The 8 Best USB-C Headphones
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in February of 2018. As smartphone manufacturers continue to ditch the 3.5-millimeter jack, a good pair of USB-C headphones is more useful than ever. Thankfully, there are a decent number available now that are compatible with a wide variety of devices, often because they have internal DACs capable of high-resolution audio processing. Here are some of the most reliable models that allow for a Type-C input. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 22, 2021:
Buying USB-C headphones was once pretty tricky, but the standard has evolved to the point where it's now easier to find compatible earbuds. Of course, the main reason for buying specifically USB-C headphones is for wired use with a smartphone. We strongly recommended the updated Google Earbuds because they're the most consistently effective pair across most phone manufacturers. With that in mind, the only change made to our rankings was the elevation of Google's offering to the top spot.
April 15, 2020:
A lot of music lovers are upset that smartphones often omit the headphone jack these days, but if you're among them, you're not without options. One route would be to get your hands on a good USB DAC, which, when paired with a good set of headphones, can turn any smartphone into a near-audiophile level listening setup.
But, if you don't want to deal with any additional dongles, adapters, or other equipment, you're not out of luck. In fact, thanks to compact and high-performing DACs, there are plenty of self-contained USB-C headphones that work well with most phones. The Back Bay EQ40 are some of the most convenient because they afford you the option of wired and wireless use and include Type-C as well as 3.5-millimeter cables, so they're easy to use with any device. The Samsung EO-IC100 and Google Earbuds are both high-quality OEM options that work with far more devices than the ones they're traditionally bundled with; the Google pair, in particular, are known for their versatility and reliability. But, you can totally get by with a lesser-known option like the Ecoker TPC703 or X-Kim HiFi, both of which are affordable and sound great.
We also dug deep to find some over-ear headphones that accept USB-C audio input; keeping in mind, of course, that many headphones with Type-C ports only use them for charging, we double-checked all of our circumaural selections to ensure that they work with smartphones. The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 and Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are both high-end models that sound great no matter what source you're using, and in fact they're two of the few premium models that allow for USB-C input. The Creative SXFI Air are considerably less expensive, and although they aren't exactly ideal for high-resolution sources, they are good for gaming use in wired mode and they don't get quite as warm as other over-ear models.