The headphone jack might just be dead – when Apple first got rid of it, the outcry was widespread, but we’ve now come to accept its absence as the default. Many Android phone makers are opting for Bluetooth and USB-C audio instead.
Removing the jack enables phones to be made thinner, use fewer connectors and be made waterproof more easily. However, the adoption of USB-C headphones has been slow because many opt for Bluetooth headphones instead.
There are advantages to using wired though; a digital connection can help improve audio quality, as headphones can be made with high-quality DACs integrated into them, such as the Audeze Sine and iSine that use the Lightning port on the iPhone. So we’ve rounded up the best USB-C headphones we’ve found – there aren’t huge numbers of options available, but if you’re not a fan of Bluetooth, these might be the tools for the job.
Our Top Pick: Best USB-C Headphones
Libratone Q-Adapt In-ear USB-C
1. Best overall
Receive solid sound during exercise
A pair of USB-C headphones that have genuinely impressive sound and are great for jogging.
- Excellent styling
- Superb sound
- Have been out for quite a while
Libratone already has a pair of Q-Adapt in-ear headphones for the iPhone and has also released a pair with a USB-C connector too. They were made specifically for the Google Pixel 2 and fall under the “Made for Google” program.
They’re sweatproof, so can be used when exercising, have in-line controls for controlling music playback and even have a noise-cancellation mode when taking phone calls with power coming directly from the USB-C port.
Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds
2. Runner Up
Get native Google Assistant on a budget
As simple they come, these headphones are cheap and cheerful.
- Very affordable
- Google Assistant integration
Google released these earbuds alongside the Pixel 3, and, while they aren’t as good as wireless options, they are dirt cheap.
They also have native compatibility with Google Assistant so you can hear your notifications (just press and hold the volume up button) and get real-time translation from Google Translate.
3. A top pick
The Logitech G333 earbuds are a great choice for gaming on the go.
- Subtle League of Legends nods in the styling
- Switch between 3.5mm and USB-C connectivity
- No custom EQ in the software
Of course, we don’t just use our phones for listening to music and podcasts, these days, they’re surprisingly capable gaming machines as well.
If you fancy yourself the next PUBG Mobile champion, or if you just like a lot of bass, then the G333 earbuds are a superb choice – they come in at a reasonable price, too.
Skullcandy Set In-Ear USB-C Earbuds
4. Strong contender
- Reasonably priced
- IPX4 water resistance
The Skullcandy Set earphones are available with USC-C, Lightning or 3.5mm jacks, which means that they’re a great option no matter what phone you have. The specs and features aren’t anything to write home about, but they get the job done for a low price and also benefit from IPX4 water resistance.
OnePlus Type C Bullets
5. Also Great
Budget-friendly and well rounded
A solid set of earbuds with USB-C.
- Pretty cheap
- Clean aesthetic
OnePlus rounds out our list with these really solid, incredibly simple earbuds, which aren’t particularly noteworthy but equally are priced pretty sensibly and sound really good for the price, too.