Review: Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar

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Apple is possibly one of the few smartphone vendors out there who have ditched the 3.5mm jack. The decision was taken with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and it continues to be the same on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the iPhone X.

While some users have lauded the company’s decision to do away with the audio jack, many more have voiced their dissatisfaction. Many have argued that you no longer can listen to music, while charging up the device… until now.

Belkin has quietly launched the new Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar, which makes it possible to listen to Lightning Audio while charging your iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The device might also be compatible with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the iPhone X, though we haven’t tested it out on the newer devices.

The device lets you listen to music or make phone calls through the earphones while you charge your device. The RockStar can be used anywhere – at home, at work, in the car or on the go.

The device is made for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, or any Lightning device that runs iOS 10 or later. However, the RockStar only delivers power in to your iPhone/iPad, and only supports Lightning Audio. It does not support syncing or any other USB data.

In our tests, the RockStar worked perfectly with any MFI-certified USB to Lightning cables. It also worked well with MFI-certified Lightning Audio headphones. It however felt a bit clunky to use – I am of the opinion that doing away with essential jacks such as the 3.5mm audio jack in favor for clunky dongles is a very bad design choice.

The RockStar costs $40, which is a lot to pay to do something you could do on prior iPhones for free. Having said that, however, Belkin can’t be blamed for offering up a solution. You could always opt for a nice pair of Bluetooth headphones for your audio and call requirements. But if you do need a way to charge and listen to music now, Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar is here for you.

Price: $40 (AED 270 approx.)