Big changes are coming to the way we listen to music on our smartphones, and the analog headphones we’ve been using for years are feeling the pressure from new, digital alternatives. Most of the conversation we’re hearing these days is centered around Apple and rumors that it will ditch the analog headphone jack in favor of a Lightning-only solution for the iPhone 7, but headphone-makers have also been turning their attention to other platforms as well, especially as the versatile, convenient USB type-C connector comes to more and more handsets. Today we’re learning about one of the newest options to debut, as JBL introduces its Reflect Aware C earphones.
JBL’s new earbuds are featured prominently alongside the HTC 10 as the flagship phone launches today, and HTC intends to sell the earphones in addition its own audio accessories. But unlike those analog options, the JBL Reflect Aware C connects to the phone over USB alone.
The USB type-C interface not only allows the Reflect Aware C to access a pure digital audio stream, but grants access to power, which is key to the earphones’ other trick: they employ active noise cancellation tech. The pair features 14.8mm dynamic drivers, have a 10Hz-22kHz frequency response, and are sweat resistant.
Pre-orders are open now for just about $160, with JBL readying to ship the earphones in mid-June. If USB type-C isn’t your thing, JBL also has a Lightning-equipped version of the Reflect Aware with similar June availability, though the proprietary Apple connector raises the price to $200.