Why USB Type-C May or May Not Be the Best Thing for Smartphone Users

Most people who have bought smartphones recently would have noticed that the conventional 3.5 mm audio jack socket is missing and in its place, there is the new USB Type-C audio port. The movement that was first initiated by Apple met with a mixed response; many have willingly accepted the new technology while others have openly declared their discomfort. Since mobile manufacturing companies have accelerated the introduction of slimmer Type-C ports, it could be worthwhile to examine the pros and cons of this new standard.

Understanding the Difference between the 3.5 mm Socket and USB Type-C Port

In the 3.5 mm scenario, the analog signal is passed on directly to the audio device after being processed by the phone’s DAC and pre-amp. The analog signal so passed on to the earphone just needs to drive the diaphragm for the sound to be generated. The technology employed in a USB type c hub ensures that the audio signal is transmitted in a digital form. This means that traditional headphones cannot use the signals unless they have a digital to analog converter and a pre-amplifier to process them. If the user has a Type-C port on his phone, the only way he can hear music on his conventional earphones is by using an adapter that will bridge the different technologies and the physical formats. The inconvenience of carrying adapters has not gone down well with users.

Why Switch to Type-C Audio?

Significant improvement in the quality of music: By using a Type-C earphone equipped with a good quality DAC, users will have music that is of far better quality than before. This is especially true of budget phones that typically have a low output due to the absence of a pre-amplifier. When the earphone itself can handle the data conversion and signal amplification, the quality is invariably better.

Noise reduction: Complex circuitry inside the smartphone, all situated very close to each other, affects the quality of the music due to noise being picked up. With a Type-C port, the signal conversion is done away from the phone to the earphone so there is less noise in the music.

Type-C Audio Disadvantages

Quality of earphones will dictate music quality: Since the phone is no longer in the picture, it is the quality of the earphone that will decide how well the music sounds. A poor quality Type-C earphone will not give any better results than one that uses a 3.5 mm jack.

Clock jitter: The quality of the music may be compromised because of signal loss between the phone and the earphone.

Loss of flexibility: Not only do Type-C earphones cost more but also you will not be able to charge your phone while you are listening to music.


There is no doubt that lovers of quality music will welcome the introduction of Type-C ports in mobile phones even though there is some loss of flexibility. As far as costs of the new type of earphones are concerned, it is quite likely that with increasing volumes, the price escalation will be bearable.


Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.

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