Samsung USB-C AKG Headphones Teardown

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The Samsung AKG USB-C Headphones are wired-only headphones with a comfortable fit. Their non-detachable, braided USB-C cable makes it easy to connect to newer smartphones with USB-C ports, we are very curious about the DAC model inside the headset.


The headphone weight is about 17g, they're lightweight.


We test the power comsuption by USB-C current tester when playing music on the phone, power consumption quite low, it's 0.0438W.


Then we use the "Device Info HW" app to check the headphone device USB information (you can use this method to identify other fake Samsung USB-C AKG Headsets) and test the sample rate by Hiby and Onkyo App, the Samsung USB-C AKG Headset support max 32bit/96KHz sampling rate.


The headphone has a good build quality. The braided cable also feels quite solid.


The earbuds are mostly made of silicone and plastic, which feel solid and durable.


Open the headphone plastic housing, there is a speaker inside.


There are three controls on the in-line control, the usual volume adjustment and the play/pause/answer/hang up function.


On the back of the PCBA board are some electronic components and MEMS.


Next, we use a knife to open the USB-C connector.


we tear down the USB-C connector, the USB-C circuit board protected by the metal protective shell with laser welding workmanship. Remove the covered metal shell, and clear the black plastic.


The PCBA is covered with a layer of resin that protects the electronic components and chips on top of the circuit board during injection molding, greatly reducing the production defect rate. There is a chip on the PCBA, printed "988 SD0150 5175C 1925V ARM", the chip is Synaptics CX31988, The CX31988 is a high-speed audio codec designed for high-quality, low-power applications for USB Type-C™ headsets.


(CX31993 from CharmTek TPR24 Dongle Teardown)

This chip is part of the same series as the CX31993, both support a 32bit/384kHz sampling rate and use an energy-efficient ARM Cortex M0+ 32-bit microcontroller unit. The CX31998 chip can support playback of 384kHz audio, but Samsung only controls it to 96kHz, Just like the previous type c audio dongle from HTC in 2017, The CS42L42 chip is capable of supporting playback of 192KHz audio, but HTC has kept it to 48KHz only.


Synaptics Codec Series Specification

Codec Model CX20988 CX21988 CX21986 CX31993 CX31998
Sampling Rate 24Bit/48Khz 24Bit/96Khz 24Bit/96Khz 32Bit/384Khz 32Bit/384Khz
SNR 104dB 104dB 104dB 130dB 130dB
THD+N - -86db -86db -100db -100db
DNR 88dB 95dB 95dB 117dB 120dB

Synaptics codec chips are widely used in the audio accessories of major brands of mobile phone manufacturers.

Freeman 1: CX20988 24bit/48kHz
Essential Phone USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Freeman 2:CX21988(CX21986) 24bit/96KHz
Microsoft Surface USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Adapter(CX21988)
CharmTek TPR11 Dongle(CX21988)
Google USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Adapter(CX21986)
Hama USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Adapter(CX21986)

Freeman 3:CX31993(CX31988) 32bit/96KHz
Meizu Lifeme HiFi Audio(CX31993)
CharmTek TPR24 Dongle(CX31993)
SAMSUNG USB-C AKG Headphone(CX31998)

Microsoft Surface USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Adapter(CX21988)
Google USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Adapter(CX21986)
SAMSUNG USB-C AKG Headphone(CX31998)

Teardown Summary:
1. The Headset has a good build quality and is impressively portable, The outer side of the cable is made of a combination of braided and rubber material, which is solid, well made and very tactile.
2. The headset used CX31988 audio codec from Synaptics, a low-power audio codec for USB Type-C headset applications with high-performance playback.

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