(Pocket-lint) - 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 dedicated 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, as you'll see.
Best USB-C Headphones in 2022
Our Top Pick: Best USB-C Headphones
Libratone Q-Adapt In-ear USB-C
- 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
- Very affordable
- Google Assistant integration
- Not much noise isolation
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.
- 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.
Xiaomi ANC Earphone
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Reasonably priced
- Not the most durable
Bringing ANC to the table are these earbuds from Xiaomi which offer a nice alternative to the set from Libratone above, especially if those older buds are out of stock.
These have an unremarkable design but do everything you need them to very well.
OnePlus Type C Bullets
- Pretty cheap
- Clean aesthetic
- Basic functionality
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.