Anker USB-C to Lightning adapter
Credits: Anker

You can now use your lightning earbuds with USB-C devices, thanks to Anker

It provides a quintessential solution to a dire problem!

Anker has released a new USB-C to Lightning audio adapter which allows you to do a task you could never do before. You can now connect your Lightning earbuds that shipped in the box with your iPhone to the latest Macbook and iPad Pro both having only USB-C ports. The adapter will cost you $29.99 though.

Anker’s adapter is MFi certified so that you can make the best out of the connection. It also boasts lossless audio quality up to 48 KHz/24-bit transmission. All this means you will be able to listen to audio on your USB-C devices in the original quality offered by Apple’s EarPods along with working control clickers.

Here’s the Amazon description of Anker’s new dongle:

  • Apple MFi Certified: Works flawlessly to connect Lightning headphones with USB-C devices.
  • Simplified Listening: Use one pair of Lightning headphones for your iPhone, iPad Pro, Mac, or Windows 10 computer.
  • Lossless Audio: Full digital 48KHz/24-bit transmission.
  • Full Functionality: Retains earphone mic and remote functions while connected to your USB-C devices.
  • Zero Installation: Thanks to USB Audio Class 2, there’s no need for driver installation. Just plug and play.

The dongle works on USB audio class 2 which means users can pump even higher resolution audio out of their devices. Initially, only Macs supported class 2 audio output right out of the box, but after update 1703, Windows 10 also supports it now.

As a plus point, the dongle is sufficiently insulated with TPU making it durable enough. Simply put, this dongle won’t fray with time. This has, however, been a recurring probem with Apple’s cables and it’s good to know Anker isn’t radiating the trend further.

This is evidently great for audiophiles since they can use high-quality lightning earbuds like UrBeats (sold by Apple). A lot of other ones from third-party manufacturers are cheaper too. As of that matter, Anker has also shared an official list of compatible earphones:

  • Apple EarPods with Lightning connector
  • Beats UrBeats3 with Lightning connector
  • Apogee Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset, including binaural recording!
  • Audeze iSINE LX, LCDi4, iSINE20, iSINE10, SINE, and EL-8 Titanium
  • Pioneer Rayz, Rayz Plus, Rally
  • Radius HP-NEL21, HP-NEL31, HC-M100L, and HP-NHL21

This dongle is plug-and-play on most devices. On Macs, however, a one-time setup is involved. Here are the steps:

  1. Connect adapter to Mac.
  2. Connect Lightning headphone to adapter.
  3. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sound.
  4. Choose the Output tab and select “Lightning Audio Adapter Output.”
  5. Choose the Input tab and select “Lightning Audio Adapter Input.”

This should pretty much set you up for using the dongle on your Mac.

Apple has been shipping the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter in the box since it first ditched the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 three years ago. However, with the latest Macs and the iPad Pro, since they only have USB-C ports, there was no way for lightning headphones that you use with your iPhone to work with them.

Anker’s dongle, however, is a bit pricier than it should be but then it’s the only product of its kind available right now. Also, it’s definitely cheaper than buying separate USB-C headphones and even more convenient than carrying two sets of separate earphones for your iPhone and your Mac/iPad respectively.

You cannot, although, expect this dongle to charge your devices since it only supports USB audio class 2 I/O. Nor will any of the lightning microphones work. Strictly headphones. So make sure you don’t get your expectations too high.

Anker may also be a little bit late with this dongle but it’s super useful since it provides a quintessential solution to dire problem users face with the latest Macs and the iPad Pro.


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