The iPhone, while itself a polarizing piece of tech — but certainly not underselling, — has but one nearly universally frowned upon feature, or lack, thereof: the absence of a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack.
iPhone 7's Lack Of A Headphone Jack
At the iPhone's unveiling last September, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP for worldwide marketing, said that the removal was because of "courage," earning the sneer of many. But what can you do? This is Apple, after all, a company usually at the spearhead of innovations either heavily raved or vehemently renounced.
The lack of a headphone jack was particularly hated because it presents a number of problems, chief of them being that people can't charge the phone while listening to music because the Lightning port doubles as the headphone port.
Pioneer Rayz Plus
Apple's answer to that has so far pointed to wireless headphones, but Pioneer has a different, "smarter" take on the problem. Its $149.95 Rayz Plus headphones has a Lightning port integrated into its Lightning Cable: a charging pass-through, which is essentially a small dongle.
Pioneer Rayz Plus Features
With Rayz Plus, users can listen to their favorite tunes and charge their iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus simultaneously. Apart from that headline functionality, however, Pioneer has also thrown in a few useful features. There's adaptive noise canceling and auto-pause when the headphones are taken out.
The noise canceling is phrased by Pioneer as designed to "adapt to your ear and the world around you," thanks to six microphones on each pair of headphones. There's also a HearThru mode, which lets wearers hear ambient noise without yanking the cans off. The cheaper $99.95 Rayz has Rayz Plus's features, save for the charging pass-through.
What's impressive about the noise-canceling feature is that it gets its power from the phone, so users aren't required to separately charge the headphones, as other noise canceling headphones do.
Both of these headphones from Pioneer are brimmed with features that according to The Verge makes good use of Lightning's added capabilities against the more conventional 3.5 mm headphone jack. Plug in the headphones and easily plug in a Lightning cable to the in-line charging port and you're all set.
There's also companion app that will let users adjust EQ levels and assign a trigger to the smart button on the headphones' in-line remote control.
On the technical side, however, there's no suggestion that both of Pioneer's cans offer anything revolutionary in the sound department, so don't hold your breath for that. But if the noise canceling and other convenience features work as advertised, it's certainly an easy task to imagine its appeal to iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus users aching for a surefire way to use headphones and charge their devices at the same time.
What do you think about Pioneer's Rayz Plus? Think you'll pick up one up for your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!