30 best Lightning accessories

30 best Lightning accessories
Speaker docks, charge cables and adapters for Apple's newest devices

Apple released a slew of new products at the end of 2012, including the iPhone 5, iPad mini,

iPad with Retina display


fifth-generation iPod touch

and new

iPod nano


As was rumoured beforehand, these devices ditched the old, wide-dock connector that Apple has used for years in favour of the new Lightning connector. The tiny new connector takes up much less space in the body of the device, but does mean that all these new gadgets aren't compatible with the old dock's cables and other accessories.

Unsurprisingly, manufacturers are bringing out whole new ranges of toys that play nicely with the new connector, and this is what's available so far.


Naturally, Apple makes plenty of Lightning accessories, including some unique adapters that aren't available from third parties as yet.

For a start, you've got its standard Lightning to USB cable (£15), for charging and syncing your device, and the Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (£25) and Lighting to 30-pin Adapter (0.2m) (£30) for turning your old cable or accessory into one that's ready for the latest devices.

30 best Lightning accessories

Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter

There's also the Lightning to Micro USB Adapter (£15) so you can use any old micro-USB cable to charge your device.

Beyond simple charging and syncing, Apple offers two video adapters: the Lightning Digital AV Adapter (£39) and the Lightning to VGA Adapter (£39).

30 best Lightning accessories

Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter

The former offers HDMI output for your device, as well as a second Lightning port, so you can keep charging it while it's connected to a big screen. The latter is the same, except with an analogue VGA output, for connecting to older screens or projectors.

Those who like to transfer photos to their iPhone or iPad aren't forgotten, either. The Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader (£25) lets you connect a full-size SD card to your iOS device, so you can transfer photos.

The Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (£25) does the same thing with USB card readers.


Scosche has introduced three main Lightning-compatible lines, all focused around charging. The strikeDRIVE 12W ($30) can charge the fourth-generation iPad and any other Lightning device from your car.

30 best Lightning accessories

Scosche strikeDRIVE 12W

The strikeDRIVE 5W ($25) is the same, but provides less power, so is only really suitable for the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch and iPad mini.

The strikeBASE 12W ($35) are pretty much the same, but charge from the mains. They feature folding wall prongs, so they can be packed away easily (though are currently only planned for the US).

The strikeLINE ($30) is a USB Lightning charging and syncing cable that retracts to keep itself compact, but can extend to three feet at its longest.

30 best Lightning accessories

Scosche strikeLINE


Belkin offers the Car Charger with Lightning connector (£25) for keeping your device topped up on the road, though it's worth noting that its output is 10W – lower than the 12W it's wise to use for the fourth-generation iPad, but more than enough for the latest iPhone and iPod touch, and the iPad mini.

30 best Lightning accessories

Car Charger with Lightning connector

There's also the Car Charger + Lightning ChargeSync Cable (£30), which is essentially the same, but with a USB-to-Lightning cable that's separate from the charger, rather than integrated.

Belkin also does the Charge + Sync Dock (£30), which is slightly pushing it as a Lightning accessory, since it doesn't actually have a Lightning connector of its own, but we're counting it anyway.

30 best Lightning accessories

Belkin Charge + Sync Dock

It's a stand designed to accommodate the iPhone 5 or fifth-generation iPod touch, including an audio jack pass-through, since the headphone slot is not on the bottom. You have to slot your own Lightning cable into the hole provided if you want to actually charge and sync, but it's one of the first docks for the iPhone 5.


Griffin has produced a veritable cornucopia of Lightning USB syncing and charging cables. The 2' USB to Lightning Cable (£13) is a straight USB Lightning cable; the 3' USB to Lightning Cable (£15) is the same, but 12 inches longer; the 4' Coiled USB to Lightning Cable (£20) is a springy cable that extends to 48 inches at maximum; and the 10' USB to Lightning Cable is a very, very long sync-and-charge cable (£25).

Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at T3.com, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.