iPhone 7 Headphones: The 5 Best Wireless and Wired Options

The iPhone 7 launched today without a traditional headphone jack. So what are the best headphones and earbuds that work with the new Apple flagship phone?

As everyone on the internet now knows, the new Apple iPhone 7 will goes on sale today without one small thing: the headphone jack. Depending on your point of view this is either: a) the most despicable thing a company has ever done or b) a courageous piece of visionary thinking.

For the rest of us considering buying an iPhone 7 there is also one unanswered question: what are the best options now for headphones or earbuds for someone with a state-of-the-art smartphone without a headphone socket?

We’ve picked 5 of the best options ranging from cheap and cheerful Chinese earbuds that cost a fraction more than the new Lightning-analogue adapter right up to luxurious aluminium and leather cans that would make Sir Jonny Ive drool designer saliva with delight. So turn the volume up to 11 and check out the 5 best headphones and earbuds for the new iPhone 7…

Note: we haven’t covered the new Apple AirPods as they don’t go on sale in the UK until late October. As soon as we get our hands on the magical little fellas, we’ll add them to the list.

  • VTIN Swan Bluetooth Headphones
    VTIN Swan Bluetooth Headphones

    Price: £12.99

    Pros:Super cheap, Rugged, Reliable, Bluetooth 4.1

    Cons: Jonny Ive Wouldn't Approve, Quite bulky

    It’s a strange combination. On the one hand you have the iPhone 7, the most expensive smartphone you can buy, every last chamfered edge and brushed aluminium surface designed to within a nanometer of perfection. On the other hand you have a cheap and cheerful set of Bluetooth earbuds costing £12.99 and looking like they were designed by Mungo Jerry’s hairdresser.

    But somehow it works. The VTIN Swan earbuds have the latest Bluetooth 4.1 tech which means they can be paired with 2 devices simultaneously and their battery charge is shown in the iPhone 7’s menu bar. The sound is far better than you have any right to expect at the price and hold their own against Apple’s own iPhone 7-compatible headphones.

    And while they are certainly cheap, the VTIN Swan’s are surprisingly rugged. We’ve been using our for over 8 months without a hitch – they are as sturdy and reliable as a tractor. Sir Jonny Ive might not approve, but the VTIN Swans and the iPhone 7 make a marvellous – if unlikely – couple.

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  • Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector
    Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector

    Price: £29.00

    Pros:Free with iPhone 7, Decent all-round performance

    Cons: Not very loud, No better than analogue version

    It’s fashionable to slate the iconic white Apple EarPods these days, but form many people they work just fine. The distinctive triangular shape helps them fit snugly in the ear, while the sound quality is perfectly acceptable. The main criticism is that they are not particularly loud – but that is probably for your own good.

    The all-digital Lightning connection doesn’t sound any different from the wired version, but it doesn’t cost any more either. Ignore the naysayers and clickbait mob, these bundled headphones will be fine for most iPhone 7 users.

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  • Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones
    Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones

    Price: £249.95

    Pros: 40-hour battery life, instant connect with Apple W1 chip, Extended range

    Cons: Expensive, Beats' bass-heavy sound is divisive, Build quality

    The Beats Solo Wireless 3 is the ‘official’ Apple on-ear headphone option for the iPhone 7. Available in the same 6 colours as the new phone – including ‘gloss’ black – the Solo 3 also has the same embedded W1 chip found in the Apple AirPods. This enables the headphones to instantly connect to the iPhone 7 without the usual Bluetooth pairing shenanigans.

    The other marvellous things about the Beats Solo 3 is the 40-hour battery life – you can truly use them all week without a recharge. And if you do get caught short on the juice front a 5-minute charge will give you 3 hours’ of listening. Nice. On the other hand, the build quality is not what you would expect given the £250 price tag, with lots of plastic and fake leatherette. And the Beats sound remains the Beats sound – bass heavy and in your face. But a lot of people love it like that.

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  • Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Noise Cancelling Headphones
    Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Noise Cancelling Headphones

    Price: £289.95

    Pros: Unbeatable noise cancelling tech, Build quality

    Cons: Pricy,

    Bose has an enviable reputation for its active noise cancelling headphones and the Bose Quiet Comfort 35s are its first wireless cans. These are over-ear so they completely enclose your ears and the headphones are extremely comfortable to wear.

    The QC35s don’t have a W1 chip, but we found that once paired they connected regularly and reliably to our iPhone 7. We found that battery life just exceeded the 20 hours claimed by manufacturer – which is good, but not as good as the 40-hours achieved by the Beats Solo Wireless 3.

    However it’s the active noise cancelling technology that makes these headphones a truly unique experience. Whether you’re on a crowded tube or a windy street, the QC35s make you feel like you’re listening to music in a darkened room in an empty house with heavy curtains drawn. They really are that good at removing ambient and unwanted noise, to leave you with just the music. A fine companion for the iPhone 7, and the favourite of all the headphones we’ve tested this year.

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  • Bose & Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones
    Bose & Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones

    Price: £319.95

    Pros:World class sound quality, Great looking, Built to last

    Cons: Battery life could be better, Makes your poorly ripped MP3 sound even crapper

    Now these are headphones that Sir Jonny would love to take back to his white-walled room. Immaculately constructed from aluminium, stainless steel and top-grade sheep’s leather, the B&W P7 Wireless headphone is the Bluetooth version of the award-winning cans that made their debut in 2013. Very little has changed with the transition to aptX Bluetooth 4.1: the P7s provide studio-class sound quality along with gorgeous good looks.

    The battery-life may be an unexceptional 17 hours but otherwise there is very little to fault in these headphones. Even the over-ear padding is made from memory foam to ensure your ears are pampered physically as well as sonically. If you travel a lot you may miss the noise cancelling magic of the Bose QC35’s but for the true audiophile these are a perfect partner to the iPhone 7.

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