The iPhone SE is a fantastic option for a powerful and compact phone, but what options are there for listening, and does it have a headphone jack like the original iPhone SE? Apple released the first iPhone SE in 2016. It marked a return to a smaller screen size, bucking the trend of ever bigger and heavier phones. Following the original SE’s popularity, Apple introduced the iPhone SE 2 in 2020. The iPhone SE 3 was released two years later in 2022.


Unlike the original iPhone SE, the iPhone SE 2 and iPhone SE 3 do not have a headphone jack. One of the highlights of the first iPhone SE was the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack. Users could plug in a pair of wired headphones and start listening to their music instantly — no annoying dongle required. Unfortunately, you won’t find a headphone jack on the newer iPhone SE models. The only port they have is Lightning, which is used for charging, syncing, and wired listening.

Related: Is iPhone SE Waterproof? Apple’s Water Resistance, Explained

Listening Options For The iPhone SE

The iPhone SE in three colors

Despite there being no headphone jack on the iPhone SE, users still have plenty of listening options. For starters, that Lightning port is actually quite useful for wired audio. Apple sells Lightning Earpods for $19 which you can plug directly into the iPhone to start listening. Plus, if you have another pair of wired headphones you’d rather use, you can connect them to the iPhone SE using a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter. You can buy a third party option, or get one from Apple directly for $9.

And you’re not just limited to wired listening options. Like all other smartphones, the iPhone SE works great with wireless headphones — specifically, ones made by Apple. Whether you get a pair of AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, Beats Fit Pro, or Beats Studio Buds, they’ll provide the best wireless listening experience on the iPhone SE. And, of course, you can always listen to audio using the iPhone SE’s external stereo speakers.

Does The iPhone SE Come With Headphones?

iPhone SE 2 box contents
Image: AB/Unsplash

While the original iPhone SE included a pair of 3.5mm wired headphones, the iPhone SE 2 launched in 2020 wasn’t too far behind. While the smartphone didn’t have a headphone jack, Apple bundled a pair of EarPods with a Lightning connector in the box, letting users plug in and start listening to music immediately. In fact, the iPhone SE 2 even included a 5W charger in the box, something that’s no longer included with iPhones.

Since the iPhone SE 2 is no longer on sale, the only option for users who want a cheap, compact iPhone is the iPhone SE 3. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t include EarPods or even a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter in the box. All users get is the smartphone and a Lightning to USB-C cable. While this might be disappointing, it’s the reality these days. On the plus side, there’s plenty of wired and wireless headphones for the iPhone SE made by both Apple and third-party companies.

Source: Apple 1, 2

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