How to Use Lightning Headphones on Laptop, PC, & Android?

by Alex.   Last Updated On July 24th, 2022.
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The lightning connector was introduced by Apple back in 2012, along with the release of the iPhone 5. The eight-pin lightning connector replaced the 30-pin dock connector as it was more compact and better for data synchronization and charging purposes.

However, since the lightning headphones were made for iPhone devices, using them on your laptop, PC, or Android devices can be quite a hassle. But is there a way to connect lightning headphones to your other devices?

You can still connect lightning headphones to your laptop’s USB ports simply by purchasing either a USB A adapter or a USB c adapter. You can also use an adapter for lightning headphones on your android devices.

In this article, we will tackle why Apple uses lightning headphones, why they are difficult to connect to other devices, and how to use lightning headphones on laptops pc and android.

Let’s get right into it.

Table of Contents

Why do companies use Lightning Headphones?

The lightning headphones are the headphone types you can plug into your iPhone’s eight-pin connector. These headphones are made specifically for iPhone devices. Lightning headphones were a massive advance in Headphone technology and are considered far superior to most other audio devices in this market.

Lightning Connectivity was designed and implemented on Apple iPhones and iPads because its connector has been shortened and slimmer. The ad-blocking feature will reduce your mobile storage by giving other devices the same functionality.

After introducing the lightning headsets, issues started to arise regarding their compatibility with other devices, and Apple and other companies made adapters that removed this compatibility issue.

Why is it challenging to use lightning headphones?

The Lightning connector on iPhone 5 was introduced in 2012 and is meant to charge the battery. However, most of their product used a 3.5 mm headphone jack (not USB) for their headphones.

However, shortly after, Apple also removed the 3.5 mm headphone jack and started to manufacture newer models of the iPhone with only the lightning connector port. Since the lightning headphones were made to be used on iPhone devices, it meant that using them on Apple laptops was a hassle.

Apple recognized this issue and started to ship Apple lightning headphones with a lightning adapter enabling them to be connected to laptops and android phones. However, since lightning headphones are primarily used on Apple devices, compatibility issues also arose with other laptop brands as they don’t support it.

Although Apple has its own lighting adapters, they can be pretty expensive. If you don’t want to splurge a huge amount for this, you can easily find high-quality 3rd party adapters to connect lightning headphones on your laptop’s USB port.

Lightning cable

Types of USB ports

Before purchasing an adapter to use lightning headphones on your laptop, you must make the adapter compatible with your laptop port. So it’s crucial to identify the two different USB ports available on most laptops. Here are the two different USB ports in laptops and their differences.

USB A ports

A USB A port is one of the most well-known for laptops and old apple devices. The USB A port is the standard USB port for most laptops; they are much larger when compared to USB C ports and are where people insert their flash drives, external keyboards, and mic in.

USB C ports

USB C ports are much smaller than USB A ports and have been installed in newer laptops and even phone devices since Apple introduced them back in 2012. A USB C port is a better choice even for non apple devices because of its ability to have higher transfer rates and its superior ability to charge electronic devices quickly.

How can I connect a Lightning Headphone to my laptop?

To connect lightning headphones to your laptop, you can use an adapter. Here are the different ways to connect lightning headphones on laptop.

Get a USB-A Adapter

Most laptops include a USB A port or more commonly known as the laptop USB port. This rectangle-shaped USB port is placed either on your laptop’s left or right side or sometimes both. These USB A ports allow most additional accessories like an external mouse and keyboard to be easily connected to your laptop.

To connect lightning headphones to laptop, you can purchase a USB A adapter; however, finding USB A adapters might be quite a hassle as they are not quite as popular as USB C adapters.

Though most USB a adapters are being phased out by manufacturers, you can still purchase them in several online stores. Because of their limited stock, you might need to buy them at a slightly higher price.

However, if you get a hand of a USB a adapter. You can use your lightning headphones simply by inserting the adapter into your laptop’s USB port and finally insert your lighting headphones’ cable to the other side of the adapter.

Get a USB-C Adapter

USB C adapters are much easier to find simply because they are used in most Apple devices like their newer MacBook pro. Even newer Windows hardware laptops are switching over the faster and more sleek-looking USB C ports, such as the Del XPS 13, Lenovo yoga C940, and Microsoft surface laptop 3.

While a USB C adapter is much easier to find and can be used for data transfer between an iPhone and a computer, it can be more expensive than the USB A adapter.

Despite this, they are a much better choice because they can efficiently work with iPhone, Apple, and even Android devices without any reduction in quality via its high-quality DAC chip. They are also built to last a long time.

An Aux Cable

Suppose you don’t want to purchase any of the above two adapters. You can opt to use an aux cable. Purchase a power port headphone adapter to change the power port to the export and a cable to connect to your computer.

Headphones, Audio Equipment, Cable, Computer, Computer Cable

Use two adapters

Although using two adapters won’t work for most devices, you can still try this workaround solution by purchasing two adapters. One is to be converted from electricity to a male USB, while the other adapter is transformed from a female USB into a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Most professionals do not advise this method; purchasing a USB C or USB A adapter is encouraged to connect lightning headphones to your laptop.

Precaution before purchasing adapters

It’s a huge task to find a suitable adapter that will allow you to use lightning headphones on your laptop because not every adapter USB can work with laptops, especially with Apple devices. So it’s generally advised to go for an Apple USB adapter as they are high quality and will not break easily.

However, if you prefer to purchase from other brands, ensure that they are of high quality and will be compatible with your devices.

Are Lightning Headphones Worth It?

Whether you are a user of Apple lightning headphones or not, we all know that iPhone headphones are of high quality in audio transmission and are built to last a long time. Whether lighting headphones are worth the hassle is entirely dependent on whether you genuinely want to use lightning headphones on your laptop.

Lighting headphones produce better sound quality, are shorter and slimmer than other wired headphones on the market, support a hi-fi connection, and are more durable than the 3.5 mm audio jack.

However, a downside to using lightning headphones is that they are hindered with their compatibility with other devices, they can be more expensive than other headphones that can be connected to your regular headphone jack, and perhaps the biggest drawback to using lightning headphones is that you can’t charge your device while listening to music using your headphones.

Suppose you want to avoid all the hassle of connecting lightning headphones on your laptop. In that case, it’s best to purchase good-quality headphones connected via Bluetooth as they can be compatible with any device with a Bluetooth chip.

However, you do sacrifice a bit due to some audio delay.

Is it easy to connect lightning headphones to laptop?

Connecting a lightning headphone on your laptop is easy but can be pretty hassling to some.

After correctly identifying the correct USB ports on your computer, you have to ensure that you must purchase a compatible adapter that can work as the bridge between your laptop and your Apple headphones.

Once you can locate a lightning audio adapter, you must set it up to allow your lightning earphones to be connected to your laptop device. You can do this by connecting the adapter’s USB side to the laptop’s USB C or USB A end and connecting your lightning earphone to the adapter’s Lightning port side.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use Apple Lightning headphones on other devices?

You can use your Apple lightning headphones on other devices by using adapters to connect its USB end to the laptop’s USB ports and insert your iPhone headphones to the other side of the adapter.

How do you use lightning headphones on a Windows laptop?

Using lightning headphones on a Windows laptop is still doable with adapters. Be sure to identify first what type of ports your Windows laptop is using, and purchase an adapter that is appropriate to the ones your computer uses.

Is USB-C the same as Lightning?

No, USB C supports much faster data transfer rates and is currently used for newer Apple products. A lightning cable can only support a maximum current of 2.4 Amperes, while USB C cables support up to 5 Amperes.

What is the use of a USB-C port on a laptop?

The USB C ports on your laptops provide multiple purposes, such as data transfer and even charging options for newer laptop models.


While some headphones are considered more durable than others, Apple products can still be vulnerable to compatibility problems. Lightning headphones are indeed fabulous if you want to listen to music in high quality, but you do have to deal with its compatibility issues which can be easily solved by purchasing adapters.

We hope this informative article has helped you become more knowledgeable on how to use lightning headphones on laptops, PC, & android.