The USB-C cable and port format have been gradually gaining prominence and prevalence across a variety of types of devices, taking on tasks like charging, transferring data, carrying video signals, and more. Many USB-C equipped phones and tablets have also decided to forgo entirely the classic 3.5mm headphone jack, instead offering Bluetooth and USB-C as options for audio playback from these devices.
If you’ve got a newer phone or tablet that doesn’t feature a 3.5mm headphone port, and you want to connect wired headphones to it, there are a couple of different options available. You could get a dongle to convert old 3.5mm headphones to USB-C, but who needs more dongles in their life? Perhaps the more straightforward solution is to get a set of USB-C headphones, which can plug directly into your phone or tablet without any need for an adaptor or dongle.
Not all headphones are created equal, and in the selection of wired USB-C headphones that are available, some stand above the rest. Read on for our roundup of the best USB-C headphones available today, at a variety of budgets.
We’ve collated a selection of USB-C headphones that offer different features and specifications, and at different price points, that will be great for listening to music or podcasts when on the go. We’ve also featured some headphones that include a mic for making calls and using as a headset, and some that are just for audio playback.
We’ve picked out competitively priced USB-C headphones from reputable manufacturers that offer a great audio experience, sturdy build quality, and good design. We’ve also focussed on models that offer inline controls, so you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket to adjust volume or skip tracks. These are headphones that will perform well and offer reliable audio playback when on the go.
Best USB-C Headphones
Microphone for making calls
In-ear cable loops for secure use
No color options
No noise isolation
Bass is a little lacking
These are the official Pixel USB-C earbuds from Google, they’re designed specifically for the Pixel line of phones, so they are an excellent choice for users of that model of phone, but they will also work with many other devices, including the Apple iPad Pro.
They feature a microphone, which can be used for making calls, or for use with Google Assistant.
They have a unique cable loop design, that lets you secure the earbud firmly in your ear with an adjustable loop of the cable, so you can configure it to suit your exact size.
They have great build quality and offer great sound and a pleasant design. It’s a great value set of earbuds.
Brilliant noise canceling
A lot for headphones that won’t work on all devices
Aesthetic might not suit all tastes
These are the most expensive headphones in this lineup, but also the only to feature active noise canceling. The noise-canceling functionality can be set to four levels, allowing you to adjust the level of cancellation to your preference.
It offers an excellent microphone, for the greatest level of audio clarity when making calls or recording voice messages. The microphone can be used with Google Assistant for hands-free controls, or you can use the inline volume and track skipping buttons. The cable is wrapped in premium threading for great durability and a luxury feel.
These are sweatproof, so would be a good choice of headphones if you want to use them when running, but they’re not fully waterproof, so avoid using them during heavy rain.
If you’re looking for the best quality sound output and mic quality, and want noise-canceling to minimize disturbing background noises, these are a great top-end choice for USB-C earbuds.
Excellent sound quality
Does not feature a mic for making calls
Limited confirmed compatibility
These are a fairly standard set of earbuds, and although they are well made, they are probably the most basic option from this lineup. They have a nice threaded cable, produce decent audio, but there is no built-in microphone for using on calls or with voice assistants. This also means you’re limited to either controlling playback directly on the device or using the four-button inline controls. It may not be ideal for everyone, but if you don’t need or want headphones with a microphone, then this set makes a good budget pick.
The sound playback was tuned by AKG, and it’s an excellent quality setup for the price, with good bass and clarity even at larger volumes.
These are compact, well made, and reasonably priced headphones for listening to music or podcasts.
As stated by Samsung, these headphones have compatibility with “Samsung Galaxy Fold and all Samsung mobile devices which do not have a 3.5mm jack”.
Excellent microphone for making calls
Great sound quality
A little on the pricey side
Not a trendy brand
Belkin is a name typically more associated with routers and other networking devices or charging peripherals and cases, but their USB-C headphones are a rock-solid option, with solid build quality and excellent audio for the price.
It’s got a very high-quality microphone, for reliable clarity during calls. You can also use this mic with Google Assistant.
The flat cable design makes it easier to keep tangle free when putting the headphones in your pocket, or packing them into a bag. These earbuds are sweatproof, so would be a great choice for use in the gym or when running.
You can get these headphones in either white or black to match your device, but there are no other color options.
Things To Consider
You may also want to think about instead of USB-C headphones, opting for wireless Bluetooth headphones. These have broad compatibility across many different devices and give you the freedom and convenience of no wires getting in the way. We’ve got you covered for the best Bluetooth headphones available in this guide.
Which devices will these headphones be compatible with?
Each set of headphones includes a list of confirmed compatible devices on their product listing. If the device you are intending to use these headphones with is not listed, it would be best to confirm with your manufacturer. Broadly speaking, devices that have a 3.5mm port and a USB-C port will be less likely to offer audio over USB-C, but that’s not true in all cases.
Do I need noise-canceling headphones?
If you’re happy to pay the extra to get noise-canceling headphones, it’s a great feature that will help to reduce the impact of external noise disturbances. If you’re looking for headphones to use during a busy commute or planning to use them in other scenarios with a lot of background noise, it’s worth considering.
The Google Pixel USB-C earbuds are our top pick because they offer a well-rounded feature set, great design, and good value. If you want a set of USB-C earbuds that offer good audio quality, a mic for using on calls and with Google Assistant, and want good build quality, these headphones have got everything covered. There’s no noise cancelation, but you typically wouldn’t expect that at this price range, but beyond that omission, these are very capable headphones for the price.