Apple’s new iPhone Lightning Dock ($39) is the company’s first since 2013’s iPhone 5s Dock and iPhone 5c Dock. As one would expect, this new dock is compatible with the company’s newest iPhones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While the previous two docks placed the Lightning connector in a recessed slot, the Lightning connector here is extended, allowing for greater case — and device — compatibility. Also included on the back of the dock is an audio-out port — the port uses the phone’s headphone volume controls for connected headphones or speakers. The dock doesn’t come with a Lightning cable, so you’ll need to supply your own, which is accommodated by an input on the back of the dock.
iPhone Lightning Dock is small, but sturdy for its size. At about 2.68” x 1.93” x .34”, it’s almost the same width as an iPhone 6, matching it quite well. We found there to be no issues connecting any uncased iPhone to the dock. It was a mixed bag when trying out iPhones in cases. iPhones in relatively thin cases did well — as seen below with an iPhone 6 Plus docked while in ZeroChroma’s VarioProtect case. But the dock can’t quite accommodate bulkier cases, such as Otterbox’s Commuter or Griffin’s Survivor All-Terrain.
Out of curiosity, we also tried docking an iPad mini and iPad Air 2. The dock will actually accommodate and charge either device without tipping over — even while the devices are in some cases — but we wouldn’t really recommend it. It’s an OK option for an iPad mini, but even a slight touch can knock over the iPad Air 2 while docked. There’s a reason it’s called iPhone Lightning Dock, after all.
At $39, iPhone Lightning Dock adds a $10 premium to Apple’s previous Lightning docks, but it’s more versatile, letting users connect a wider range of iOS devices and offering improved case compatibility. Overall, it’s a fine dock if you prefer its basic design — the small footprint will certainly be a plus for many users — and it earns our general recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: iPhone Lightning Dock
Compatible: Lightning iPhones, iPod touch 5G