Connectivity is another aspect where headphones vary. Most wired headphones still use the 3.5mm jack that has been around since the late 1800s. We have also seen the introduction of USB type-C wired headphones that leverage the newest USB standard. Headphones that use the 3.5mm jack require the device to convert the digital signal to an analog signal in order for the headphones to process it. USB type-C headphones can process a digital signal, which allows headphone manufacturers to place an amplifier into the headset instead of using the on-board amplifier in the phone, which may be subpar.
If your phone doesn’t have a USB type-C port, it will almost definitely have a 3.5mm jack on it somewhere. 3.5mm jack headphones have the advantage of being almost universally supported except in some of 2016’s smartphones like the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid and the Apple iPhone 7. While it’s possible to get better sound out of USB type-C headphones, it isn’t always the case. Headphone manufacturers have had over a hundred years of R&D to figure out how to squeeze ever ounce out of sound quality out of that jack.


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