If you purchased an iPhone 7, you realized very quickly one of the biggest faults with removing the headphone jack. You can’t charge your phone and listen to simultaneously unless you get a pair of Bluetooth headphones. There are dongles like this one from Belkin that will get the job done, but that’s one more thing you have to remember to bring with you when you leave the house. Surely there are plenty of companies working on headphones that solve this issue, but Pioneer was the first to the party with the Pioneer Rayz Plus headphones that let you charge your phone and listen to music at the same time.
Naturally they end in a lightning connector so you can plug them into your phone, but not more than an inch away there’s a module that has a lightning input. Simply plug in your charger and start charging your phone, no battery required. As useful as that is, Pioneer made sure to throw in some other features that make these headphones a solid buy if you’re in the market.
There’s a small module that has a lightning input
Just like the Airpods that Apple released, these can also tell when you’re listening and auto pause when you take the ‘buds out of your ears. Once you put them back in they’ll resume playback. Handy if you have to answer a quick question right before your favorite part of a song or in a particularly interesting podcast.
Also included is active noise cancelling powered by your phone. We can’t say exactly how strong the ANC is until we’ve had a chance to try it out, but it’s still a very useful feature. In times when you might need to actually be aware of your surroundings, these also have a HearThru mode which lets ambient noises like car horns in so you can hear them. Pioneer also promises a new feature called Smart Mute, set to be released to the headphones via an update later this year. This will automatically mute your microphone during voice calls so none of the ambient noise gets picked up when you’re not speaking.
The Pioneer Rayz come in two colors: bronze and graphite. But it also comes in two models. A $99 version simply dubbed Rayz which has all of the same features save for the extra lightning input to charge your phone simultaneously, and the Rayz Plus which costs $149 and does have the lightning input. If you’re tired of carrying around a dongle for your iPhone 7 and want a pair of headphones that has the dongle built in, these are both solid options.