Skip to main content

Don't buy a USB-C adapter that lets you use headphones and charge at the same time

When the Pixel 2 was first introduced there was an uproar about removing the headphone jack. Much of it was centered around a very real dilemma — you can't listen to music through wired headphones and charge your phone at the same time.

Those fears were slightly abated when we saw an adapter from Moshi in the Google Store that had both cords and would let you charge and listen, but it never appeared for sale at Google. It did end up for sale at Amazon or other outlets, and it was (is still) socked with a slew of one-star reviews that say it didn't work. That's because, for almost everyone, it doesn't work and never will.

Unless you have a Moto Z series phone, none of the cheap adapters you see for sale offer a headphone jack and charging port. None of them. They all may not work with every Moto Z model, either. My advice is to just stay away from them.

This is because of parts of the USB-C specification that are optional. Motorola offers these options, but phones like the Pixel 2 and almost all others do not. It may be possible to define some fancy logic that allows this to happen, but you won't get it for $12 on eBay or Amazon.

Buyer beware!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

22 Comments
  • Um, I got mine directly from them and it works fine on my Pixel 2 XL....
  • Which one? because I have yet to find a company who makes an active adapter with a 500mA charging port accessory wire. The ones from Moshi don't. If you could hit me with a link I'd appreciate it!
  • Moto Z Play still has the original headphone adapter on it. The OG Moto Z Play has a great battery too. Highly recommend picking one up on Swappa.
  • I don't get it. I had the Galaxy s3 that could charge and play music thru the jack when using an iBolt car dock. The dock used the micro USB port to run audio and power, without using the headphone jack. Why, in 2018, have we not perfected this?
  • So instead of telling us how to find the right ones...you are telling us not to use them at all?
  • When I find one I totally will. :)
  • Even though the current phone has a headphone jack, loving these articles, as future phones might remove them.
    I listen to music through wired earphones as they are cheaper and sound great, so these articles are helpful.
  • Thanks, Jerry.
  • Can't remember when I last used that little hole in my phone. Bluetooth in my car. Bluetooth in my work vehicle. Bluetooth Earbuds for the on-the-go moments. You were saying, Jerry?
  • This is for people who can't tolerate Bluetooth's subpar, low res sound quality. Your input serves no purpose.
  • Bowers and Wilkins PX. Then you have great hi res sound and can charge at the same time.
  • I can tolerate bluetooth just fine, but I'd rather have one less thing I need to charge (like headphones).
  • I'm with you. I have bluetooth everything. Haven't used the headphone jack in years.
  • I have an Axon 7 and the difference between using Bluetooth and aux is night and day. Sure there is no messy wires involved but it sounds worse and I have to go up 10 levels just to get the same loudness as an aux.
  • I was saying that I'd not bother listening to music through my Pixel 2 in the first place because it sounds like mud. :P
  • This is the one thing about my Pixel 2XL that I hate. I know they will never bring back the headphone jack, but it drives me nuts! I have a one-sided wired headphone that I use constantly, and having to use the dongle and not be able to charge is a pain! There are no equivalent BT headsets and even if there were, battery life could never be enough (I listen for 10+ hours sometimes).
  • So much for universality...
  • Its bulky but this device is a workaround:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077X991V7/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s...
    Pretty much only useful for car use. USB C to 1/8 inch audio cable adapter in one side and USB cable to power it in the other (with an adapter to go to USB A).
    Works with my Pixel 2.
  • The solution is 2 USB-C ports. One on top and one on the bottom. Waiting for this and two finger print sensors, one the back and one in the display. All problems solved.
  • Jerry... If you had missed an earier apology elsewhere... Please accept mine good sir. I went too negative against something you wrote. I appreciate your effort, and I'm mindful nothing is wrong with shiny new tech bias any of us have... Its ok if we value aspects of Android differently. Ok... I had a point... I'm willing to concede wireless headphones won't be the end of civilization... But the charging is still annoying. NPR folks wondered... So, should you pay double for a lossless 'HiFi' Tidal digital music service option? Take the test! Tip #1: Easier to tell at higher volumes.
    Tip #2: Take your time. Replay the 3 options. The smart folks at NPR created an audio test using three audio clips from six songs recorded in lossless Flac 1411 kbps, MP3 128 kbps, and MP3 320 kbps on six songs. https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2015/06/02/411473508/how-well-can...
  • Seems like you can find one on amazon. Ok my rep too low to post urls so just fix the "dots" in the url: wwwdotamazondotcom/Adapter-Anskp-Headphone-Google-Support/dp/B07DWXG3NP
  • Only one review so far. I will order and see if this is legit. The seller promises that it works with a Pixel 2. I won't get my hopes too high.