How To Use Earbuds With iPhone?

If you have not upgraded to the newest models of the iPhone, it might come to you as a shock: The iPhone does not feature a headphone jack anymore! The absence of it can be quite a problem for some. And, it raises questions such as how to use earbuds with iPhone.

Five years ago, Apple decided to remove a headphone jack from the design of their phone. And, it is not expected to come back. Due to these modifications in the body of the iPhone, we saw a new era of rise in Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. People now prefer to use their wireless headphones to listen to music because it is easier.

Bluetooth headphones are great as you can continue to stream audio when traveling, or even moving around the house. However, you still get a compromised listening experience when compared to wired headphones. The reason lies in the fact that when music is sent wirelessly from our device to the earbuds, it is compressed. Due to compression, the music quality loses its crispiness. Whereas, this is not the problem with wired headphones as no compression happens to your tunes.

If you own an iPhone and want to use wired headphones with it, learn how to use earbuds with iPhone.

How to use earbuds with iPhone: 3 easy ways

Method 1: Buy yourself lightning headphones

Lightning headphones feature a lightning connector in place of a typical 3.5mm jack. These wired headphones were first released in 2017 by Apple to go with iPhone 7.

Ditching the typical circular earbuds, the design of the earbuds is based on the geometry of the ear. It makes the lightning headphones more comfortable and works as an earbud-style headphone.

The speakers of these headphones maximize the sound output and minimize sound loss. You will be able to experience high-quality audio when using them.

Moreover, the lightning headphones come with a built-in remote that allows you to attend and end a call, adjust the volume and control the playback audio.

Here is how to operate lightning headphones:

Control Audio

Pause: With the help of the center button, pause the audio. Press again to play.
Skip forward: Press the center button two times, quickly to skip forward.
Skip backward: Press the center button three times, quickly to skip backward.
Fast forward: Press the center button two times and hold to fast forward.

Manage incoming calls

Answer the call: Press the center button once.
End the ongoing call: Press the center button once.
Put the ongoing call on hold; switch to an incoming or on-hold call: Press the center button. Press again to switch back.

Use Siri

Press and hold the center button. You will hear a beep, then let go. Ask Siri to perform your desired task.

Method 2: Use an adapter to connect to your current headphones

If you are someone who wants to stick with your wired headphones, you can still connect them to your iPhone. You can easily find an Apple lightning to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter. It helps you to connect your wired headphones to your mobile phone.

To use the adapter, plug one side into your iPhone’s lightning port, and the other end will terminate into a standard headphone jack (just as the one in previous models). This adapter is very useful to connect many if not all of the wired headphones to your iPhone.

If your headphones go into a ¼-inch jack only, you will need an additional adapter to convert it into ⅛ inch size.

Now that you know how to use earbuds with iPhone, you must be wondering if you can listen to music and charge your phone at the same time.

In order to stream music and charge your phone simultaneously, opt for a Belkin’s rockstar adapter. It provides you with a 3.5mm audio output and lightning at the same time.

Method 3: Pair iPhone with a Bluetooth headphone

Still, wondering how to use earbuds with iPhone? The last option that you have is to drop your typical headphones and switch to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Listen to music, attend calls, and more by pairing your Bluetooth headphones with your iPhone.

Turn on Bluetooth on iPhone

Some applications might say that you have to enable Bluetooth before pairing an accessory with Bluetooth. In this case:
– Open settings and go to privacy & security
– Tap Bluetooth

How to use earbuds with iPhone
– Now, turn on Bluetooth for the applications of your choice.

How to use earbuds with iPhone

Connect Bluetooth earbuds to iPhone

  1. Go to settings and then choose Bluetooth to turn on Bluetooth. (Stay on this screen till you follow the other steps needed to pair the accessory.)
  2. Put your Bluetooth earbuds on discovery mode and wait till they appear on your device. 
  3. Tap on the accessory name to pair when it appears on the screen. You will now be able to stream your music. 


The guide above summarizes how to use earbuds with iPhone. Bear in mind that if you are using Apple headphones with old models, you might not be able to use all the features. For instance, you will be able to play audio but the playback control might not function with Apple earpods connected with a 3.5mm headphone plug.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I listen to music on my iPhone with earbuds?

To stream music on your iPhone through earbuds:

  • Open the audio app and choose an item to play, i.e. Spotify.
  • Tap the Playback Destination button and choose a Bluetooth device.

How To Use Earbuds With iPhone

How To Use Earbuds With iPhone

In the control center, you will be able to change the playback destination on the lock screen. 

How do you activate earbuds?

To activate your earbuds, press and hold the power button on them. It will turn them on automatically. Your headphones might have a pairing button instead. To see, follow the instruction manual they came with. 

How do you use earbuds with iPhone 13?

To pair headphones with iPhone 13, use the lightning to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter. Plug the lightning end into your iPhone and the other end into your headphones.

How do you use wireless earbuds?

First, put your earbuds in pairing mode by pressing the power button on them. To use your wireless earbuds, you will have to take them out of the charging case.

How do you answer your phone with a Bluetooth headset?

To answer your phone with a Bluetooth headset, press the center button once. It will attend the incoming call. To end the call, repeat and press the center button of your lightning headphones once.