I recently purchased a pair of Lightning EarPods, and was a bit annoyed by their sound. They pan out the L and R channels a lot, and it sounds like someone has slapped a low and high EQ on the audio so that the mid is most pronounced.

I'm concerned they are defect, because I feel the 3.5 mm EarPods that I also have sound much better, even when connected to the same phone with a 3.5 mm–to-Lightning adapter.

Are the Lightning EarPods and the 3.5 mm EarPods supposed to sound identically or very close? If so, then the Lightning EarPods must be defect, because the 3.5 mm sound is what I recognize from having used them the past few years.

  • 2
    The Lightning EarPods have a built-in DAC which may be affecting your subjective experience. Without another pair of Lightning EarPods as a reference, it’ll be hard to determine if it is a manufacturing defect or the DAC processing. – IconDaemon Mar 7 '18 at 22:18

I don't think they are supposed to be the same, the lightning ear pods are supposed to sound better than the 3.5 mm ones.


After checking with a Apple Genius Bar, they found that my pair of Lightning EarPods were faulty and I received a new pair. The replacement pair of Lightning EarPods sounds the same as my 3.5 mm EarPods, or even slightly better.

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