More and more manufacturers of mobile phones drop the 3.5 headphone jack.
Indeed, without this jack it is easier to make the mobile waterproof.
Another trend is replacing the micro USB connector with a USB-C connector.

Today you can get dongles with USB-C in and 3.5 analog out.

This means there is a DAC build-in.


However, there is also a USB-C Audio Adapter Accessory Mode.

In this mode the device sends analog audio over the USB.

All you need is a passive adapter.

Obvious, USB-C is the most analog sounding digital bus!


To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing you can do as a user to invoke Audio Adapter Accessory Mode or avoid it. But is might explain why a passive USB-C - headphone adapter works or fails to work because you need an active one.

A bit more about USB and this Audio Adapter Accessory Mode can be found here.


Allo audio Pilot $129.00

Allo Pilot

ESS Sabre DAC (9281CPRO with MQA support)

SNR: 120db

THD+N @ 0.0006%

< 2 ohm output impedance

PCM sampling frequency up to 384kHz

DSD sampling frequency up to 5.6MHz

Added 2021



Cubilux US$69.98

Added 2019

Dense Adapt Audio DAC $59.99 (standard version)

Meaurements on

Added 2019

Earmen Donald DAC $99


Donald Dac

PCM 384kHz/32bit,

DXD, MQA Rendering

DAC:    32 bit Cirrus Logic CS 43198

USB:    XMos  2XX

Input:     USB-C - DATA/Power Supply

              USB-C - External Power Supply

Output:  RCA

Dimensions: L * H * W (mm) 114 x 80 x59

Meaurements on


Added 2020

Google USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone adapter US$12

Is this a passive or a active adaptor?

CableDo did a teardown.

Indeed, there is a DAC inside.

Added 2019

iBasso DC01 ‎€49.00

Added 2019

Khadas Tea

Magsafe compatible USB-C DAC with a 3.5 mm headphone out.

Added 2022

Microsoft Surface USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter $11.99


Looks like a passive but thanks to CableDo we know there is a DAC inside.

Added 2021

Musiland MU1 US $38.50

Musiland MU1

Supports 16 or 24Bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz full sample rate audio format playback.
Headphone output power up to 2x60mw/32 ohms, can drive up to 120 ohms headphones, output up to 300mA transient current.
Intelligent suitable for output impedance, support line output whose impedance above 600ohms; output level IV RMS

Added 2019

UGreen Angled adapter $15

USB-C DAC to 3.5 analog


Added 2022

Zorloo Ztella


Zorloo Ztella

ESS Sabre DAC technology

SNR @ 120dB

THD+N @ 0.0006%

< 2 ohm output impedance ​

PCM sampling frequency up to 384kHz

DSD sampling frequency up to 5.6MHz

Added 2019


  1. 3.5mm audio vs USB Type-C: the good, bad and the future - Robert Triggs
  2. USB-IF Publishes Audio over USB Type-C Specifications - Anton Shilov 2016
  3. Headphone dongles - ASR
  4. Apple vs Google USB-C Headphone Adapters -