If you were to ask iPhone users for their biggest gripes with Apple phones over the past few years, you’d hear a lot of complaints about battery life and the lack of a headphone jack.
On the latter, we regret to inform you that there’s likely no chance you will ever see a headphone jack on an iPhone ever again. The former has been a complaint since smartphones became ubiquitous, and Apple’s move to go with a single Lightning port has only complicated the matter.
When Apple first eliminated the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, one of the biggest user frustrations was not being able to charge the phone and listen to music through wired headphones at the same time, as both functions required plugging something into the Lightning port. Apple seemed unperturbed, and it took a whole year for a third-party adapter that included both a headphone jack and a lightning port to go on sale. The adapter was large and clunky, making it an inelegant solution at best.
At the same time, Apple’s move to Lightning-port only wreaked havoc on users who augmented their power with a third-party battery pack, which charged the phone via the port. As The Verge reports, Apple doesn’t let third-party accesssories to transfer audio through the Lightning port, meaning if you used a charging case, it was either wireless headphones or nothing.
Thankfully, wired headphone users who want a battery boost have a stealth champion in Mophie. The smartphone-accessory maker is reportedly releasing a new iPhone battery case, the Juice Pack Access, that leaves the lightning port available for users to plug their headphones into. This is a change from previous Juice Pack cases that worked by plugging into the Lightning port to charge the iPhone, covering up access to it. Instead, the new case is charged wirelessly or through the USB-C port on the back of the case.
There’s admittedly only so much Mophie can do to help defend wired headphones. It can’t bring back the headphone jack, and if Apple ever decides to kill the Lightning port in iPhones, everyone will need a new dongle to make their wired headphones connect through whatever new port it’s replaced with—the new iPad Pro eschewed the Lightning port for the more widely used USB-C connection. But at least for now, people who buy the newest Juice Pack (about $120) won’t face the indignity of having to choose between listening to music on wired headphones and charging up their iPhone.