Had a moment to do some metering to prove my observations. Start with the moto z2 force plugged into factory AC adapter through Powercube with usb micro to C adapter between cable and phone:
This is me not holding it in, pulling no power at all:
This is me holding it in, pulling quick charge at around 15w:
Same setup except new anker powerline micro instead of old cable and I'm NOT holding it in:
Now soundbuds curve on same setup without usb-micro to usb-c adapter (soundbuds take micro in), pulling no power:
Same setup, holding the cord in:
Same setup again, except new cable, not holding it in:
I feel like this series of tests shows there's a problem with the red cable. Sad.