HTC, Google, Apple and Motorola are leading the way in modernizing their smartphones by deleting the trusty old 3.5mm audio jack. They are favoring smaller and slimmer form factors over the 3.5mm audio jack, and that’s disturbing to many users who have wired headphones. No matter how much you complain to those companies moving forward, they are moving to smarter connections through USB C and Lightning, and there’s no stopping them. USB C and Lightning ports have the ability to transfer more information and power which will lead to smarter and better sounding audio. In the meantime, there are plenty of options for using your old headphones. Or if you simply want to catch up with the times, you might want to consider going wireless.
Let’s check out the best USB C audio adapters and headphones for your USB C devices. There aren’t a lot of options available now, but many are planned for release this year. We will keep this post updated with the most up to date USB C headphones when they are out.
For what it’s worth, I’ve tried a couple different brands of third-party wireless earbuds and they sound pretty good. Audio over USB-C offers more power and detail that the 3.5mm audio jack doesn’t offer, but it does suck that you can’t charge your phone and listen to music at the same time.
Monoy Connector Type C to 3.5mm Audio adapter – $9.99 at Amazon
Be prepared to lose the dongle that comes with your USB-C smartphone. Audio adapters are the easiest way to use your current headphones with all of the new smartphones. If you plan to go this route, don’t let a lost adapter ruin your day without music. Stock up on a couple of these from Monoy as they are the most reliable and they even allow for headphones with inline remotes to control the smartphone through the adapter. Buy a couple and leave them connected to your headphones at all times.
Master and Dynamic MW50 Wireless on-ear headphones
Master and Dynamic might not be a familiar name since its not found in brick and mortar shops, but its headphones are top performers. The MW50 wireless on-ear headphones are made with the finest materials which creates an unforgettable experience in sound and comfort. The MW50s aren’t cheap at $449 but should last you a long time. They’re also one of the first wireless headphones to make the switch to USB C for charging too. That’s one less cable you have to worry about.
TriLink USB Type C Earbud Headphones – $39.99 at Amazon
Trilink is another third-party option at an affordable price. It has an inline microphone, which is one of the best reasons for using wired headphones, and it also has inline controls so you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket.
Best of all, if you don’t like them, simply return them to Amazon since TriLink offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Smart&Cool Type-C3.0 3D Surround / Stereo Two-Mode Earbuds – $26.99 at Amazon
The Type-C earbuds from Smart & Cool might be the best deal of the bunch. They offer 5.1 channel stereo simulation which is fantastic for movie and TV watchers with no external power required to drive the features. When you want to listen to music, simply turn the stereo sound off for more realistic sound.
VIOTEK Aqua USB-C Stereo Earbuds – $39.99 at Amazon
If you have small ear canals these might be the best option for you. These VIOTEK Aqua Type-C earbuds are some of the smallest with 8mm internal drivers. They come with soft silicone tips for a tight fit that blocks out all background noise. Similar to other Type-C earbuds, you can maximize sound quality through the new connector and play lossless music that wireless headphones can’t match. These also have an extended cable at 47″ for those of you who are a bit taller.
Zinsoko Type-C Earbuds Ceramic Corded Earphones – $29.99 at Amazon
The Zinsoko Type-C earbuds are a favorite of mine as they offer incredible sound detail and tight bass at an extremely affordable price. They have ceramic housings around the drivers for low resonance and high detail while offering unmatched durability and looks. These Zinsoko earbuds are also sweatproof which means you can wear them during your hardest workouts without fear of ruining them.
2 in 1 Type C to 3.5mm Headphone Audio Jack Adapter – $11.99 at Amazon
If you like to connect your phone to a wireless speaker, car input, or any other audio device with a 3.5mm audio jack, you’ll need one of these cables from Datavision. Simply plug the USB C end into the bottom of your phone, and connect the other end into your auxiliary port. Doing away with the audio jack is arguably one of the most annoying things smartphone manufacturers are taking away from us as it leads to additional costs on accessories like this cable.
Sunwe Type C Earphones – $21.99 at Amazon
These USB-C headphones from Sunwe are a cheap alternative to other headphones. They still offer high quality playback by taking advantage of the USB-C port on your smartphone or laptop.
KINGMAN.INC Type C in-ear Sport Headphones – $29.99 at Amazon
Noise cancellation with the KINGMAN.INC Type-C headphones comes at a bargain at just $30. While you can’t charge and listen to your phone at the same time with USB-C headphones, you can take advantage of things like noise cancellation. These headphones also come with adaptive noise cancellation which allows you to block out sounds in a safe manner. They’re also waterproof meaning you can run or workout in them without fear of ruining the pretty earbuds.
RLTECK USB C headphones – $12.99 at Amazon
The RLTECK USB C headphones are for the budget conscious who simply want the ability to plug in and listen to their music. These are some of the cheapest with a standard audio jack with an adapter for USB C smartphones. These have a unique metal and wood design that make them stand out from teh crowd.
Morjava Type C in-ear Sport Headphones – $24.99 at Amazon
- Noise Cancellation: Full digital lossless audio,built-in Premium Hi-Fi Codec and digital architecture providing true lossless stereo sound quality and super noise isolating effects.
- Adaptive Noise Control: Adjust the level of the environment noise to be aware of your surroundings whether working out indoors or outdoors.
- Sweat Proof: No need to dial back your exercise for fear of ruining these headphones,our type C headphones are sweat proof, water resistant, and easy to clean.
- USB Type C Connector: Eliminates the need for a bulky battery by delivering power and digital sound directly from an USB Type C Device.
iTParts Braided Type C 3.1 USB-C to 3.5mm Earphone Cable – $9.95 at Amazon
Another USB C to 3.5mm audio adapter. You can’t have enough of these so stock up on this great deal.
Rancco Type C to 3.5mm Audio Headphone Stereo Adapter
Even though your new smartphone came with a 3.5mm audio adapter, there’s probably a good chance you lost it by now. Or you simply want more adapters so you can leave them connected to dedicated headphones. While Rancco had some early issues with its adapters, it has worked them out and now sells a two pack on Amazon for less than $8.
Astell&Kern XB10 Portable High-Resolution Bluetooth Dongle
If you are an audiophile and want to use your HiFi headphones wirelessly, you can get the Astell & Kern XB10 Bluetooth Dongle for $129. It’s not cheap but neither are your headphones. Anyone who knows audio knows the brand Astell & Kern for its unmatched sound reproduction. The XB10 uses Bluetooth to connect to your 3.5mm or 2.5mm balanced audio cables wirelessly to your smartphone. It can transmit 24-bit audio for the most demanding listener while providing them with the ability to take calls as well. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get the XB10 in two days or less with free Prime Shipping.
JBL Reflect Aware C Earphones
The world’s first noise cancelling and adaptive noise control earbuds with USB C are the JBL Reflect Aware C. They have all of the features you need for enjoying music on airplanes, or on city streets where you don’t want to block out all sound. Standard inline controls will allow you to leave your phone in your pocket or backpack while on the go. These typically retail for $200, but are 50% off at HTC.com.
You can also buy the Reflect Aware C earbuds at Amazon.
Jaybird X3 Wireless Earbuds
Jaybird is a pioneer in the wireless earbud industry and its latest generation X3 earbuds are a pleaser. They’re reasonably priced at $129.99 at Amazon, Best Buy and Jaybird and are one of the few wireless headphones with an accompanying app for Android and iOS users. The app allows you to monitor your battery level, but more importantly it can change the equalizer settings in the firmware to retune the sound output to your preferences. The X3 wireless earbuds are some of the most comfortable you can buy.