Apple ditches free headphone adapter with new iPhones

If you want to connect your wired headphones to your shiny new iPhone, you'll now need to pay £9 for a headphone adapter. 

Despite some eye-watering prices for the new iPhone XS and XS Max (and even the entry-level iPhone XR), Apple has quietly removed the free, bundled dongle that allowed you to connect 3.5mm headphones to the Apple Lightning connection.

Ever since Apple ditched the headphone jack in favour of a sole Lightning connection, pushing consumers towards wireless earphones, the company has continued to bundle a free headphone adapter with all new iPhones to give users the choice. Now, you'll have to pay for the privilege.

It wasn't mentioned in Apple's presentation but the Apple store listings confirm the free accessories bundled with the new iPhones – and there's no sign of the 3.5mm to Lightning headphone adapter. You do still get a free pair of Apple EarPods, however.

So if you do want to connect your standard wired headphones, you'll need to pay £9 for the adapter. With the most expensive iPhone XS Max costing £1449, that might seem a little unfair on Apple's part. Clearly, Apple wants to kill-off the headphone jack.


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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).