USB-C to Audio adaptor that works with Google Pixel 5

It is getting common for phones not to have 3.5mm audio jacks nowadays. The Google Pixel 5 does not have one. Neither the Samsung S20 nor Apple iPhone 12. Bluetooth headphones and earpieces are great but wired ones are better in certain situations – audiophiles with their high quality music or somebody like me who just want to have a portable/ pocketable earpiece with microphone rather than a wireless one with a boom mic. To hook up to these wired earphones, you will need a USB-C to Audio adaptor or even a Lightning to Audio adaptor. I bought the Apple USB-C to Headphone Jack adaptor for S$13.48 off Apple Store (Singapore).

Does all USB-C to Audio adaptor works with the Google Pixel 5?

Unfortunately not all USB-C to Audio adaptors are built equal. Hence, some of them will not work with the Google Pixel 5. For it to work with the Google Pixel 5, the USB-C to Audio adaptor need to have a inbuilt Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). Those cheaper adaptors actually do not have a DAC. Why DAC? Well, because there is a need to convert the digital signals (from your phone) into audio signals to drive the earphones.

I bought a couple of cheaper USB-C to Audio adaptors (i.e. from UGREEN) before realising that I needed one with DAC for it to work with the Google Pixel 5.

Why the Apple USB-C to Audio adaptor instead of Google’s?

Price! The Google USB-C to 3.5mm adaptor retails for S$19 while the Apple’s retail for S$15 (before employee purchase programme discount).

Performance! If you do a search on the Internet, you will probably find a forum review of the Apple and Google USB-C headphone adaptors (Google Pixel 1’s, Pixel 2’s and Apple’s). The Apple USB-C to Audio adaptor has better signal to noise and distortion (SINAD) ratio among them.

Does the Apple USB-C to Audio adaptor work with earpiece with microphone on the Pixel 5?

Yes! It does! The Apple USB-C to Audio adaptor on the Google Pixel 5 works wonderfully with my wired earpiece with microphone. Some USB-C adaptors do not work with microphones.

Lastly, some photos and conclusion

The Apple USB-C to Headphone adaptor has smooth plastic on both the USB-C and 3.5mm connector. It can be slippery at times when attempting to disconnect it from the Google Pixel 5. I refrain from tugging at the thin connecting wire and it risks wire breakage.

The connectors are actually too slippery for me to grip. Ended up putting some heat shrink tubings on it for additional friction/grip.

I actually put some (ugly looking) heat shrink tubings on both connectors to improve the grip. It makes it easier to attach and detach from the phone. With its uglier look, it would probably deter people from taking it too!.

If you are looking around for a USB-C to Audio adaptor for your Pixel phone, you can probably get the Apple USB-C to Headphone adaptor.