If you’re looking for a cable to listen to your iPhone’s music or charge it while you’re driving in a car, you’re in the right place. We’re going to go down the list of some of the best iPhone cables for cars in this roundup. Note: some of these iPhone car aux cables have the ability to charge your phone, others don’t, so be sure you pay close attention to what you’re choosing if charging is an important feature to you.
The best Lightning connector iPhone car audio cables
This basic Lightning to headphone adapter for car stereos features a standard 1/8th inch headphone jack on the end that you plug into your car’s aux audio port, and a Lightning connector on the end that you plug into your iPhone. It will work with any iPhone that has a Lightning connector (iPhone 5 and higher) and it reaches about 3 feet, which is plenty long enough for most car setups. Comes in black.
The previous iPhone cable for cars doesn’t charge your phone, but here’s a separate Lightning charger for cars that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter. It provides you with two USB ports which you can use to charge your iPhone, iPad or other phone or tablet devices while you’re driving. One nice thing about this model is that it has a small blue LED light which glows, plus a bright red circle around the face which makes it easy to find the port even in the dark. Many other car phone chargers don’t have these features, or offer only a single USB charging port instead of two. Note that if you choose this USB car phone charger you’ll need to supply your own Lightning cable because it provides you with the ports only. Comes in black or white color options.
If you want to be able to charge your iPhone while listening to music at the same time in your car, this aux cord for iPhone might be just the ticket. It has three connectors: one that you plug into your iPhone 5 or higher and a standard 3.5mm audio jack that you plug into your car’s aux port and a USB plug to plug in for charging. If your car doesn’t have a USB port built in, consider the previous item on this list which replaces your car’s cigarette lighter with a USB charging port.
In order to charge your iPhone while listening to music in the car you’ll ordinarily need a cable with three plugs: one Lightning plug to connect your phone to, and a Y shaped connector at the other end which splits between a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB port to plug into your car’s USB audio port or a cigarette lighter-USB port adapter. The problem you might run into in some cars is that the USB port or cigarette lighter is a foot or more away from where you need to plug in the headphone jack to. Which means that adapters like the previous item on this list that splits in a Y shape won’t work very well because they won’t reach to both ports at the same time.
Enter this option which allows you to listen to music via your car’s auxillary port and charge at the same time. How does it work? It provides you with a Lightning charging port which you can plug the iPhone Lightning cable that your phone came with into it and plug that into a USB port in your car (or a USB cigarette lighter adapter). So you’ll need to supply an additional standard USB-Lightning cable to make it work but if you’ve got an extra Lightning cable, it’s a snap.
This auto auxillary sound cable allows you to plug in one end to your car’s aux audio input port and then choose which type of plug you want to use for your phone. For instance, if you have an iPhone with only a Lightning port but no headphone jack, you can plug in the Lightning jack. If your spouse is driving and has an Android phone with only a headphone jack, they can use their device to play music in the car without needing to swap out your cable with an entirely different cord. This cable is easy to spot (bright red) and measures about 4 feet long, which is plenty long enough for most car setups.
Frequently asked questions about iPhone Lightning cables for cars:
Why can’t I charge my iPhone using a normal Lightning to headphone adapter Aux cable?
The reason why a simple Lightning to 3.5mm headphone converter cable (like this one) won’t charge your iPhone is because it can’t carry nearly enough power through it. So you’ll be able to listen to music, but you won’t be able to charge your phone at the same time. If you want to listen to music and charge your iPhone at the same time, you’ll need to use one of the other solutions on this list that end in a Y-splitter with a Lightning or USB port to plug into your car or an external battery charging pack.
Is there an aux cable for cars that works with both iPhones and Android devices? I’m sick of having to swap out one cable for another depending on who’s driving.
Yes! You’re in luck. Check out this aux cable that provides you with the choice of either a standard headphone jack (for Android phones) or a Lightning cable (for iPhones).
I have an old car with a casette tape deck but no aux input. I used a tape deck adapter to plug into my old phone. Can I get a solution to work with an iPhone that has no headphone jack?
Yes! All you need is a Lightning port to headphone adapter to make your old tape deck to headphone jack adapter work with your new phone which has only a Lightning port.