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Ten great accessories for your iPhone 7

Apple's annual iPhone updates always generate plenty of new accessories, and the headphone-jack-free iPhone 7 is getting more than its fair share. Here's our guide to the best audio accessories, battery packs and other add-ons for your shiny new iPhone.
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By Cliff Joseph on
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1 of 10 Apple

Apple AirPods

Apple clearly wants the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to lead us all into a completely cable-free future (whether we like it or not), and so it has also announced these new AirPods that use Bluetooth for wireless streaming.

The stalk-like design of the AirPods looks like an accident waiting to happen, although most people that have used them do report that they actually sit quite comfortably in their ears and don't fall out every couple of minutes. As always, Apple pays impressive attention to detail, with support for Siri voice commands and a motion sensor that can tell when you insert or remove the AirPods from your ears. But at £159 (only $159 in the US), it seems like you're paying mostly for those high-tech tricks, rather than sound quality, so we'll be taking a closer look at some of the other Bluetooth headphones that are available for the iPhone quite soon.

£159 ($159)

Compatibility
Mac or iOS devices with running iOS 10 or macOS Sierra

The Apple Store

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2 of 10 Belkin

Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar

Many people prefer wired headphones to Bluetooth, and you can still use conventional wired headphones with the iPhone 7 thanks to the little Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone adapter that Apple includes in the box. But that, of course, means that you can't use the Lightning connector to charge the phone at the same time -- unless you also buy device such as Belkin's Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar.

It's a clumsy name, but it pretty much sums up this little widget, as the Rockstar is simply a 'splitter' that splits the single Lightning connector on the iPhone into two separate Lightning ports. You then have the luxury of charging up your iPhone while also being able to listen to your wired headphones at the same time. You shouldn't have to pay £35 for that luxury but, hey -- that's life with Apple.

£35 ($39.99)

Compatibility
iPhone or iPad with Lightning connector

Belkin

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3 of 10 Belkin

Belkin Valet

If you've spent a small fortune on an iPhone 7, the chances are that you've got a few other Apple gadgets floating around as well. Belkin makes a number of docks that are designed to charge multiple devices, and we've chosen the Valet because, frankly, it's the prettiest. It's also neatly designed and practical, with a built-in power cable that allows it to charge both an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time, but without using the separate cables that come with each device.

If you don't have an Apple Watch, then Belkin also makes a dual-dock model with two lightning connectors, for an iPhone and an iPad.

£99.99 ($129.99)

Compatibility
iPhone with Lightning connector, Apple Watch

Belkin

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4 of 10 Cygnett

Cygnett ChargeUp Digital

Apple claims that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have better battery life than previous models, but they've still come in for criticism in many reviews -- especially the 1960mAh capacity of the smaller iPhone 7.

If you're on a long business trip or a weekend away then a backup battery pack can be a real life-saver. There's plenty of choice here, but Cygnett's ChargeUp Digital is attractively designed and comes in three versions, starting at 6,000mAh and going right up to a very healthy 10,000mAh capacity. The ChargeUp includes two separate USB ports, which allows you to charge up a second device at the same time, and we like the little LED display that gives you an accurate read-out of the battery's power level.

from £40 ($70)

Compatibility
mobile devices with USB charging cable

Cygnett

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5 of 10 Griffin Technology

Griffin iTrip Aux (Lightning)

Griffin's iTrip car adapter has been around in various forms since Apple launched the first iPod back in 2001, and the latest version keeps up to date by supporting the Lightning connector in the latest iPhone models.

The iTrip Aux plugs into the charger socket on your car dashboard and provides a Lightning connector to charge up the iPhone, along with an aux audio cable that routes your music into your car stereo system. There are playback controls built into the device, so you can quickly skip through tracks when listening to your music. The iTrip Aux also includes a ground loop isolator to reduce noise from the car's ignition system while you're listening.

£34.99 ($49.99)

Compatibility
iOS devices with Lightning connector

Griffin Technology

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6 of 10 Griffin Technology

Griffin iTrip Clip Bluetooth Adapter

Apple does include an adapter with the iPhone 7 that lets you plug a conventional set of wired headphones into the iPhone's Lightning port, but there's another option that provides the extra convenience of Bluetooth while still allowing you to carry on using your favourite wired headphones.

Griffin Technology is reporting strong orders for the iTrip Clip, which adds Bluetooth to any set of headphones that use a standard 3.5mm connector. It's got a built-in mic for taking voice calls, a clip for attaching to your clothing, and a rechargeable battery that provides six hours of music playback or talk time. At just £19 ($20), it's a lot cheaper than Apple's Bluetooth AirPods.

£19 ($20)

Compatibility
audio source with 3.5mm connector

Griffin Technology

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7 of 10 Cliff Joseph/ZDNet

Leef iBridge Mobile Memory

Apple finally increased the minimum storage on the iPhone 7 to a still-barely-adequate 32GB, but the sting in the tail is that the 64GB option was axed, forcing you to pay an extra £100 if you want to step up to 128GB.

One alternative is to use an external storage device, such as the Leef iBridge, which has just been updated to version 3. Available with 16GB-256GB of storage, this little memory stick includes both Lightning and USB 3.1 interfaces, so you can use it to quickly transfer files between Macs, PCs and iOS devices. Or, if you just want to add some extra storage to your iPhone or iPad, then you can use the file browser in Leef's iOS app to quickly backup photos and other files when you're away from home or the office. This latest model includes a handy carrying case as well, and there's a new Leef Lock feature that lets you link the iBridge to your iPhone's passcode or Touch ID for extra security.

from £39.99 for 16GB ($70)

Compatibility
iOS devices with Lightning connector, Mac/PC with USB

Leef

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8 of 10 Moshi

Moshi IonGlass

We've already looked at cases for protecting your iPhone 7, but we always reckon that it's worth spending a little extra to buy a separate screen protector too. There are many options available here, with the cheaper protectors generally consisting of a simple plastic film that can cost less than £10. These can offer quite good scratch resistance, but we prefer to opt for a slightly more expensive glass protector, such as Moshi's IonGlass.

The shock- and scratch-resistant IonGlass is really tough, and Moshi's clever design makes it easy to apply the screen protector without getting annoying air bubbles trapped underneath. It's got an oil-resistant coating as well, which helps to reduce fingermarks and smudges that might mar the pristine elegance of your iPhone.

£30 ($30)

Compatibility
iPhone 7, 7 Plus

Moshi
(UK sales: MobileFun.co.uk)

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9 of 10 Native Union

Native Union Dock+ Lightning

There are dozens of docks available for the iPhone (including Apple's own Lightning Dock), but Native Union's Dock+ Lightning is one of the simplest and most elegant that we've seen so far.

It's little more than a carved slab of aluminium and silicon, but it looks very neat sitting on your desk and is available in a variety of colours to match those of the iPhone itself. And if you've still got a bit of cash left after buying the iPhone 7, there's a special version of the Dock+ made out of streaked marble for about £110 ($130). Native Union also makes a similar dock for the Apple Watch, and you can buy a matching pair for around £80 ($120).

£49.99 ($59.99)

Compatibility
iPhone with Lightning connector

Native Union

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10 of 10 Olloclip

Olloclip Pivot

Photography is a key focus for the new iPhone -- especially for the iPhone 7 Plus with its twin wide-angle and telephoto cameras. Olloclip is still working on a new version of its popular lens kit for the iPhone 7 range, but it has another new tool for photographers too.

The Pivot is an adjustable photographic grip that can hold phones up to 5.5 inches in size, and also includes a cold shoe mount for accessories such as a light or external microphone. The Pivot can rotate through 225 degrees, allowing you to shoot at tricky angles, and it's rugged and waterproof for use in the great outdoors.

£50 ($50)

Compatibility
smartphones up to 5.5-inches

Olloclip

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