Under a thousand: The super-affordable Apple accessory many phones (and not just iPhones) need

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You read that headline right. We are talking about a Apple accessory that costs less than lakhs (even Apple’s cleaning cloth costs Rs 1900) and is still amazing value for money. Contrary to popular belief, Apple has its share of products that are much more affordable than the competition and perform better too. We are going to see perhaps the best of them this time.

Apple “killed” the 3.5mm audio jack…

In recent years a murder conspiracy has developed in the world of technology. A conspiracy in which smartphone manufacturers have declared the 3.5mm audio jack useless and tried to remove it from the anatomy of a smartphone. As with many things in technology, Apple is blamed for starting it all by removing the audio jack from the iPhone 7. No one asked others to follow the example of the fruity Cupertino brand, but as always, that’s exactly what they did.

While they haven’t been completely successful, as most budget and mid-range smartphones still use a 3.5mm audio jack loudly and proudly, brands have managed to make it largely extinct from the premium range of smartphones. Of course, this move has been met with outrage, especially from those who like to listen to their audio with wired headphones.

Apple also has the best 3.5mm audio jack solution!

Official Apple 3.5mm adapters retail for Rs 900. (Image credit: Nimish Dubey/Indian Express)

Fortunately, the absence of a 3.5mm audio jack on our smartphones can’t stop us from enjoying our old (and often better than wireless) wired headphones. If you’re someone looking for a way to connect your wired headset to a phone that’s specifically designed for all things wireless, we’ve got you covered, and that’s under a thousand dollars too!

The irony is that this fix comes from the same brand accused of starting the whole 3.5mm audio jack purge: Apple. No matter how hyped the wireless culture gets, the brand seems to know there’s still an audience that wants that wired experience. This may be why it perhaps comes with the best Lightning to 3.5mm and USB-C to 3.5mm jack adapters, which retail for Rs. 900 each.

pretty simple design

There’s nothing remotely flashy about the adapter, which is about as basic as it gets. It does not come with any Apple branding or logos. The only thing that might suggest it’s an Apple product is its white color, but that’s a big ‘could’.

The adapter is as long as an adult’s finger, so it’s very easy to lose it. (Image credit: Nimish Dubey/indian express)

The adapter is a very small accessory that has a 3.5mm audio jack on one end, while the other end features a Lightning/USB C connector, with both ends connected by a small cable. It is as long as an adult’s finger. The size makes it very easy to carry, but also very easy to lose. We suggest you keep it connected to your headphone port, otherwise it can get lost very easily.

The cable doesn’t seem to be the strongest we’ve seen either and given Apple’s history of cables prone to snapping, we’d recommend handling this one with due care. It would have been nice to have another color option as well, although it stains very easily.

Not only an adapter, but also a DAC

It’s just as easy to use this dongle/adapter. All you have to do is connect the Lightning/USB Type-C side to your phone or music source and connect the headphones of your choice to the 3.5mm jack side. It’s literally plug and play – there are no drivers or apps to worry about.

It is when you start to play the audio on your device through these adapters that you can notice the quality of the sound you are receiving. We know that there are much cheaper adapter options available on the market compared to what Apple offers, but the performance of the Apple Audio Adapter justifies its slightly higher price (although still low by Apple standards). That’s because this adapter not only allows you to use wired headphones with your device, but according to most sources, it also contains a digital-to-analog converter, or what many audiophiles call a DAC.

The DAC Difference

A DAC is actually a very basic thing: it converts the music stored in digital format on your phone to an analog format that can be played through headphones or speakers. Without a DAC, your headphones or speakers wouldn’t be able to play music. Most phones and devices that play audio come with DACs inside, but they’re usually not the best quality, which is why many people who want higher quality audio buy dedicated DACs and connect them to the devices that store their audio. audio content.

These DACs also allow audiophiles to use high end headphones with their audio players as they offer excellent audio quality. Now, most cheap Lightning/USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack converters don’t have DAC, they just pass the sound from phone or other audio source to the headphones. Apple’s adapter, however, actually improves the quality of the sound that reaches your headphones!

DACs also allow audiophiles to use high-end headphones with their audio players as they offer excellent audio quality. (Image credit: Nimish Dubey/Indian Express)

We’ve heard our share of music using DACs ranging from low-end to premium DACs, and we can say with confidence that the quality of the DAC in Apple’s adapters is really very good. We also got clear sound and very impressive volume levels. Also, the “sound signature” is relatively flat, making it a great choice for audiophiles who don’t like their audio to have too much bass, treble, or other frequencies.

We have listened to music in our iOS Y Android devices using this adapter, and the quality was perceptibly better than not only simple converters without DACs, but also much better than some Rs 3,000 DACs we’ve used. Battery consumption was also not much.

No audio jack? get this adapter

In fact, we’d say getting one of these adapters for your device without a 3.5mm audio jack is a no-brainer. Not only do you get the opportunity to use your wired headphones, but you also get very high-quality audio. Music and soundtracks just sound better, and while the amplification (power, to put it roughly) isn’t enough to drive really powerful, high-impedance headphones, you can use them just fine with most headphones and earphones. entry level. In fact, you can even use them with higher impedance headphones on iOS devices (Android is a bit iffy), as long as you’re okay with slightly lower volumes. All this with an accessory that costs less than Rs 1000 and comes with Apple branding.

The adapters are not perfect, they are quite fragile and on Android devices they can be a bit erratic in delivering sound. (Image credit: Nimish Dubey/Indian Express)

Mind you, these adapters are not perfect. We have already mentioned how fragile they seem and how tiny they are. While they work perfectly with iOS devices, they can be a bit erratic with some Android phones, delivering higher volume on some, lower on others, and sometimes refusing to work at all. Therefore, we recommend checking for compatibility issues before choosing one for your Android device. If there are no problems in that regard and you want to break free from the wireless world and go back to your wired headphones, this is perhaps the best option for you under Rs 1000, and maybe even double that amount!

Apple could be accused of trying to kill wired headphones, but it also has the best cheap solution to ensure they stay alive, to quote the Bee Gees. Aja Aja…

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