With the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple removed the earphone jack and made audio possible only through the lightning adapter or Bluetooth. It shouldn’t be too much of a deal if you’re used to listening to music via Bluetooth. But for someone who is used to wired audio, this can hamper the decision to buy the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple has been generous enough to include Lightning to 3.5mm adapter which you can use to connect the generic earphones to your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, but imagine a case where you’re running out on battery and want to listen to music. There was no practical way to do both as the charger, and the lightning earphone makes use of the same lightning port present in the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.
Fortunately, Belkin has finally come up with a device to sort this issue for most. Though it doesn’t add an earphone port on the iPhone, it at least adds an extra Lightning port to the phone. The Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar is a handy device which lets you charge your iPhone and use an earphone at the same time. This device splits the lightning port into two lightning ports, one of which ca be used for Audio and the other can be used to charge up the device. This device can be convenient if you use wired earphones all the time and want to charge the device too.
This device has been specifically designed for iPhones and iPads and is compatible with the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Pro, iPad mini 2 and above and iPad Air and above. If you have one of the above devices and wish to use the lightning earphones while charging the device, then this Belkin addon might be for you.
The device is well built and has a metal shield which provides basic protection to the extremely delicate circuit board which powers the device and also prevents any electromagnetic interference from the circuit board to get out and hinder the WiFi or phone signal performance. The device has one lightning male port which plugs into the iPhone and has two lightning female ports which can be used to plug in one Audio output and one power input.
Coming to the sound quality the Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar supports lossless audio transmission up to 24bit 48kHz and is compatible with all the Lightning compatible earphones. The Rockstar also support high power output which can power the professional grade lighting headphones and even the noise canceling headphones without the need for external batteries or additional power supply.
Although the device sports one output for Audio and one for charging, the Rockstar doesn’t work with data sync or any other transfer protocol. And the device despite having two lightning outputs, cannot be used as an audio splitter to share the device with two earphones, only the first headset that was connected with the device would work as an audio output and if you connect another audio output device, it would just not respond.
The device by itself appears very durable and comes with a standard 2-year warranty. However, using the device with incompatible hardware would void the warranty, and you risk damage to both, the Rockstar and the iPhone too. Though at the price of Rs. 5000, it won’t be an affordable choice for everyone, but then it is a certified product and it works not only for the iPhone but also for the iPads.