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Top 7 Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad In 2020 Review

So, you are an Apple aficionado, eh? And you’re on the hunt for the best set of headphones that are available right now?

Well, you have a few options. You could head out and grab a 3.5mm to Lightning converter, which unfortunately is no longer included in the box for newer iPhones. Or, you could grab a great set of the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones or the Best Bluetooth Headphones under 200 dollars.

But, if you are looking to get the best possible audio option, you should definitely check out the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad currently available.

Why is that?

Well, it’s simple, really. Lightning headphones are capable of receiving lossless stereo 48kHz digital audio output from any Apple device with a Lightning port. Certain sets of Lightning headphones even include an integrated digital to analog converter (DAC) and amplifier. This sort of set up helps drastically reduce any interference you get with analog signals.

If you are hunting for a set of headphones that will satisfy even the pickiest audiophiles among us, then you have come to the right place! To make sure all bases are covered, we have included sets from all price ranges, meaning there is a set for all budgets on this list.

So, stick around as we present our top 7 picks for the best Lightning headphones on the market today!

The Best Lightning Headphones

Top 7 Best  Lightning Headphones for iPhone And iPad On The Market Review

  1. Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector – Most Comfortable Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad
  2. Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset – Best Binaural Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad
  3. Audeze EL-8 Titanium Closed-back Over-ear Lightning Headphones – Best Premium Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad
  4. 1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds with Lightning Connector – Best Sounding Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad
  5. Libratone Q Adapt Lightning In-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds – Best Affordable Noise Cancelling Lightning Earbuds for iPhone & iPad
  6. Pioneer Rayz Plus ANC Graphite Driver Lightning Headphones – Best Mid-Range Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad
  7. Audeze iSINE20 In-Ear Semi-Open Lightning Headphones – Best Sound Quality Lightning Earbuds for iPhone & iPad

1 Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector – Most Comfortable Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad

What sort of list review of the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad would this be if we didn’t include the all-time classic Apple EarPods with Lightning connector?

Sure, they do have a bit of a checkered past, with reviewers not always looking favorably at the stock Apple headphones. Apple has listened to these criticisms, producing a much higher quality product in the last few models.

Take a walk outside and pay attention to which headphones people are actually using… We think it is pretty safe to say that these headphones will be a large percentage of what you see. So, with that in mind, they deserve their place on this list.

Ok, so what do the stock Apple headphones offer these days?

Well, when comparing these to almost every other stock set of headphones, the Apple EarPods with Lightning connector have the best sound straight out of the box. That’s not to say that the sound is perfect, but it is a hell of a lot better than it used to be.

And, unlike the classic round ear-tip design we all remember (and loathe), which just sat on the outside of the ear canal, or the newer standard earbud design which is designed to sit inside the canal, the Apple EarPods are designed to cover both of those bases and to be supremely comfortable.

Doing a fantastic job…

There is an inline remote which grants control over volume, playback, and calls. On these new EarPods with Lightning Connector, the DAC and amp are housed inside the Lightning plug itself, and they do a fantastic job of handling the audio.

Look, unless you have been living under a rock the past decade, then you know as well as we do what these headphones have to offer. So, if you are a fan of the ear tip design and are looking for a reasonably priced set of Lightning headphones, then you can do much worse than the Apple EarPods with Lightning connector.

Electro-Voice ZXA1SUB 12 Compact Powered Subwoofer
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Well balanced soundstage.
  • Cheap.
  • Sturdy.
  • Included DAC and amp.

Cons

  • There are a plethora of cheaper and better-designed headphones these days.

2 Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset – Best Binaural Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad

Sennheiser. They have been producing top-quality headphones ever since top-quality headphones have been a thing! And the Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset is no exception to this rule.

What sets this set of Lightning headphones apart from the rest of the pack?

First up – 3D or binaural sound recording uses multiple microphones (instead of the usual one) to record audio. This allows users to closely reproduce a much more realistic sound environment and is perfect for content creators of any type.

3D sound recording is usually reserved for restrictively priced VR mics, so it is a pleasant surprise to see it included. On the outside of each earbud is a microphone grille, with the mics placed inside the earbud units themselves. The separation of the two mics ensures a realistic 3D soundstage.

Noise cancellation…

Sennheiser’s proprietary NoiseGard ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) may not be as powerful as what Bose and Sony are currently producing, but it still does a brilliant job.

There are three settings – “Natural” mixes the input from each microphone into its corresponding earbud, which results in a similar experience to using fully open-back over-ear headphones. “Reduce” cuts out a lot of the background noise. “Amplify” actually boosts the environmental noise in a similar way to a hearing aid, granting better situational awareness.

Bang on…

Sound-wise, the Sennheiser AMBEO are pretty much bang on the money for what we expect from the audio giant. Clean and balanced, the soundstage lends itself to a myriad of musical styles. The Apogee Sennheiser Smart HeadSet App available in the AppStore (for free) grants full access over EQ and has a heap of great presets.

All in all, an amazing set of Lightning earbuds, and perfect for any budding (or established) content creators among us! Click here to see the best deals on the Sennheiser AMBEO right now!

Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Best microphone setup available.
  • Great ANC
  • Strong soundstage.
  • Comfortable.
  • Ambient noise mode.

Cons

  • Not the cheapest.

3 Audeze EL-8 Titanium Closed-back Over-ear Lightning Headphones – Best Premium Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad

Coming in at the most expensive offering on this list, you would expect the Audeze EL-8 Titanium closed-back over-ear headphones to be something extra special.

And, you know what?

Something special is no understatement! The audiophiles reading along will no doubt be accustomed to exactly what Audeze have become known for in the past few years – delivering some of the best sound seen in headphones today.

And the Audeze EL-8 Titanium closed-back over-ear lightning headphones do not disappoint. With the largest drivers (100mm! More than double the size normally used!) seen yet in an Audeze set, the soundstage is nothing short of amazing.

But, these aren’t your everyday set of drivers…

In 2008, Audeze stumbled across a revolutionary flexible circuit material developed for NASA, and they have been implementing the tech ever since. The near-weightless diaphragm provides the highest resolution and improved imaging, the fastest response times, and background distortion is reduced to the point of being non-existent.

The lightning cable is a standout also. Audeze claims that it is “The World’s First 24-bit Lightning Cable for Higher-resolution Sound”. The inline chip-system pushes the boundary of what we all thought was possible by completely bypassing the iPhone’s internal DAC and amplifier. The result is next level sound, plain and simple.

Build quality is of the highest order…

And the materials used in the construction are second to none. So if you have some cash to splash and are looking for audiophile quality sound, click here to see the best prices on the Audeze EL-8 Titanium closed-back over-ear lightning headphones right now!

Audeze EL-8 Titanium Closed-back Over-ear Lightning Headphones
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Best soundstage available right now.
  • Quality design and construction.
  • 100mm drivers.
  • Inline chip-system.

Cons

  • Restrictive price.
  • No ANC.

4 1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds with Lightning Connector – Best Sounding Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad

Ok, so you are looking for an amazing sounding set of headphones, but the Audeze are out of your price range. And anyway, over-ear headphones aren’t what you are looking for.

Fair enough!

Say hello to the Triple Driver Earbuds with Lightning Connector from 1MORE. If this is the first time you are hearing that name, listen closely as it is definitely a company that needs to be on your radar. 1MORE have been giving us great sets of Lightning cable earbuds for a few years now, but the Triple Driver Earbuds with Lightning Connector are a standout.

The tiny angled earbuds are constructed from rose gold aluminum and offer maximum comfort once you fit the correct size ear tips (there’s a range of options in the box). Our one problem with the design is the inline control module – made of plastic, and it just feels cheap.

But don’t let that push you away from these earbuds…

They are on this list for a specific reason, and that is sound quality! This is the first set of Lightning earbuds that have three drivers in each unit (that’s right!), with two balanced armatures and one dynamic driver. This sort of arrangement allows for more separation in the control of the full frequency range.

Instead of having one driver that handles everything, each driver has been tuned specifically to deal with a certain frequency range. The punchy bass, slightly boosted mids, and clean top end meld to create a soundstage of the highest quality.

So, if you are tired of having cheap earbuds…

And headphones that sound mediocre at best (and constantly break), we suggest taking a glance at the 1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds with Lightning Connector to see if they fit the bill for you! Click here to check out the best deals!

1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds with Lightning Connector
Our rating:3.3 out of 5 stars (3.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Solid metal construction.
  • Well priced.
  • Beautifully balanced sound.
  • Triple driver arrangement.
  • Snug fit.

Cons

  • Plastic control unit.

5 Libratone Q Adapt Lightning In-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds – Best Affordable Noise Cancelling Lightning Earbuds for iPhone & iPad

A set of lightweight, sturdily designed Lightning earbud headphones with four levels of ANC noise control, a four-button remote, two interchangeable ear tip designs, and great sound all for less than $100?

No way…

Well, it is indeed a fact! The Libratone Q Adapt Lightning ANC earbuds bring all this and more to the table at a ridiculous price. The ability for a set of headphones to be lightweight and predominantly plastic, while not feeling at all cheap, is a feat that many manufacturers are yet to conquer.

But with the Q Adapt, Libratone has done just that. They weigh less than an ounce each (20 grams), and by choosing to go with top class, velvet finish plastics, and a tangle-free braided cord, there is still a feeling of indulgence with this pair.

Both of the interchangeable tip designs are comfortable…

One is the classic earbud, and the other closely resembling the iPhone design. Definitely a personal preference, and while both are comfortable, we found the classic tips to work perfectly.

The sound quality is pretty shocking for the price also. Booming, powerful low-end performance is coupled with well balanced mid and high sections, producing a rich, enveloping soundscape.

And we haven’t even mentioned the best part yet…

Q Adapt’s “CityMix” ANC with four levels of control. On offer is the choice between 20%, 40%, 70%, or 90% of the ambient noise being removed from the mix. The inline remote has buttons to control all of this, and it’s super easy to switch between the four options without having to open the companion app.

Look, the ANC is not to Bose or Sony standard, but for less than $100, you really can’t go wrong with this set of amazing Lighting headphones!

Libratone Q Adapt Lightning In-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Light and sturdy.
  • Four levels of ANC.
  • Beautiful sound.
  • No charging required for ANC.
  • Priced to sell.

Cons

  • Nothing glaring.

6 Pioneer Rayz Plus ANC Graphite Driver Lightning Headphones – Best Mid-Range Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad

The Rayz Plus is the latest in a long line of top-rate headphones and the first from the company that incorporates the use of a Lightning cord. This set of ANC earbuds offer many of the same plusses as the Q Adapt (the previous set on this list) and do so at an even lower price!

Marketed firmly at the audio quality conscious among us, the Pioneer Rayz Plus offer a fantastic listening experience. The ANC system is “Smart”, and Pioneer claims that by calibrating these earbuds to the users’ ears that the ANC will outperform even much higher priced units.

Then there are features like “Smart Mute” and “Auto Pause”…

The first automatically mutes the microphone when on a call but not speaking, and the second pauses playback when you take out the earbuds and restarts it when you put them back in. Sounded a bit gimmicky to us, but in reality, these work great, reducing the overall distortion of calls by a large amount and making life just that little bit easier.

Talking about making life easier…

One thing not mentioned in any of these reviews yet is the annoying fact you are unable to charge your device when using Lightning headphones. Well, Pioneer has added a great solution to this issue, a sleek in-line charging node to simultaneously charge your device! Truly “Pioneering” stuff.

Click right here to check the latest prices on the Pioneer Rayz Plus ANC Graphite Driver Lightning Headphones right now!

Pioneer Rayz Plus ANC Graphite Driver Lightning Headphones
Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Great audio performance.
  • ANC works a charm.
  • In-line charging.
  • Bursting with features.
  • Very affordable.

Cons

  • The microphone could be better.

7 Audeze iSINE20 In-Ear Semi-Open Lightning Headphones – Best Sound Quality Lightning Earbuds for iPhone & iPad

Last up; we have the Audeze iSINE20. And since we are looking at Audeze again, it’s unsurprising that these are the second most expensive set of Lightning headphones on today’s list.

So, what do you get for your money?

Well, for starters, Audeze has taken technology usually reserved for over-ear headphones and squished it into a pair of ultra-portable, robust earbuds. The design has a retro-ish, sci-fi feel to it, with the matte gold mesh on each unit oozing grooviness in a weird Star-Trek kinda way.

But the design is also a little strangely un-ergonomic, and we found the awkward ear hooks to be a little uncomfortable for long listening sessions.

The soundstage is handled with care and authority…

And Audeze lives up to the reputation they have so lovingly nurtured over the past decade. There is truly exceptional clarity throughout the full frequency range, with the overall output being almost perfectly balanced.

But, as these are open-back headphones, they are not really suitable for all occasions. The sound leak is obvious, and the total lack of ANC means that these are most advantageous when used at home or in a studio. Overall, a great set but definitely not for everyone. Click here to check out the very best prices available today!

Audeze iSINE20 In-Ear Semi-Open Lightning Headphones
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Exceptional sound quality.
  • Cables are detachable, which increases their lifespan.
  • Great looking.

Cons

  • High price tag.
  • Not designed for outdoor use.

Want more headphone and earbud options?

If so, check out our reviews of the Best aptX Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under 200 dollars, the Best Lightweight Headphones, the Best Bluetooth Headphones for Commuting, and the Best Headphones with Google Assistant Integration.

Still not what you were looking for? Then check out our Skullcandy Crusher Wireless review, our Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones review, and our HyperX Cloud Mix Rose Gold review.

Which are the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad?

So, there it is, our list of the absolute best Lightning headphones for iPhone & iPad available today. With prices ranging from the superb to the ridiculous, your pick for number one might be a little easier, just like ours was.

With a huge range of features, comfortable and long-lasting design, and the best ANC we have tested apart from the big guns, the only winner for us is the…

Libratone Q Adapt Lightning In-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to see all the best deals! Happy listening!

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