Beats by Dre Releases Earbuds That Don’t Work With the iPhone 7

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The iPhone 7 doesn’t have a 3.5mm standard headphone jack.  So why does Apple-owned Beats by Dre keep releasing headphones and earbuds with 3.5mm jacks?

Late last month, something strange happened.  Beats by Dre, now owned by Apple, released a pair of headphones with a standard, 3.5mm jack.  The only problem is that these headphones won’t work with an iPhone 7, at least without a special adapter.

But there wasn’t even an adapter in the box.

Just an oversight?  Apparently not.  Just this morning, Beats by Dre released yet another headphone with a 3.5mm jack.  Actually, it’s an earbud.  It’s the ‘urBeats,’ a rose-colored, wired earbud that complements a broader release of wireless headphones and earbuds.

The ‘urBeats’ are available via the Apple Store for $100.


UrBeats from Beats by Dre
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Clearly there’s an adapter for iPhone 7 users, right?  Wrong.  There isn’t one in the box.  But even stranger, the user guide shows a phone that definitely isn’t the iPhone 7.  “Connect the urBeats cable into the 1/8″ (3.5mm) stereo plug on your music player,” the guide informs.

Of course, the iPhone 7 ‘music player’ doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack.  Which makes the urBeats pretty much useless without a special adapter (that you can also buy from the Apple Store).


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Meanwhile, Beats is doing a massive media campaign to bolster its latest wireless headphones and earbuds.  In characteristic fashion, celebrities are shown wearing a variety of different models, with a ‘no strings’ theme sung by Pinnochio.

Great spot.  But strangely, one of the Beats by Dre wireless models looks exactly like Apple’s AirPods.  With one key difference: there’s a strap to connect the two earpieces.



8 Responses

  1. jDre

    IMHO, if you are a big enough sucker to buy anything Beats manufactures.. then you deserve all the crappy audio quality and low quality that comes with it. It’s been proven time and time again within audio production blogs and magazines that Beats spends a huge amount on “hype” and advertising, and only a fraction of the amount it’s closest competitors spend on R&D.

    When you are buy Beats you are seriously paying for nothing more then the Brand, and the “Hype”

    • 'Cus

      That depends on what you are looking for In headphones. Im sure they don’t sound good trying to listen to talk radio or guitar riffs, but for hip hop enthusiasts and folks who like bass (not guitar bass), they are fine. Hyped? Yes. ALL Hype? No.

  2. Jayd

    Ah, gotta love clickbait.

    Why have they got a wire and plug? Because most of the world still uses headphone jacks and it would be a business disaster for this copmpany to only make headphones for one single product.

    A company with tiny sales, selling to one miniscule market may as well shut it’s doors.

  3. Bob

    Seriously Paul?

    Regardless of the fact that Beats is owned by Apple it would make no logical business sense for Beats to restrict their new headphones to a market limited to iPhone 7 owners. The Beats headphones market is much larger than that which is exactly why the new headphones have a 3.5mm jack. Come on, man.

    Contrary to your misleading headline the new Beats headphones models work just fine with the iPhone 7 (as well as any other non-lightning device with a 3.5mm jack.) If you have an iPhone 7 then you simply use the included lightning-to-3.5mm adapter. And since that adapter is included with every iPhone 7 why exactly would you expect the Beats headphones to include that same adapter? Any user who requires the adapter already has one by virtue of purchasing the iPhone 7.

  4. Adam

    Wait what?? So you think they should be abandoning making headphones for everyone just because they’re owned by Apple? That makes no sense. If they were going to do that Apple should have just absorbed the company and made hen disappear. That’s not what’s going on. Think of who buys beats… Think about that demographic. Do you really think they all have iPhone 7’s already and do you really think it would be a smart move for any business to stop producing what works just because there’s new technology? Yeesh. Beats obviously needs to provide regular headphones to their regular existing non iPhone 7 clients. I’m still buying CDs in 2016. 3.5mm headphones aren’t going away. For decades.