Do You Need Special Headphones For iPad

If you have a pair of wired headphones that you love and you are in the market to buy a new iPad Pro for yourself, make sure to add a dongle to your cart as well. Most of the recent iPad Pro models feature only a USB-C port, ditching the traditional headphone jack. This arises a question: do you need special headphones for iPad?

The answer to this question is dependent on your iPad model. Some of the models feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. For these, you do not have to go for special headphones. However, the latest models do not come with a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. You can opt for type-C headphones for such models. 

Do You Need Special Headphones For iPad


Do You Need Special Headphones For iPad?

No, you don’t need special headphones for your iPad. Any headphones that work with your iPhone will also work with your iPad.

How to connect regular headphones to an iPad?

Now if you own an iPad that does not have a regular 3.5mm headphone jack, you will have to consider any of these options:

  • Using a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle
  • Using an Apple’s lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter
  • Replacing the old headphones with newer ones

Before discovering each option individually, you must know the iPad models that come with and without a headphone jack.

iPad models that come with a headphone jack

Headphone jacks are important to provide you with an unrestricted direct connection between the headphone and the iPad for a real-time listening experience. 

Excluding the latest iPad Pro models, the new iPad Air, iPad Mini, and basic iPad still have a headphone jack. It is predicted that these might be some of the last iPads with this feature. Based on it, do you need special headphones for iPad Pro? Yes. But, do you need special headphones for iPad Air or Mini? No. 

List of iPad models

 Here is a list of some iPads that come with a headphone jack (from latest to oldest):

  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • IPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro (2nd generation) (12.9 inches / 10.5 inches)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad Mini (4th generation)
  • iPad Air 2 

To clear your concept on do you need special headphones for iPad, consider these:

  • iPad Mini, iPad Air, and the classic iPad come with a standard headphone jack, so you do not need special headphones for them.
  • The latest models of iPad Pro do not come with a standard headphone jack. Therefore, your standard wired headphones will not go with them.

Connecting headphones to an iPad without a headphone jack

In 2016, when Apple removed the headphone jack from iPhone 7, it resulted in innovation. After that, the trend of removing headphone jacks from technological devices can be observed. This change resulted in users picking earphones or wireless headphones over wired headphones.

However, if you have already made a purchase on wired headphones, given below are some methods to use them.


A great feature that comes with the removal of a headphone jack is an improved battery or camera quality. However, it comes as a drawback to most users as they have to carry around wires such as dongles with them all the time. However, if you think of the improved features you might agree to sacrifice the jack. And why worry when you can use a dongle instead?

A dongle is specifically designed as a solution to the headphone jack challenge. It is an adapter that uses the lightning port of the iPad for different connections such as headphones or HDMI.

So, to answer: do you need special headphones for iPad, the answer is no. Luckily, you can buy a dongle to support your regular headphones. Here are some pros and cons of using a dongle:

Pros of using a dongle

  •  You can use a dongle for several connections, apart from the headphones, such as HDMI, VGA, and, USB.

Cons of using a dongle

  • You will not be able to charge and listen to music at the same time. You will have to do one thing at a time. 

Wireless headphones

If you are not a fan of dongles, you may need to go wireless. Using earpods or wireless headphones will give you a smooth experience. You will simply be able to connect them with Bluetooth. 

How to connect wireless headphones to an iPad?

Here is how to connect wireless headphones to your iPad:

  1. Go to settings > General > Bluetooth on your iPad.
  2. If the Bluetooth is off, tap it to turn it on. If it is on, you will be able to see options for connecting.
  3. Ensure that your headphones are in pairing mode.
  4. After seeing your headphone’s name in the list, tap to connect and pair.
  5. Sometimes, it asks you to enter a password. Type four zeros (0000).
  6. Your wireless headphones should be connected to the device.

Pros of going wireless

  • A smooth listening experience 
  • No hassle

Cons of going wireless

  • As compared to wired headphones, earpods or wireless headphones are a bit more expensive 

Also read, How To Get Rid of Headphone Hair?

Why won’t my headphones work with the iPad?

If your headphones are not working on your iPad, check for debris in the headphone port. If the port is not clean, make sure to carefully remove the dirt lying inside. Some other reasons might be that the headphone wire is damaged, or the headphone plastic is broken

What are some good wireless headphones for iPad Pro?

If you are considering buying a new pair of headphones for your iPad pro, here is a list:

  • Apple AirPods Pro
  • New Apple AirPods Max
  • Tozo T6 waterproof wireless earbuds
  • Treblab Z2 Active noise canceling wireless headphones
  • Soundcore

You do not need special headphones for an iPad. However, depending on your model you might find yourself in a need to use a dongle or go wireless.