Adios, headphone port? JBL and HTC officially launch first USB-C earbuds
The world's first USB Type-C headphones, the JBL Reflect Aware C, are now available for order. First announced in back in April, the high-res earphones are sport-focused, and feature adaptive noise cancelling tech.
JBL announced the Reflect Aware C headphones earlier this year alongside the HTC 10 smartphone. The high-res, noise cancelling in-ears connect via the USB-C standard, increasingly the norm among Android flagships and laptops, making them the perfect companion for future-facing phones that forego the headphone port, like the Moto Z (leaks are pointing to Apple's 2016 iPhones ditching the headphone jack too, but they use Lightning standard, rather than USB-C).
Combining audio out and charging/data into one port allows phone-makers to either make their headsets lighter and thinner, or use that extra space for larger batteries. The USB-C connection also powers the earphones, meaning there's no need for a separate battery pack, like you'll find on the Reflect Aware C's most obvious rival, Bose QC20.
There's noise cancelling tech on board: When we tried the headphones at HTC's launch event in April, they did an impressive job of cancelling out extremely loud speakers sitting just a few feet away from the demo area. Featuring 14.8 mm dynamic drivers, and with a 10 – 22 Hz frequency response, the headphones are designed for sport use, and have ergonomic ear tips and a sweat-proof build. The cables are also built to avoid tangles and are highly reflective, making them easily visible at night.
According to HTC, you can currently get a free pair of the headphones, while stocks last, if you pick up an HTC 10 from the company's website. The Reflect Aware C headphones are also available for order on their own, exclusively from HTC's website, in a choice of black or white, priced at US$199.
For more on the phone they're being marketed with, you can revisit New Atlas' HTC 10 review.