Can I use wired headphones with my iPhone with a flash drive connected?
April 7, 2022 2:57 PM   Subscribe

I want to use a flash drive with my iPhone XS so that I can bring videos and music with me when I travel. What do I need to achieve this?

Currently I use a USB DAC (Audioquest Dragonfly Black) to use headphones with my iPhone (as newer models lack a 3.5 headphone jack), but an adapter with a 3.5 jack would suffice if needed. However, it’s a dealbreaker if I can’t use traditional wired headphones while I watch movies or listen to music off the drive as sound quality is important to me and I don’t currently own Bluetooth headphones.

posted by GlassHeart to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Aside from simply getting the right ports available, USB power will be a limiting factor.

Get a powered USB hub and connect it to a power source (either AC or a USB battery). Then connect the hard drive to the hub. Connect the hub to the iPhone using Apple's "Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter". In addition to the USB port, this adapter has a Lightning port, which you could use to connect your DAC.

Or if you could use an SD card instead of the hard drive, get something like this multiport adapter and use it to connect both your headphones and the SD card.
posted by sportbucket at 3:40 PM on April 7, 2022

Oh man. Airpods are so, so nice. Literally like magic how they just work when you put them in. I can't recommend any answer besides trying airpods. Amazon sells them for $100 and you can return them if you don't like them.
posted by bbqturtle at 3:47 PM on April 7, 2022

Best answer: My suggestion for travel is to get a battery charger, and a multiport adapter as sportbucket said. I have a little kit that I keep in a go back specifically for travel. I'm going to point you to relatives of the items I use, since I use bluetooth headphones. My audio requirements aren't quite as stringent, however I commend you for that.
First the battery charger. You specifically mentioned iPhone so I'm going to assume qi charging, this leaves more ports open on your charger for other things that may need charging. I suggest this charger or one like it, you can charge multiple devices and you have power when you need it. I went with the largest battery charger I could find. It's heavy, but worth it to me.
Multiport adapter. I use a USB C adapter, because I use a chromebook tablet as my main media access point for travel. This means I don't use one of the lightning adapters that you need. I'd go with the one that sportbucket suggested, it seems to cover most of the bases. If you choose to go with the adapter that sportbucket suggested, you should take his other suggestion and use SD cards. They're small light, and hold the same amount of info as a flash drive. Also, if you go with a more expensive one (like the ones used by photographers) they will access your data faster. I use these they're fast and relatively cheap so you can buy a bunch of them. Good luck and have fun in your travels.
posted by evilDoug at 3:38 PM on April 8, 2022

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