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How to choose headphones for your iPhone

A guide to headphones with iPhone control

Woman listening to music on her iPhone.

We offer many headphones that give you convenient control over your iPhone.

My wife has an iPhone® 6 and I have a Samsung Galaxy. We know first-hand that certain apps or accessories work better with Apple and others with Android. All headphones with a minijack connector will play audio from any phone with a headphone jack. But some headphones offer convenient control of key smartphone functions – and many are optimized for iPhone. 

This guide will help you sort through our selection to find the best headphones for you.

Have an Android phone? Check out our article How to choose headphones for your Samsung Galaxy or Android phone.

Control your music

Say you’re walking around with your iPhone in pocket, headphones on, and Apple Radio debuts a new song. Or maybe you hear something in your iTunes library that just screams to you “crank up the volume.” If you have a set of headphones with an iPhone remote, you don't need to fumble for your phone to turn it up.

Illustration of the headphone remote controls.

Here's how you can use a three-button in-line iPhone remote* while listening:

  • You can adjust the volume on any app that uses audio, like Apple Music or Spotify.
  • Play or pause music by clicking the middle button once.
  • Double click the middle button to play the next song in your playlist or app. (Keep holding it to fast-forward through your current song.)
  • Triple click the middle button to play the previous track.

*Some iPhone headphones have one-button remotes without volume controls.

Take calls or video chat using your headphones

Most of these headphones also include a built-in mic for taking phone calls. You can keep your headphones on while you talk. If a call comes through, answers it with one click of the remote. You gain a little privacy on Facetime too, since everyone in the room doesn't have to hear the other side of the conversation.

Illustration of microphone controls.
  • Click middle button once to answer incoming calls
  • Click and hold middle button to reject incoming call (You'll hear two beeps when call has been dismissed to voicemail)
  • If a second call comes through, you can click the middle button to switch over and answer.

Talk to Siri

Click and hold the center button on your in-line remote and you’ll hear Siri’s friendly voice. Ask her question through the built-in mic. 

Shop for headphones with iPhone control

Wireless Bluetooth® headphones with iPhone controls

Some Bluetooth headphones have iPhone controls built into the earcup. You have the same controls offered by the in-line remote along with the freedom of wireless listening.  What’s more, the mic is built into the earcups. So you can even answer calls when your iPhone is out of reach.

Check out our Wireless Bluetooth headphones guide for more information.

Bluetooth headphones for iPhone

Need noise cancellation?

Active noise-canceling headphones are great for travel, work, and other loud places. They help eliminate outside distractions that compete with your music, videos, and podcasts. Many of them also offer iPhone controls. 

To see how active noise cancellation works, read our Noise-canceling headphones guide.

Man listening to music in an airport.

Keep control of your iPhone while you lose the noise of travel.

Noise-canceling headphones for iPhone

Sports and running headphones

You don't want to interrupt your workout to mess with your phone. Many sports headphones have built-in iPhone controls. You can keep moving as you toggle through your motivational music, adjust the volume, or answer calls. For more info, see our article on how to choose headphones for running.

Sports headphones for iPhone

Work out with wireless freedom

To lose the cord between you and your iPhone, choose a pair of wireless Bluetooth sports headphones. You can hit the weights or treadmill while your iPhone rests close by. Many of these Bluetooth sports headphones have iPhone controls built into the cable that connects the left and right earbuds.

Workout freely with wireless headphones.

Control your music during workouts, even when your iPhone is out of reach.

Bluetooth sports headphones for iPhone

Need help with your decision?

User reviews are a good place to start for guidance. Or you can contact one of our Advisors by chat, email, or phone at 1(888)955-6000.


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