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Tech Tip: How to Juice and Jam at the Same Time

Q. Is there any way to both charge the phone and listen to music at the same time on these new models that don’t have the traditional headphone jack?

A. Apple retired the 3.5-millimeter jack in 2016 with the iPhone 7, and Google omitted the port on its Pixel 2 phones last year — leaving owners of those models a single Lightning or USB-C connection to use for earbuds and the battery charger. Other phones will likely follow suit if they haven’t already, and a few popular workarounds have emerged for people who like to listen to audio while the phone’s battery is charging.

For those who prefer the fidelity of wired headphones (and the fact you don’t have to charge those up as well), a port adapter may be your best option, and you can find different products online. Although it has mixed reviews, Belkin’s Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar adapter is one option for the iPhone, and can be found for $40 or less. For Google Pixel 2 owners in a similar situation, Moshi’s USB-C Digital Adapter With Charging dongle is about $45.

If you do not want to keep track of a port adapter, using a wireless charging mat is another approach. These mats, like those that use the Qi technology, allow you to place the phone on its surface to power up the battery. This leaves the single connection port free for headphones.

These mats start at around $30, but make sure your phone is compatible with wireless charging. Wirecutter, a product recommendation site owned by The New York Times, favors the $30 Samsung Wireless Charging Pad EP-PG920 and has other suggestions for Android phones and the latest iPhone models.

Wireless Bluetooth headphones allow you to listen to music while a battery charger is plugged into the phone’s one port.CreditThe New York Times

Using wireless headphones that link to the phone over a Bluetooth connection is another tactic. Wirecutter has reviews of high-end Bluetooth earbuds and headphones (as well as models costing less than $50) on its site. And if you really want to ditch the cords, external Bluetooth speakers that wirelessly charge the phone while it plays music are another option in the $50-and-up range.


Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology to techtip@nytimes.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.

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