When it comes to powering up just about every device under the sun, you can count on USB-C cables. Aside from iPhones, just about every single modern device, from Samsung Galaxy phones to Nintendo Switch are charged through USB-C ports, so eventually, you’ll need at least one. But what separates a good cable from one that will crap out in months? Should you drop extra cash on pricier cables or are the cheap ones just as good? Whatever your needs are, we’ve compiled a thorough roundup of our best USB-C cables.

Best Overall: Anker USB-C Charger Premium Nylon Cable
Best Magnetic: A.S. 540 Degree Magnetic Charging Cable
Best Long: Hisatey USB 3.0 Extension Cable, 20 Feet
Best for MacBook Pro: Uni USB-C to C Fast Charging Braided Cable
Best Budget: QQLike USB-C Cable, 5 Pack

How We Picked the Best USB-C Cables 

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Aren’t all USB-C cables more or less the same?” In many ways, yes. A USB-C cable will either work, or it won’t. Still, there are a few aspects to consider when picking out a cable you can depend on.

Durability: This is the most important aspect when choosing a USB-C cable. After all, is there anything more frustrating than when your cable won’t connect your phone to a charger or PC? It may even spur a panic. “Is my device broken?” No, cords sometimes just give out, especially if they’re prone to wear and tear. Even with heavy use, the best USB-C cables will last at least a couple of years.

Length: Your specific needs may vary, but in general, you want a cord that is at least three feet. Longer is usually better and allows you to keep cords nearby when a power supply is out of reach.

Build Quality: The difference between a good USB-C cable and one of the best most of the time depends on what these accessories are made of. A cable built with long-lasting materials and some design sense will usually be more dependable than a bargain-bin offering you nab in the checkout line at an electronics store.

Best USB-C Cables: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Anker USB-C Charger Premium Nylon Cable

Durable and Dependable. ANKER

Why It Made The Cut: Anker USB-C cables last much longer than the competition, and support super quick transfer speeds.

Specs:
Sizes: 3 feet, 6 feet
Colors: Black, red, silver
Cord Material: Braided nylon
Data Transfer Speed: 480 Mbps
Cables Included: Two 

Pros:
— Thick and durable cord
— Long-lasting
— Climate Pledge friendly

Cons:
— USB 2.0, not USB 3.0

If you want to ensure longevity, it helps to go with a brand known for quality and reliability like ANKER. 

Its USB-C charging cables are aptly named “premium.” Made of braided nylon, the cord is thick and durable and can survive up to 12,000 bends. Its cable contains multiple layers of excellent USB engineering, including precision insulation, and three different layers of shielding. This all adds up to one of the most long-lasting USB-C cables on the market. Despite the fantastic build quality, these also manage to be Climate Pledge-friendly, which means the manufacturing process leaves a much smaller footprint than other cables in its class. While these cables support quick charging for incompatible devices, they are USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0, so data transfer may not be as quick as you’d want it to be. They’re also available in two different sizes, to suit any and all USB-C needs. 

Best Magnetic: A.S. 540 Degree Magnetic Charging Cable

Incredibly Versatile. A.S

Why It Made The Cut: Magnetic tips make these USB-C cables more versatile than the rest. 

Specs:
Size: 6 feet
Colors: Black, blue, red, purple
Cord Material: Braided nylon, magnetic tips
Data Transfer Speed: Up to 480 Mbps
Cables Included: Three

Pros:
— Wide compatibility
— Integrated LED light
— Intuitive tip storage

Cons:
— Disconnects easily

USB-C is more or less becoming the standard to power up everything from laptops to consoles, and all manner of smart devices. Still, for devices with other USB inputs, the A.S. 540 Degree Magnetic Charging Cable is there for you in a clutch.

The versatility of this USB-C cord is wild. It comes with three USB-C tips and three micro-USB tips that attach magnetically to the charging end of the cable. This way, you’ll always have the right cable to charge devices like Bluetooth headsets and remote controls, which tend to charge via micro-USB. And you don’t have to worry about losing the tips, as they’re located on the cables themselves. Genius. The magnetic tips even pack a built-in LED light, so you don’t have to fumble with them in the dark. On versatility, these USB-C cables can’t be beaten. However, like with anything magnetic, expect a few instances where devices disconnect. No magnet is perfect, after all.

Best Long: Hisatey USB 3.0 Extension Cable, 20 Feet

More Length, More Freedom. Hisatey

Why It Made The Cut: A handy and incredibly long extension cable helps you reach even the most distant devices.  

Specs:
Size: 20 feet
Colors: Black
Cord Material: Braided nylon
Data Transfer Speed: Up to 5 Gbps
Cables Included: One

Pros:
— Incredibly long
— Supports USB 2.0 and 3.0
— Anti-scratch tips, flexible cord

Cons:
— Occasionally incompatible 

Just about everyone knows the pain of seeing a device’s battery dip into the red, with no power supply in sight. Enter the Hisatey USB 3.0 Extension Cable. This connector adds an extra 20 feet of length to any USB cord, so you don’t have to worry about your device dying.

Unless you live in a palace, 20 feet, in addition to however long the cable you attach to this is, should be more than enough to get you to the closest power supply. This means you can keep using your phone, gamepad, gaming console, or another device as it charges. It supports both USB 2.0 and 3.0, which means it works equally well with new and legacy devices. The tips also prevent scratches, so you don’t have to be terribly gentle when plugging or unplugging cords. That said, users reported some incompatibility issues with connecting flash drives. Aside from that, keeping one of these on hand is highly recommended.

Best for MacBook Pro: Uni USB-C to C Fast Charging Braided Cable

Mac Friendly. Uni

Why It Made The Cut: A great and inexpensive USB-C to C cord that connects MacBook Pro and other devices to their power supply. 

Specs:
Sizes: 6 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet
Colors: Black
Cord Material: Braided nylon
Data Transfer Speed: Up to 480 Mbps
Cables Included: One

Pros:
— Great for MacBook Pro and other devices
— Good heat insulation
— Tangle-free velcro wrap

Cons:
— Your mileage may vary 

MacBook Pro charging cords have the longevity of goldfish, and we believe the Uni USB-C to C Fast Charging Braided Cable is a vast improvement over the one that comes standard with your device.

The cable comes in three different sizes to accommodate any and all workstations. It’s great for plugging into a massive 110W (watt) power adapter to charge up your MacBook or simply keep it powered up when using it as your main PC on a desktop. It works equally well to charge devices like Samsung Galaxy phones and Nintendo Switch as fast as possible. The tangle-free velcro wrap helps keep everything tidy, even in crowded workspaces. It’s also got seriously good heat insulation, so it can take the extra wattage that it requires to power up the MacBook. And while it will likely last you longer than the cheap plastic one that came with your Apple laptop, power-supply cords will eventually need to be replaced, and it may be sooner rather than later. It depends on your device’s model, where you park it, and how hard you use it. Still, expect at least above-average longevity with this USB-C cable. 

Best Budget: QQLike USB-C Cable, 5 Pack

Good Deal. QQLike

Why It Made The Cut: A handy and incredibly long extension cable helps you reach even the most distant devices.  

Specs:
Sizes: 6 feet
Colors: Black, blue, green, pink, purple
Cord Material: Braided nylon
Data Transfer Speed: Up to 480 Mbps
Cables Included: Five

Pros:
— Five cables, five colors
— Above average length
— Great value 

Cons:
— Dubious charging speeds 

Even the best USB-C cords will eventually die. If you’re not after special frills, this QQLike USB C Cable 5 pack will save you a few bucks. 

Despite being almost entirely free of extra features, this pack is of tremendous value. It contains five USB-C cables in five different colors. This is great if you want to be able to dedicate cords to charge different devices, which helps tidy up desktops and charging bays alike. Because this offering comes with five cables, you’re basically paying a little more than a couple of bucks per cord which is not a terrible deal. In addition to the low price, these USB-C cables pack a little bit of heat resistance on their tips and are long enough to service most USB-C cable needs. Of course, the price doesn’t come without a few compromises. Charging up devices may be slower than the other cables in this roundup. 

Things to Consider Before Buying USB-C Cables

Go Nylon, Or Go Home: Durability is king when it comes to USB-C cables. Plastic cords that come standard with many devices will degrade far quicker than USB-C cables that are made from threaded nylon. Not only are these cables a little better at managing heat, but they can resist degrading even after being bent around the edges over and over. This goes double for curious cats who like to chew any cable they come across. 

Measure Twice, Buy Once: USB-C cables come in many lengths, and depending on your needs, you may want a longer reach. Before you buy any of the cables in this roundup, consider how long you need your cables to be. Your power supply or device into which you typically plug cables may require a longer cord. Keep in mind, though, that the longer the cord, the slower the transfer and charging speeds may be, so you’ll want to find a happy medium as far as cord length is concerned. 

FAQs

Q: Are long USB-С cables worse?

Longer USB-C cables will still work, but data transfer rates may get lower and lower as cables get longer. In some cases, data transfer will fail altogether. 

Q: Can you buy refurbished USB-C Cables?

Yes, you can buy refurbished USB-C cables, but like many refurbished products, expect them to work a little less effectively than new cables. 

Q: Are any USB-С cables suitable for Android Auto?

Many USB-C cords are suitable and compatible with Android Auto, but we recommend a brand like ANKER, which is known for its longevity. 

Q: Do USB-С cables pollute the environment?

Like many electronics, USB-C cables eventually die and contribute to electronic waste. It’s one of the reasons Anker USB Type-C Charger Premium Nylon Cable is our best overall pick for USB-C cables because not only do they last longer, but are Climate Pledge-friendly. 

Q: Do all USB-С cables support fast charging?

For the most part, USB-C cables are fairly standardized, but USB 3.0 cables will provide faster charging in devices that support them. 

Q: What to look for when buying a USB-С cable?

First and foremost, you should look for a USB-C cable built with durability in mind like the Anker USB Type C Charger Premium Nylon Cable

Final Thoughts on USB-C Cables

Yes, some USB-C cables are simply built differently, and the difference between a good cable and the best is often stark. Our pick for best overall is the Anker USB Type C Charger Premium Nylon Cable, which is long-lasting and even manufactured sustainably. If you don’t mind compromising quality, this QQLike USB-C Cable, 5 Pack is a great pick for anyone on a budget. 

Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.


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