How To Use Lightning Headphones On Laptop

Lightning headphones that are built for Apple products have an in-built DAC to convert the digital signal from the iPad, iPhones to a high-quality audio signal. These headphones come with a port connector technology for its use in Apple products. But, the major problem is that they are not compatible with other laptops and PCs.


Also, as you guys know, Apple has brought a technical change in its design of using an 8-pin lightning connector instead of the 30-pin dock connector. So you will not find the 3.5mm audio jack in its recent models. Which means lightning headphones cannot be directly connected to older apple devices or other computing devices such as laptop, tablets and even other smartphones.

So, what's the solution? Don't worry; we are here to provide two simple ways of how to connect lightning headphones on laptop.

Perhaps, check the how to use headphone mic on pc article to set-up and configure recording headphones with mic accordingly for video chatting or recording on a laptop.

Why it is difficult to use lightning headphones on laptops?

Lightning connectors have many advantages over the traditional 1/8-inch headphone jack. However, the introduction of this new lightning connector (8-pin) has posed a dilemma.

As said earlier,  all the new iPhone models no longer come with a traditional 3.5 mm female audio jack. This means that all the electronic accessories that were designed for older models are now entirely incompatible with the newer iPhone models. So, the users with the older model have to use a lightning adapter.

This unique adapter has one end compatible with the lightning connector of Apple devices and the other compatible with the standard 3.5 mm audio plugs. It converts the digital audio output of the iPhone into an analog signal which is delivered to the headphones that connected to the port.

The second problem is that these lightning headphones can not be used directly with any other device except iPhones starting with iPhone 5,  iPads of 4th generation and iPod Touch of 5th, 6th and 7th generations.

How to use lightning headphones on laptop?

Lightning headphones are connected to Apple laptops using the standard USB-C ports provided. Though these lightning headphones cannot be directly used with other laptop models, you can connect them using a lightning to USB adapter cable. But laptops have different kinds of USB ports like some have USB-A, some type USB-type C ports. It differs according to each model. So you need to choose the adapter cable as per the port connectivity of your laptops.

This is not the only way to achieve this connection. You can use an audio jack converter but using a USB adapter cable are way better. Now, I'll tell you how to achieve the connection between your laptops and lightning headphones using these adapters.

  • Using USB-A adapter:
    Most laptops come with a USB-A interface; however, you need to ensure if your laptop has one for this method. Get yourself a USB-A to Lightning Audio Adapter Cable and follow the step given below:
    Connect the lightning headphones (8mm connector) to the female of the lightning to the USB-A adapter and then connect the male of the adapter to the laptop's USB port.
  • Using USB-C adapter:
    You will find USB-C ports on most Apple devices. These days even some models of DELL, LENOVO does come with USB-C ports. If your laptop has one, then buy a USB-C adapter and follow the step given below:
    Connect the lightning headphone to one female end of lightning to USB-C adaptor and connect the male end of the adapter cable to the USB-C port of your laptop.

This adapter will take the digital output of your laptop and convert it into a form supported by the lightning headphones. The in-built DAC in your lightning headphones will now convert this digital input to a sound signal. This is how it works.

One thing to keep in mind while purchasing an adapter is to make sure it allows using a mic with your laptop to record sounds.


You have reached the end of this article. When compared to regular headphones, lightning headphones provide very high high-resolution audio quality. This is because of the DAC present inside, and not only that, they also offer a two-way connection. But a major problem is their connectivity with other devices.

But, now I hope now you've understood how to use lightning headphones on laptops. Purchase any of these two USB adapter cables that suit your laptop and enjoy the music.
Hope to see you in my next article. Thank you for reading!


I'm Xavier. I am a professional writer and blogger. It all started when I fell in love with my camera, which was presented to me when I was ten as a birthday gift. Since then, I wanted to become a cinematographer and also succeeded in that. So I am here researching and reviewing the filmmaking gadgets and giving out my top gadgets from the market.I hope you find my review articles interesting and helpful.

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