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Do not Worry With USB C Headphones (Now) – Review Geek



The headphone jack disappears quickly from high-end phones and even larger devices like the new iPad Pro. So it's time to buy some USB-C headphones, right? Not so fast.

Unlike analog ports, which have been used for decades, removing audio from a single USB-C port requires a bit of digital post-processing. And that's a problem, because digital formats are more complex and all too often incompatible.

Although some headphones are available with a USB-C port on the market, they are generally quite mediocre to inferior. unlike some of the options available for Apple's similar Lightning connector. Between poor selection and poor compatibility, they are only worthwhile as long as the market does not establish itself on a more reliable standard.

The Selection Sucks

Your new mobile phone may come with a pair of USB-C headphones as a kind of excuse for incompatibility with anyone else you already have. If so, hold on. Chances are, you will not find a better couple in the near future.

There are a handful of vendors' USB-C headphones on Amazon, but there are few options from reliable vendors – most of them are more interested in selling headphones equipped with Lightning, if they are not analogue Choose option. Google sells a range of wired pixel buds for its phones and Chromebook laptops. For $ 30 they are reasonable. Same goes for HTC, OnePlus and Xiaomi. In addition, your decisions are getting slimmer, especially if you are not interested in in-ear buds.

Razer sells a pair of USB-C hammerhead buds that are poorly valued even lime green color and gamer branding. JBL makes a number of buds called Reflect Aware C, but they are not even sold anymore – and perhaps that's the best, because users say they have the nasty habit of simply dying. The best choice for a premium set of USB-C buds seems to be the Libratone Q Adapt, which provides hardware noise reduction in multiple stages. However, $ 120 is very much for a pair of wired headphones that only work with one of your gadgets.

There are a few other products that are technically compatible with USB-C, or at least some phones that use it, such as: z The AiAiAi headphones from Google are available in its online store. However, this device only uses a USB-C header on an analog cable, so it's not worth looking over the adapter that was probably supplied with your phone.

In short, your choices are essentially "cheap" or "nothing." And if you're cheap, why not just suck it with an adapter?

The standards are not standardized

Theoretically, a pair of USB-C headphones could be quite good. Unlike an analog device, the digital hardware requires an integrated DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for a more complete and reliable sound quality.

If you need to buy USB-C headphones, the OnePlus Bullets are probably the ones to get.

However, this potential has so far been unfulfilled. Some of the USB C headphones available on the market claim the trick is to push a miniature DAC like the OnePlus Bullets into the cables. (Tangential: "Bullets" is a horrible, terrible brand name for any product you literally put in your head.) But initial reviews say they sound decent, so the little DAC is nothing exciting. They are probably the best choice of the current market for $ 20, assuming your phone has no more extensive compatibility issues.

And that's just the way it is: A major issue with digital-to-analog split is the potential for compatibility issues. Simply put, there are several ways to get audio through the USB-C port and into your ear, and not every manufacturer or accessory manufacturer agrees. For example, users report that the HTC Freebie headphones do not work on rival devices because HTC uses a different USB-C audio system. The Libratone Q Adapt, marketed for Pixel phones and Pixelbook laptops, can not use its inline microphone to make phone calls to other devices.

The microphone in Libratone's USB-C buttons does not work with non-pixel devices.

It's a mess. It is possible that the industry will set itself to a more reliable standard in the future. However, now you should avoid all this and just use a USB-C to headphone adapter cable to let you know which analog audio signals are being used. If possible, use the phone that came with the phone or a replacement that was created for the same model.

Just Use Wireless Already

Audiophiles tells you that wireless headphones never sound as good as a cable set (preferably with a small amplifier and DAC). And technically they are right. But since Apple put the most similar and stylish set of white earphones into the box with the original iPod, it's clear that manufacturers and most consumers are not really into Mobile Tech hi-fi audio] Apple now made it clear that people should work wirelessly, and as it is for Android manufacturers, the manufacturers have participated in it. Samsung seems to be the last big obstacle, but the road to ever thinner cell phones seems to signal that even the flagship Samsung does not hang long on the headphone jack. Sure, you could try to follow the new harbor standards. For Apple customers who bought Lightning jack headphones, who never worked with MacBooks and now do not work with the latest iPads, this has worked very well. In a few years Apple could make the decision that all devices can be charged wirelessly and no connections are required. Then even USB and Lightning cables themselves are outdated. It would be a very real move from Apple.

In the picture: the future. The sluggish low-fi connection, every two days, stupid, stupid future

The wireless headphone audio via Bluetooth improves with newer standards such as aptX and W1. And they're also getting cheaper: you can now find a range of Bluetooth buds or cans for less than $ 20. They will not be very good, but it's not like you're blowing a $ 20 headset into the air.

Wired headphones are simpler and do not require charging. Now that the phone manufacturers have decided that the headphone jack is next to diskettes and 8-lanes in the trash can of history, they are just as straightforward as Bluetooth headphones, without the freedom. If you do not need to bother charging an extra gadget on a regular basis, or you've already invested in high quality wired headphones, it's time to make the switch.

Phone manufacturers could make a huge, consumer-oriented shift their design over the next few years – but that's really not in their best interests. They are more likely to continue to use high-quality wireless audio. If we're lucky, opt for a more universal standard for direct audio via USB-C. In the meantime, buying a pair of USB-C headphones is a really bad time to go-make an adapter, or clench your teeth and switch to Bluetooth.


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