Price (RRP): $69.95
I spend much of my time with true wireless earbuds plugged into my ears. But sometimes they just don’t work and you need wires. Except that many phones these days have abandoned the 3.5mm analogue headphone output. Which is why you might find the “Belkin Rockstar Headphones with USB-C Connector” useful.
Review: Belkin Rockstar Headphones with USB-C Connector
- Model: G3H0002btWHT (white version) or G3H0002btBLK (black version)
- Australian Website: here
- Support pages: here and here.
- Price: A$69.95
- From: Legitimate retailers
- Warranty: Two years
- Country of Manufacture: Vietnam
- About: Belkin is an American company, hailing from California. These days it is ultimately owned by Foxconn, which is a massive Taiwanese company with some 800,000 employees.
Belkin Rockstar Headphones with USB-C Connector – why wires?
I certainly found them useful the other day. I was trying to measure the throughput of a couple of home Wi-Fi solutions and that involved copying large files via Wi-Fi. And that meant many minutes of standing around, waiting for the data to transfer. So, of course, I listened to a podcast to pass the time. But Bluetooth operates in the same 2.4GHz band in which at least part of Wi-Fi operates. I couldn’t risk interference. Would I have to just stand there, bored, while waiting.
Ah, how about those Belkin Rockstar Headphones I had in my review pile? I grabbed them, plugged them into my Huawei P30 Pro phone and could instantly resume listing to podcasts without worrying about it influencing the Wi-Fi data flows.
I could have used them at other times too. Like that time I was using Bluetooth headphones only with great difficulty, since the shopping mall in which I was wandering around was apparently saturated in the 2.4GHz band. That wasn’t a one-off … on the evening streets of Taipei a couple of years ago the buds I was using kept on dropping out due to interference.
Wires mean no interference.
Belkin Rockstar Headphones with USB-C Connector … headphones or earphones?
Some companies do like to use the word “headphones” when the rest of us use “earphones” and Belkin is one of them. But earphones they are. The buds are small and come with silicone tips – three sizes are provided. Because there are no batteries required, the buds themselves are very light. They lodged in my ear ears firmly, with no tendency to loosen or slip out.
The wires for the right earbud on the Belkin Rockstar Headphones with USB-C Connector have inline volume and play/pause buttons. The cable is ribbon style, 1.1 metres in length. As the name suggests there’s a USB Type-C plug on the end of the cable. Built into that, or possibly the buds themselves, is a DAC – digital to analogue converter – and an amplifier to drive the earphones. These are powered by the USB connection. That is, they’ll draw power from your phone’s battery. Not much though, compared to all the other stuff that is consuming charge from your phone’s battery.
As for specifications, Belkin provides few. And they are buried in the FAQ. From that we can glean that the Belkin Rockstar Headphones with USB-C Connector use 10mm drivers and claim a frequency response of 20 to 20,000 hertz.
The control pod also incorporates a microphone so you can use these earphones for handsfree calling. You can also use them with Google Assistant. Just say “Hey Google” while you’re listening through them.
Belkin lists sixteen specific phone models on its website with which the Belkin Rockstar Headphones with USB-C Connector are compatible. Fact is, I’d be very surprised if any phone with a USB charge port would not work with these earphones. Technically, yes, they need to support the OTG – On-the-Go – standard, but that’s likely to be virtually universal for USB Type-C-equipped phones. But, I wrote the last couple of sentences before stumbling across this in the FAQ:
2. Why am I not able to make phone calls using my Samsung Galaxy S9®/S9+® or S8®/S8+®?
The Belkin G3H0002 is not compatible with these phones.
Oh. No idea why that may be.
For interest, I checked them out with both a Windows computer and a Mac. Yes, they worked both for playback and recording. Recording quality was locked at 16-bits and 48kHz sampling. For playback I could choose on either platform 16 or 24 bits with 44.1kHz, 48kHz or 96kHz (but not 88.2kHz) sampling. That doesn’t necessarily mean true high-resolution support. Just that the DAC can handle those inputs.
A Lightning version, suitable for use with iPhones, is also available. I’d be surprised if it were any different in performance.