News of Apple’s iPhone 7 unveiling sparked real concern this week as the company revealed the new phone does not have the ubiquitous and longstanding 3.5mm headphone jack. This specific jack has become a decades-old standard on many types of audio-transmitting devices, not to mention it has been utilized in many forms of technology since it’s creation in the 19th century.
How do you listen to audio from a new iPhone 7 while still charging your phone? The answer depends on the kind of vehicle you drive.
Cars w/Cassette Player
The major downside to Apple’s headphone jack removal is that it leaves just one port for both charging and listening to audio. This issue can be a puzzling for anyone who drives a vehicle made in the 1980s or 1990s that has a cassette player (and generally lacks the 3.5mm audio input). If you currently use a cassette-to-aux adapter, the new iPhone 7 includes a lightning-to-aux adapter in the box that allows you to connect the old-school cassette adapter. While that gets your music on the stereo, there’s still no way to simultaneously charge the new iPhone without a separate adapter or dock (sold separately).
Cars w/CD Player
If you drive a vehicle from the 1990s and the early 2000s that comes with a stereo with a CD player, then chances are you have been using an FM transmitter auxiliary cable to connect to your iPhone’s audio. Though the quality of the audio has been known to be weak with these transmitters, the iPhone 7 is still compatible with this adapter with Apple’s included lightning-to-aux adapter. However, you will be still unable to charge your phone and play audio at the same time, without a separate adapter or dock (sold separately).
Cars w/Installed Auxiliary jack
Cars built throughout the 2000s came with an installed 3.5mm auxiliary jack, which meant that drivers only had to purchase the standard auxiliary cord in order to connect their older iPhone to their car’s audio system. If you plug the included lightning-to-aux adapter into your iPhone you can still play audio through this standard aux cord, but again, you would lose the perk of charging your phone at the same time without a separate adapter or dock (sold separately).
Cars w/USB port(s)
Certain vehicles made in the 2000s came with USB ports that have the capability of connecting to the car’s audio system while also charging your phone. If your vehicle lacks Bluetooth capability but has these installed USB ports, then you only need a standard lightning to USB cable to connect the iPhone 7 to the car’s USB ports – and you’re in business with both music and simultaneous charging.
Most vehicles made since 2010 come with Bluetooth capabilities standard. If your vehicle has Bluetooth, then the arrival of the iPhone 7 should hardly affect your audio playing experience. You can charge your phone through the standard lightning cable and play music in your vehicle via Bluetooth.