Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar Review: Headphone Fix

by Reads (2,186)
  • Pros

    • Charge an iPhone 7 while listening to wired headset
    • Well built
    • Portable
  • Cons

    • Expensive
    • Limited functionality

Quick Take

Although it's pricey, Belkin's RockStar is works well for those who want to be able to use wired headphones all day while simultaneously charging their iPhone 7.


Apple angered many of its fans when it dropped the headphone port from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. One reason: it required users connect wired headsets through the Lightning port instead, making it impossible to charge the phone with headphones plugged in simultaneously. Fortunately, the Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar ($39.99) takes care of this problem.

Read this Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar review to find out how, and how well.

Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar

Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar

Build & Design

The RockStar consists of a Lightning jack on one end of a short cable, with a pair of Lightning ports in a small enclosure on the other. Plug the jack into an iPhone 7, and that device gains a port for charging, and a second for the Lightning EarPods or the Lightning 3.5mm headphone adapter.

The cable is 3.25 inches long, and the port box measure 1.4 x 1 x 0.38 inches, so this accessory is pocketable, but it will probably ride better in a bag with the headphones and a charger.

It’s made of white plastic to match Apple’s headset. The cable is robust enough to stand up to plenty of wear and tear.

Performance

In our tests, our Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar review unit worked without any issues, allowing us to charge our iPhone 7 Plus while listening to music through a headset. In testing, there was no detectable difference in volume or audio quality as a result of using this adapter.

Again, it can also be combined with Apple’s own Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter for regular headphones, while also charging the phone.

It’s worth noting that this accessory can be used with any Apple product that has a Lightning port, whether it has a headphone jack or not. For example, the RockStar can be inserted into an iPad and it will still do its job. 

Limitations

Although Belkin’s product does exactly what it promises, it doesn’t do any more. Most notably, it can’t be used to allow two people to each connect a headset–only one will work at a time. And plugging in two charging cables instead of just one has no effect on the speed at which the iPhone’s battery charges.

In addition, its Lightning ports aren’t fully functional, so they can only handle charging and audio. This means Lightning-based flash drives can’t communicate through this accessory. We tested our Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar review unit with the SanDisk iXpand with no success.

The nearest thing to an exception we found is the Apple Pencil; Belkin’s product enables both an iPad Pro and the Pencil to be charged simultaneously.

Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStarValue

At $39.99, the RockStar is hardly an impulse purchase. It’s priced so that only people who really, really need to be able to charge their iPhone and listen to headphones at the same time are going to buy it.

Others might consider purchasing Bluetooth headphones instead, as these also allow the phone to be charged while listening to audio. Of course, these also have their own batteries that need to be charged, which can’t be done while they’re being used.

Belkin Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar Review Conclusion

iPhone 7 users who want to quietly listen to music all day without draining their phones or needing to deal with charging a wireless headset should seriously consider investing in the Lightning Audio and Charge RockStar.  There are desktop docks that can do this same job, but Belkin’s option enables simultaneous playback and charging while on the go.

It’s too bad this accessory is expensive and doesn’t do more.

Pros:

  • Charge an iPhone 7 while listening to wired headset
  • Well built
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Limited functionality

 


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