Rumor has it iPhone 7 will be losing the 3.5mm headphone jack. Don't be dismayed, though — audio through the Lightning port is purely digital and therefore crystal clear and glorious. And there are already several good options on the market for Lightning headphones!
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Audeze's $500 SINEs are perfect for you or any other audiophile in your family. They feature planar-magnetic technology, which works similarly to dynamic drivers, but instead of the signal being sent through an ultra-thin coil, it gets spread out over the diaphragm within the driver, which can lead to better bass and distinction between all ranges.
The built-in DAC and DSP bypass what's in your iPhone 7, so that you receive pure, 24-bit audio, with next to no distortion and incredible accuracy.
Using the Audeze iOS app, you can customize your sound with a 10-band equalizer that alters your music in real time, so that you can hear each track the way it was meant to be heard or the way you choose to hear it.
At around $500, these are significantly less expensive than their upgraded brethren, then EL-8 Titanium series, but they certainly pack a wallop and will likely outmatch anything you've heard from a regular 3.5mm headphone jack.
JBL Reflect Aware
If you're sporty or just prefer in-ear headphones, then JBL's Reflect Aware pair nicely with your iPhone. They stay in your ear when you're on the go and provide top-notch active noise cancellation but can mix in sound from your surroundings so that you remain aware when you need to, while blocking out the world when you don't.
The Reflect Aware headphones have an in-line mic and volume control buttons, so that you can control your music and answer calls without missing a step.
Sweatproof and featuring a tangle-free cable, these are truly the perfect earbuds for anyone who like to remain active, and they'll stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use for a long, long time.
You have your choice of blue, red, or teal. See at Amazon
Philips Fidelio M2L
Philips makes another great set of headphones for audiophiles in a much more affordable package than the Audeze set above. For around $200, you can pick up a pair of the Fidelio M2L headphones, which feature a built-in lightning connector that delivers high-resolution sound that features clear, powerful bass in an acoustically sealed environment that keeps the noise you want in the and the noise you don't out.
With their built-in DAC, the Fidelio M2Ls amplify sound on their own, which means you're not just getting what your iPhone can drive, but much, much more, which means almost zero distortion at any volume and exceptionally crisp and clear audio – you'll feel like you're in the recording studio.
If you're an audiophile but don't want to shell out $800, then the Philips Fidelio M2L headphones are an excellent, much less expensive option.
If you're an earbud fan but don't need 'em sporty or sweatproof, then Brightech has some awesome lightning in-ear headphones for you, for an easy-to-swallow $50.
Just because they aren't sweatproof doesn't mean they're not formidable – these beauties are encased in aluminum alloy, so all the audio goodness is protected, safe and sound (pun INTENDED).
With 24-bit audio capabilities, amplified bass, passive noise cancellation, and in-line volume control, the Brightech lightning headphones are easily the best for most people. They offer excellent sound, great comfort, all at a very affordable price.
Audeze EL-8 Titanium
Audeze truly makes the best lightning headphones you can buy for your iPhone, but they come at a rather steep price – about $800. They feature an integrated lightning cable, complete with mic and volume control so that you can make calls with the Siri-compatible mic and control your music without having to take your iPhone out of your pocket.
From the team that created the BMW i8, you wouldn't expect anything less than innovation (especially for $800!), so you get awesome features – one being Audeze's iOS app, from which you can control your music's EQ to your heart's content.
Audeze's 24-bit Cipher cable means you get higher-resolution sound than you would through a traditional headphone jack, so you'll hear almost no distortion at any volume.
If you're a true audiophile and need your tunes to sound perfect, then the best choice is the Audeze EL-8 Titanium.You could go with the regular EL-8 for around $700, but you'll need to buy the lightning cable separately.
What's got your ear?
Do you have an awesome pair of lightning headphones that you think deserves a mention? Let us know in the comments below!
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Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.