It’s not that the original Pixel headphone dongle was a massive battery hog, but the second edition is better. When you’ve got a device with which you’re wanting to play audio, and you’re not a fan of Bluetooth audio, you need a way to connect with hardware. If you’ve got a Google Pixel 2, that means you need a USB-C-cord-toting speaker system or headphones, OR that you’ve got the correct dongle. Not every USB-C to headphone jack dongle works with every phone – and Google’s Pixel is notoriously finicky.
Because Google didn’t include a digital-to-analog amplifier in their Google Pixel 2, and there’s no headphone jack, a special dongle is required. Required if you want non-wireless audio, that is to say. Google includes said dongle in with every Pixel 2 purchase.
The original Pixel 2 USB-C to headphone jack dongle isn’t perfect. It’s got a lot of room for improvement, especially where sound quality and battery drain come into play. As such, Google made a new dongle. The original dongle was available in the Google Store for $9, this new dongle costs $12.
This new dongle has what Google claims is 53-percent lower latency as well as 38-percent longer playback time. Those percentages are comparing the new dongle to the original Pixel 2 dongle when used with the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. This dongle could potentially be used with other devices, but Google mentions “Android P or higher” as a requirement.
Now we’re interested in what’s inside this mystery dongle. What could possibly be within this piece of equipment that’d make it require the newest version of Android for it to function? Or perhaps that requirement is only in place to make certain the improvement percentages are qualified accurately. We shall see!
UPDATE: The listing in the Google Store SPECIFICALLY states “Works best on Pixel and other devices running Android P or higher.” Not quite a requirement, but a suggestion for compatibility.