JBL has launched the Reflect Aware C in-ear noise-cancelling headphones, which have a USB Type-C connector to connect to smartphones. The headphones can receive both audio and power from the smartphone itself through the USB connection, and therefore do not need to be charged and rely on a built-in battery, as is the case with other noise-cancelling headphones.
Apart from this, the headphones are also sweat-proof and come with fin-style ear tips which keep them in place while running or exercising. Noise cancelling can be controlled through the in-line remote, which also has volume controls and a microphone for hands-free mobile use. The Reflect Aware C is powered by 14.8mm drivers.
JBL has not announced any details on availability or pricing for the Reflect Aware C, which was launched alongside the new HTC 10 smartphone. This phone, along with other popular models such as the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Xiaomi Mi 5 all feature USB Type-C connectivity. It’s possible that apart from JBL, other headphone manufacturers will also be launching USB Type-C headphones in the coming months, as an increasing number of Android smartphone manufacturers adopt the Type-C connector and port.
This shows that Android devices may be following in the footsteps of Apple, which is rumoured to be axing the 3.5mm headphone socket on the iPhone 7. This will mean that headphones designed to be used with the new iPhone will have to sport Lightning connector cables, similar to how the JBL Reflect Aware C will plug in to the all-purpose Type-C port. However, the HTC 10 and other Type-C Android smartphones also sport the industry standard 3.5mm socket, so you aren’t limited to using only USB Type-C compatible headphones.