Is your device analog or digital? You can’t tell until it fails.

Smartphone makers, it’s time to have that come-to-Apple moment, where we tell you that it’s time to put the 3.5mm analog headset jack back on the phone—at least until you get your USB-C audio act in order. After plugging in a fistful of USB-C dongles and USB-C headsets into a stack of USB-C phones, I’ve discovered that it’s a mess, especially for third-party headsets. Here’s why.

Why you can’t plug any USB-C thing into any phone

The first problem is lack of basic compatibility. For example, if you take the USB-C dongle that came with a Motorola Z2 Force or Sony Xperia XZ2, it won’t work with a Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy S8, or OnePlus 6.

The USB-C dongle that comes with the Pixel 2 XL though, will work across all of those phones, as does the USB-C headset that Huawei includes with its P20 Pro.

But take the USB-C dongle that’s also in the box with the Huawei P20 Pro and try it on your partner’s Pixel 2 XL, and it’s a no-go.

And yeah, the USB-C headset that’s bundled with the HTC U11 won’t work on many phones either. It’s enough to make you want to curb stomp your non-working headset or dongle.

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