Use Case -Be sure to figure out your use case before committing to a particular set of headphones. Will you be using these to produce your next track? Or just for casual listening when going from one place to the next? Making a list of your headphone wants and needs ahead of time to save you time and money throughout the purchasing process.
USB C Headphones Buyers Guide
What Are USB C Headphones?
USB C headphones are a fairly recent progression in the audio electronics field, though many see them as more of a step back than an advancement.
They were created with the best of intentions, and theoretically should be more capable than their jack wielding predecessors.
This is because they function using their own independent DAC and amp, meaning that they can bypass the majority of a smartphone’s internal components resulting in clearer electric signals for your headphone to respond to.
Ultimately this means there will be less audio interference by and large. The trouble is many of the sets manufactured to cater to the USB C connection are produced by mobile phone brands, with little experience in audio itself.
So for some time since their recent debut they just haven’t cut the mustard comparably to the plethora of 3.5mm pairs already available.
Do I need a USB C Headphones?
Shortly after Google announced its Pixel 2 would be eliminating the headphone jack connection, other companies followed suit.
There are a number of sensible reasons why, firstly a smartphone can instantly recognize a headphone with a USB connection and better understand its functionality, secondly and unfortunately largely it is more profitable for the companies to have exclusive connections.
It also allowed them to usher users towards the wireless Google Pixel earbuds and Apple Air pods they were trying to push onto the market, which isn’t on par with the level of audio quality wired headphones to provide.
For those who still wanted to keep their wired headphones, the companies began releasing an army of dreaded dongle connectors which warranted their own storage case.
So whilst the majority of us feel a little coerced into the realms of USB C headphones they do help streamline and are far more convenient than carrying a cocktail of adapters about your person.
They are better than the majority of affordable wireless options buzzing about and a good set can technically provide faster data transfers, better power management, and delivery of a crystal clear signal.
What To Look For When Buying USB C Headphones?
Your key concern should be wide compatibility, there are many sets which are exclusive to the device they are intended for, or solely for products manufactured by a specific brand which is no good.
The onboard DAC chips should be very current as in their short history the tech has been tweaked and updated frequently.
Next, you need to select your preferred style of headphone, in-ear or over-ear, with hooks or without, which is purely subjective and essentially down to personal comfort.
The driver capabilities at these tiny proportions actually very very little from product to product and it is only by direct comparison they differ at all.
Ultimately you should look for a set with the best audio delivery your budget can allow for.
Though it’s been foisted upon us somewhat, accepting that a USB C set is a necessity is the first step in finding a sensible solution.
They are actually capable of more efficient workloads and we are on the brink of the technology finally beginning to outperform its jacked up and wireless competitors.
There are many options out there on the market but with the smaller space available in a headphone for diaphragms dimensions you will want to source a high performance set of drivers with an up to date chip that supports high-resolution audio.
We hope our reviews and detailed buyers guide will have filled you in on all the relevant info needed to source an awesome set of USB C headphones so you can kiss your dongles goodbye.
If you don’t want to sacrifice on sound or want an option better suited to outdoor pursuits we say find yourself a pair with more bells and whistles like the Aukey sets we have highlighted that are capable of USB-connection.
Did you Know
The 3.5mm jack that USB C models usurped are known as a tip, ring, sleeve – or TRS – connections. They are a smaller version of the industry standard quarter-inch jack first employed for switch board operation in the early 1900’s and the original design dates back as early as 1878.