As of recent, more and more people have been asking us at MajorHiFi about Type C headphones and where to buy them. That’s because these individuals have either a Pixel 2 or the Galaxy S8 or something else… The truth is, this type of audio connection is so new that the Type C market is very small. However, we don’t want to leave these folks high and dry. So we’ve compiled a list of the best – as in readily available, affordable, and actually working – headphones and earphones as well as adapters and where to find them.
The Truth About Type C Headphones, Earbuds and Where To Find Them
Also, I’d like to stress the importance of purchasing trusted brands rather than unknown retailers when it comes to Type C headphones. Just like that of Lightning headphones, it’s a gamble when purchasing a cheap alternative. Either they don’t fit into your phone’s port, work for a short period of time, or snap due to fragile build quality. So, for your sake, invest in the Type C earphones that’ll last.
Type C Earphones
JBL Reflect Aware C Earphones
JBL is a a well-trusted brand in the audio community. JBL Reflect Aware C is part of the company’s fitness line comprised of buds equipped with sweat-resistant enclosures, reflective cables, and sport fins to secure the buds in your ears. Reflect Aware C takes these buds to another level by plugging into Type C ports and allowing users to draw tiny bits of power from the phone to support active noise cancelling technology. There’s also the ability to allow some of your environment to filter in through the buds so you can be more “aware” of your environment, if need be. When it comes to sound, expect a treble-forward sound signature and punchy bass line. These buds initially retailed for $199. However, they can be found on the web at much lower prices if you can find them at all. There are a few floating around, just be diligent in your search. Also, be sure to check that you’re purchasing from an authorized retailer that provides you with a one-year manufacturer warranty. That goes for any headphone really.
Libratone Q-Adapt Earphones
This company has created one of the better-looking Type C earphones. The Q-Adapt is available in both Lightning and Type C form. The cable is comprised of a tangle-free fabric while the ear-bud housings maintain a luxe-looking pearly exterior. These buds were specially designed for use with Google devices (Pixel, Pixel 2, etc.) and thus have a button to call upon Google Assistant. Libratone Q-Adapt also provides active noise-cancellation in 4 different modes (City Mix) which adjust the ANC between max and absolute zero. P.S. ANC in general is quite moderate and not as strong as the ANC found in JBL. The sound quality is more impressive than you’d expect. Q-Adapt provides pretty clear, accurate, and balanced audio quality. These earbuds are available for $149 on Amazon.
Razer Hammerhead USB-C Earbuds
Known for their gaming headsets, Razer is surprisingly one of the few companies on the market with a pair of USB-C earbuds on the market. The pair is more affordable than the aforementioned, however the build quality isn’t as sturdy or comfortable as the previously mentioned. Depending on your ears, the metal ring around the earpiece may be uncomfortable for you. As for sound, the Hammerhead USB-C headphones provide a custom-tuned DAC for better audio. Overall, the sound is decent. However, the highs and treble border on bright so proceed with caution. Razer Hammerhead USB-C can be purchased for $76.09 on Amazon.
HTC USonic Adaptive Audio Earphones
If you are an HTC user (HTC devices or the Huawei Mate 10) then you can look towards grabbing these earbuds which feature a proprietary port. For that reason, I don’t have much more information on these buds, but other reviews report the USonic’s as “awesome bass” and “great sounds and noise canceling.” Though, others have suggested after a few months one ear stops working. If looking to buy these, make sure you get a manufacturer warranty just in case. These buds are $25 on Amazon.
Type C Headphones
AIAIAI TMA-2 MFG4 On-Ear Headphones
For individuals looking for an over-ear or on-ear alternative to the USB-C earphones on the market can look towards AIAIAI for a pair of Type C headphones. The DJ company known for headsets you can assemble all you own is selling a preset called TMA-2 MFG4 which features two Type C cables (C60 a long cable with a remote and C61 a shorter audio cable). The preset also includes E01 earcups with direct and open sound representation. The H01 headband is made of lightweight Polycarbonate and soft durable PU foam head padding. The S01 speaker units are engineered with a neodymium magnet and lightweight PET diaphragm which delivers a balanced sound suitable for all genres. This entire AIAIAI TMA-2 MFG4 unit is $180. If you already have an AIAIAI headphone, the cables are actually sold separately, with C60 Type C cable with a remote for $40 and C61 for $20.
Aedle VK-X Headphones
Another option is from a company that’s made its mark with successfully completed and fulfilled Indiegogo campaigns. Aedle VK-X headphones are built to provide high-resolution audio in both wired and wireless mode. The cans are built with a Type USB-C port, a 24 bit DAC for wired use, and LDAC, aptX HD, AAC codecs for wireless use. The brand throws in a cornucopia of wires: Type-C to 3.5mm cable, Type-C to Type-C cable, and a Type-C to Type-A cable. FYI, at this time the headphones are available for pre-order for $469.
Google Adapter USB-C 3.5mm Adapter
If you are going to trust any Type C to 3.5 mm adapter it should be the sturdiest and more reliable in the game. That dongle is from Google. It’s built to last, provides a secure fit, it works, and is a mere $9. Buy it here.
Shure USB-C Earphone Communication Cable
If you already have earphones and they happen to be MMCX based, then you’re in luck. Grab Shure’s new USB-C cable that can be used with any MMCX earphone. The cable itself is sturdy, features an integrated DAC/Headphone Amp for 24-bit/96 kHz digital audio, and a remote and mic for playback controls. The cable is 50 inches (127 cm) in length and includes a two-year manufacturer warranty. Grab yours for $99.99 from Audio46 and Amazon.
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