Review: Wired Noise-Canceling Earbuds with a Lightning Charging Port

I finally embraced Apple's modern phone design, with no headphone jack. I used the headphone jack often, so I was hesitant to move to the newer iPhones without the inherent ability to charge while listening. The opportunity to use wireless charging helped; but for long plane or train rides, which I find myself on too often, you will want a way to listen and charge, via Lightning, simultaneously. Enter the Pioneer Rayz Plus ($129.95–$149.95)

Related: Editor's Choice: Best Bluetooth Wireless Headphones of 2017

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Pioneer sells a non-Plus model for $50 less; but the higher-end model adds a Lightning port, giving you the ability to charge your iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch.) This is a really nice feature. Other nice features include noise cancellation and a HearThru mode which lets you hear ambient noises like car horns, for safety.

The Rayz Plus comes with numerous ear tips so you should be able to find one that's comfortable. There is a free companion app to help tune the sound to your liking. You can even use Hey Siri while wearing the earbuds, without taking your iPhone out of your pocket.


  • Lightning connector plus charging port
  • Assorted color choices
  • Noise canceling
  • Hey Siri support
  • Companion app
  • HearThru mode
  • Six sizes of silicone eartips
  • Three sizes of Comply Foam eartips


  • Expensive condidering it is not wireless.

Final Verdict

If you are are hesitant to use Lightning-based earbuds because you want to listen with high quality and you also want to charge your iOS device, the Pioneer Rayz Plus can do both! 

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP,,, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.