My pair of Grado SR80e headphones are one of my prized possessions. I love lying on my couch and listening to the album du jour (I’m ready for 4:44). But thanks to Apple’s courageous decision to remove the headphone jack, I can’t plug my SR80s into an iPhone 7 without a Lightning adapter, and I’ve yet to upgrade from my iPhone 6 because of it.
But this year a new iPhone is expected to show up, and while I do think it’s time for me to make the switch, I want to keep using my favorite headphones in this brave new world. So I bought some Bluetooth headphone adapters, and I think you should, too. Not only does it let me use my headphones with a newer phone, it lets me connect to a variety of devices without messing with cables.
The Simple Pleasure of Wireless Headphones
I am not an audiophile, but I do love convenience. And comfort. And it is quite inconvenient when…
Use your old headphones on your new smartphone
A Bluetooth headphone adapter is just a portable Bluetooth receiver, and outputs through a 3.5mm headphone jack. Like a traditional Bluetooth receiver—the Moto Stream for example—you can technically plug one in to any speaker with a 3.5mm line in jack, though you’ll have to charge it occasionally. Griffin’s $20 iTrip Clip is a great example of a cheap Bluetooth headphone adapter, while the $99 Noble BTS is less obtrusive and pretty sleek-looking.
Your ideal Bluetooth headphone adapter should have a clip-on mechanism so you can attach it to yourself while lounging, along with an easy way to charge it, usually with a micro USB cable.
Its belt clip lets me walk around my house with nothing in my pockets while I do chores, talk to my dog, and wear my favorite pocket-free shorts in the summer heat.
Keep your sound quality
The worst part of losing the 3.5mm jack isn’t the inability to use great headphones, but the exorbitant price you’ll probably pay for new, more modern headphones with inferior sound quality. People seem to like Apple’s AirPods, but there’s no way they sound as good as my over-ear headphones, and that $159 price point seems a little high. Buying a $20 Bluetooth adapter is cheaper than buying a new pair of headphones, no matter how you slice it.
Keep your neighbors happy
I’ve got a sound bar under my television, but I live in an apartment. I can’t go blasting this thing while watching Speed Racer on Saturday night for the eleventh time or else my neighbors are gonna deal with me, Emile-Hirsch style.
I’m using a PS4 to stream movies, so I usually plug my Grado cans into my controller, but what if I decide to grab some popcorn during the film and forget to unplug? It wouldn’t be the first time I forgot my headphones were connected to something stationary. An adapter could free me from my controller-bound prison during my late-night living room cinema showings, and grace my neighbors with a good night’s sleep.