How to tell which kind of Apple headphones come included with an iPhone

apple airpods iphone 7

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Every iPhone model comes with wired EarPods, rather than wireless AirPods.

  • No iPhone model currently comes with AirPods included - they're available separately from Apple as a premium audio accessory and are compatible with the iPhone 5 or newer.
  • Current-model iPhones come with standard wired earbuds with Lightning connectors.
  • Lightning connector EarPods are also compatible with older iPhones that use a Lightning port to charge.
  • Older earbuds with 3.5-mm headphone jacks work with newer iPhones when used with a 3.5-mm-jack-to-Lightning adapter.

Does the iPhone come with AirPods? No - it does not. AirPods are premium wireless earbuds offered separately by Apple. But there's a lot more to the story of Apple earbuds.

What headphones come in the box with an iPhone?

Since the very first version of the iPhone, Apple has included earbuds, probably because the iPhone was a natural extension of the iPod - it was a music player that also made phone calls. Advertisement

Starting with the iPhone 7, though, Apple removed the headphone jack input from the phone, both to improve water resistance and to save internal space for other components. As a result, the old earbuds would no longer work. Instead, Apple has included earbuds with Lightning jacks on all models since then - including the current models.

iPhone 7 earpods

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The earbuds included in the box with the iPhone 7 and later feature a Lightning connector.

Since the iPhone 7, Apple has also included a 3.5-mm headphone jack-to-Lightning adapter cable. This allows you to plug old-style headphones and earbuds into newer iPhones which lack headphone ports.
Advertisement

Will Lightning earbuds work in older iPhone?

You might also wonder if you can plug new Lightning earbuds into an older iPhone, like an iPhone 6. And surprisingly, yes, you can - Lightning earbuds work just fine in older iPhones without any additional software, as long as they use the Lightning port to charge (in other words, the iPhone 5 and newer).

What about AirPods?

apple airpods and charging case

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

You can purchase Apple AirPods separately, and they are compatible with any iPhone starting with the iPhone 5.

The current version of the AirPod, released in 2019, has an optional wireless charging case, which means it's possible to charge the earbuds on the same wireless charging mat as your late-model iPhone. Advertisement

You can purchase Apple AirPods separately, and they are compatible with any phone that supports Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, which means you can use them with the iPhone 5 or later as well as most iPads, the Apple Watch, and even many Android phones.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

{{}}