Wireless charging and Bluetooth-enabled headphones have increasingly untethered us from the tangle of cables we used to keep in our pockets and backpacks. That said, plenty of people prefer the dependability and affordability of wired earbuds — after all, they’re harder to lose, and you don’t have to worry about them running out of battery.
As for charging, a wired connection is still the most practical option when on the go — wireless charging still hasn’t caught up in terms of speed. This is all to say that, at least for the time being, wires aren’t going anywhere. And between the dominance of micro-USB, Apple’s lightning bus connector, and the growing popularity of USB-C, there’s a good chance that one of your wired devices isn’t compatible with another. That’s where adapters come in.
Wired adapters are an easy and affordable way to connect your old electronics to your new devices, or just to make two incompatible devices compatible. The need for adapters doubles if you have an iPhone — since newer models don’t have 3.5 mm headphone jack, you’ll need an adapter if you use wired earbuds or headphones. We’ve rounded up some of the best phone adapters, including options specifically for iPhones and various adapters for USB-C, micro-USB, and USB-A, plus some all-in-one options. These are the phone adapters to get.
1. Spigen DuraSync 3-in-1 Universal Charger Cable
If you want to be prepared for just about any kind of USB connection, then this universal adapter from Spigen is a good option. It has a USB-A connection on one end for plugging into a power source, and the other end has a micro-USB, USB-C and lightning cable connector. The cable is a modest 4.9 feet long, making it perfect for use at home or in the car. It’s also compatible with fast charging through USB 3.0.
Pros: Universal adapter for USB-C, micro-USB and Apple’s lightning cable. Available in four colors. Certified Apple MFI.
Cons: Adapters are close together, and they may get in the way when using your desired adapter.
2. UGREEN Headphones Adapter
iPhone, meet UGREEN. This adapter allows you to plug your 3.5 mm headphone jack into your iPhone through the lightning cable adapter. It’s MFI certified to work with Apple devices, and you can use it to connect your phone to earbuds, headphones, car speakers or other 3.5 mm devices. The cable has a braided jacket, making it more durable and tangle-resistant.
Pros: MFI-certified to work with Apple devices. Braided cable for durability and tangle-resistance.
Cons: Somewhat expensive.
3. Syntech USB C to USB Adapter (2 Pack)
This adapter allows you to plug in USB-A devices like flash drives into USB-C ports, such as those found on many phones and laptops. The adapter doesn’t have cables and is more compact than most flash drives, so it’s a good option if you already carry a lot of charging cables and devices. It comes in a variety of stylish and sleek colors, including space gray, gold, rose gold and silver.
Pros: Compact and sleek design. Good for any device that uses USB-C, including laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Cons: Will likely block side by side use of other ports if used on a laptop.
4. USB Type C Adapter 8-Pack
This adapter plugs into USB-C devices and receives micro-USB devices, making it a convenient option if you have older micro-USB electronics and a newer phone or computer. It’s super compact, and the body of the device is barely larger than the connector itself. Eight adapters are included, so you can keep one on your keychain, one at your desk, one at home, one in your car, and still have four to spare.
Pros: Eight adapters are included. Compact design makes it a good option for a keychain. Good option for USB C devices.
Cons: If used for charging, it may charge slowly. The devices are USB-C male and micro-USB female, but no micro-USB male and USB-C female devices are included.
5. nonda USB C to USB Adapter
Many newer laptops have shed USB-A ports in favor of slimmer and more versatile USB-C ports, but if you still have USB-A devices like flash drives, printers, and CD readers, then you may want a USB-A to USB-C adapter. This option from nonda is a great pick. It utilizes USB 3.0 for faster transfer speeds. It’s compact enough to take on the go, but the cable is long enough to not get in the way of other ports on your computer. You can also use it for your USB-C smartphone.
Pros: Compact USB-A to USB-C adapter. Connects using USB 3.0 for fast transfer speeds. Works with laptops or smartphones. Long enough cable for plugging in side by side.
Cons: Some options may be less expensive.