My audio tastes run more toward the mid-range (or a little higher), but I of course recognize that some people want something basic at a pocket-friendly price.

But with Apple dropping the headphone socket from iPhones and iPads, things are getting a little more complicated for those who don’t want the expense or charging hassle of wireless headphones …

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We’re currently in the rather messy situation of iOS devices using a mix of Lightning and USB-C sockets, but there seems little doubt that Apple is headed toward an all-USB-C future, with iPhones perhaps making the switch this year.

That being the case, I decided to put some budget USB-C headphones to the test: the Moshi Mytho C.

These are $50 in-ear headphones. Given that the input is digital, through the USB-C plug, they need their own digital-to-analog converter, which is found inside the in-line controls. This supports 24-bit/96kHz playback.

Look & feel

The Mytho C definitely don’t look like $50 earbuds. Brushed aluminum end-caps on a stylish design make them look like they cost significantly more.

The buttons on the in-line remote are plastic, but look metallic. They have a solid clicky action.

I’m blessed with standard-sized ears, so the default tips make for a good fit, but there are small and large ones in the box too. In-ear, they feel comfortable and offer surprisingly good sound isolation. The specs say they offer 23dB of isolation, and I believe it.

Audio quality

I have to say, I was really surprised by this. I mean, don’t misunderstand me, these are budget headphones and they offer budget sound-quality. I’m not going to be trading in my Bowers & Wilkins or Master & Dynamic headphones for these.

But for $50, the sound quality really is impressive. I haven’t heard anything better below $100.

Moshi says they use 8mm neodynium drivers with a frequency range of 15-20,000Hz, and a Class G amp. This is a somewhat unofficial term for a modified version of a Class A, offering greater efficiency and higher power levels.

But the result is acceptable bass and treble that is significantly better than it ought to be at this price level.

As I say, they aren’t going to convert any fans of premium audio brands, but if you’re using EarPods or similar, these are a pretty big step up in quality at a very attractive price.

Conclusions

I love music, and I’ll always be willing to invest in decent audio quality – at least, up to the level of my mid-range ears. If you spend a lot of time listening to music, I’d always recommend going as far as the limit of your ears or wallet, whichever you hit first.

But if you hit one or both limits sooner rather than later, then the Mytho C are a decent buy. You’re getting $100 headphones for $50.

The big issue for Apple fans, of course, is that you can use them with your recent-ish MacBook and 2018 iPad Pro, but not yet your iPhone. For that reason, they may not be the right buy now, but if Apple does adopt USB-C in this year’s iPhone, Moshi is ready and waiting.

Moshi Mythro C cost $49.95 and are available from Amazon. For more premium options, check out my audio gift guide.

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