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Ultimate guide to buying a USB cable

How to choose a USB cable for charging

Take the stress out of shopping for good tech. Here’s how to choose the right USB cable for your needs.


Good news! In a bid to reduce e-waste and branded monopolies, EU legislation will make USB C charging cable the norm by the end of 2024. Until then, most of our devices have different charging ports, and if we keep them for years (which is best for the planet), then we need charging cables that fit.

“Even though USB cables can look the same, there are so many options. They can differ wildly and it can become complicated quickly. We want to simplify things for everyone.” 

— Andrew Appleby, CEO of Syllucid

After years of research and testing, our engineering experts walk you through the process so you can balance quality, budget and functionality.



10 things to look for when buying a new USB cable


  1. Device compatibility
  2. Charging power
  3. Data transfer speed
  4. Cable length
  5. Durability
  6. Guarantee
  7. Price
  8. Sustainability credentials
  9. Certifications
  10. Reviews



1. Device compatibility


It’s safe to use USB for many different brands, even when they aren’t part of the ‘branded ecosystem’ of cables. Make sure to choose a cable that is compatible with your devices. Have you checked the specifications? 


The connector is the metal part that goes into the charging port. The most common types of connectors are Type-A, Type-B, Type-C, Micro-B, Mini-B and lightning (Apple). When in doubt, Google which connector your device uses. 


USB connector types

USB charging cable types with different connectors including mini USB, micro USB, USB C and more. Source: Ifi Audio


A good option when you have multiple devices with different connectors is a modular cable so you only need one cable for your phone, laptop, e-reader, headphones and speakers.


USB Cable modular Syllucid Charge: All in One

Syllucid Charge: All-in-one



2. Charging power 


If you plan on using your USB cable to charge devices like your phone or laptop, make sure it has the ability to deliver enough power. Check the specifications of your devices to ensure the cable you choose has the necessary power delivery capabilities. 60W is ample for most devices. Modern cables often use Power Delivery (PD), a technology to allow for even faster charging up to 240W.


Supported devices


Smartphones, hard drives, headphones, small accessories


Smartphones, tables, larger accessories


Future smartphones, notebooks, displays, hubs


Laptops, larger notebooks, hubs, docking stations

100 - 240W

Larger laptops, workstations, external graphic cards

Charging cable power (W) needed for different devices. Source: Manhattan Products


Every phone manufacturer has developed their own charging protocol using USB charging cables. Those include:

  • Qualcomm Quick Charge
  • MediaTek Pump Express
  • OPPO VOOC/Warp Charge (licensed to OnePlus as Dash Charge)
  • Huawei SuperCharge
  • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging



3. Data Transfer Speed


In most scenarios USB 2.0 is fast enough. USB cables come in different speeds. USB 3.0 cables are a distinctive blue colour. Say you’re a videographer creating 4K video and you need a fast transfer speed, make sure to choose a cable with a higher speed rating.  Most data cables like HDMI are currently being replaced with USB. 

USB Version

Speed Name  Speed 

USB 2.0

High Speed

180 Mbps

USB 3.0

SuperSpeed (SS)

5 Gbps

USB 3.1


10 Gbps

USB 3.2


20 Gbps


4. Cable Length


The length of the cable is an important consideration. Make sure to choose a cable that is long enough to meet your needs. 1.2m should be long enough for desk use and charging your phone at night. You might want to go for longer, or a charger with an extension cord if you know your power socket is far away.



5. Durability


The longer our electronics work, the less harm they cause the planet. A good quality USB cable should be made of durable materials and have a sturdy construction. Look for cables made to last with design elements like braiding and bend protectors to ensure they can withstand frequent use. Does it come with a cable management strap? And a travel case? 



6. Guarantee


If you’re intending to invest in a long life item, it’s always worth looking out for brands that offer a guarantee or warranty. That way, you’re covered if anything goes wrong.



7. Price


USB cables can range in price. Determine your budget and choose a cable that offers the features and specifications you need at a price you can afford. Remember, if you buy cheap, you buy twice! Cheap cables are made poorly and tend to break. If they have a single coat of plastic and no 'bend protectors', they're more likely to break. It's about a balance between quality and price. Note that the longer your electronics last, the better they are for the planet.



8. Sustainability credentials


Electronics impact climate change because they have a large carbon footprint and can cause environmental damage, such as deforestation from mining metals and e-waste. The supply chain can also be linked to slavery, child labour, gang crime, poor working conditions and minimal pay. 


Two in three of us consider ourselves as belief-driven buyers. Our buying decisions increasingly focus on sustainability, social impact, ethics and environmentalism. In which real ways is the brand you’re buying from reducing its impact on the climate and people making the products? 


Check for recycled metals, recycled plastic coating, carbon offsetting, and collaborations with environmental and social impact projects. They might be part of the Greentech Alliance, support Fairtrade Gold, Stannol or an environmental organisation like PUR Project in the region their materials come from.



9. Certifications


Trust badges are a good indicator of quality. For example, Qualcomm ensures fast charging. The recycling symbol is a good indicator, however it doesn’t mean the whole product is recycled. CE, RoHS, Reach, FCC and WEEE are all good certifications.



10. Reviews


Last but not least, do other people like the product? Take a look at the reviews and make sure people are positive about the cables.

Positive reviews USB cables

Here's a positive review from one of our happy customers


By taking these factors into consideration, you can find the right USB cable to meet your needs - and the planet. But if you have any questions about our products, don't hesitate to email us at We always love to connect with people in the community.



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