Beware of sneaky fake"Lightning" headphones that use Bluetooth instead

Some unscrupulous consumer electronics manufacturers have created a monstrosity: fake "Lightning" headphones that actually use Bluetooth to avoid Apple's expensive specs for Lightning hardware. These Frankenstein devices use a wired connection to power a Bluetooth chip, making you think the audio is coming through the wires.

From Josh Whiton's Xitter post, where he shares his story about coming across these neither-fish-nor-fowl contraptions at a gift shop in Chile:

I don't want wireless headphones. And especially not wired/wireless headphones or whatever the hell these things are. So I convince them, with my last ounce of sanity, to let me try one last thing, a full-proof solution:

I buy a normal wired, old-school pair of mini-stereo headphones and a lightning adapter. We plug it all in. It doesn't work.

"Bluetooth on", they tell me.

NO! By all that is sacred my wired lightning adapter cannot require Bluetooth. "It does," they assure me.

So I turn my Bluetooth on and sure enough my phone offers to pair my new wired, lightning adapter with my phone.


Even worse, these companies slap an official-looking Lightning/iPhone logo on the box, preying on the clueless and the desperate. The result is a whole population now convinced that wired headphones need Bluetooth.

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