What is On the Bottom of Your iPhone?

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

On the bottom of your iPhone, you find a microphone, the Lightning connector, the speaker (or speakers), and the headset jack (all but iPhone 7 models):

  • Headset jack (iPhone SE and 6): The headset jack lets you plug in the included iPhone headset, which looks a lot like EarPods but with an elliptical shape.
  • Microphone: The microphone lets callers hear your voice when you’re not using a headset.

The iPhone sports three microphones (top front, top back, and bottom). The top ones are used for FaceTime calls and also work with the main mic (located on the bottom) to suppress unwanted and distracting background sounds on phone calls using dual-mic noise suppression or beam-forming technology.

  • Lightning connector: The Lightning connector has three purposes for most iPhones and four for iPhone 7 models. One, you can use it to recharge your iPhone’s battery. Simply connect one end of the included Lightning–connector–to–USB cable to the iPhone and the other end to the USB power adapter. Two, you can use the port to synchronize. Connect one end of the cable to the port on your iPhone and the other end to a USB port on your Mac or PC.

Three, you can use the Lightning or dock connector port to connect your iPhone to other devices, such as a camera or television using an adapter such as the Camera Connection Kit or one of Apple’s A/V adapter cables. And four (iPhone 7 models only), you use it to connect EarPods or the included 3.5mm headphone jack adapter so you can listen to audio or talk on the phone without holding a slab of glass and metal in front of your face.

Little-known fact: The EarPods with Lightning connector that come with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will work with any iOS device with a Lightning connector.

  • Speaker: The speaker is used by the iPhone’s built-in speakerphone and plays audio — music or video soundtracks — if no headset is plugged in. It also plays the ringtone you hear when you receive a call. iPhone 7 models have stereo speakers.
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The front side of the iPhone SE (left), 6s (center), and 7 (right), as seen from the bottom.