By Don Reisinger
September 13, 2018

If you’re clinging to wired headphones, you might not like what Apple’s doing with its new iPhones.

For the first time, Apple will not bundle a wired headphone dongle with its iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR. In a “What’s in the Box” listing on its product pages, Apple said that you’ll find an iPhone, charger, and its wired Earpods earbuds. But if you want to actually plug those earbuds into your iPhone, you’ll need to get a dongle, sold separately, for $9.

Apple has been slowly but surely turning its back on wired headphones for years. The company removed the headphone jack in its iPhones starting with the iPhone 7 and said that it believed the future of audio centered on wireless technology. And although it’s been offering a free dongle in the box since then, which lets you plug wired headphones into the Lightning port on the bottom of the handset, Apple clearly wanted people to move to wireless.

Now by removing the dongle, Apple is further nudging people to wireless headphones. And at $9, a dongle that it previously provided for free doesn’t exactly sound like the best deal.

Luckily, if you owned a previous iPhone that came with a wired dongle, you can still use that with the new Apple handsets. But beware that if you’re planning to buy an iPhone 8, it won’t come with a dongle, either.

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