iPhone 5/5s docks and case compatibility | iLounge Article


iPhone 5/5s docks and case compatibility

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Q: Are there any docks that currently will fit an iPhone 5S with the new Apple leather case?

- Sean

A: The official iPhone 5s Dock (iLounge Rating: B-) released by Apple last week is, rather ironically, not compatible even with Apple’s own iPhone 5/5s leather case.

Third-party Lightning Dock solutions have been available for a few months, and any docking solution designed for the iPhone 5 will work just fine with the iPhone 5s, but unfortunately almost all third-party docks (and speakers) with integrated Lightning connectors do not provide case compatibility either due to the connector simply not being long enough to fit into the Lightning port through the bottom of a case.

In fact, the only options we’ve seen that provide for case compatibility use the Apple Lightning cable as the actual connector and provide a physical dock or base to hold the cable.

The Twelve South HiRise for iPhone (iLounge Rating: A-) is our favourite among these both in terms of design and versatility. You’ll need to supply your own Lightning cable as the actual docking element, but this isn’t really any different in principle from Apple’s own iPhone 5s Dock, which incorporates an integrated Lightning connector but still requires you to provide your own cable to connect from the rear of the dock to your computer or charger.


Belkin’s Charge + Sync Dock with Audio Port for iPhone 5 (iLounge Rating: B-) is another option that takes a similar approach of simply providing a passthrough space for a Lightning cable and audio cable. Be careful not to confuse this one with Belkin’s Charge + Sync Dock with iPhone 5, as the latter includes a built-in Lightning connector that does not provide case compatibility.



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I bought the HiRise. It’s terrible

Assemble is with a hex wrench, which is a real pain, but the biggest issue is that you can’t do anything with the iPhone when docked. Every time you touch the screen, the whole stand slides backwards. Really poor design

Posted by Mark Anderson on October 1, 2013 at 9:56 AM (CDT)


Since the 5C is slightly thicker than the 5s…  any chance the 5S in leather case would fit into the 5C dock?

Posted by Hollywood on October 1, 2013 at 10:27 PM (CDT)


For the 5c I understand Apple would make a dock because you don’t really need a case. For the 5s however you do need a case which is why I had to go for The Lightning dock which works with cases.

Posted by maxsand on October 4, 2013 at 8:02 PM (CDT)


I just got the HighRise and couldn’t agree more with this review. It is an excellent product. Because it uses the Lightning cable, it pretty much future-proofs itself.

Incidentally, I completely disagree with the comments above about the case sliding. How hard are you pressing on your screen? The base of the unit is fairly formidable aluminum with rubber on the bottom. Even pressing the home button doesn’t cause mine to move.

Posted by SaSaSushi on October 19, 2013 at 12:16 AM (CDT)


The Elevation Lab iPhone dock is the best dock I’ve tried. It’s pricey, but works with and without cases and looks fantastic.

Posted by deanmn on November 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM (CST)


It’s a bit expensive but the iPhone 5 dock from Elevation Labs (http://www.elevationlab.com)works with cases.  It uses a passthrough method with one of your own lightning cables, clamped in place by a couple of hex screws but this allows for various heights to accomodate thicker cases. The dock is substantial, being machined aluminium with a rubberised base plate, and does not slide around when you operate the phone. Around $100 depending on the finish you select but a quality product.

Posted by Ryan Johnston on December 3, 2013 at 5:10 AM (CST)

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