The Best USB-C (3.2 Gen 2) Cables of 2019

USB Type-C is a shape, not a technology.

Just because two USB cables have a reversible Type-C plug doesn't mean that they are the same. In fact, the August 2019 "Type C Cable and Connector Specification" PDF needs 373 pages to explain the differences between the eight standards that are all (confusingly) called USB Type C.

On top of that, most USB standards were renamed in 2019 (even as shoppers struggled to understand the existing names!). Shady manufacturers exploit this confusion.

Some USB-C cables are slow and overpriced; others can fry your gadgets instead of fast-charging them.

This article focuses on USB-IF-certified "SuperSpeed" Type-C cables that can transfer data at 10 Gbps and provide at least 60 watts of charging power. Until recently, these cables were called USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2.

Now, these same cables are known as USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2.

All of the cables in this article are reversible (i.e. the Type-C connector fits in the port either way). They can transfer data and charge a device at the same time (using USB-PD, the power delivery standard). With an adapter, they can convert HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort signals.

Here are the best second-generation USB-C cables (aka "3.1 Gen 2" or "3.2 Gen 2") that have sold for $20 or less in the last 12 months:

Good Price: $12 | Great Deal: $4

This USB cable is thick and sturdy, according to several Amazon customers. On the downside, many reviewers say the cable is inflexible; others say the plug-end fits loosely.

Good Price: $14 | Great Deal: $12

This well-made USB-C cable is capable of charging a laptop and outputting 4K video, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers used this cable to successfully transfer data and charge a device at the same time. Some say that the cable disconnects too easily because the connector fits loosely.

Good Price: $17 | Great Deal: $15

Veckle's braided USB-C cable gets high marks from Benson Leung, a top Amazon reviewer and a Google software engineer. Leung's deducted one star from his rating because this cable doesn't have USB logos on it. The Amazon customers who left poor reviews criticized this cable's build quality and durability.

Good Price: $17 | Great Deal: $15

This "Benson Approved" cable gets a perfect rating from Benson Leung, a Google engineer and "Top 1000" Amazon reviewer. Many Amazon customers describe this cable as "sturdy" or "heavy duty," but some unhappy customers complain that the connector plug is loose (or falls off completely).

Good Price: $20 | Great Deal: $14

Plugable's USB-C cable is fast at transferring data, but slow at charging devices, according to several Amazon customers. This cable is not compatible with Qualcomm's "QC" fast charging standard.

John DeFeo