Best USB-C Headphones for Google Pixel 3 Android Central 2019

Google bundles a pair of USB-C earbuds in the box with every Pixel 3 and 3 XL purchase, and the sound quality on offer is pretty decent, all things considered. However, if you're looking for something with a bit more oomph, the Libratone Q Adapt would be our recommendation.

Best overall — Libratone Q Adapt

Libratone's Q Adapt is designed specifically for Google devices, with the earbuds offering a neutral sound signature and durable design. You get a four button in-line remote that lets you adjust the level of noise isolation, invoke Google Assistant, take calls, control music playback, and adjust volume.

There are four levels of noise isolation, with the lowest setting allowing most outside noises to filter in, with the highest filtering out all background noise. The braided cable ensures the earbuds don't get damaged during everyday use, and the IPX4 rating makes them ideal for working out.

Pros:

  • Terrific sound
  • Adjustable noise isolation
  • Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Doesn't work on all phones
  • App could use some work

Simply the best

Libratone Q Adapt

The best-sounding USB-C earbuds for the Pixel 3.

Libratone's Q Adapt are one of the best options right now for USB-C earbuds. They're rated IPX4 for water-resistance (so they're good for workouts), and come with a dedicated button for Google Assistant. You also get a variety of eartips and the ability to select the level of noise isolation.

A great alternative — Essential HD earphones

Essential was one of the first to roll out USB-C earbuds, and after a year they're still going strong. The earbuds feature large 9.2mm drivers that deliver decent sound quality, and the premium design combined with the tangle-free cable and bundled carrying case make them an attractive option.

The single button on the in-line remote can be used to invoke Assistant with a long press, or control music playback and take calls with a short press. That said, there's no option to adjust volume. For $62, you could do a lot worse in this space, and the fact that Essential's earbuds work with all USB-C phones give them an added advantage.

Pros:

  • Wide compatibility
  • Premium design
  • Decent sound quality

Cons:

  • In-line remote has one button
  • Pricey
  • More affordable alternatives available

Runner-up

Essential HD earphones

Premium design on a budget.

The Essential HD earphones combine great sound quality with a tangle-free design that makes them easy to carry. The single-button in-line remote can be used to receive phone calls or invoke Google Assistant, and they're certified for hi-res audio.

Blissful isolation — Xiaomi Mi ANC Earphones

Like the rest of Xiaomi's portfolio, the Mi USB-C earbuds deliver excellent value for money. They have a durable build quality and deliver a neutral sound signature, but what makes them truly stand out is the noise isolation. They're one of the best earbuds in this space for noise cancelling, and they work just as well as products that cost three times as much.

The three button in-line remote lets you take calls, control music playback, adjust volume, and invoke Assistant. The durable design ensures the earbuds last for years on end, and the quality of materials used is top-notch. Overall, you're getting great value for what you pay.

Pros:

  • Excellent noise isolation
  • Robust build quality
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Underwhelming bass
  • Availability issues
  • Third-party tips don't work

Tune everything out

Xiaomi Mi ANC Earphones

Excellent sound isolation and Hi-Res audio.

Xiaomi's USB-C earbuds continue to be a great option in this space. Like the Essential HD, Xiaomi's earbuds are also certified for hi-res audio, and they also feature a titanium-plated metal chamber. The cable is more durable, however, and you get much better noise isolation.

Made by Google — Google Pixel USB-C earbuds

Google's own Pixel USB-C earbuds are simply designed but that doesn't take away from their excellent sound quality or ease of use. The company designed them to be used with Pixel phones (though they work perfectly with any phone with a USB-C port) so you'll have quick access to Google Assistant through the three-button remote.

While the Pixel earbuds lack noise isolation, Google's innovative design makes them easy to adjust for any ear shape and size.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Comfortable fit
  • Good sound quality

Cons:

  • Only come in white
  • Lack noise isolation
  • Low on bass

Straight from the source

Google Pixel USB-C earbuds

A great budget pick for Pixel owners.

Google's own Pixel USB-C earbuds are a no-frills affair, but for $30 they're an excellent addition to the headphone canon. Designed similarly to Google's wireless Pixel Buds, the USB-C earbuds provide quick access to Google Assistant while offering a robust, tangle-resistant cord.

Best on a budget — Ecoker Stereo Earbuds

Another great affordable option in this space comes from Ecoker. The earbuds form a tight seal around your ear, isolating all background noise. And unlike some USB-C earbuds on this list, Ecoker's option works with all phones that have a USB-C port.

Available in four different colors, these earbuds take standard resolution 16-bit audio and convert it into a lossless 24-bit type, which ensures your music and podcasts sound great. The 8.6mm drivers are encased in an aluminum housing and deliver crystal-clear sound. Overall, these are some of the best-sounding USB-C earbuds you'll find on a budget.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Fantastic sound
  • Wide compatibility

Cons:

  • Long-term durability
  • Boring design
  • Mushy buttons

More for less

Ecoker Stereo Earbuds

Big on sound, light on the wallet.

These USB-C earbuds upscale your music, which means your music, podcasts, and more should sound great. You'll also find noise cancelation, easy-to-use in-line controls for managing your music playback, and a 12-month warranty to protect your purchase.

Premium pick — Pioneer Rayz Pro Smart Headphones

Pioneer's Rayz has been designed for iPhones, but the Rayz Pro comes with a Lightning to USB-C connector that lets you use the earbuds with your Pixel 3. You would want to go through the hassle because of the sheer number of features on offer: the earbuds have an auto pause feature where the music playback automatically pauses once you remove an earbud.

You get a dedicated button to invoke Assistant, the build quality is top-notch, and they deliver noise isolation that's unrivaled in this segment. The companion app lets you adjust the sound signature as well as a host of other smart features, like the ability to automatically mute calls when you're not speaking.

Pros:

  • Universal compatibility
  • Excellent sound
  • Auto pause feature

Cons:

  • Costly for what you get
  • Sub-par call quality
  • Plastic feel

Premium option

Pioneer Rayz Pro Smart Headphones

Durable design with exquisite sound.

If you're looking for something a bit more high-end, search no further than the Pioneer Rayz Pro Smart Headphones. For $150, Pioneer delivers adaptive noise cancelation, top-notch build quality, an AutoPause feature that stops the music when you remove the earbuds, and more.

Great over-the-ear option — AIAIAI TMA-2 MFG4

AIAIAI's TMA-2 MFG4 is without doubt the best-sounding USB-C product in the market today. The over-the-ear headphones deliver fantastic sound, and the memory foam pads offer supreme comfort.

The out-of-the-box experience is pretty great, but what makes these even more unique is the ability to customize them down the road thanks to the modular design. They're available in a variety of different configurations, and you can switch out just about every part of the headphones.

Pros:

  • Comfortable fit
  • Best sound quality
  • Modular design

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Expensive
  • Fit issues

All-day comfort

AIAIAI TMA-2 MFG4

Supreme comfort backed by outstanding sound quality.

For those that prefer over-the-ear headphones instead of earbuds, look no further than the AIAIAI TMA-2. These headphones sound absolutely fantastic and kick out rich bass with clear, powerful vocals, and crisp highs, and they can also be customized thanks to the modular design.

Minimalist design — AIAIAI Pipe 2.0

Made from lightweight and "highly resilient" materials, these earbuds from AIAIAI bring the best of Scandinavian design to a product category that has existed for decades. The sound quality is exquisite considering what they cost, and you also get seven sets of silicone buds in various sizes and colors.

AIAIAI has made a name for itself with its unique designs, and that's immediately evident with the Pipe 2.0. The single button remote doesn't let you adjust volume, and you can only buy the earbuds direct from AIAIAI, but the tradeoff is well worth it when you factor in the distinctive design.

Pros:

  • Minimal design
  • Outstanding sound
  • Made for Pixels

Cons:

  • Single button remote
  • Fit issues
  • Availability

Stand out

AIAIAI Pipe 2.0

USB-C earbuds that look as good as they sound.

Want a pair of well-built, reliable earbuds that use USB-C and sound great? The AIAIAI Pipe 2.0 fit the bill beautifully. The rich Scandinavian design looks fantastic and combines the best bits of a lightweight body with a sturdy build that should last for many years to come.

Retro design — AIAIAI Tracks 2.0

If you want a pair of USB-C on-ear headphones that look like they were designed for the Walkman era, look no further than Tracks 2.0. The 40mm drivers deliver fantastic sound, and the understated design is contrasted very well with bright colors where the earcup meets the frame.

You also get a three-button remote for controlling music playback, adjusting volume, invoking Assistant, and taking calls. They've been designed for the Pixels, and at $60 they offer great value.

Pros:

  • Made for Pixels
  • Great design
  • Powerful sound

Cons:

  • Fragile construction
  • Availability
  • Design not for everyone

Old-school

AIAIAI Tracks 2.0

Powerful sound backed by a no-nonsense design.

The Tracks 2.0 feature a very distinct, old-school design that we cannot get enough of. Along with the good looks, the Tracks 2.0 are also built incredibly well, have 40mm speakers to kick out powerful sound, and have a 3-button controller with a microphone.

Bottom Line

Out of all the headphones on this list, one of our favorites is the Libratone Q Adapt. The $120 price tag isn't cheap, but you get a lot for your money between the great sound, an IPX4 rating, and Google Assistant button.

The Ecoker Stereo Earbuds are another good choice for folks that don't want to spend a ton of cash, and if you want an over-the-ear design, it's hard to do better than the AIAIAI TMA-2 MFG4.

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