Wired vs Wireless Headphones

May 17, 2017

Modern technology has improved the viability of wireless headphones over the years, increasing battery life, sound quality, and comfortability—but, is it really time to say goodbye to wires for good?  Wireless headphones are certainly godsends for business applications and office environments.  The freedom of movement is also something that translates well into other everyday life applications, as well—gardening, exercising, while doing chores, and etc.

If you’re not entirely sure what is the best option for you, stick to our guide to learn the pros and cons of each before deciding on your purchase.

Wired Headphones​

Wired earphones still look to be the most prevalent decision for consumers. One explanation behind it is that corded ones give us less bother when setting it up. Simply plug the cord, hit play, and you’re listening to music. Wireless solutions may have you waiting for pairing or requiring you to hit another button to start the pairing.  Additionally, it is good with any gadget that has 3.5mm earphone attachment. Also, we can’t overlook that a corded earphone has spared our devices from totally falling on the floor on account of the jack's connection to the attachment?  At the very least the cord can reduce the speed of a fall if it slips out of the jack.

The biggest advantage that wired headphones have over wireless will be in the sound quality.  It doesn’t matter how expensive your wireless headphones are, there will be some data loss over the air and thus provide an inferior and inaccurate sound than wired headphones.

It goes without saying that the cons of a wired headphone are obvious.  Most wired headphones that you find will have wires that are prone to getting a short.  You must shop exclusively in the studio monitor enthusiast category if you want a pair that will last.  Another con that is unavoidable is the length of tethering of the cord itself.  Sure, you can buy some headphones with 6 foot cables, but that won’t let you sit on your couch while you watch TV and lugging that cord around will probably get old very fast.  The restrictive feeling of a corded headset cannot be overlooked.

Wireless Headphones​

A favorite among travelers and anyone who is on the go, wireless headphones are just much more practical for everyday use.  The most common type of wireless headphones are Bluetooth headphones.  They are used to pair with smartphones, in cars, and laptops that have Bluetooth already built-in.  That means no additional equipment is needed, just pair the device with the receiver and go. 

What is great about Bluetooth headphones is that it is secure and not prone to interference like other forms of wireless technology.  Bluetooth headsets also have a great battery life and can be worn up to 30 feet away from the receiver.

The tradeoff here is that Bluetooth has a poor audio signal.  The sound quality will never compete with RF headsets, let alone wired headphones.  Bluetooth is also a poor technology for watching videos, as the audio will always lag behind what you see on the screen.

Now, if you do opt for radio frequency wireless headphones, you will get superior audio quality and you will not experience any audio delay.  Although, RF headsets aren’t as powerful as Bluetooth when it comes to range and signal strength.  The audio quality drops noticeably when used in a different room of a building from where the transmitter is, and the signal itself can be interfered by other RF devices.

Final Thought

It all boils down to what you value most out of a pair of headphones: are you an audiophile who must have the best audio quality?  Do you want excellent range and battery life?  What your typical daily usage and what your needs are will ultimately determine which type of headphone is right for you.  Dancing around in wireless headphones is undoubtedly a very fun and different experience than with headphones that have a long cord dangling from your head.  Consider moments like these when determining your purchase.  Life isn’t always about specs and brand recognition, the simplicity and functionality is what should matter the most.