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3SIXT Digital Lightning Buds review – say goodbye to the iPhone headphone jack

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One of the biggest rumours about the next iPhone is that it won’t have a headphone jack. Headphones and earphones, if they don’t have Bluetooth, will only be able to connect through the device’s Lightning port.

It’s a bold move but a company like Apple has the courage to do it. We suspect headphones jacks will disappear from other smartphones in 2017 as well.

There are already a number of headphones in the market with Lightning connections including the new 3SIXT Digital Lightning Buds.

They have a flat tangle-free cable and a responsive inline controller that allows you to control your music, your volume, make and answer calls and even issue voice commands to Siri.

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Within each earbud is a powerful 9mm Neodymium drivers with a Mylar diaphragm to deliver a really impressive sound.

And, of course, it all connects to the iPhone via the Lightning cable.

A lot of people are asking why Apple is likely to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The answer is simple. Apple want to make the new iPhone even thinner and getting rid of port that’s 3.5mm wide is a great place to start.

The Lightning connector is half the thickness of the headphone jack.

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But another advantage for the listener is that the sound quality is actually better.

The Lightning connector has a faster digital interface which delivers improved fidelity and zero noise transfer.

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With a regular headphone jack it provides the DAC (digital to analog convertor) and amplifier.

That’s something the Lightning port can’t provide which is why the headphones have to deliver these features through its plug and cable.

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In the case of the 3SIXT Digital Lightning Buds there’s a direct digital processor onboard to pump up the sound.

Speaking of sound, the 3SIXT earphones deliver surprisingly good quality. Certainly impressive for a $89.95 pair of earphones.

Bass levels were spot on, mids were solid and we noticed an improvement in clarity when we were listening to songs we knew really well.

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The volume level, another improvement when connecting through Lightning port, was also higher so we didn’t have to turn up the volume as much as would have done with 3.5mm headphones.

On the downside, the 3SIXT Digital Lightning Buds can only be used with an iPhone with a Lightning port.

They won’t work with any other device or any other smartphone.

Another issue is that while the Lightning Buds are connected you can’t charge your iPhone.

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With regular headphones and Bluetooth headphones you could continue listening to your music while you’re charging the iPhone through the Lightning port.

That’s not the case here – you’re either listening to your music or charging the iPhone. You can’t do both.

But to us, none of those are deal breakers, we loved the sound and the value.

The 3SIXT Digital Lightning Buds are available now from Newslink Australia and are priced at $89.85

VERDICT

The 3SIXT Digital Lightning Buds offer terrific sound quality for the price but they will only work with iPhones. Android users need to look elsewhere at a regular pair of cable or Bluetooth earphones.