The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+ may be the only smartphones without a traditional headphone jack so far. But you can bet that other manufacturers will be following Apple’s lead before too long. Here are some headset and earphone options that will work for you anyway.
Sennheiser PXC 550 travel headphones ($500)
The PXC 550 headphones (above) have a premium price, but the superior build and sound quality are worth it. They connect to multiple devices with Bluetooth and the ear cups are touch sensitive, so you control things like audio level by tapping and swiping on the outside of the cup. The 30-hour battery life is managed, in part, by a feature that pauses playback and calls when the headphones are removed. And if all that’s not enough, the PXC 550 headset has adaptive noise cancelling and three built-in microphones so you can have phone conversations almost anywhere.
AirPods are available as of this week, and what makes them particularly appealing is that the wireless earbuds connect to your Apple device without you having to do anything. Simply open the charging case and your iPhone will connect to them. You can also use AirPods with your iPad and Mac computer (if its running macOS Sierra). They are light and AirPods automatically enter a standby mode when you take them out, and if you remove one earbud when it’s time to pay the barista, your playback will automatically pause and restart. You can also make and receive calls and talk to Siri. The AirPods come in a case that also charges the earbuds, giving you more than 24 hours of battery life in total. They are light and comfortable and if you haven’t ever had a problem with Apple’s earbuds in the past, you’ll love these. Some of you have shallow ear cavities – you know who you are – and these will fall out too easily to be a good match for you.
Panasonic Sport Ear Buds ($130)
These Bluetooth earbuds are really light and they are designed to rest on top of your ears, which helps keep them in place when you’re running or biking. They are waterproof and sweatproof, and when fully charged they’ll give you up to six hours of playback. A quick, 15-minute charge still gives you over an hour of use.
JBL Reflect Aware ($280)
Not all headphone options need to be Bluetooth. JBL is one of the first manufacturers to come out with earbuds that have a Lightning connector. The benefit of this is that the Reflect Aware earbuds can draw power from the iPhone. Why do these earbuds need power, you wonder? Because of the adaptive noise control feature, which lets you set the amount of external noise you want to hear. If you want to be able to hear the traffic – or the bear – that might be coming your way, this comes in handy.
Beats Solo3 Wireless ($330)
The other headphone option from Apple for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is this over-the-ear set of headphones. Available in eight different colour schemes, the Solo3 have a battery life of up to 40 hours. They connect to your Apple devices as simply as the AirPods and the controls are on the ear cups. These come with a headphone cable so you can plug in if you need to.
HeadsUp headphone stand ($65)
If you’ve got a headset that you use at your desk, you need a HeadsUp, which is a stand for your headphones. Available in three colours, it’s designed with a phone holder and a cavity you can use to stash any extra cable.