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Circuit Breaker

Belkin’s new $30 Lightning to 3.5mm headphone cables are your pricey escape from dongle hell

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I’m tired of all this dongle drama

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Belkin has a new 3.5mm to Lightning cable out, which is, I suppose, a good thing. After all, Apple only recently gave companies the green light to actually make approved cables in that format, and they’re probably pretty useful for using newer iPhones that don’t have headphone jacks with wired headphones or speakers.

And Belkin’s cables — which cost $29.99 for a three-foot version, or $34.99 for a six-foot-long cord — are definitely cheaper than the first 3.5mm to Lightning cables from Master & Dynamic, which cost a $69 (although they include an in-line remote and microphone, unlike the Belkin cords).

But mostly, the whole thing just makes me feel tired. Apple’s $9 dongles are still cheaper than any of the Apple-approved MFi cables out there, and the idea of buying a separate expensive cord so I can use my speakers when the Bluetooth connection craps out or my wireless headphones when the battery dies is just frustrating. How did we get here? Does anyone really believe that this is truly a better system?