Saturday January 12, 2019

USB-C Audio Is "Dead"

Smartphone manufacturers were confident that USB-C would supplant the 3.5mm headphone jack for users who demanded a wired listening experience, but CES activity has suggested otherwise: USB-C headphones were practically nowhere to be found at the show. Android Authority believes they failed to catch on due to their complexity, which has led to myriad compatibility issues. Audiophiles say they might as well bring the headphone jack back.

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Since USB Type-C headphones are on life support, the headphone jack seems more of a necessity than ever. But if it doesn’t return: we’re left without a feasible option for physical mobile audio ports. While Bluetooth is a decent feature, it’s not going to satisfy everyone, and the wireless standard has its issues as well. Ultimately, the USB Type-C headphones endeavor was a half-baked mess of competing standards that led to missed opportunity after missed opportunity.

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