Mobile devices are ditching headphone jacks at a brisk clip, so if your new Android smartphone or Apple iPad Pro ships without that precious port, you may have to purchase a wireless headset to listen in on podcasts, music, or video. Or maybe not. You can still use your device’s USB–C port with your favorite headphones — if you get your hands on a USB-C headphone adapter. Just plug it into the charging port, and then plug your headphones into the 3.5mm audio jack on the other side of the adapter. It’s that easy, and we hunted down some of the best USB-C headphone adapters out there to help you do exactly that.
Xumee 2-in-1 USB-C to Aux Audio Jack
- Premium DAC chip
- Supports up to 60W PD charging
- Compatible with major mobile and wireless protocols
- No support for quick charging on some devices
- Intermittent static and clicking noises
With the Xumee, you get the works in one handy package: A two-in-one USB-C to headphone headset earphone adapter featuring a premium DAC chip for the ultimate music listening and phone yakking pleasure. The splitter audio and charging adapter supports up to 60W PD charging as you listen, though the company recommends a wall charger for the fastest speeds and warns the device may not support QC charging on some devices. The 3.5mm port is compatible with all major mobile and wireless protocols.
CableCreation USB-C Adapter
- Can charge your device while listening or on a call
- Supports maximum 60W input
- Compact size
- Can’t make phone calls on certain devices
- Doesn’t fit with some cases
One of the main annoyances of some USB-C headphone adapters is that you can’t charge your phone while you’re listening to music — and there’s nothing worse than running out of juice in the middle of your favorite track. With this adapter from CableCreation, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack on one end and a USB-C port on the other, so you can charge your device while you’re listening or on a call. This adapter supports a maximum 60W input and works with a wide range of devices. Its compact size makes it easy to slip into your pocket or bag for traveling, too. It’s worth noting that you can’t make phone calls using this device with a few phones, so make sure to check the product description.
Anker 6-in-1 USB-C Hub
- Versatile 6-in-1 hub
- Includes USB-C port, USB-A port, SD/MicroSD card reader, and HDMI port
- Supports maximum input of 60W for high speed charging
- Doesn’t fit with some iPad Pro models
- Doesn’t fit with some cases
This adapter is actually a USB hub — great for the iPad Pro. With this 6-in-1 hub, you not only get a 3.5mm headphone jack, but you also get a USB-C port and USB-A port, an SD/MicroSD card reader, and an HDMI port that lets you connect your iPad to a TV or display and stream in up to 4K at 60Hz resolution. If you use your iPad as a laptop replacement or for watching TV shows and movies, this is a must-buy. It supports a maximum input of 60W, so you can charge your iPad Pro at full speed while using any of the other hub ports.
Belkin Rockstar Adapter
- Compatible with Quick Charge 2.0 and USB-PD
- Digital-to-analog audio converter delivers high-resolution sound
- Can take calls while charging
- May react poorly to some Apple software updates
The Belkin USB-C audio adapter, specifically built for USB-C devices that lack 3.5mm audio ports, lets you listen to music and other audio while charging your device through a single USB-C port. This adapter features USB-C charging and a 3.5mm auxiliary port for music, videos, phone calls, and more. The USB-C port is compatible with both Quick Charge 2.0 and USB-PD, delivering swift and safe power when connected to compatible chargers. The unit’s digital-to-analog audio converter delivers high-resolution, static-free, feedback-free sound wherever you go.
Apple USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter
- Simple no-fuss listening
- Excellent sound quality on Apple devices
- Compact and portable
- Some volume issues with Android phones
Apple comes to the rescue with its own USB-C to 3.5mm adapter so you can listen to your favorite programming, movies, and music on the new USB-C iPad models — the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th Generation) and the iPad Pro 11-inch (third generation). The USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter lets you connect accessories that use a standard 3.5mm audio plug — like headphones or speakers — to your USB-C devices. It’s a simple unit that does the trick.
USB-C DAC Headphone Adapter
- DAC high-resolution chip
- Multi-mode dynamic power control
- Automatic recognition of headphones via the OMTP/CTIA standard
- Some durability issues reported
This premium quality DAC adapter lets you enjoy high fidelity audio on your smartphone with a built-in DAC high-resolution chip that plays back with ultra-low power dissipation and multi-mode dynamic power control. The adapter facilitates high-resolution audio output and noise reduction up to 32 bits/384 kHz lossless to enhance the original sound quality of your mobile phone. It can drive stereo earbuds up to 35mW/32Ohm to accommodate a wide range of tones. The slim design lets you connect to headphones and smartphones anytime and ensures automatic recognition of the headphones via the OMTP/CTIA standard. The USB C DAC Headphone Adapter supports most Android 5.1 or above devices with standard USB-C, such as the iPad Pro 2018, Google Pixel Moto Z, OnePlus 8 Pro, Huawei Mate range, Samsung Galaxy S20 range, and others.
Jsaux USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter
- Wide range of device compatibility
- Lets you listen to music and answer phone calls
- Compatible with up to 24bit/96Khz for high-fidelity sound
- Some compatibility issues reported with Samsung Galaxy S20
Jsaux’s adapter is compatible with most USB-C phones, thanks to its Type C to 3.5mm adapter. The compact, brightly colored adapter supports wire control and lets you listen to music and answer phone calls with your headphones. It’s compatible with up to 24bit/96Khz, giving you a rich, high-fidelity sound.
Google USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
- Simple and compact for easy traveling
- Easy plug and play experience
- Lets you listen and answer phone calls simultaneously
- No extra ports for charging or MicroSD card slots
The Google USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter is a simple, compact, adapter that lets you continue to use your favorite 3.5mm headphones the same way you did with the headphone jack. The small, lightweight device fits easily in a purse or backpack, so you can take it wherever you go. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles that other adapters come with, like extra ports for charging, or MicroSD card slots, but it’s a solid, dependable adapter that can be slipped into a pocket, purse, or anywhere small. This is going to work if all you need is a way to use your 3.5mm-equipped headphones with your new phone, but if you need something with more support, then look elsewhere.
ESR 2-in-1 USB-C Headphone Jack Adapter
- Supports fast-charging and listening simultaneously
- Supports Power Delivery and QC fast charging up to 30W
- High resolution DAC chip
- Connections must be in a certain order to work properly
The ESR 2-in-1 splits your USB-C port into a PD-compatible USB-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can fast-charge your device and listen to music or watch videos at the same time. It supports the Power Delivery protocol specification 2.0 and QC 2.0 fast charging, up to 30W. Two chipsets ensure stable, high-fidelity audio transmission that is compatible with most USB-C and 3.5mm devices. When you’re using the ESR 2-in-1, you have to connect everything in a certain order so that it all works correctly. First, hook up your headphones and charger to the adapter, and then connect the adapter to your device.
Ailun USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Adapter
- DAC high-resolution chipset
- Anti-interference feature blocks noise
- Compatible with a wide variety of smartphones
- No phone calls with Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/N8
If you’re looking for the best sound quality, you’ll have to try the Ailun adapter. Its digital audio converter (DAC) high-resolution chipset offers a sampling rate of up to 192KHz/24bit to convert digital audio signals to analog and maintain your headphones’ original sound quality. In addition to delivering original sound quality, it uses an anti-interference feature to block surrounding noise. It also works to clear up translational static that would interfere with the audio quality. The unit is compatible with a wide variety of smartphones. You can listen to music and make calls with this adapter from most USB smartphones, although certain brands do not allow phone calls, so make sure to check the product description.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your phone, tablet, or MacBook doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio jack that allows you to plug in headphones, you could invest in wireless earbuds or even buy a pair of USB-C headphones. However, it’s generally cheaper to buy a USB-C headphone adapter that allows you to listen to tunes, take calls, and more with your regular wired headphones.
The most important thing to consider is whether your phone or tablet has a USB-C port. You’ll only need a USB-C headphone adapter if your device doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack — and you’ll find many older devices still do. You’ll also want to consider how much you’re willing to spend. It’s true that adapters that are more reliable and offer better sound quality (DAC chips, noise cancellation, or let you charge your phone) will cost more, but if you’re only going to be using your adapter now and again, one of the cheaper options should get the job done.
Some USB-C headphone adapters can be used for calls and listening to music, while others don’t support calls. You’ll also find many adapters that also allow charging or fast charging while you listen. Some adapters have a lightning cable port, while others — like hubs — have multiple ports. Look for adapters with advanced digital audio converter (DAC) chips if you’re concerned about audio quality. These support high-resolution sound quality, so everything sounds the same as if you plugged your headphones directly into your device. Other features to look for include noise reduction to enhance sound quality, gold-plated connectors for a better connection, and braided cables, which are more durable than regular cables.