When I got an iPhone 7, the one place that I knew the lack of a headphone jack would affect me is in my car. I don’t have a Bluetooth enabled stereo, and so I can only hook my phone up via a 3.5mm jack. With the iPhone 7, this means that I cannot charge my phone and play music at the same time. However, I’ve found a nice solution to the problem that doesn’t involve any clumsy docks or ripping out my stereo head.
The Griffin iTrip Clip is a small device that turns any 3.5mm jack into a Bluetooth receiver. You connect a 3.5mm cord to the jack, turn the device on, connect your phone via Bluetooth, and away you go. I’ve been using it for a week now and it has completely solved the problem of playing music in my car. I picked up a dual USB car adapter so I can charge the iTrip and my phone at the same time. I also picked up a small 3.5mm cord so that I didn’t have my regular cord taking up space.
The device works as expected, and there are only two issues I’ve had. The first is a minor issue around figuring out how to get my phone to automatically connect with it every time I turn it on. Unlike a Bluetooth enabled car stereo the device doesn’t turn off or on when you turn the car off or on. Sometimes, if I forget to turn the device off, it will continue being connected to my phone, even when I’m in my living room. I’ve simply had to learn to remember to disconnect my phone from it before leaving my car.
The second issue is a bit more annoying, but I can live with it for now. The iTrip Clip has a built in microphone, so that once you’re connected, all sound input goes through the iTrip. This means that when I’m in my car and try to use Siri I have to shout very loud to get the clip to hear me from its spot next to my seat. I really wish there was a way to turn that feature off.
Apart from the minor futzyness of dealing with a Bluetooth device, and the Siri microphone issue, I have loved the iTrip. The fact that Bluetooth isn’t the best audio quality doesn’t make a big difference in a car environment, so I haven’t noticed a difference from my previous phone. Many times in the morning I’ll leave my phone in my pocket and I don’t have to worry about cords and wires everywhere just to listen to music. It’s been a mostly elegant solution for my iPhone 7 headphone jack problem, and I’d highly recommend it for others who are facing a similar challenge.