Best USB-C Headphones for Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 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.

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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.

Overall, the Libratone Q Adapt earbuds are the best ones out there. Sound quality is excellent and the in-ear fit is really comfy.

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.

If you want USB-C earphones on a budget, the Essential HD are a great pick. The design is ultra-premium and sound quality is decent.

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 USB-C earbuds are a really solid option. They're very affordable, are comfortable to wear, and sound pretty good.

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.

Another great budget option are the Ecoker Stereo Earbuds. The value here is fantastic, and the sound quality is shockingly good..

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.

As far as high-end earbuds go, this option from Pioneer is fantastic — offering booming sound a helpful auto pause feature.

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

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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.

Prefer over-the-ear headphones? These ones from AIAIAI are extremely comfortable, have a unique modular design, and top-notch sound.

Minimalist design — AIAIAI Pipe 2.0

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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.

When it comes to looks, nothing comes closer to the AIAIAI Pipe 2.0. Along with the striking design, there's also powerful sound.

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.

Last but not least, the Tracks 2.0 impress thanks to the big sound, great design, and relatively competitive price.

Bottom Line

Out of all the headphones on this list, one of our favorites is the Libratone Q Adapt. The price tag isn't cheap, but you get a lot for your money.

A good set of headphones should sound good, and that's something the Q Adapt excel at. Sound quality is among the best you can find, and thanks to adjustable noise isolation, you can fine-tune how much/little noise of the outisde world you want to let in.

We also dig the simplistic design, comfortable fit, and the addition of a Google Assistant button. For those that can afford it, the Q Adapt will serve you incredibly well for years to come.

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