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Anker’s latest dongle lets you use Lightning earbuds with USB-C devices

It truly feels like we’re starting to reach peak dongle: Anker has released an adapter that allows Lightning earbuds to work with the 2018 iPad Pro, Apple’s USB-C MacBooks, and some recent Windows 10 laptops. This $29.99 accessory is available from Amazon now and is certified under the iPhone maker’s MFi program.

If your Lightning earbuds have an in-line microphone and track controls, Anker says that both should still work when running through the adapter. The USB-C to Lightning adapter promises full lossless (48KHz / 24-bit) audio transmission, which is important since there are quite a few audiophile-grade, hi-fi Lightning headphones on the market.


Image: Anker

Anker says all of the below headphones and earbuds should work perfectly with the dongle:

  • Apple EarPods with Lightning connector
  • Beats urBeats3 with Lightning connector
  • Apogee Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset
  • Audeze iSINE LX, LCDi4, iSINE20, iSINE10, SINE, and EL-8 Titanium
  • Pioneer Rayz, Rayz Plus, Rally
  • Radius HP-NEL21, HP-NEL31, HC-M100L, and HP-NHL21

As best I can tell, this adapter is strictly for audio listening. (It uses USB Audio Class 2 for plug and play compatibility, according to the company.) So if you’ve got something like a microphone that plugs in over Lightning, this might not be what you need to get it working through a USB-C port. Anker also notes that it’s not a charging adapter. Even with both of those caveats, this is one of the first such dongles I’ve seen that allows for this connection. Apple makes a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter, but not quite this exact thing.

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