Alternative iPhone Chargers, Earbuds, and Adapters

iPhones, Pixels, and other smartphones no longer come with charging bricks, earbuds, or even audio jacks. Here are some alternatives.

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Tshaka Armstrong
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February 17, 2021
4 min read

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What’s this world coming to? That question I can't answer. But what I can tell you, is that I have a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills which make me a nightmare to marketers, but helpful to someone like you who's looking for answers.

If you watch the rest of this video that'll be the end of your problems. But if you don't, I will find you, and I … Okay actually, I'm not gonna find you, I'm not gonna do anything. But what I will do, is get on with this video.

I have some great tips, and products for you to use, the earbuds and charging bricks you already own, but these tips can help you make the most of your phone. As well, I’ll talk about ways to upgrade your charging on the cheap, if you want to spend that coin you didn't toss to your witcher. Let's go.

Chargers for your iPhone

First problem to solve is the lack of charging bricks with iPhones, and the fact the new cables in the box are USB-C to lightning. If you want to use that old slow, 5-watt brick you have in a drawer somewhere, or even have some 10- or 12-watt iPad bricks laying around, the first thing you can do is hit Amazon and pick up an adapter for under $10.

It's hit or miss. But these adapters are female USB-C to male USB-A, and will work with your old USB-A, power bricks.

I've been telling you since June about picking up one of the new PD chargers. There's no better time than the present. Anchor, MoFi, and Archie are among my favorite power suppliers. And you can find some great options from them.

You can go from $20 for a basic single port anchor nano which they've put out specifically for the new iPhone, to $40 or more for a rapid charging high watt output, such as Omnia Duo PD chargers.

Earbuds for your iPhone

Now, to those earbuds. Just like your old charging bricks, you probably have a few pairs of old earbuds lying around.

So, how do you use those with no jack on the phones? You have a few ways to handle this. Number one, you can purchase a lightning or USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter. If you have an older car and it doesn't have Bluetooth, I'd say you should pick up a couple of these–one for your earbuds, and one to go in the car for that aux port action.

And I know, I know. You're asking me from the other side of that screen, "Yes, but what about if I'm jamming in the car, jamming to my favorite tunes, and I need to charge while I'm streaming those HiFi cuts?"

Problem solved.

Adapters for your iPhone

Third-party adapters for iPhone

For a third-party adapter for Apple products, you can hit Amazon and pick up adapters like these.

Simply plug the adapter into the USB-C port of your phone, then plug in your aux cable, then you can plug in your charging cable, your car charger, and voila! you're listening and you're charging.

Now, I know how craptastic this stuff could be on Amazon with all the fakes, and all the knockoffs, and everything out there. So I tested this one charging and playing music for an hour and a half.

It would seem, you don't have to worry about overheating, and it damaging your phone, as it only got as hot as 84 degrees, and the phone 87 degrees during that time. I ran that test with the Sony Experia one Mark two (which we'll have a review up for shortly).

Name-brand adapters for your iPhone

If you opt for name brand, Belkin makes a similar product called the Rockstar, which allows you to play and charge at the same time. As well they make a model for USB-C and lightning ports.

Music adapters for your iPhone

Now, what if you're a music enthusiast? You don't consider yourself an audiophile but you wake up to music, you go to sleep to music, your life literally has a soundtrack. If that's you and you want to use the three and a half millimeter over ear, or in-ear headphones you already own, let me introduce you to the BTR3K Bluetooth, digital audio converter.

What is it? It's a device which connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and supports high resolution streaming protocols like LDAC, aptX HD, and AAC. Best of all, It's a simple device to use. Power it on, pair it with your phone or tablet, plug in your headphones, and enjoy.

There are volume controls on the device, and even a microphone. It's compact, has a small display and the battery life's pretty solid. Best of all, It's relatively inexpensive. You can pick one up for $70 on Amazon.

Wrap Up

So, there you have it. It's not as good as having it in the box, but that's the new reality. So, I hope I have at least to some degree restored what was taken. I think Liam Neeson would be proud.

Though, I don't know if that's a badge of honor for me because his folks kept getting taken in every movie, which tells me he really isn't all that particularly skilled. I, look, I'm just saying what y'all are thinking.

If you have a product that you like, that you use that helps you get around the charging brick and, earbud debacle, leave that in the comments below, even with the link to what you use and it will help other people out.

We don't take it lightly that you spent your time with us watching. Any comments, or questions about any products I've shown you here–leave those in the comments below as well.

I'll get to them, I’m Tshaka Armstrong, for Thank you for watching. Check out on the next video.

Tshaka Armstrong
Written by
Tshaka Armstrong
Tshaka is a nerd and Griot. Founder of the non-profit digital literacy organization Digital Shepherds, he’s also been a broadcast technology reporter, writer, and producer. In addition to being an award-winning broadcast storyteller, he’s also covered tech online and in print for everything from paintball gear technology, to parenting gadgets. He blathers on about his many curiosities on social media everywhere as @tshakaarmstrong.

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