Many phones on the market have a single USB-C port as a one-size-fits-all connection for powering the device, sending files, and audio connectivity. This port technology has become more popular with manufacturers in recent years, and nearly all mobile devices come with a USB-C port. Some USB-C headphones are wired-only, while others offer the flexibility of being used wirelessly, too. While we haven't tested a lot of USB-C headphones yet, we plan on updating the article as we test more in the future.
We've tested over 515 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best USB-C headphones you can buy. Also, check out our recommendations for the best headphones, the best Bluetooth headphones, and the best true wireless earbuds.
The Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC are the best USB-C earbuds we've tested. These well-built in-ears have a USB-C port so you can plug them directly into your compatible phone or laptop. Thanks to their wired-only design, you don't have to worry about latency issues or running out of battery while using these headphones.
Overall, they have a somewhat dark and dull sound profile, but their balanced mid-range makes them ideal for listening to vocal-heavy content like audiobooks and podcasts. They don't leak a lot of noise, so you can crank up the volume on your favorite tunes without bothering the people around you. Their in-line microphone has a decent recording quality, too, so they're an acceptable choice for phone calls.
Unfortunately, they're lacking a lot of low-bass, so audio lacks the thump and punch from bass guitars and drums. Also, while they have an ANC feature, it struggles to block out bass-heavy sounds like bus and plane engines, so they may not be ideal to use during your commute. That said, if you like an in-ear design, these headphones are a solid choice for listening to audio over a USB-C connection.
The best USB-C headphones that we've tested are the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless. These comfortable, well-built over-ears come with a USB-C to USB-C cable for audio connectivity, and they can also be used wirelessly. Thanks to their active noise cancelling feature, they're impressive at blocking out background noises typically found on your commute and in a noisy office.
Overall, they have a bass-heavy default sound profile that adds an extra thump and punch to your favorite music. There's even a parametric EQ and presets available in the Sennheiser Smart Control app to help you customize their sound to your liking. Their integrated microphone has a decent recording quality, too, so they're a great choice for making phone calls. If you're using them wirelessly, their over 17-hour continuous battery life should be more than enough to get you through your work day.
Unfortunately, they leak a bit of noise when you listen to audio at high volumes, which may be annoying to those around you. Also, like most over-ears, they have a bulky design that isn't very portable. However, thanks to their decently versatile performance, they can please many different listeners.
The best USB-C headphones for wired gaming that we've tested are the JBL Quantum ONE. These comfortable, wired-only headphones have a low latency over their USB-C connection. They're also compatible with the QuantumSphere 360 virtual surround feature, which is advertised as providing a more immersive gaming experience.
Overall, they have a neutral, well-balanced sound profile that's suitable for lots of different audio content. Using the JBL Quantum Engine companion software, you can access a graphic EQ and presets that let you customize their sound to your liking. Their detachable boom microphone has an impressive recording quality, so your teammates can hear your voice clearly, even if you're gaming in a noisy environment.
Unfortunately, they don't have the most consistent audio delivery, so their sound may differ depending on their fit, seal, and positioning on your head. They also can't be used wirelessly, which may be disappointing for gamers looking for flexibility. However, if you're looking for gaming headphones with a USB-C connection, these are a solid choice.
The best USB-C earbuds in the budget category that we've tested are the Google Pixel USB-C Earbuds. These decently comfortable earbuds have a non-detachable USB-C audio cable that can be used with newer smartphones and PCs. They have a stable in-ear fit, too, so they shouldn't fall out of your ears if you wear them to the gym.
Overall, they have a somewhat boomy sound profile, so vocals and lead instruments may sound a bit cluttered and muddy. They don't leak a lot of noise, so you can blast your favorite music without bothering the people around you. Their in-line microphone has an impressive recording quality, too, so your voice sounds clear and natural. Thanks to their wired-only connection, they also have low latency, making them a solid choice for watching videos and movies.
Unfortunately, they're lacking a bit of low-bass, so they may not be the best choice for fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. They also don't have the best build quality, and their thin plastic materials don't feel the most sturdy. However, if you're on a budget, these cheap USB-C earbuds are a solid choice.
11/12/2020: Minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best USB-C headphones for most people in each price range. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you want to check out our reviews yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of USB-C headphones. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no headphones are perfect, most are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not too noticeable unless you look for them.