Apple no longer sells an iPhone with a headphones jack

Amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding the launch of Apple’s three new iPhones yesterday – two iPhone XS models and the new iPhone XR - you might not have noticed that the company has ditched a couple of models from its line-up. But while the passing of the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE probably doesn’t come as a surprise, what it does mean is that you can no longer buy a new iPhone from Apple that has a headphones socket on it (the company ditched it from all new iPhone models when it released the iPhone 7 in 2016).

While this won’t be a problem for most people, it could be a bit of a snag if you want to use your phone for music making. Yes, you can plug an adapter into the Lightning port to add a 3.5mm jack to your phone, but this means that you can’t charge your device from the mains (though some models so support wireless charging) or plugin in a music-making peripheral, such as a MIDI keyboard, at the same time.  

Fortunately, you can work around this limitation with a device such as Korg’s plugKey, a handy little iOS interface. Connecting over a Lightning cable, it has a 5-Pin MIDI In port, while L/Mono and R line outs are on 1/4-inch jacks. There's an additional 1/8-inch mini headphones jack and a micro USB port for charging, plus a volume knob.

Problem solved, then, though you will have to pay around $100/£60 for a plugKey in addition to what you’ve paid for your shiny new iPhone.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.