The iPhone 7 came with a nasty surprise for music fans: Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack, leaving Lightning as the only port left on the device… which means you can’t listen to music and charge your phone at the same time! Bluetooth headphones are one option, but fans of wired headphones won’t trade in their favourite cans without a fight!
One solution to this problem is an adapter that turns the single Lightning port of the iPhone X, 8 or 7 into two, allowing a charger and wired headphones to be connected simultaneously. One of the latest such adapters is the Vinpok Duo 2, which launches later this month. We’ve got one in for review, so let’s take a look.
Design & Features
The Duo 2 is a braided nylon Lightning to USB cable, measuring about a metre long. Its distinguishing feature is a Lightning port a few centimetres from the end, allowing you to plug in Lightning headphones or your 3.5mm headphones with the adapter provided with your new iPhone. Unlike many other adapters intended for the same purpose, the Duo 2 looks (and works) like a standard charging cable — pretty sweet.
On the Duo 2 website, there’s a nice list of the things this adapter supports: Lightning EarPods, headphones with in-line remote controls and microphones, third-party Lightning headphones, 24-bit 48kHz high-res audio and Apple’s Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter. Cool.
We originally tested the Duo 2 with an iPhone 6 Plus, the last iPhone that came with the historic 3.5mm jack, as we didn’t have any other iPhone models to hand. However, the charger just provided power and didn’t seem to support the Lightning headphones we plugged in, so we moved onto a newer iPhone 7 instead.
Here, the Duo 2 worked as advertised. With both Lightning headphones and the USB cable plugged in, we were able to charge our iPhone 7 while also listening to music. This is a permanent solution, unlike using AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones that need to be recharged. This makes the Duo 2 a particularly nice choice if you listen to music for long periods of time, like on transatlantic flights or in noisy offices.
I’ve seen plenty of ways to charge the iPhone while also listening to wired headphones, and the Duo 2 is certainly one of the most elegant solutions.
Yes, you may prefer an adapter that provides a straight-up 3.5mm port if you’re using traditional headphones, but if you’re happy to keep your 3.5mm to Lightning adapter plugged in or you’re using modern Lightning headphones, the Duo 2 works exceptionally well.
The cable seems robustly built, the extra port has been positioned intelligently and using the Duo 2 is quite intuitive. For that reason, we’re happy to recommend the Duo 2 to any iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 7 users.
The Duo 2 will be available from mid-March from their official website. You can support the Duo 2 on IndieGoGo (see button below) to receive the cable at $19, about 67% off compared to their $59 RRP.