Solutions to the iPhone 7 sans headphone socket are starting to come on stream. One such: the Griffin Technology iTrip Clip headphone adapter. This is a Bluetooth receiver allowing you to work with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus.

It consists of a small gadget which connects via Bluetooth to your phone, and with a 3.5mm socket for plugging in your headphones or earphones. Which raises the question: why?

Why not just buy Bluetooth enabled earphones? Why not just use the Lightning connecter to earphones socket that’s provided with the iPhone 7?

First, Bluetooth earphones might be just want you want. But what if you have perfectly fine – perhaps even exceptional – earphones or headphones that you want to keep right on using? Then a separate Bluetooth connection could be just the thing for you.

So why not use the Lightning connector? Well, I’d actually recommend that if you want the very best quality audio, stick with the Lightning connection. Any Bluetooth connection involves using some lossy CODEC to transmit the music. Don’t get me wrong, the quality is good. But if you’re an audiophile, you’ll stick with wire.

Everyone else? Going Bluetooth helps with two things. The first is useful for everyone: it likely extends your phone’s battery life. Not for certain, because Bluetooth itself chews up some power. Nonetheless, the Griffin iTrip Clip has a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery built in with a capacity of 800mAh, which is about a quarter to a third of the battery capacity in a typical phone. That’ll be powering your earbuds instead of the phone’s battery.

Griffin Technology iTrip Clip

Secondly, I don’t know how many times I’ve ripped earbuds from my ears as the cable gets caught on fences, cupboard handles, and anything else that’s protruding in the area. Clearly I’m clumsy and weave around far too much while walking, but surely I’m not the only one.

Anyway, the Griffin Technology iTrip Clip also offers hands free phone operation too thanks to the built in microphone. It is designed also to work with both Siri and Google Now. Controls are provided for adjusting volume, navigating through tracks and, of course, answering calls.

If you have a car stereo with a 3.5mm input but not Bluetooth, the iTrip Clip will also work as a hands free Bluetooth adapter (you supply the 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable).

The battery is specified to be good for six hours music listening or phone talking, and 180 hours of standby time. It uses Bluetooth version 4.1. No special music CODEC (eg. AAC or aptX) is mentioned, so it’s likely restricted to the acceptable, but definitely not audiophile-quality SBC.

As the name implies, the iTrip has a clip, so it needn’t flop around in your pocket but can be clipped to a pocket or belt.

And the best thing is that it’s fairly inexpensive at $34.95. It comes with a short USB to micro-B USB cable for charging. You’ll need to supply the power adaptor, whether your iPhones or a spare USB socket on a computer.