Are Lightning Headphones Better?


– Hey guys, this is Austin. And today, I’m here with a video on some slightly different headphones. So, these are the Sine by Audeze. Now, what makes these
a little bit different from the normal style headphones is that they not only have the
standard 3.5 millimeter jack, but it also has a Lightning cable. It definitely looks like the iPhone 7 is going to be dropping the headphone jack in favor of using Lightning headphones and Bluetooth headphones. So, in theory, if you plug
this into an iPhone or an iPad, you’re going to be getting a higher quality signal to the headphones. And I’ve actually tried
some Lightning headphones in the past, and you guys
can check out that video. They were interesting, but it was hard to really know exactly
how much of the difference was because it was a Lightning cable versus just the headphones themselves. So, I am really curious to find out does it actually make a difference to the audio quality if
you plug in via Lightning? Ultra thin diaphragms? Andrew, is this English? – Some of it. (laughs) – So, wait, wait. So, it says it has
three times larger drivers than normal headphones. Is that even a thing or? – It can be. The bigger the driver, the more electricity you need to drive it. – So, here’s a thought. Since these are Lightning, I’m
assuming the Lightning port can probably push more power
than a normal 3.5 millimeter. – I would think it could too, and– – Right, unless you had
like an amp or something. – Yeah, yeah, so that’s
what the amp’s doing. It’s actually pushing
more electricity through to power the drivers when you have an amp. – So, actually, having
three times larger drivers might be a real thing? – It might be a real thing. – By the way, in case
you guys are curious, Andrew is actually a sound guy. So, we’ve got the Lightning
cable right up front, the Lightning end. We also have the audio
controls, a microphone, and I’m assuming this is where the DAC is. Wow, these actually feel really nice. I mean, it’s just literally
metal and leather everywhere. All right, and it looks like
we have some accessories here. Oh, and we also have the
standard 3.5 millimeter cable. So, this is definitely
not a scientific test, but I’m going to be using Spotify with the normal 320 kilobit MP3s. I mean, you can definitely go higher end. You can get uncompressed
FLAC, 16-bit stuff, but for me, I’m not really gonna do that. I’m just gonna listen to
normal MP3s on my phone. So, I wanna see if I can
tell the difference here. (slow hip-hop beat) So, the first thing I immediately notice is that I’m having to crank my phone all the way to full volume to get any kind of real volume out of these headphones. I gotta say, I’m actually not
that impressed with the cable. There’s a lot of emphasized highs and especially a lot of emphasized lows, but there’s not a whole lot
of anything in the middle. 3.5 mil cable is actually
not doing a whole lot for me. So, let’s switch to the Lightning. I should really listen to
Ride the Lightning right now. Wow, immediate difference. Night and day. Yeah, huge difference with
the Lightning headphones. First of all, not at full
volume, so that’s nice. But yeah, there are actual mids here. These went from being kind
of meh sort of headphones to, the Lightning completely wakes these up. I feel like my head’s inside the music. I gotta say, I wasn’t expecting there to be a huge difference. I’ve listened to 3.5 millimeter
headphones on this phone and lots of other phones before
and they sound totally fine. I definitely do think that even though they include this cable,
this is not the way you really should listen
to these headphones. These are headphones that really
do need, at the very least, to plug into a DAC and an amp to get some proper power through them. I feel like he’s whispering
in my ear right now. This is a really extreme case of showing Lightning headphones just because listening to them with Lightning sounds awesome. They sound like really,
really nice headphones. Plugging them in with the
normal headphone jack, they don’t sound too hot. Honestly, they sound like
$30 or $40 headphones. So, it’s interesting. I think the Lightning definitely helps. I’m not totally convinced. I mean, I think these are
still very high-end headphones that for, say, a $50 or
$100 pair of headphones that you’re gonna see
this much of a difference. But, to be fair, this
sounds pretty awesome, especially considering that I’m listening to MP3s on a phone. So, what do you guys think
about Lightning headphones? Have you tried them? What do you think about Apple
removing the headphone jack? Definitely be sure to let me
know in the comments below, and I will catch you in the next one.

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100 thoughts on “Are Lightning Headphones Better?”

  1. Anderson _ says:

    I'm cried when i watch the prices

  2. kieferonline says:

    Personally, I'm very suspicious of removing the 3.5mm jack, which has been universal for decades. The current Lightning will surely be abandoned/modified by Apple within 5 years, making all lightning headphones useless by 2020.

  3. elaxten band2c says:

    This video has 2 new quality options i never saw HD1440p and 4k2160p THUMBS UP

  4. David Macdonald says:

    It sounded meh at first because the headphones drivers are meant for lightning not 3.5mm

  5. GFG2600 says:

    nice hair style

  6. A Dolphin says:

    Or you know, people can fucking buy adapters when it's released and they keep their headphones and the jack for other devices?

  7. Shariq Ahmad khan says:

    apples doing A great job by removing the headphone jack to revolusionise sound output quality

  8. MegaCoconut9 says:

    Exactly what unbox therapy did..

  9. cjhawk67 says:

    There is no way I can see that this would improve anything if you have a decent sound output since there is a shared ground and a left and right channel positive for both 3.5mm and the lightning connector only the lightning connector has allot smaller connectors and more data paths that can add interference similar to how a soundblaster sound card in a pc at max volume with no audio playing lets you listen to the electrons squealing along their copper highways on the motherboard. Apple is just trying to create another reason for you to give them your hard earned cash so they can rip the less informed off even more then they already do.

  10. Brian N says:

    Austin are you getting bulkier ?

  11. Karlo Schallibaum says:

    Should've tested this on more people.

  12. Clorox Bleach says:

    Hel… (likes the video)

  13. Matthew Kim says:

    Imagine if iPhone 7 has a headphone jack? LOL

  14. Eckowy says:

    Hmm… Are there any lightning cable earbuds?

  15. opethfeldt says:

    The difference between the cables has more to do with the fact the lightning cable has a 3db bass EQ built in, which helps to make them sound warmer and more pleasing. This is not a benefit to the cable itself. You could EQ on your phone with the regular 3.5mm cable and achieve the same result. Pair it with a really good DAC and amp and you'd get a better result. But, having the DAC and amp built into the headphone cable itself is really cool and negates the need to carry extra equipment with you.

  16. XiCO FiR3 says:

    Maybe apple, or the headphone maker, nerfed the 3.5 jack sound. I am not hating, keeping an open mind. Nvidia nerf drivers for old cards when they release new ones, at least when the GTX 980 came out.
    AMD did the same in a different way. When they released the Rx 3xx series, they launch different drivers for the 3xx and 2xx, just to prove that the the 300 series was better. Apple could be doing this at driver level too. I don't know.

  17. Pranav virinchi says:

    Dude… how do you manage to afford all these items…. don't mind if I sound dumb

  18. Stan Jansen says:

    the only reason why the 3.5 mm jack is worse then the lightning connector (for that specific headphone) is because 3.5 can not drive the headphones

  19. Aditya Nambiar says:

    Hey Austin, This was a very good video but the echo was annoying. Could you please echoproof your studio like Marques?

  20. seo says:

    Somebody should make lighting headphones with a power bank integrated

  21. Matt Mayden says:

    I've noticed a similar thing with my sony mdr xb950bt, the bluetooth sounds better than the 3.5mm wire.

  22. Victor McDonald says:

    my advice, fuck apple and fuck lightning headphones. have a good day

  23. Zingu says:

    How Dafuq did you get Ibra on your channel?

  24. Akalion says:

    Right, so the only thing we established is that THESE headphones are better with lightning…

  25. Vesselin Krastev says:

    These headphones were evidently meant to be used with the lightning cable. I'm not sure the difference will be so noticeable if you compare them to some decent headphones with a standard audio jack.

  26. Fred Basil says:

    Austin is super buff for a tech geek Thumbs up 📱⌚Nerds 4 Life💻🖥

  27. HOLT_MMXV says:

    2:22 you should listen to Ride The Lightning. Xd

  28. kULA says:

    you look like a doofus.

  29. C4103 says:

    This is a completely invalid comparison. The fact that the headphones are connected with a lightning cable makes effectively no difference. Really what you're doing there is effectively the same as connecting a USB sound card to a PC versus using onboard audio. The headphones may be the same but the technology driving the speakers is different. Really a better comparison would be trying the headphones connected with lightning to the iPhone and then the same cans connected with the 3.5mm cable to a phone with a real DAC like the LG v10. It has a built in ESS Sabre DAC which is used in a lot of pro audio gear. OF COURSE the lightning connection sounded better in this scenario. The whole point in Apple getting rid of the jack is to push the cost of higher quality audio onto the headphone manufacturer. The consumer just sees another pair of headphones with a different cable and doesn't understand that there's an amplifier inside of them. Your average joe will just think "oh this sounds really good lightning must be the way to go Apple really did it this time." Really though, Apple would be doing nothing to promote audio quality on their devices aside from forcing people to manufacture headphones with a built in DAC to work on their devices.

  30. Rageey says:

    14 likes to 3 dislikes wait what?

  31. Alex says:

    The lightning cable has a built in dac/amp, of course it would sound different.

  32. ArticBeatle says:

    Powering a $500 set of headphones with a cellphone is like putting racing slicks on a smart car. It just doesn't have the power to take advantage of the tires… or drivers.

  33. progogurt says:

    You should do a best headphones video

  34. Camden Hampe says:

    You and me have the same shirt

  35. pucool0927 says:

    You said that the driver is 3x bigger so needs more power then how can 3.5mm jack pull power to give u that sound quality? It's unfair comparison. play a pure 3.5 mm headphones and then compare it to same company's lightning headphones

  36. YaBoyVibez says:

    $500? Get the fuck outta here lol

  37. Thanh Tran says:

    The supposedly "poor" quality with 3.5mm is also to do with the DAC inside the iPhone. Both iPhone DAC and dedicated external DAC is connected to the same pair of headphones so that's the lowest common denominator. What you're paying for here is an external DAC mapped to those headphones instead of the quality being superior just because of lightning. Try plugging in an iPhone to a big speaker without an beefy amplifier and you'll realise it sounds rubbish.

  38. Shot Boy says:

    But if you have the iPhone 7, than what if you want to put your headphones on while your phone is charging?

  39. UnstableAdrianHD says:

    I use my Astro a40's on my phone, it sounds alright withouth the amp, but using the amp really makes a difference

  40. UnhandyBirch656 says:

    Lightning is not better, Audeze just loves planar magnetic which makes audio seem liflike

  41. Filip Mac says:

    rather play CDs and cassettes

  42. Rick Sanchez says:

    If it sound worst using the 3.5 mm connector blame Apple for using a crappy DAC in the iphone.

  43. Christian Bechsgaard says:

    The Lightning cable does nothing for the sound, the signal from the lightning port is digital.
    It's the built-in DAC and Amp that do all the difference. The IPhone DAC and Amp suck as well so it can't be compared 😛

  44. Christian Bechsgaard says:

    It's the same with my Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro. If I power them from my phone they sound okay…
    If I connect them to my Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 USB DAC they sound amazing 😀

  45. Ben Allen says:

    dat headphone hair tho…

  46. its _ ryan says:

    My hypothesis is that the i phone 7 is going to have a more smaller head phone jack and not a lightning cord head phone

  47. Liang Yi says:

    The film editing is terrible

  48. SaltySnit says:

    Hey Austin did you happen to go to Eureka Burger recently. I swear I saw you there.

  49. Red Space says:

    The only problem:
    Charging and using the Headphones

  50. Franko K says:

    Liking just cuz of the Madvilliany camo

  51. doug poelvoorde says:

    What if you want to charge your phone and use your headphones?

  52. Robert Muller says:

    Am I the only one who doesn't watch his vids as usual anymore because he's now one of those tech YTers who play shitty music at the background and makes lame ass jokes and tries harder to look cute rather than actually teach tech shit

  53. Cournioni says:

    Madvillain! Terrific album!

  54. Kenji Shimokaji says:

    But if you don't want to buy new headphones it would be nice if headphone companies line Beats, Sony, and Audio-Technica would give the customer the option of a lightning cord that was adaptable to non Bluetooth or Lightning headphones.

  55. The Neander says:

    Pink guy has started to take over

  56. sudip biswas says:

    The 3.5 mm cable here doesn't work well as the driver of this particular headphone is quite large. On the contrary the lightening cable powers the drivers on the headphone with the phone's power supply. That's why it sounded better with the lightening cable. The comparison between the performance of the two cables is not fair in this case as listening to 320kbps on a different set of headphones having moderate drivers with the 3.5mm cable will definitely give better performance than this. Lets be honest, we have tons of headphones with 3.5 mm cable now that sound extremely well.

  57. Andreas Träxler says:

    just a fucking headphone with included dac. no difference to usb headphones -.-

  58. ArcSmith says:

    They need more power so of course the won't work with the audio jack.

  59. Alex says:


  60. Jos L says:

    Did anyone notice that the R and L on the cable where also written there in braille, that's awesome!

  61. ShawnManh says:

    Sorry but i'm not convinced. It sounds very bias and seem like you barely know how to inspect the difference of the treble, mid, bass. You just spoke out of your bias experiences. Sorry unsubscribing.

  62. arrol01 says:

    Does it work for ipod nano 7G

  63. Mitchell Virgil says:

    HE KNEW!

  64. Der Strudeltaucher says:

    Yes, the 3.5 Jack is obsolete, maybe not if they put great Amps in their smartphones, but nobody do! The pure digital signal surely is better than weak analog signals.

  65. Der Strudeltaucher says:

    Modern smartphones have no space for good dac/dsp/amp… so take it out is a good idea. I have the sines, but not cipher cable, audeze told me in a facebook chat, that apple gave them permission now for they separat cable, but audeze must produce them now… still waiting. I did the test, and it is good!

  66. Thunder o says:

    You can just get a phone with a good dac in it. Apple have always put shit ones in they could just improve their dac.

  67. Deraco1 says:

    First thought after looking at a lot of different headphones that are out now. A lot of them take batteries to power the built in EQ and amplifier. Without the batteries in, the headphones them selves don't sound that great. I wouldn't even bat an eye that this is the same case. You are paying more for the EQ than headphone (speaker quality) them selves. Also, since the lightening is ditial, theres no real amplification so no matter what the manufacture does, there's always going to be a digital to analog converter amp combo, most of the time with an EQ. Good video though Austin!

  68. KayTheLej says:


  69. GeoAl09 says:

    Yes it does. Hands down.

  70. GeoAl09 says:

    The best analogy I can think of is 3.5mm is like talking with your hand about 1 inch in front of your mouth. It sounds like cotton in your ears and muffy. Lightning is like removing that hand from in front of your mouth and it sounds way more clearer and the soundstage is drastically improved.

  71. MantisRay861 says:

    Those headphones are made specifically for lightning with the DAC (amplifier) which is why they sound meh with the 3.5

  72. Vishal Singh says:

    I didnt expect you to be this stupid austin . Dude the lighting cable will obviously sound better because bro there is a inbuilt dac in the lighting cord near the volume control. and lighting cable do provide electricity so the sound is amplified. So if the same were true with the normal audio jack then they would have sounded the same too.

  73. Mr. Snarpen says:

    his hair.

  74. Shawn nwahs says:

    ..47 laugh. I had to go back

  75. Miguel Ángel says:

    "Uncompressed FLAC"?
    Why would anyone use that? It has no advantages at all; it will suck more space for the sake of like 20mhz less cpu usage vs level-5 …

  76. Woodsy Productions says:

    Build a PC in a toaster!

  77. Razvan Gatea says:

    Austin you really are lost in the audio department, your sound guy as well.

  78. JaX N says:

    i think there just to advertise the lightning headphones

  79. FIREJ4CKS says:

    Anyone else watching this in 2017?

  80. burns0100 says:

    Im not a sound guy and i know more about headphones then that guy…

  81. BRANDONSKIE * says:

    Mad villain!

  82. Patrick Khwela says:

    Austin I love your videos and respect your opinion but please stop misleading and overhyping the lightning cable. The DAC is very poor on that phone which is why the signal is weak through the 3.5mm interface, its not the cable at all.

  83. Laurens L says:

    He Austin, can you do another review with high resolution sound files vs mp3's on this headphone? That will be another step up I hope 😉 Really wanting to know if they are good for audiophile users…

  84. Insomniac Millennial says:

    Not sure if it's the most objective test. It's like wondering if Bluetooth headphones are better than wired ones. it all depends on the headphones. Some headphones support both Bluetooth and wired and depending on the headphones the sound quality might be equivalent or not.

  85. Ramy Hosny says:

    Fraction of the price for these ones

  86. Igor Costa says:

    320kpbs on spotify is not real 320kbps. So download the damn files at least. And the 3.5mm jack is made for you to only plug in an amp, so it is pretty obvios the results when directly connected to a phone.

  87. CRASH says:

    Lightning headphones are shit.

  88. Hugo Petch says:

    Apparently they are because they don't covert the sound into a 3.5 mm capable sound wave

  89. Sikh Atheist says:

    This is the stupidest video of the week. In order to hear sound you need three things: a digital file, a DAC, an Amp, and speakers. When you plug anything into the headphone jack, your phone has a built in DAC and an amp and it supplies analog audio signal to the speakers. When you use lightning, your speakers (headphones) have to have their own dac and amp, the lightning port only supplies the digital signal and power. The advantage for lighting is that the headphone manufactures are forced to include a Dac and an Amp with every pair of headphone they sell. The Sine sound good using the lightning, because the built in DAC and Amp on the iphone is shit. Try using a phone that delivers good audio (V20 or Axon 7) and then see if lighting really sounds better. Hint: no it doesn't. You guys are celebrating a product that is cheaper to make (because it lacks a DAC and Amp), and forces the manufactures to raise the price of their products (because they now have to pay for a DAC and Amp and pay Apple to use their port). And lastly, you can use the lighting port on previous iPhones to listen to audio, it's doesn't have to be the iphone 7. There are many phones that come with a builtin headphone jack AND output digital audio signal.

  90. william reichelt says:

    So it works with an ipad mini?

  91. el3xtrosky says:

    How about iphone –> cheap amp/dac (fiio q1/fiio k1) –> audeze
    the first test was without an amp, audeze is high quality headphone maker, with larger driver of course the cans need amplification.

  92. wb5704 says:

    when's the sex tape coming out?

  93. com truise says:

    mf doom? austin is patrician?

  94. comrade skeleton says:

    When Andrew came on. . . smh.

    It would help if he actually knew stuff about headphones.

  95. Baconface McGee says:

    Anyone watching this on the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus?

  96. Kevin Conaty says:

    I'll buy an amp before I deal with proprietary bullshit

  97. ripsalsa says:

    not 320kbps mp3, its 320kbps ogg vorbis

  98. Davideos says:

    UUUGGGGGHHHH filthy casuals using them cheap-ass $30 headphones such plebians

  99. Anthony Cote says:

    Spotify uses ogg files not mp3

  100. jacobhartnessgt says:

    I love that apple removed the headphone jack

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