more people would look for alternatives, mainly because Apple no longer included free earphones. We have gathered a list of the best headphones on the market that are lightning-compatible and are perfect to use on a daily basis.
If you are on a budget and looking for good earbuds with superb noise-canceling capabilities, the Pioneer RayZ Plus is an excellent choice. It can cancel out noise from air conditioners and light chatter, and its adaptive noise cancellation feature adjusts the sound depending on the environment you’re in. The earbuds’ sound quality is also suitable for its price. Some hate using wired earbuds because it means they can’t charge their phone simultaneously, but the RayZ Plus solves that problem because they added an extra lightning port. Whatever you’re playing on your device automatically pauses if the left or right earbud gets removed. The RayZ Plus has the standard physical control buttons, but it also has a smart button that you can use to bring up an app, launch controls, or mute/unmute calls. Users can download the Pioneer Rayz app to customize settings and even activate Siri. The RayZ Plus is cheapest when you get in Rose Gold, but you can also opt for Gray and Black variants if you’re willing to pay more.
Sennheiser indeed wanted to compete with Apple when they were coming up with headphones, so they made sure to think of ways to add various high-tech features. Their Ambeo smart headset is a phenomenal product that promises a high-quality sound experience. Sennheiser is well-known for how its audio products deliver incredible detail and warmth. The Ambeo smart headset has noise-canceling capabilities. Like Apple, it also comes with a transparent hearing mode where you can hear more noises around you while still listening to your music. These headphones are superior in recording audio because of the 3D or binaural sound recording. Such technology is usually found on VR mics, so it’s impressive that the brand placed it into their headphones. There is an excellent 3D mic on each earpiece, and it records top-notch sound you can use as voiceovers. You can maximize the function of the mics by using the Ambeo app. You can also customize control buttons and adjust the EQ in the app.
While many people like earphones with advanced features and unique designs, numerous people still prefer simple and affordable options. The Belkin SoundForm iPhone headphones are a terrific budget-friendly choice. It features a flat, durable cable that doesn’t easily get tangled. The ear tips of the Belkin SoundForm are made from silicone and come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Don’t worry about using the earphones while working out because they are water and sweat-resistant. It’s MFi certified, so you can rest assured that it will work smoothly with all Apple products using a lightning port. Belkin tests their earphones extensively to make sure they are long-lasting and durable. The Belkin SoundForm has a built-in microphone along with physical volume buttons, so it’s perfect for taking calls. The earphones come in black or white, and the brand also released a USB-C version.
The 1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds is a must-buy when it comes to lightning-compatible earphones because of their outstanding sound quality matched with a comfortable fit. It has an elegant black and rose gold color that looks luxurious, but some think that the inline control module made from plastic makes the product looks cheap somehow. Despite falling short on some parts of its optics, the 1MORE earbuds win you over with their audio experience. It’s equipped with a total of three drivers, one dynamic driver, and two balanced armatures. Users will get to experience a more separated, full frequency range control. Most earphones only have one drive to handle everything, but with this product, each of the three drives is customized to deal with different frequency ranges. It’s not hard to get amused by the clean top end, slightly boosted mids, and punchy bass of the earbuds. The 5-in-1 controller is helpful because you can change tracks, adjust the volume level, and turn voice control on and off. Each earpiece has oblique angles to feel more secure inside a person’s ear. The earbuds come with nine different ear tip sizes, so you can mix and match them to find the perfect fit. Luca Bignardi, a Grammy award-winning sound engineer, tuned the 1MORE earbuds to deliver the best soundstage possible.
The Beats brand isn’t exactly a competitor of Apple since Apple owns it, but it looks like some of its earphone products might drive away sales from Apple’s products. The Beats urBeats3 earphones with lightning connector features a flat cable to avoid any tangles when storing them in your bags or pockets. The earphones have a unique feature: the earpieces are magnetic, so they can easily stick together when they’re around your next. Beats is a reputable brand, so you can expect the urBeats3 to deliver above-average sound. It has a punchy and firm bass sound people love, but it could be improved in terms of mid-range and high frequencies. The urBeats3 is excellent to use for a workout session or for when you want to go for a jog. Its RemoteTalk feature lets you turn Siri on and off, control your music, and answer calls. There are three colors available on Amazon: Matte Gold, Satin Gold, and Blue. The earphones have a built-in mic, and you get a free deluxe case with every order.
If you are the type with luxury cars in your garage, you wouldn’t mind spending almost $600 on a set of headphones. The Audeze iSINE20 is among the more upscale options you can go for, but you can expect to get the top-notch sound quality you paid for. Audeze’s iSINE20 is an earphone packed with technology you often only experience with over-ear headphones. The design feels futuristic as if you can use them for comms on a spaceship. The earphones have hooks which are unfortunately not comfortable for some, but the fantastic sound quality makes you forget all about it. It has a nearly perfectly balanced overall output, extended treble, and the clarity of its full frequency range is magnificent. The broad soundstage, better bass response, and low distortion is made possible by the NASA material they used for their planar magnetic drivers. The iSINE20 are open-back headphones without ANC, so it’s not suitable for studio or home environments. The earphones work best when used with the Audeze iOS app because you can customize many audio settings. The headphones also have a built-in mic for easy hands-free calls.
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