Should You Buy USB-C Headphones for the Pixel 2?

The Pixel 2 , like its competitors, ditched the headphone jack, opting to add a single USB-C port at the bottom. While it makes waterproofing your device much easier, it limits the types of accessories you can connect to your smartphone. Specifically, every pair of headphones you’ve ever owned, as well as anything else that depends on a 3.5mm auxiliary cable. You can of course spend some money on Google’s own Pixel Buds , designed with their smartphones in mind. Or you can buy USB-C headphones. Here’s what you should consider before you get your hands on a wallet: Most USB-C headphones are expensive. Those that are not expensive? Well, they’re just not that good.

Good USB-C headphones will cost you dearly

If you’re in the mood for buying wired USB-C headphones, getting quality headphones isn’t as easy as buying a pair from an airport vending machine. A quick Amazon search for “USB-C headphones” yields a ton of devices ranging from $ 20 to $ 50 from over a few suspicious brands (I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of “Sunwe” in my life). To make matters worse, most are poorly equipped and lack basic features like a built-in microphone. They also haven’t received the proper reviews, which further reinforces my skepticism about their sound quality.

If you want something a little more familiar, you can turn to companies like Libratone, but you’ll pay $ 149 for the privilege of having a compatible pair of headphones from a more reliable brand. AIAIAI has a set of modular headphones that are compatible with their own USB-C cable, but at over $ 200, you’d better be damn sure you want to hear Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” through the entire 1.2 meters of wire.

How to postpone your purchase of USB-C headphones

Bluetooth adapter

You can relieve the stress of finding good USB-C headphones by connecting your headphones to a Bluetooth adapter. Companies like Griffin and Noble make attachable Bluetooth adapters so you can keep using your traditional 3.5mm headphones by pairing them with the Pixel 2 (or whatever smartphone you have) while remaining mostly wireless. Simply connect the 3.5mm headphone cord to the snap-on adapter, then pair the adapter with your smartphone in the same way as connecting wireless headphones. You can put it in your pocket, clip it to your belt and still stay connected via Bluetooth.

USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

If you are still using headphones and don’t mind connecting directly to a device, you can always use a headphone adapter. Google sells a $ 9 USB-C to 3.5mm adapter that connects your corded cans to a fancy new smartphone. The dongle is a bit bulky (and larger than Apple’s own 3.5mm Lightning adapter for iOS devices), but at least you can use your old cans. Of course, when you need to charge your phone, you have to remove that adapter and use a USB-C cable (or buy an even bulkier headphone / charger adapter ).

Some good bluetooth headphones

Of course, you may have some doubts about using Bluetooth headphones. You have to pair them, charge them and deal with random interference when you are near traffic lights or electronic pedestrian crossing signs. But they’re cheaper than ever, and some of them boast pretty good sound quality for that price. One of our favorites in the office, the $ 59 Jabra Move Wireless is inexpensive, boasts pretty good sound quality and is more convenient than the available wired USB-C options.


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