The iPad tablet is one of the most popular products from Apple. It offers the portability of a smartphone and the big screen of a laptop for enhanced visuals.
Whether you want to listen to music or stream videos, the performance of this mobile device is simply unmatched. Besides, it features various apps for an immersive and productive experience.
Despite all these exciting features, the latest Apple iPads do not have a headphone jack. Apple eliminated the standard 3.5mm audio connector from its latest iPad lineup, meaning you have to improvise if you want to use wired earphones.
Headphones provide comfort and convenience when using your iPad. They allow you to answer or reject calls, play/pause/skip music or movies and adjust volume levels.
The 9th Generation iPad remains the only tablet from Apple with a standard 3.5mm audio jack. This development begs the question, do you need special headphones for your iPad?
Let’s find out.
- The latest iPad models do not have a headphone jack, so they require special headphones that use USB-C connections.
- You can connect a regular wired headphone to an iPad tablet (older models) with a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
- You require a headphone jack adapter or a dongle to connect wired headphones to iPad models without a standard 3.5mm audio jack via the USB-C port.
- Users can indirectly connect wired headphones to an iPad via the tablet’s lightning connector using a 3.5mm to lightning adapter.
- iPads are compatible with most non-Apple wireless headphones allowing for seamless connections via the tablet’s Bluetooth feature.
Does the iPad Require Special Headphones?
The latest iPad models, such as the iPad Pro 5th Gen, don’t have a standard 3.5mm audio jack. The lack of an audio jack means these iPad models require special headphones that support USB-C connections.
Another way to connect wired headphones to an iPad without an audio jack is to use a 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter. However, some of the latest iPads no longer have a lightning port. If this is the case, you must connect a dongle to the tablet’s USB-C port before inserting your wired headphones.
The iPad 9th Generation has a headphone jack and remains the only iPad tablet with an audio jack after Apple discontinued iPad 5, 6, 7, and 8.
iPad 9 does not require special headphones and allows you to connect your regular wired earphones via its standard headphone jack.
If you have wireless headphones, you can easily connect them to your iPad tablet via Bluetooth. iPad supports non-Apple wireless earbuds and headphones. You only need to pair the headphones to your iPad to connect via Bluetooth.
Why the Latest iPads Don’t Have Headphone Jacks?
The company has been releasing products without headphone jacks to encourage users to go wireless.
This bid came about after Apple purchased Beats by Dre and launched its first generation of wireless earbuds. The strategy was to boost sales of their AirPods and dongles. After all, clients must use wireless earbuds or a dongle to connect their headphones to their iPads or iPhones.
Space is another reason Apple removed the standard headphone jack from their iPads and iPhones. The latest models have a slimmer profile, meaning adding a 3.5mm audio jack might interfere with the design.
Why did Apple decide to Remove the Headphone Jack?
Connecting Wired Headphones to iPad
Connecting wired headphones to older iPad models shouldn’t be a problem. As mentioned above, these iPads have a 3.5mm audio jack for seamless wired connections.
You only need to plug your wired earphones into the headphone jack to connect to your iPad. The iPad will automatically recognize your wired headphones and adjust the output.
If your iPad does not have a headphone jack, you will require special wired headphones that support USB-C connections. Fortunately, you can find several wired earphones with a Type-C connector compatible with your iPad.
Alternatively, you can connect your wired headphones to your jack-less iPad using a USB-C dongle or its lightning connector.
The dongle lets you connect your wired earphones to your iPad via the Type-C port. Conversely, the lightning connector connects your iPad to battery chargers, computers, cameras, and peripherals like wired headphones. However, you require a 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter to use this port with your headphones.
Previously, Apple provided users with free dongles with every purchase of a new iPad that doesn’t have a headphone jack. However, this is no longer the case. You must buy a dongle separately if you want to use wired headphones.
Connecting wired headphones to your iPad is straightforward so long as you have a USB-C dongle or 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter.
Here are the steps:
- Locate the USB-C or lightning port at the bottom of your device.
- Insert a USB-C dongle or a lightning adapter into the corresponding port on your iPad.
- Plug your headphone jack into the other end of the dongle or lightning adapter.
- Your iPad will automatically detect the plugged headphones.
Ways to Connect Headphones (Wired and Wireless) to Your iPad
Belkin SOUNDFORM USB-C Headphones
Apple USB-C to AUX Adapter
Connecting Wireless Headphones to iPad
The most practical way to connect your wireless headphones to your iPad is via Bluetooth.
iPads support Bluetooth connectivity, so connecting your earphones shouldn’t be a problem. You only need to pair your wireless headphones to your iPad to complete the connection.
Here are the steps:
- Follow the instructions that came with your wireless earphones to put them in pairing mode or discovery mode.
- Tap Settings on your iPad.
- Go to Bluetooth.
- Tap the slider next to Bluetooth to turn it on.
- Tap the name of your AirPods or wireless headphones to pair and connect.
- Your headphones must be within 33 feet of your iPad to connect.
Pairing AirPods with an iPad
Pairing Sennheiser HD 450BT Bluetooth Headphones with an iPad
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: Why won’t my headphones work on my iPad?
- Answer: Your headphones might not work on your iPad because of a defective cable or connector. You might need to replace the earphones if it is faulty. If your iPad has a headphone jack, check the port for debris. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and dust from all openings. Ensure you plug the earphones firmly in the appropriate port. If these steps don’t work, update your iPad’s firmware and restart the device.
- Question: Is there a headphone jack on an iPad?
- Answer: The latest iPad models, including the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad 10th Gen, don’t have a headphone jack. The iPads have a slim profile, and Apple removed the audio jacks to enforce this new design. However, the iPad 9th Gen has a headphone jack and remains the only iPad tablet with one. Apple discontinued other iPad models with headphone jacks.
- Question: Why is there no headphone jack on iPad?
- Answer: The latest iPads do not have a headphone jack for several reasons. First, Apple removed the 3.5mm from their iPad lineup to encourage users to go wireless. The company purchased Beats by Dre and launched its first wireless earbuds. The move intends to boost AirPod sales as users adopt the wireless plan.
- Question: How do I connect my headphones to my iPad?
- Answer: Depending on the headphones and iPad model, you can connect them to your iPad using several methods. If your iPad has a 3.5mm jack, you only need to plug the wired headphones into the port. If your iPad doesn’t have an audio jack but has a lightning connector, you can use a 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter to connect your earphones. Another easy way is to use wireless earphones to connect to your device via Bluetooth.
- Question: Can you use regular headphones on iPad air?
- Answer: The latest iPad Pro does not have a standard 3.5mm audio jack. For this reason, you must buy a dongle to connect your regular headphones to the iPad’s USB-C port. You may also use a 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter to connect your earphones. Another option is to purchase USB-C headphones compatible with your iPad tablet.
You may or may not require special headphones for your iPad. It all depends on the iPad model and the type of earphones.
iPads are undoubtedly among the most popular tablets today. However, Apple’s decision to remove the 3.5mm audio jack from their latest models might impact sales. After all, some people prefer to use regular wired headphones with their iPads.
The good news is that you can still connect wired headphones to your jack-less iPad. You only need to purchase a dongle or a 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter to connect your wired earphones. Wireless earphone users can also connect to their iPads via Bluetooth.