Smartphone accessory maker Moshi has released a new device that lets you charge your phone while simultaneously listening to music with wired headphones or speakers.

That’s a problem that didn’t exist until recently, but thanks to the growing trend of smartphone makers shipping phones that lack 3.5mm headphone jacks, the $40 Moshi USB-C Digital Audio Adapter with Charging is probably going to be a must-have annoyance for some folks.

I’ve been using a Google Pixel 2 without a headphone jack as my primary phone for the past year and for the most part it hasn’t been too problematic. I already use Bluetooth headphones and speakers for most of my listening.

But every now and then I want to plug in my Sony MDR-7506 headphones or connect the phone to speakers that don’t support Bluetooth. If I’ve left my USB C-to-3.5mm adapter at home I’m out of luck. And even if I remember to bring it with me, there’s no way to charge my phone and use the adapter at the same time, since both the power adapter and the headphone adapter plug into the same USB-C port.

Moshi’s adapter solves that issue, and since it’s part of the Made for Google Program, it should be compatible with Pixel phones and most other Android phones with USB-C ports.

But it’s also kind of annoying that there’s a need for this sort of thing at all. It’s a clunky adapter that measures 5.5″ x 1.5″ x 0.4″ and which is a lot less elegant than simply plugging your headphones into a dedicated jack… if your phone has one.

That said, the Moshi adapter has a built-in 24-bit/96 kHz digital to analog converter, which means it should be capable of delivering high-quality audio. And since it’s unlikely that phone makers are going to cede defeat in the war-on-headphone-jacks anytime soon, this type of dongle might be the ugly, awkward future.

The Moshi USB-C Digital Audio Adapter with Charging is available from the Google Store or from the Moshi web store for $40.

I’m not pulling out my wallet to buy one just yet. But it would be kind of nice to have one next time I take a car rental on a short trip — right now I have to choose between using a wired connection to a car’s stereo system and not charging my phone, or plugging in my phone to charge and using a Bluetooth connection… which requires pairing my phone with a car I may only be using for a few hours.


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6 replies on “Moshi’s new $40 adapter gives you back a headphone jack (and lets you charge your phone)”

  1. I hope people are smart enough to know why this is a terrible accessory. Frankly even the normal headphone dongle is a bad idea. There is no way those ports are built to sustain “loads” (weight) dangling from them. You better know that replacing your port is in your future if you use something like this. Until I read that these ports are reinforced for extra stress on them, you’re setting yourself up for a nice repair bill in the future. #notworthit

  2. pretty good gig,,stop selling headphone jacks (which the people want ) and sell adapters to the people at 40 dollars or ($100) for (apple)..and the sheeple said ” ill buy that “)

  3. You know we used 2.5 mm headphone jacks on phones for a long time before switching to the common the 3.5mm headphone jack. Because people wanted to use existing headphones as our phones became portable music players. Apple made the change so they could sell expensive bluetooth headphones. Not sure why anyone else did.

    1. easy,,to SELL 40 cent adapters for 40 dollars or more,,its called obscene profit ,,or gouging to the layman…

  4. I hate how stupid this move is. They want to shave off 1 mm square but we end up needing a dungle jungle and a bunch of headphones because manufacturers are too dumb to come up with a standardized interface implementation. I.e. one manufacturer uses the internal dac, another has a dac in the headphones.

  5. There are similar USB-C adapters on Amazon for $20 to $25 each. I have one and it works fine to charge my Pixel 2 while it is plugged into my car’s audio jack. This is the one I got. Price was $19 when I bought it. There are lots of other sellers with identical products.

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