How to Keep on Using Your Favorite Wired Headphones with the Apple iPhone 7- the Apple Lightning to Headphone Jack
The Apple Lightning to Headphone Jack allows you to connect your 3.5 mm based audio headphone to any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch that is running iOS 10 using the Lightning port. Although there has been generally negative media reaction to Apple removing this ubiquitous connector from the Apple iPhone 7, here are some reasons why the Lightning connector can make sense.
One of these reasons is reliability of the 3.5 mm audio connector. We've had a lot of experiences in the past where jamming the 3.5 mm audio jack into a smartphone the wrong way can damage the phone. The Lightning connector was designed with better mechanical robustness and should better withstand a lot of more physical insertions of the connector into an Apple device.
Using the Lightning connector should also be able to provide more power to active noise cancelation headphones that can now be made slimmer by removing their batteries.
Of course, companies like Apple are trying to remove physical interfaces from devices in order to make them thinner and better looking so it's not surprising that the only interface now on the Apple iPhone 7 is now just the Lightning connector. The biggest downside with the move to a single use of Lightning or USB Type-C on mobile device is that you no longer can charge your device if you are using that same connector for connecting to your headphones.
Apple is probably betting that people will find carrying around the Apple Lightning to Headphone Jack inconvenient and eventually purchase products like the Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector and Apple AirPods which will make them more likely to stay within the Apple product universe.
Given it's very easy to lose the Apple Lightning to Headphone Jack, just keep it semi-permanently connected to your favorite headphones so you don't have to hunt for it every time you need to listen to music with the Apple iPhone 7.