The official list of supported headphones for the Pixel 2 is underwhelming

So now that it is official, if you are buying a Pixel 2, you will have to deal with the fact that there is no headphone jack present on this device. This means that you either stick to the USB-C earphones provided in the box purchase your own USB-C earbuds, use Bluetooth, or use the dongle that is provided. A Google employee recently took to the Google Forums, trying to explain the situation at hand. However, Google’s response is flimsy at best, and /r/quityourbullshit at worst.

Orrin starts off by saying:

“Moving to the USB-C audio port with Pixel 2 allows us to provide a better audio and digital experience, as we move towards a bezel-less future.”

Fact Check: Google is talking about how removing the headphone jack will help in heading towards a bezel-less future. All I really need to say here is this:

Look who’s talking about bezels. Photo: Android Central

The S8, V30, G6 and many other phones have a smaller screen-to-body ratio and yet still include the headphone jack. Also important to note here is that the Pixel is IP67 while the S8 is IP68 with a headphone jack.

List of supported headphones

Here is the official list of headphones that Google recommends:

Many of these are “coming soon,” just like your Pixel preorders. A quick glance through most review websites, and there are better alternatives out there. Does this mean that Pixel users will have to wait out till the manufacturers switch and stick to the specs provided by Google?

The output impedance of the USB-C analog mode is too low to deliver any kind of power into any kind of load. So it’s incredibly misleading to suggest that they are equivalent.

The bottom line is… good headphones aren’t going to be released in USB-C.

Digital Audio Specs by Google

There’s no DAC in the phone at all. This means that as long as your headphones have digital capabilities, it should work fine with the Pixel. So hey, buy your own damn sound card. As per Google:

“Other USB-C to 3.5mm adapters/splitters should work, but please be sure they are compatible with digital audio and support the proper audio standards.”

This movement towards a bezel-less future is actually stupid. Instead of having a truly sensible alternative to the headphone jack, we will now have 1.5 inches of breakable dongle wearing out your charging port and costing you money when you lose it.

It’s almost as if someone found a way to include DLC in smartphones and someone went, “Eureka!”

A lot of the cheaper dongles and USB-C headphones may not work properly, as they may not be matching the spec provided by Google:

“You can use ANY USB-C headphones you want as long as they have digital capability. The ones in the recommended list are just ones that ensure the best listening experience for the use.”

A lot of the people on the forum aren’t very happy:

This one is particularly harsh:

Meanwhile, users are roasting poor community managers:


You can get a fair idea that a large amount of the sentiment is negative overall, with the Googlers in full damage control mode. However, it seems that no one is buying into it.

Source: Google Forums