Best USB C Wall Charging Bricks

4 Best USB C Wall Charging Bricks

If you need a replacement wall charger for your smartphone or you recently bought a new iPhone that didn’t come with a charging brick, we’ve got you covered. These are the best wall power adapters for USB C charging cables. These work with USB C to lightning cables for Apple devices and other USC C charging cables.

Looking for a charging brick for an older USB charging cable? Check out the best USB A wall chargers.

Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter

If you’re brand loyal to Apple, this is the wall charger for you to charge your iPhone or iPad. This 20W charger allows faster charging (up to 50% in 20 minutes and 100% in just over two hours–learn more) in the newer iPhone 12 & 13. Pair it with the USB C to lightning cable that came with your phone and you’re ready to go.

Anker USB C 20W Charger

If you want a 20W charger but don’t want to buy an Apple brick, this is an excellent alternative. This 20W charger offers the same fast charging in a 50% smaller-sized wall adapter, so it’s more convenient to carry in your purse or pocket.

Available in black, white, lavender gray, and mint green colors. 18 month warranty.

USB C Dual Wall Charger

If you own an iPhone and an iPad, a dual wall charger like this allows you to charge both devices at once without taking up two outlets. This AC adapter is 40W, allowing for 20W fast charging from each port for smartphones and tablets. If you use only one port, it can provide up to 30W charging, which can be used for Macbook air, iPad Pro, and Pixel 6 Pro.

24 month warranty.

USB C & USB A 4 Port Wall Charger

If you have a mixture of chargers and devices, this charging brick is the best of both worlds. This charger features two of the older style USB A ports and two USB C ports. The device can deliver a max of 100W, with 45W via USB C and 18W via USB A. This charger is perfect for traveling, the plug is foldable and it includes an EU and UK plug adapter for European travel.

Available in black and white.

Don’t forget to pick up a USB C to Lightning charging cable to go with your new wall charger.

If you have an older charging cable, you will need a USB A Wall Charging Brick.

Toss DVI Cables

Cables, Cords, & Adapters: Keep or Toss?

If you’re like us, you’re probably in spring cleaning mode. Maybe you’re inspired by Marie Kondo to organize your home and get rid of items that don’t spark joy or being cooped up all winter has you yearning for a tidier home. When it comes to electronics, especially all the random accessories and cables, it’s hard to know what makes sense to keep and what you should send for recycling. This guide will give you some basic rules to follow so you make sure you’re holding on to useful adapters and cables, while chucking the rest.

Cables & Adapters to Keep

1. Lightning Cables

Lightning cables are the charger for most Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, and computer accessories like wireless keyboards and mouses. If you buy Apple products, keep every lightning cable you get your hands on. You may even want to buy some extra cables to keep on hand for when you need to charge all your devices at once.

2. HDMI Cables

There are so many uses for HDMI cables these days, that you should never throw one out unless it’s worn and broken. HDMI cables are now the standard for home theater set-ups and computer monitors. Keep any extras on hand for future needs. Continue reading Cables, Cords, & Adapters: Keep or Toss?

10 Coolest Useful Stocking Stuffer Gadgets

Sometimes finding gifts for everyone on your list can be a bit of a challenge. You don’t want to buy something they hate and some gifts are so generic it seems like you haven’t put any thought into them. Win at Christmas by giving useful and cool gadgets that anyone can use. If you’re looking for better gifts than socks, these compact and affordable presents are actually useful. So get a few of these practical stocking stuffer gadgets for those hard to shop for family and friends on your list.

10 Best Stocking Stuffer Gadgets

1. Adonit Pro 3 Stylus

Apple Pencils are all the rage for iPad users, but they’re expensive. The Adonit Pro 3 stylus is an affordable alternative that works with any touchscreen tablet or smartphone. The fine point design is perfect for drawing, writing, and general use. Plus it’s a perfectly sized stocking stuffer.

See more Apple pencil alternatives.

Continue reading 10 Coolest Useful Stocking Stuffer Gadgets

Best iPad Stylus & Apple Pencil Alternatives

Best iPad Stylus and Apple Pencil Alternatives

Right now iPads and the more expensive iPad Pro line-up are some of the best tablets on the market. And with the Apple Pencil, the stylus game has been taken to the next level. The Apple Pencil offers precision and sensitivity so close to using a real pencil and paper that artists and writers are all switching to this new tech. Even just using an Apple Pencil as a stylus makes tablets easier to use and more accessible. But, this amazing technology comes with a hefty price tag and not everyone can afford the extra cost. For this article, we break down some of the best alternatives to the Apple Pencil. Whether you’re looking for a really cheap stylus for casual browsing or a good competitor to the Pencil, we’ve got all of the best options below.

Best iPad Stylus Options

Apple Pencil

Handsdown, the Apple Pencil is the best stylus for an iPad, so we wanted to review it briefly so you can compare it to the other options. Because it’s designed and manufactured by Apple, the Pencil is made to work perfectly with their iPads. It’s designed to look like a pencil with a tapered tip that offers a very precise drawing and writing experience, especially in comparison to cheaper styluses that have big round rubber tips. When you use it with the iPad, there is no lag, it feels like you are drawing directly on the screen with a pen. It also works really well for navigation and generally selecting things on the screen, but if you’re not going to use it for drawing and writing, I would say it’s not worth spending the extra dollars.

There are two big drawbacks for the Apple Pencil: the first is the price. The second is this stylus is only compatible with iPad Pros & the 6th generation 9.7″ iPad released in March 2018. Some people will count this as a downside, but I feel like this is a neutral point. The Apple Pencil has to be charged. Apple boasts a 12-hour battery life, which should easily get you through the day with heavy use. You can charge the Pencil by plugging it directly into your iPad or buy a third party Apple Pencil charging cable.

Compatibility: iPad Pro 9.7″ & 12.9″, 6th Generation iPad 9.7″

Available Colors: White

Wacom Bamboo Fineline 3 Smart Stylu

If you’re looking for a fine tip iPad stylus that is a formidable alternative to the Apple Pencil, the Fineline is the one for you. This stylus connects to your iPad via Bluetooth to deliver a precision you can’t get with cheaper alternatives. As a result, it does need to be recharged with the included USB cable. There is a battery indicator on the stylus and it automatically goes into sleep mode when not in use. The fine tip offers accuracy similar to using a pen, but many users report a delay that can be frustrating. This model does not come with a cap, instead you can twist the tip in and out, which also turns the pen on and off.

While the Fineline is priced lower than the Apple Pencil, it is one of the more expensive alternatives. If you’re just looking for a stylus for navigation, I’d recommend checking out some of the cheaper options below. It’s also only compatible with iOS devices and only works when paired with certain apps, like Bamboo Paper and Inkspace. Some users do complain about accidentally hitting the shortcut button while they’re using the Bamboo Fineline.

Compatibility: iPads & iPhones featuring Bluetooth and iOS8 or later

Available Colors: Black, Blue, Light Blue, White

Adonit Pro 3 Fine Point Stylus for iPad

The Adonit Pro 3 is a slick and reasonably priced alternative to the Apple Pencil. It’s geared at creatives and professionals who need to write, draw, and mark up things on their iPad. The design on this model is a little different from other styluses you may have seen. It features a clear Precision Disc which glides over your iPad screen, while the pen point shows exactly where you’re writing. It works quite smoothly and features a magnetic cap that protects the pen in your pocket or bag. This is an analog stylus, so there’s no charging to worry about and it works with all touch screen devices.

There are downsides with analog styluses. While it has a slick aluminum design and a comfortable grip, you may notice a slight delay when writing, which can be a big problem for artists. Adonit recommends this model for everyday notes and sketching, so it’s great for students or workers to jot down notes. If drawing and art are your main motivations for a stylus, you might want to try the Adonit Pixel Pro–but at that price point, you might as well buy an Apple Pencil if you have a compatible iPad.

Compatibility: All Touchscreens, All iPads, Smartphones, Android Tablets, Touchscreen Laptops

Available Colors: Black, Silver, Midnight Blue, Rose Gold

Cosmonaut Wide Grip Stylus for iPad

The Cosmonaut is different from the other styluses on this list, and it’s very apparent. This tablet stylus is thick, about the same thickness as a dry erase marker. While you may be put off by this at first, it’s actually a great design. The thicker barrel is more comfortable to hold and a great option for kids or people with accessibility issues. It features a round tip perfect for touchscreen navigation or writing and drawing.

The Cosmonaut stylus does lack an exact tip that may make drawing more difficult for some graphic designers and artists. It was designed to be most similar to writing on a dry erase board, so if you’re doing detailed sketching, consider the recommendations above. But with a wide range of compatible devices and a reasonable price point, this is a great alternative to the Apple Pencil, especially for younger users.

Compatibility: All iPads, Android Devices, Smartphones, Kindle Fire, Capacitive Touch Screens.

Available Colors: Black

Cada Drawing Stylus for iPad

If you’re an artist or want a cheap Apple Pencil alternative that’s easy to doodle with while you take notes in class, the CADA Stylus is a fantastic low priced option. Similar in design to the Adonit, the CADA gives you an accurate pinpoint in the center of a clear accryllic disc, so you always can see where you’re drawing. The spring tip helps drawing feel natural, allowing you to work at any angle.

The CADA drawing stylus is lightweight and features a curved ergonomic design for comfort. While this stylus is great for artists and comes at a fantastic low price, it is not the same drawing experience as an Apple Pencil or the other more expensive options on our list. But it’s great for budget-strapped students.

Compatibility: All iPads, Android Tablets, Smartphones, Kindle Fire, Motorola Xoom Tablet, Samsung Galaxy, Other Capacitative Touch Screens (Does not work with Windows tablets)

Available Colors: Black, Blue, Red, White

AmazonBasics Executive Stylus for Touchscreen Devices

If you’re just looking for a cheap tablet stylus for casual browsing and occasional writing on your tablet or smartphone, this is one of the best deals available. AmazonBasics is Amazon’s private label brand that makes a variety of good quality, low cost tech accessories. At under $10, this stylus is a great value that works find with all iPad models and other capacitive touch screen devices. This pen sized stylus is light and comfortable in the hand and features a clip for easy storage. It has a sophisticated style that’s great for the office or for home.

While they say you can use it for drawing, professional artists will probably find themselves frustrated by the experience. This is a good option for hobbyists using coloring book apps. This is also fantastic for people who feel like they’re “fat fingered” when they use tablets or smartphones. It’s good for typing and fantastic for navigation. Using a stylus like this is good to avoid smudging your screen or covering it in fingerprints.

Compatibility: All iPads, Android Tablets, Smartphones, Any Touchscreen Devices

Available Colors: Black, Blue, Silver

Don’t feel like writing on your iPad? Check out the best iPad keyboards for personal use and school.

Check out these touchscreen gloves so you can use your iPad in cold weather.

Super Useful Adapters for iPads & iPhones: Camera, USB, TV, Ethernet & More

usb ethernet and camera adapters for iPads and iPhones

iPads and iPhones are quickly becoming full-fledge computing platforms. One thing that’s holding them back is their lack of ports however: even the beefy iPad Pro famously has just a single Lightning connector port and a single headphone 3.5mm jack built in. The good news is there are more and more adapters for iPads and iPhones which allow you to extend their capabilities to connect cameras, wired internet, televisions, projectors, keyboards and more. We’ve rounded up some of the most useful iPad adapters and iPhone connectors.

So let’s jump in and connect some neat stuff to your iOS devices.

USB, Camera, Ethernet, & TV adapters for iPads and iPhones

Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter

This is one of the original iPad adapters made by Apple themselves. It plugs into your iPad or iPhone’s Lightning port and offers you a normal USB type A port in exchange. When you plug in this USB adapter for iPad/iPhone you can download photos from your DSLR or other camera by plugging it in just as you would plug it into a computer with its USB cable. You can also plug in a limited set of other USB devices like physical keyboards for typing faster than the on-screen software keyboard that iOS devices have. It’s also possible to plug in musical instruments like USB-connector MIDI keyboards to play music with the GarageBand app.

Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter

Here’s a neat iPhone/iPad adapter. It’s a camera memory card reader for iPhone/iPad. You can plug it into your iPhone or iPad and read images directly off of your camera’s SD memory card or micro SD card (sometimes called a TF card). One other neat trick this device has is a normal USB type A port on the other side so you can also use it to read memory cards on to your computer. It even has a fold-out micro USB adapter which lets you plug it into various Android devices that have a micro USB port. If you need to transfer images from a memory card on to a variety of devices, this might be a great choice.

Note that this iPad adapter won’t allow you to connect an iPad to a computer– for that you’ll need a regular old Lightning cable. (See our related articles: The Longest Lightning Charging, Sync Cables for iPhones & iPads and The Best Short Lightning Cables for iPhones & iPads.)

Lightning to Ethernet Adapter For iPhone/iPad

If you’ve ever tried to use an iPad or iPhone in a place with terrible Wifi or poor cell signals, you may have thought to yourself “boy I wish I could just plug this thing into the wall to get internet!” Well, with an iPad to ethernet adapter such as this one, you can exactly that. It plugs into the Lightning port found on your iPhone or iPad and provides you with an Ethernet port on the other end. The iPhone adapter cable is 3.3 feet (1 meter) long, and comes in silver. Of course you’ll also still need to supply your own ethernet cable to plug into your router or wall-based ethernet outlet. See our related article: Best Short, Medium and Long Cat 6 Ethernet Cables.

Lightning to VGA Adapter for iPhones, iPads

The VGA standard for projectors and external displays was introduced all the way back in 1987. (Heck, it might even be older than you are!) But still all these years later VGA connectors are common to find for projectors and external monitors. If you need to connect your iPad or iPhone to a device like a projector that only has a VGA input port, you’ll need a Lightning to VGA adapter like this one. It connects to your iPad or iPhone’s Lightning connector and provides you with two ports at the other end: a VGA port and a second Lightning port to plug in your power adapter. Of course you’ll still need a VGA cable to connect the adapter to your projector or external display or other device.

Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for Select iPhone, iPad and iPod Models

This adapter lets you plug your iPhone or iPad into an HDMI cable which is connected to a television, external monitor, or digital projector. It’s simple to use: just plug it into the Lightning connector at the bottom of your iPhone or iPad and then plug in your HDMI cable and connect it to whatever device you’re going to display the content on. This is a great cheap alternative to buying a more expensive Apple TV for displaying iPad content on your television.

Frequently asked questions about iPad keyboards:

Will the iPad USB adapter work with this (XYZ) specific device? iPad to USB connectors or iPhone USB adapters work with a limited set of devices. Since there are tons of different types of USB devices– literally thousands– there’s no way for us to say for sure whether or not this adapter will work with specific devices. If you’re unsure whether or not a device will work we recommend you do a Google search to see if you can find other people talking about that particular USB accessory working or not working with a USB to Lightning adapter.

In general people seem to have good luck attaching external keyboards, still cameras, and musical instruments with MIDI outputs. Some other devices may work as well. For some (admittedly a little outdated) examples, see this 2010 Macworld article: iPad Camera Connection Kit connects other things, too.

Do I need to install any special software to make these adapters work with my iPhone or iPad? No. All of the iPad to USB or other types of iPhone adapters listed on this page don’t require you to install any special software or drivers. (In fact, iOS doesn’t even have drivers!) It’s just plug and play for each of these Lightning adapters.

The Best iPad Keyboards for Personal Use & Schools

Best iPad keyboard for schools

More and more people are using iPads as laptop replacements these days. They’re fast, have amazing battery life and they’re also easy to use. Perhaps the only drawback for everyday use is their lack of a physical keyboard. We’ve done a run-down on the best physical keyboards for iPad which you can attach wirelessly using Bluetooth. Because we’re putting extra attention to durability as well as price, these iPad keyboards are especially good for school use– not just for individuals.

The Best Keyboards for iPad for schools & personal use

Anker Bluetooth Folio Keyboard Case for iPad

Anker, a high tech accessory company founded by former Google engineers, has created one of the most popular keyboards for iPads: the Folio Smart Case. It folds around your tablet and practically turns your iPad into a laptop. With a comfortable keyboard and a 6 rechargeable month battery life between recharges (assuming 2 hours of use every day), this Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad comes in black and dark gray. One nice thing about this iPad keyboard case is that it has a hole for your device’s camera, something not every case offers. When you open or close the case it’ll automatically activate the keyboard once it’s been initially paired. It also acts as an iPad prop so you can view the tablet’s screen while you’re typing without having to set it against anything else.

Note that this particular model is for iPad Air 2 (popular in the education market– many schools have them). However, they also offer other models to fit other iPads:

Anker iPad keyboard case for 2 / 3 / 4

iPad Pro case with keyboard

This is a very popular keyboard case for the 9.7 inch iPad Pro (models for other sizes below). It features an LED-backlit keyboard for typing in the dark (that can be set to any one of 7 different color options!) and it’s even water-resistant in case you spill something on it. This model doesn’t run on replaceable batteries; instead, it has a rechargeable battery that you can plug into any standard USB outlet (comes with a charging cable). The LED-backlit keyboard has an on-off switch luckily since it uses a fair amount of battery. Although if you have the keyboard lighting off, it’ll run for up to 180 hours without a recharge, which is a better life than any laptop (and of course it’s also better than your iPad too). It comes in silver, black, gold, rose gold, and black color options.

Note that since iPad Pros come in different sizes you’ll need to choose a keyboard case that fits your model. If you don’t have the 9.7″ iPad Pro, you’ll want to check out these alternatives for different sizes:

Keyboard Case for 12.9″ iPad Pro

Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard

In some cases (pun intended) you might not want a full iPad keyboard case– you might just want the keyboard itself. For instance, if you already have an iPad case that you’re happy with or you you only want to use a Bluetooth keyboard for iPad under certain circumstances. Here’s a model for that scenario: it’s an ultra-slim Bluetooth keyboard for iPads (or iPad Air, iPad Pro, iPad Mini or even devices like iPhones or Galaxy Tabs or Macs & Windows PCs).

It connects to your device using the normal Bluetooth pairing protocol. Runs off of standard AAA Batteries for 3 months of life before you’ll need to replace them. This wireless iPad keyboard also features a neat auto-sleep mode where it automatically turns off after 30 minutes of inactivity. Although this model is a black iPad keyboard, they also offer a iPad keyboard in white.

Frequently asked questions about iPad keyboards:

Will every iPad case with keyboard fit every iPad?

Nope! iPad Minis are quite small and iPad Pros come in different sizes, so you’ll need to make sure that whichever keyboard case for iPad that you get is the right size for your tablet model.

Does any Bluetooth keyboard work with iPad?

Since the iPad uses the standard Bluetooth specification, any regular old Bluetooth wireless keyboard should work with your iPad. However you’ll want to make sure that if you do get just a regular old Bluetooth keyboard, it doesn’t require a special USB dongle to pair it with your computer. If you have a Mac desktop like an iMac for instance, there’s a good chance it came with Apple’s standard wireless Bluetooth keyboard. You know, the one that looks like this:

If you want to, you can pair that with your iPad by going into Settings on the iPad, choosing Bluetooth and then turning it on. Then you’ll see a list of all “discoverable” devices (like your keyboard when it’s switched on) which you can connect to. Your iPad will then give your a special code to type on your keyboard and once you type that in, you’ll be paired and ready to use your physical keyboard with your iPad.

Can I use a normal USB wired keyboard to plug into my iPad, or do I have to use a wireless Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad?

Many people don’t know this but there actually is a way to use a regular old USB computer keyboard with an iPad. In order to plug it in however you’ll need Apple’s Lightning to USB connector dongle which plugs into your iPad’s Lightning port and gives you a USB port to plug in either a camera or a keyboard (or a few other types of peripherals like USB pianos for recording in the GarageBand music app).

Why would a person want a keyboard for an iPad?

Many people find physical keyboards much more comfortable to type on as opposed to a glass screen on a tablet where you can’t quite feel where the keys begin and end, and they have no physical feedback to let you know that you’ve pressed them. Plus a keyboard on a screen is often more cramped than we’re used to, even on small laptops with small keyboards.

The main reasons people cite for wanting to use a physical keyboard with an iPad are the following:

  • Speed – It’s easier to type quickly on a regular physical keyboard than it is on a glass screen without physical keys
  • Accuracy – For most people it’s still easier to type in a highly accurate fashion when you can feel the keys beneath your fingertips
  • Comfort – Because of the larger size of a physical keyboard and the ergonomics of typing on a flat surface it’s more comfortable for many people to use a physical keyboard with an iPad instead of typing directly on the screen

Some people may wonder, what is the point of typing on an iPad instead of a laptop when you’re adding a physical keyboard to your tablet anyway?

That’s a fair question but some people prefer to get serious writing done on an iPad because they like that it offer several features. Here are the pros and cons of using an iPad for writing:

  • Constant autosaving – This is built into iOS
  • Distraction-free writing environment – It’s easy to get distracted on a computer when you can open so many things at one time but since iPads have rudimentary multitasking it’s easier to feel like you’re sandboxed in so you can focus on the task at hand
  • Amazing battery life – Because of their modern design, iPads have incredible battery life that no laptop can match
  • Size, weight, and portability – Even with an external iPad keyboard case, these tablets are still often lighter and smaller than even compact laptops are

The Best Clip on Microphones for Smartphones, Cameras & Computers

Using a clip on microphone can dramatically improve the quality of any video because 9 times out of 10, it will provide higher quality audio than the built in microphone in your phone, tablet, computer or camera that you’re recording video with. Clip on microphones work by providing an omni-directional microphone (often protected by a windscreen) which is close to your voice, and is connected to your recording device with a cable of various lengths.

Best Clip on Microphone for iPhones & Android Phones or iPads, or Cameras

Clip on microphones plug into your phone’s headphone jack (or your computer’s headphone port, or your camera’s 3.5 inch microphone port) and clip on to your shirt or jacket. We recommend avoiding the cheapest clip on mics because they are generally poor quality. So instead, here are some of the top reviewed clip on mics for phones:

Good: DurbPro 15 Foot Long Clip on Omni-directional Lapel Microphone for Smartphones

Best iPhone and Android Clip on Microphone

DurbPro offers an affordable clip on microphone for iPhone/Android/iPad with a 15 foot long cable. It’s well reviewed and will capture good quality audio when you record video on your phone or tablet device. On one end of the cable is a lapel microphone which you can clip to a shirt or tie, and on the other end is a normal 1/8th inch jack which will plug into your phone’s headphone jack.

It also comes with a carrying pouch (handy for a microphone with a 15 foot long cable!) and two fuzzy windshields which can be used to cut down wind noise when you’re recording outside.

Article continues below

Better: Stony-Edge Lav-Mobile Condenser Lavalier/Lapel Microphone for iPhone & Android Smartphones

How to connect Galaxy S6 to TV

The Stony-Edge Lav-Mobile microphone (that’s a bit of a mouthful to say!) is a great quality clip on microphone that works with your smartphone to capture crisp and clean audio. It comes with an 8 foot long black cable, a carrying pouch and a foam windscreen which for use outdoors to cut down on wind noise. It also comes with a velcro cord strap so you can keep the cable coiled when you’re not using it. This model has gotten great reviews from hundreds of users.

Best: Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone

How to connect Galaxy S6 to TV

Shure is an internationally recognized brand that makes high quality microphones for all sort sof uses, both professional and consumer. Their MVL clip on microphone works with your smartphone to capture exceptional sound quality. The cable plugs into your headphone jack on one end and has a genuine Shure microphone at the other end, along with a detachable clip to fasten to your shirt, jacket or tie. It also comes with a carrying pouch and a foam windscreen. One thing that sets this microphone apart from some of its competitors is that it has an especially good signal-to-noise ratio which means that your voice will be captured as you speak but background sounds (like wind, air conditioning, etc) will be much quieter than they would be on comparable microphones.

Bonus: MXL MM160 Lavalier Microphone for Smartphones and Tablets

How to connect Galaxy S6 to TV

This MXL clip on mic offers a unique feature that sets it apart from many of the other clip microphones for sale: it has an extra port which you can plug your headphones into. How does this work? Say you want to be able to record a friend talking on your smartphone or camera and you want to be able to monitor their voice levels at the same time. Most clip-on microphones don’t allow you to do this since they use your camera or phone’s headphone jack to plug in to. But this mic allows you to plug your own headphones directly into its additional port so you can record and listen at the same time. Not everyone will need this feature which is why we are putting it on this list as a bonus item, but for those that do, it’s extremely handy to have this option. The MXL MM160 is very well reviewed and delivers great quality audio.

Frequently asked questions about clip on microphones:

Do clip on mics use batteries? How are they powered?

While some clip-on microphones use batteries, the ones we’ve linked to in this article are instead powered by your phone or other type of device (tablet, video camera, etc). This uses a small amount of the your camera’s power but keeps the size and weight of the microphone small and light so we think it’s generally a good trade-off. The amount of power these draw is very small compared to the size of your phone’s battery capacity.

Where should I clip on my microphone on a person’s body?

Ideally you want to clip on the microphone no further than about ten inches away from their mouth. The further away you clip it from their mouth, the weaker the sound quality will be and the more background noise you will pick up in your audio recording. If you clip the microphone too close to their mouth, you may get over an modulated recording that sounds distorted. Common lavalier mounting techniques include: clipping the microphone to a person’s shirt collar if they are wearing a non-collared shirt like a t-shirt, clipping the lav relatively high up on a man’s tie.

A frequent mistake that inexperienced lavalier mic users make is failing to hide the cable underneath the speaker’s shirt. Often it can seem awkward to ask them to thread the cable through their shirt or underneath it, but it looks super amateurish to have a big black cable dangling in the middle of your shot if you’re filming an interview. Of course, if you’re only using the lavalier for sound purposes and you won’t be filming the person speaking, then it’s fine not to hide the cable. In cases when you do need to hide the cable, we’ve found that the easiest way to do it is to ask the person to drop the end with the plug down the front of their shirt and hold on to the microphone. Once you clip the mic to their collar and then you’re free to plug the microphone in to your recording device, like an iPhone or other type of camera.

Is a clip on microphone the same thing as a lavalier or lapel microphone?

Yes! These are all different names for the same thing. Sometimes a clip on mics are called lavalier microphones or lapel microphones.


Best Wireless Lavaliere Microphones for Documentary Film

The Best Wireless Lavalier Microphones For DSLR Cameras

The Longest Lightning Charging, Sync Cables for iPhones & iPads

Long Lightning cables can be extremely useful when you need to charge your iPhone or iPad but the port you’re plugging it into is far away– for instance a computer underneath a desk or a wall outlet that’s not directly next to your couch. Even though the Lightning cable that originally came with your iPhone or iPad is only about three feet long, there are third party manufacturers that make MFI certified Lightning cables that are much longer.

Here are some of the longest lighting cables available:

Syncwire – iPhone Charger Lightning Cable – 6.5 ft

Here’s a six and a half foot Lightning cable. That’s more than double the length of the standard Apple Lightning cable that ships with iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. This Lightning charging and data cable also comes in several different colors including black, silver, gold, rose gold and space gray, matching all of Apple’s various different iPhone colors. It also comes in white if you want to match the original iPhone charging cable or iPad charging cable that came with your Apple device originally.

iXCC Extra Long Apple MFi Certified Lightning 8pin to USB Charge and Sync Cable
Long iPhone Lighting USB Cables

This white extra long iPhone charging cable measures 10 feet from plug to plug. It has USB on one end and Lightning on the other, and will plug into either a computer or a USB power brick. There’s also a 10 foot extra long black Lightning cable available too.

Cambond Lightning Charger Cord 10 Feet for iOS Devices
Long iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Who says the longest iPhone charging cables have only come in boring colors? It turns out, there are many super long Lightning cables that come in all sorts of colors, including these 10 foot long Lighting cables that come in orange, green, blue, and red. Find more colorful long Lightning USB charging cables here.

Apple MFi Certified Lightning to USB Cable 10ft/3m iPhone Charger Cord
Long iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Here’s another one of the longest Lighning USB charging cables available. It measures 10 feet in length and comes in black, white and red color options. Like all of the other long Lightning cables featured in this article, this charging cable works with iPhone 7, 6, 5 as well as iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Nano/iPad Touch (5th generation) devices.

Apple MFi Certified Nylon Braided Lightning to USB Cable 10ft/3m iPhone Charger Cord
Long iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Some people prefer to buy braided cables when available because they can be more durable in some circumstances where a charging cable can be subjected to a lot of stress. This long Lightning to USB charging cable is protected by braided nylon from one end to the end and features stylish bright red plugs that are easy to spot. It also comes with a convenient velcro cable tie so you won’t make a mess of your extra long Lightning cable when you’re not using it. This iPhone/iPad charging cable is 10 feet long and comes in a variety of other color combinations as well.

6 Ft Glowing Lightning Charging Cable
Long iPhone Lightning USB Cables

Do you want to make the experience of charging your iPhone to be more like the experience of going to a nightclub? Well, boy, have we got a solution for you. Here’s a long Lightning cable for iPhone and iPad that glows while it’s charging. It makes your cell phone easy to find in the dark and also makes it clear at a glance whether or not it’s fully plugged in. This cable is available in glowing blue, green, pink, red, purple and white versions. Charging your cell phone or iPad will never be boring again.

Lightning cables Need an even longer USB to Lightning charging cable? A USB extension cable might work for what your needs: you simply plug your Lightning cable into it, and plug that into your computer or power brick.

Looking for a short lighting cable instead of a long one? Check out our list of the best short lighting cables for iPhones and iPads.

The Best Short Lightning Cables for iPhones & iPads

Short USB to Lightning cables (or Lightning to USB cables depending on how you look at it) are very useful, particularly when you’re plugging in portable iPhone charger battery packs and you don’t want to use a ridiculously long 3 foot Lightning cable. Thankfully there are several short Lightning to USB cables and cords that can help charge your iPhones and iPads without a long cable.

Here are some of the best short Lightning cables:

Zeskit Lightning to USB Cable Charging and Syncing for iPhone iPad and iPod
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Here’s a 4 inch (10cm) short Lightning to USB cable that’s ideal to use when you plug your iPhone into a portable charging battery pack. It comes in white and both the Lighting and the USB ports are at right angles, meaning you can twist the cable and plug it into both your iPhone and a battery pack and then stack the two on top of each other with the iPhone sitting on top of the battery.

AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Here’s another 4 inch (10 centimeter) short Lightning cable, and this one is more traditional, without right angle plugs like the last item in this list.

It’s available in both black and white and is so short it doesn’t even need to be coiled to keep the excess cable neat.

Lightning to USB Short Keychain Cable for Apple iPhone 6 Plus / 6 / 5s / 5c / 5, iPad Air 2 / iPad Air/ iPod touch/ Nano
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

If you’re looking for a very short Lightning cable, it’s hard to get shorter than this Lightning USB keychain stick. The iZapp Lightning to USB keychain can be taken anywhere on your set of keys and comes in six different colors. It measures about 2.7 inches long (6 cm) and is made of flexible rubber. Plus since it’s a keychain stick you can attach it to your keys and never have to worry about losing it.

EZOPower Short 8-Pin Lightning to USB Charge & Sync Lockable Cable
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Here’s another one of the shortest Apple Lightning cables available. When extended it reaches 4 inches in length but it folds and locks into a closed loop for easy transport. It comes in white and can easily be clasped around a keychain to go anywhere in your pocket or be looped around another cord or cable. This can be especially handy if you’re prone to lose small objects.

CS88 USB Lightning Charger Portable Travel Cable for iPhone, iPad/Mini/Air, iPod NanoShort iPhone Lighting USB Cables

This is the smallest Lightning cable available: it folds into a black oval about 2 inches long. When it’s fully extended, the Lightning to USB cable is 3 inches long and is flexible to plug in to charge your iPhone or iPad at virtually any angle.

Factors to consider when choosing a short Lighting cable

Length – This one is obvious, but there’s quite a difference between a 1 foot Lightning cable and a 3 foot Lightning cable (which is the normal charging cable length that Apple ships with its devices). What you need will dictate what you’ll get.

Flexibility – Not every short Lightning cable is super flexible. Some of them are but others don’t twist and bend nearly as much. Consider how flexible you will need your short iPhone or iPad charging cable to be.

Color – Short Lightning cables come in all colors so you’ve got a choice to make here. You aren’t just restricted to black or white.

How easy is it to lose? Since you’re looking for a short Lightning charging cable, any cable you might be considering will probably be small. If you’re the sort of person that easily loses small things you may want to consider a cable that hooks on to your keychain, like a few of the models listed in this article do. That way it’s very difficult to lose your iPhone charging cable… well, unless you frequently lose your keys too!

Looking for a long lightning cable? Check out our related article: The Longest Lightning Charging, Sync Cables for iPhones & iPads.

Apple iPad Pencil Charging Cable (Lightning Male to Female Cable)

The Apple Pencil works great with the iPad pro, but to charge it you need to plug the pencil directly into the Lightning port on the iPad itself, which is both awkward and looks pretty silly. Plus, depending on what type of environment you’re in, charging your Apple Pencil at such an unnatural angle can also cause a problem if something brushes up against the Apple Pencil it could snap off, damaging both the iPad Pro and your stylus. Apple hasn’t provided a solution to this odd charging problem but luckily, there are now some third party iPad Pencil charging cables so you can plug your Apple Pencil into the iPad and not feel (and look) totally dumb doing it. You can use this as an Apple Pencil charging cable, and you can also use it as a Lightning cable extender, depending on the length of the Lightning charging cable you choose.

Here are several different length Apple iPad Pencil charging cables, ranging from short Lightning cables to long Lightning cables:

Short Apple iPad Pencil Charging Cable

This very short 3.5 inch Lightning cable dongle will plug into your iPad’s Lightning port on one end and your iPad’s Apple Pencil on the other to charge it. This Apple Pencil charging cord is flexible and comes in white, matching your iPad’s other cables, like the USB charging cable that Apple makes. Using a charging cable like this one helps save you from having your Apple Pencil plugged into your iPad at an uncomfortable angle that might snap off and damage the pencil or the iPad’s Lightning port or both.

The Medium Length Apple iPad Pencil charging cable
Apple Pencil Charging Cable

Here’s another male to female Lightning cable to charge your Apple Pencil or other Lightning port accessory. This Apple Pencil charging cable measures 1 foot in length and can help you prevent accidental snap off damage to your Apple Pencil while it’s charging.

TechMatte Apple Pencil Lightning Cable Charging Adapter for iPad Pro Female to Female Connector (.75 Inches)
Apple Pencil Charging Adapter

If you’ve got an iPad Pro that you use with your Apple Pencil, then you already have a Lightning charging cable that came with it to charge your tablet, right? Well if so then you can use this female to female adapter to turn that 3 foot long iPad charging cable into a Lightning cable. This is a pretty clever and inexpensive product that lets you use the cable you already have as a charging cable. One nice thing about this Apple Pencil charging cord adapter accessory is that it saves you from having to carry around two cables with you (one iPad charging cable and one Pencil charging cable).

The Long Apple iPad Pencil charging cable
Apple Pencil Charging Cable

Need an even longer Apple Pencil charging cable? Well, here’s a 3 foot long charging cable for your Apple Pencil. Like the other models, this one comes in white and matches your iPad’s normal charging cable. Its length also allows you to separate the pencil from the iPad by several feet, which could be especially handy if you use your iPad pro on an iPad Pro stand.

Charging Dock Station for Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil Charging Dock

Here’s an Apple Pencil charging dock that allows you to put a Lightning charging cable (not included) into the base of it. Note that you’ll need to supply your own Apple Pencil Lightning charging cable: we’d recommend picking this 3.3 foot long one. Comes in white, which goes well with your white Apple accessories.

Apple Pencil Direct Charging Stand with 6 Ft Cable
Apple Pencil Charging Cable

Here’s an Apple Pencil charging stand that includes a generously-long 6 foot USB cable to plug into your computer or a USB wall charger. It comes in white, matching your Apple Pencil, as well as black, gold and rose gold. This Apple Pencil charging stand also includes a handy indentation to stick the pencil cap in when you’re charging it.

Frequently asked questions about Apple Pencil charging cables

Are these “official” Lightning cables made by Apple?

No, for some strange reason, Apple does not make an official Lightning charging cable for its Apple Pencil themselves. These products are made by third party vendors that make accessories for iPads, like cases, charging docks, iPad stands, etc.

How can I see the remaining battery life of my Apple Pencil?

You can check your Apple Pencil’s battery life on your iPad Pro by accessing the Notification Center (in the lock screen of your iPad).

Can I get a replacement Apple Pencil cap if I lose mine?

Yes! There are a number of replacement Apple Pencil caps available on Amazon, including some that have little keeper cords that prevent them from getting lost.

Are there any Apple Pencil alternatives that don’t require charging?
Yes, there are some iPad styluses on the market that do not require charging. You can check out our reviews for iPad Styluses and Apple Pencil alternatives to see the best ones.