While manufacturers are making sure to cut off all cords as part of their increased focus on wireless headphones and earbuds, it doesn’t mean wired connections are no longer an option. Sure, Bluetooth headphones are great, only if you’d rather do without the latency and charging process, USB-C headphones are a great alternative to both. Just plug and play — and that’s it.
Plug and play with these USB-C headphones
Why you can trust Android Central
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
PALOVUE SoundFlow USB Type C Headphones
Simple as it gets
These earbuds already stand out with the all-white finish, but they also have a booming sound that may come as a big surprise for earbuds coming in at this price. Plus, you get different ear tip sizes for the perfect fit to help you feel comfortable while listening to tunes.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
When sound really matters
While the Momentum 4 Wireless are Bluetooth first, they work just like a pair of USB-C wired headphones. Even better, you can charge them while you’re listening to music. A premium design and solid sound with active noise cancelation (ANC) mean you get a great package.
Samsung AKG USB Type-C Earphones
Samsung all over
Samsung won’t throw them in a box with a phone or tablet anymore, but these AKG-tuned earbuds are more than capable of delivering good sound for what you’re paying. There are no extra bells and whistles here — they just sound better than you’d expect.
Cooya USB Type C Earphones
They just work
These USB-C earbuds from Cooya won’t take much out of your pocket, and they keep things simple by just focusing on the basics. You get an in-line microphone and media controls, along with a few ear tip sizes in the box to find the best fit.
Virtual surround sound
Creative’s Super X-Fi (SXFI) technology is built into these impressive USB-C earbuds, putting 7.1-style surround sound between your ears while watching movies, listening to music, or playing games. They sound great even without that, and the SXFI app includes an EQ to customize the audio profile.
Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds
Just Google it
Google stopped including earbuds back with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, but the Pixel USB-C Earbuds are still readily available and sound great. They’ll fit right with the adjustable loop, and activating Google Assistant is only a button press away. The price is right, too.
TriLink USB Type C Earbud Headphones
TriLink put some thought into making these earphones, focusing on great sound through their certification for Hi-Res audio. It doesn’t hurt that they also use a flat cable to avoid tangling, and if you can get them to fit right, they’ll offer great passive noise isolation.
The Focal Bathys are expensive, but you get plenty for what you pay for, especially if you fancy yourself an audiophile. They may be wireless headphones, at least until you plug in via the USB-C port and use the onboard DAC (digital-to-analog converter) to listen to hi-res tracks without losing quality.
Creative SXFI Gamer USB-C Gaming Headset
There’s a combination at work here that puts together Creative’s SXFI tech for virtual surround sound, excellent audio performance, and an effective mic, which all creates a great set of gaming headphones. Use them on a console, computer, or try them out on a phone or tablet.
If you have to get something wired, opt for of USB-C
USB-C audio isn’t as prevalent in 2023 as you might think, despite the headphone jack having already become nearly impossible to find on mobile devices. A few options stick to the 3.5mm jack, but wireless headphones and wireless earbuds are the norm. This is usually fine, except Bluetooth can introduce latency, which may be fine if your phone can fill the gap on YouTube videos and streaming music, but not for gaming or live TV. That’s where you can’t compensate for latency unless you plug in.
So, the selection may be somewhat limited, but you can find a great set of headphones using the new connector.
The Palovue SoundFlow headphones are at the top of the list because they offer a sound that totally belies their budget price, making them easy to recommend. However, if your budget allows for spending more on over-ear headphones, give the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless or Focal Bathys a shot for their excellent sound, ANC, and premium design.