The $12 must-have accessory for your iPhone 7

A portable headphone jack for your iPhone 7

This Excelvan Bluetooth receiver.

It’s not as nice looking as Sean Nelson’s mockup of an Apple-designed Bluetooth receiver from February, but the concept is similar.

Back in mid-August, my friend gave me one of these because he had an extra. The iPhone 6 I used at the time still had a headphone jack, but I started finding some great ways to use this thing to avoid wires.

Now that I have an iPhone 7 Plus with no headphone jack, it’s graduated to a must-have.

There are probably tons of others on the market, but a key feature of this Bluetooth receiver is that it has both a male and female connector.

That may seem weird at first, but it makes it easy to plug wired headphones directly into the receiver while making it possible to plug into a car’s aux port without carrying an extra cable.

I’ll often connect my Bose wired headset to the adapter and put it in my iPod nano pocket

Ways I use it

  • Plug headphones into the adapter and put it in my pocket, so I don’t have any wires connected to my iPhone (this seems marginal, but it’s a big improvement for walks or doing stuff around the house)
  • Plug one of a few home speaker systems into it to wirelessly listen to music on speakers that don’t have AirPlay (really useful for playing music at other people’s houses, too)
  • Plug it into the aux jack in any car (my car doesn’t have Bluetooth built-in)

Pros

  • It re-connects automatically when turned on
  • There’s a play/pause button on it
  • It can pair to multiple devices (and does an OK job of switching between them)
  • Non-crappy audio quality, unlike other Bluetooth receivers is tried over the past ~5 years
  • Decent battery life (about 6 hours of playback, like they claim) or always works while it’s plugged via Micro-USB

Cons

  • No support for headset microphone (it has a built-in microphone, but using that is awkward)
  • No support for headset controls
  • It doesn’t stop playing if the audio output is unplugged

Like the 3.5mm-to-lightning adapter Apple shipped with every iPhone 7, this device is a stepping stone. But at just $12 it seems like a great way to add more flexibility to an iPhone 7 or any device with Bluetooth audio output, so I wanted to share my experience.

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