The slow death of the headphone jack means that USB-C audio is now a thing. It’s not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, but it is a (mostly) new thing. If you would rather not try and keep a set of wireless headphones charged, it’s also a thing that means you’ll need to buy new headphones. And that’s a little tough right now.
We’ve looked at what’s out there and picked the ones we like the best so you have somewhere to start. If you don’t see your favorite brand on this list, it’s probably because pickings are still a little slim.
Libratone Q Adapt
Libratone’s Q Adapt USB-C headphones are part of the “Made for Google” program announced with the release of the Pixel 2, and that means the inline remote is going to work with your Android phone — always a plus.
You’ll also enjoy Libratone’s “CityMix” noise cancelation and the unique “Hush” mode that stops the Active Noise Cancelation, then mutes any music when you receive a phone call. The Libratone Q Adapt headphones come with various tips to ensure a good fit and are available in black or white for $149.
Essential Earphones HD
Essential’s Earphones HD are a great basic pair of headphones for any USB-C device. They sound great, they come in an unassuming dark gray, and have a silicone coated cable to keep them from getting all fouled up should you forget to put them back in the case.
There are no inline controls, which is kind of a bummer, but the important thing is there — these headphones sound as good or better than any other pair in the same price range and will work with the USB-C port on your phone — they aren’t just made for Essential phones. You can pick up a pair for $99.
Want something a little more bold? Razer’s Hammerhead USB-C earbuds use 10mm drivers, have a 20Hx to 20kHz frequency response, and a 32ohm impedance to give you a little more kick. And they come in bright neon green.
These really do bring a little more volume to the very high and very low ends of your music, and they come with several tips for the right fit and inline music controls. They’re also surprisingly cheap at $75!
Xiaomi Mi ANC Earphones
Xiaomi isn’t well-known in the west, but their phones all have one thing in common — they all support Hi-Res audio through a great set of onboard components. Of course, the company also needs to make a great set of headphones!!
The Mi Noise Canceling USB Type-C Earphones are a great set. They’re certified for Hi-Res audio with 50 – 2000Hz active noise cancelation set to kill all ambient noise above 25dB. Xiaomi uses micro-electromechanical microphones (MEMS) in each earpiece to make sure all sounds are cut.
With titanium earpieces and a Kevlar cable, these should last a good while, too. They’re a steal at $70!