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Everything You Need to Know About USB Type-C Audio

Modern smartphone manufacturers are increasingly refusing to use a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Therefore, the only alternative for everyone who is not yet ready to switch to a Bluetooth headset is listening to music via USB Type-C . If you do not plan to use wireless headphones , then we will tell you everything you need to know about USB Type-C .


What is USB Type-C and who is it for?

For many owners of modern flagships, this is the only alternative that allows you to connect wired headphones to the device. Although the sound received through USB Type-C has its drawbacks, its quality is quite able to satisfy most consumers. In addition, some smartphone manufacturers, such as Google , supply their devices with USB Type-C headphones. Because of this, the lack of the usual 3.5 mm jack no longer seems to be a serious problem.

The sound quality that can be achieved using the USB Type-C connector can satisfy those who are not yet ready to give up the capabilities of wired headphones. Unlike Bluetooth headsets or True Wireless devices, you are not threatened with disconnects and loss of connection. In addition, when using USB Type-C headphones, you don’t have to think about codec compatibility and battery life issues.

Features of work

Similar to how the headphones work when connected via a 3.5 mm jack, a USB-to-Type-C also requires a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and amplifier. Considering that using a mini-jack, sound processing occurs directly on the phone, it is not always possible to transmit a signal evenly through USB-C. Difficulties arise due to the fact that the headset can be classified as passive and active.

With accessory mode support, listeners with active USB Type-C headphones may encounter compatibility issues.

In the passive state, the DAC and the smartphone amplifier are used to convert the audio signal from digital to analog headphones. In the active - its own DAC and amplifier.

The main advantage is that the longer the signal remains digital and bypasses the internal components of the smartphone to convert audio, the lower the chance of distortion. If you use active headphones, then everything becomes much more complicated. In this case, the phone should support Audio Accessory mode (not all models can boast of this). Therefore, most often difficulties and errors occur precisely because it is not always obvious which models use an active connection and which ones are passive.

What you need to know about USB Type-C

Although USB-C is a versatile and multi-functional connector, there are a number of features that should be considered when connecting headphones.

When it comes to audio transmission, the lack of universal integration of Audio Device Class 3 (USB ADC 3.0) complicates the normal operation of USB Type-C headphones. Smartphones that do not meet this specification rely on features such as noise reduction. But, if all manufacturers of mobile devices integrated USB ADC 3.0 by default, then this functionality would not have to be introduced separately.

There are two main sets of rules that guide audio when working through USB Type-C : Android operating system settings and smartphone specifications. This means that in the absence of support for USB Audio Class 3.0, you will not be able to use noise reduction and other features.

Due to the fact that not all manufacturers integrate USB Audio Class 3.0 into their smartphones, it is difficult to predict whether the device will support the necessary functionality. It is for this reason that some users still experience problems listening to music via USB Type-C .

The Future of USB Type-C Audio

And although at the moment USB Type-C headphones have been successful, in the future their popularity may decline. As noted at the latest Consumer Electronics Show (CES), only a few companies have invested in the production of USB Type-C headphones. It was difficult to deny this fact, given that at CES there were only a few stands with these products.

At the moment, the future of USB Type-C headphones is a big question. It is possible that most smartphone makers will soon return the traditional 3.5 mm jack. Moreover, in terms of quality, Bluetooth headsets still cannot match what wired headphones offer. Therefore, we hope that in the future serious changes await wireless technology. But, one thing is certain - manufacturers are not profitable to invest in USB Type-C audio.

Source: www.androidauthority.com

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