Many smartphone makers have stopped releasing their phones with 3.5mm audio jacks as wireless Bluetooth earbuds and USB-C ports gain popularity.
For users who prefer using wired earphones, USB-C devices look likely to be the way forward – particularly with reports stating that Apple will ditch Lightning ports for USB.
Fortunately, the USB-C headphone market is full of top-quality audio devices that are well worth considering.
Below are some of the best USB-C headphones available today.
JBL Reflect Aware C – R2,700 (converted US$)
- GTrusted – 4/5
JBL’s Reflect Aware C headphones offer all of the expected top-end features alongside JBL’s high-quality audio output.
JBL’s noise cancellation allows users to have a distraction free workout, and without a bulky battery box, Reflect Aware Cs won’t get in the way.
The noise control is also adaptive, meaning you can choose how much peripheral sound you’d like to block out.
The Reflect Aware C headphones are designed with sportspeople in mind, sporting a unique reflective design as well as “shark fin” ear clips to ensure that they don’t fall out.
Razer Hammerhead – R2,500
- Techradar – 4/5
Razer’s Hammerhead USB-C headphones look exactly as you’d expect, but these neon-green earphones offer more than their flashy aesthetic.
The Hammerhead headphones offer active noise cancellation and high-quality sound, and support 24-bit/96KHz audio – which is more than suitable for smartphone listening.
Razer’s Hammerhead earphones use two drivers – one for the bass frequencies, and another for the higher frequencies, ensuring a well-balanced audio range.
Prospective buyers should be aware that these headphones are not compatible with all smartphones.
HTC USonic – R1,200
- Amazon – 3.9/5
HTC’s USonic in-ear headphones are a great mid-range option for users not willing to fork out R2,000 or more.
These headphones prioritise high-quality sound – particularly strong base – at an affordable price.
The USonics can optimise the outputted audio in accordance with your ear structure and the ambient noise levels around you to ensure you are provided the optimal audio experience.
This same technology is also used to implement noise cancellation.
Xiaomi Mi Noise Cancelling Earphones – R900
- Amazon – 3.4/5
Xiaomi’s noise cancelling headphones offer fantastic value for money.
As the name indicates, these earphones offer active noise cancelling technology despite their low price.
Included as part of this active noise cancellation is a 3-button control which provides users with play, pause, and skip functionality; volume control; and the ability to accept or reject calls.
These earphones also feature a hybrid driver system – using a dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver to ensure balanced audio.
OnePlus Type-C Bullets – R800
- The Verge – 9/10
The OnePlus Type-C Bullets have received rave reviews due to their phenomenal cost-to-performance ratio.
The earphones cost only $20 on the OnePlus website, although South Africans will have to pay around R800 locally.
Nonetheless, even for the South African price, these earphones are still phenomenal audio devices.
The Bullets come with built-in internal DAC, high-res audio support, and great sound.
The bass on these headphones is particularly strong, according to reviews, and can be used in combination with the Bullets’ noise isolation ability.