Want to listen to music via a 3.5mm audio source, while simultaneously charging an iPhone? That used to be easy, but all new iPhone models have done away with the longstanding headphone jack, which once allowed users to easily connect their iPhone to home stereo systems, car stereos, headphones, and other speakers and audio interfaces via the 3.5mm AUX port, while still maintaining the availability of the Lighting charger port.
With the familiar AUX port gone for good from iPhone, Apple now instead offers a dongle connector with every new model iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus devices. The dongle serves as an adapter interface allowing you to plug it into the Lighting port, and then connect to an AUX cable if need be.
But, using that dongle means the lightning port is taken up, which is also how you charge the iPhone. Thus, if you want to listen to music via a 3.5m audio source while also charging an iPhone, you’re out of luck since the lightning port is occupied by the aux-to-lightning dongle. Or are you?
Rather than replace all of your existing stereo equipment with Bluetooth interfaces, you can instead rely on a simple third party offering that splits the single Lightning port into a separate Lightning port and 3.5mm headphone jack. This is a great solution to users who have a lot of AUX compatible audio sources who routinely rely on the 3.5mm audio port for connecting a stereo or speaker system to an iPhone, while still having the ability to keep the iPhone plugged in to a power source for charging.
These dongle solutions will effectively solve the listening to music via a 3.5mm AUX cable while charging an iPhone simultaneously problem, something that a substantial number of iPhone owners experience in their car stereos and home audio systems.
You can find other similar adapters available on Amazon as well, but you’ll notice some of the much cheaper adapters are rated incredibly poorly and many of the reviews suggest they either don’t work at all, or fail quickly. Thus if you’re interested in a splitter cable like this, it’s probably best to spring the extra bucks for the higher quality and well-rated Belkin model.
Another option is to buy more of the AUX to Lightning dongles for every 3.5mm AUX cable you use, and then just hot-swap a charger cable when needed to power a device up, but that won’t solve the listen-while-charging issue which is a pain point for some audiophile iPhone owners. Or you could simply upgrade every speaker system you have to a Bluetooth stereo or Bluetooth receiver, whether in the car or at home. But that’s going to probably be more expensive than a $40 adapter.
Of course if you primarily listen to music from an iPhone over Bluetooth to a stereo system (car or speakers) then you can always just keep the iPhone plugged in via the single lightning port, and it will charge as usual. But if you use a lot of 3.5mm audio cables still, this just might appeal to you, so head on over to Amazon or Belkins website and grab one of the splitter adapters and you’ll be able to use an AUX port and lighting port simultaneously again.
Thanks to Keith for the tip idea! If you have any other solutions for charging an iPhone while listening to music simultaneously (and not just relying on Bluetooth), then share them with us in the comments below.