Overview of 3.5mm to Type-C Adapter

2019 - 02 - 14 by inseta

As more and more mobile phone manufacturers remove the 3.5mm audio jack and switch the audio stream to the USB Type C interface, Type C audio adapters or Type C headsets are becoming more and more popular in the market. In fact, there are two ways to stream the audio to Type C interface: analog path or digital path. As we know, the Type C interface supports USB signal, in general, the cell phone will stream the audio to the Type C interface by USB Audio Class. The adapter needs a USB audio codec to process the A/D and D/A. This is the digital path mentioned above. On the other hand, the Type C interface is also defined to support four analog audio signals in the Audio Adapter Accessory Mode. In this implementation, no codec is needed, and the adapter is just a kind of conversion of connector. For the analog 3.5 to USB Type C audio adapter, the audio performance depends totally on the mobile phone. Due to the limitation of the layout area, it’s quite difficult to add dedicated codec or headphone amplifier inside. Compared to analog 3.5 to USB Type-C audio adapter, the digital one adopts a codec to process the audio stream. Most codecs will integrate an audio amplifier as well, which will enhance the driving capability of the headphones for better performance. Some adapters will even add an additional dedicated headphone amplifier to deliver higher driving current and better dynamic response, achieving high fidelity playback and much better listening experience. In addition, the sampling rate of digital audio adapter can support up to 192 KHz, resulting in more details during playback. In short, the Type C connector supports not only charge and sync function, but also the audio streaming together with the 3.5 to USB Type C audio adapter. The analog one is a cost-effective option. And the digital one expands the possibility to provide better listening experience, as the mobile phone becoming the all in one device for our digital life.

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