I suppose it was always going to come to this. As soon as Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from its phones, it was inevitable that someone would eventually create this chimerical monster. But it doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to see in real life: a pair of Lightning headphones with a second, integrated Lightning dongle for charging the phone while listening to music, as seen on Engadget Japan.
This is the world that Apple has created, one with the Cheero Earphones with Charging Dock. They cost 2,980 yen (around $28), and claim to be MFi-approved, which would make it one of the few third-party Lightning charging dongles around.
Tracing your eyes along this hybrid horror is almost like an optical illusion: one cable splits in two and then splits into two again, forking and twisting as it curves around. And yes, we’ve seen plenty of Lightning dongles before that have tried to fix Apple’s design through standalone Lightning splitters, but somehow this still seems worse.
The worst part about the Cheero Earphones with Charging Dock is that about halfway through writing this post, I started to think, “You know, that’s actually not a half bad idea. I mean, it looks ridiculous, but it’s also so practical! And it’s a pretty reasonable price, too.” Such is the state of living the cursed half-existence that is dongle life.
It may be too late for me, as I already look to see if anyone will import these monstrosities into the US so that I can own a pair. But one has to wonder: now that the Cheero has been spawned into the world, where will the dongle madness end?