Are Wireless Headphones as Good as Wired?


When it comes to how you decide how you listen to music, it can be an important decision in regards to whether you want to use wired or wireless headphones. Do you care about having to deal with a cable that plugs into your phone or mp3 player? Or are you an individual who would rather not? Or do you not care at all and you just want to make sure your music quality is good? 

Are wireless headphones as good as wired? There are pros and cons to both. Wireless headphones do provide some benefits that wired headphones do not have, such as being able to allow the user to listen to music without the need for a cord. However, wired headphones do tend to provide better sound quality and do not require a charge before use.

Here, we are going to take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of wired and wireless headphones and examining aspects like their sound quality, durability, and battery life. This way you can make an informed decision as to which direction you want to go with your headphones. To be wired or not to be wired? That is the question.

Tell Me About Wireless Headphones

The concept of wireless headphones is widely misunderstood. When it comes to headphones being wireless, most of the time, the headphones that you have purchased comes with 2 options: Wired and wireless. This means that when purchased your headphones there were cords that came in the box with the set.

This allows for easy conversion of whether you want a wired or wired connection, depending on what you are looking to do at the moment. The headphones will come with a cord that has a double-sided jack connection. One will be to plug into your headphones and the other will be to plug into your phone or mp3 player.

What Are The Pros Of Wireless Headphones?

Since wireless headphones don’t have a lot of cables, even the ones that come with an interchangeable cord option, you don’t have to worry about cords potentially becoming tangled up. Aside from that, due to advancements in wireless technology, if you are using a pair of high-quality wireless headphones, the reduction in sound quality is not as noticeable if at all as it was before.

What About The Cons Of Wireless Headphones?

Unfortunately, when you are using a wireless connection for your headphones, you are going to have to remember to keep your wireless headphones charged. If you allow your battery to die then you don’t have any music unless your headphones allow them to be powered from a wired back up to your phone or mp3 player.

Wireless technology is a little more expensive as well so wireless headphones can tend to run a bit more than their wired counterparts. Also, you may run into a situation every once in a while where your wireless connection may become briefly interrupted. This could be due to the area you are in that creates wireless connection interruptions and dropouts. This is usually very brief though. In most instances, the headphones will automatically reconnect after the signal is dropped.

What About Wired Headphones?

When it comes to using a wired connection with your headphones, you typically connect the wired headset with an auxiliary cord to your phone or mp3 player. It is typically equipped with a 3.5mm jack that is designed to plug into most electronic devices that you are going to listen to music on.

What Are The Pros Of Wired Headphones?

Where wired headphones are concerned, they are extremely user-friendly and you don’t have to have an understanding of technology or Bluetooth connecting to begin to use. You just select your playlist, plug it in, and go. 

Another added benefit of using a pair of wired headphones is that they can be played on any older device that you may have. You also don’t have to worry about dropped signals or interruptions that you will potentially have with wireless headphones. Also, you don’t have a large draw of power on your smartphone or mp3 player from a wired set of headphones. Wireless headphones, however, will drain your device significantly faster.

What About The Cons Of Wired Headphones?

A lot of the newer smartphones today do not have a socket to take a wired connection. This makes it a bit more difficult to connect a pair of wired headphones but not impossible. If you have a pair of wired headphones and a newer smartphone that does not have the 3.5mm socket for a wired headset to connect, you will have to purchase an adapter to be able to use your headphones.

Headphone cables often get tangled. This is not only an inconvenience in that you have to constantly go through untangling them but it is also an issue in that most faults in wired headphones occur due to complications in the wire becoming damaged. While this can be fixed, it is an inconvenience that can be avoided with a pair of wireless headphones.

How Do Wireless Headphones Work?

There are multiple ways that a pair of wireless headphones can connect to a device but the main way that they connect to another device is through a Bluetooth connection. Bluetooth is a way for devices to communicate with each other when they are in close proximity to one another.

To connect a pair of wireless headphones to your smartphone or mp3 pair you will need to make sure both devices are ready to pair with one another. This means that you are going to open a line of communication between these two devices by selecting the Bluetooth pairing option on your device that houses the music and holding down on the Bluetooth pairing button on the wireless headphones.

Can I Use A Wifi Connection Instead Of Bluetooth?

When it comes to wifi, this is the wireless internet connection that we use within our homes. This is accomplished through an internet router or a home hub. Where this is different from Bluetooth, you don’t have to have your wireless headphones within a certain distance from the router or home hub. However, you do need to be connected to your Wifi in order to use the connection.

Due to needing to be connected to your wifi in order to use your wifi wireless headphones, they are typically not going to be useable outside of your home. On the plus side, with a wifi connection, you are going to have a slightly better quality of sound with a pair of wifi wireless headphones than you are going to have with Bluetooth wireless headphones. Your main concern in the home will be if your wifi connection is interrupted at the router or home hub.

Another downside, however, is that while you can transmit a larger amount of audio data, wifi wireless headphones are really only good for audio files that are relevant to transmitting large audio data an there aren’t very many wifi wireless headphones on the market.

I Heard Something About Infrared Wireless Headphones. That Sounds Cool, Right?

Infrared is something that we use on nearly a daily basis if you happen to watch TV. Try stepping out of the room and turning your TV on or off. Did anything happen? If it worked, you have one amazing remote but for the most part when it comes to infrared technology the two devices communicating with each other need to have a clear line of sight with one another.

If you have a set of infrared wireless headphones or are thinking about getting a pair, you need to understand that once those headphones and the infrared device that they are connected to lose their line of sight with each other, your connection will fail.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to move around and is looking for a pair of headphones to accommodate you as you move about the house, then these aren’t for you. Due to this, it is extremely rare to come across a pair of infrared headphones.

Can I Use Custom Wireless Connections?

For those of you who want 100% security on access to your wireless headphones’ connection, there are a small number of wireless headphones that come equipped with dedicated docks. These docks are used to charge the headphones and will typically also have its own wireless connection which will typically be designed for connection to your TV for your own personal entertainment.

However, as this is a dedicated connection, your headphones will always be paired to that device. If you want to pair them to something else for your listening pleasure, you are going to have a hard time trying to connect them to another device.

Are There Any Wireless Headphones That Don’t Have A Wire At All?

Most headphones, even the “wireless” ones come equipped with a wire to accommodate those who will sometimes want a wired connection. If you are one of those people who don’t want to deal with wires or headbands at all, there is an option available to you that will allow you to have a truly wireless listening experience.

The main reason why people tend to choose wireless headphones or look at wireless headphone options is that they really don’t want to deal with the cord that comes with wired headphones. It gets in the way, and if you’re an active person who likes to run or go to the gym, you’d rather not have to deal with that or be stuck tucking your headphone wire in your shirt.

Truly wireless headphones have no wire whatsoever so you won’t have to worry about them getting in the way as you go about your daily activities. However, they tend to be pretty small and diminutive in stature so they do not have the greatest battery life.

In order to address the issue with battery life, due to this being a relatively new technology, a lot of manufacturers include a charging case with the wireless headphones to enable them to be charged on the go. It is important to note that size does not impact the quality of a Bluetooth or any other wireless connection that was listed above.

There are some in-ear wireless headphones that do perform better than the larger wireless headphones in regards to sound quality, which is a statement to be made as it is difficult to achieve good sound quality in small speakers.

Can Wireless Headphones Sound As Good As Wired?

This a good question that a lot of people ask when making their ultimate decision in whether or not they are going to purchase wired or wireless headphones. Having freedom do things you want to do without the risk of damaging a cord or having the hassle of untangling it almost daily are great selling points for someone to switch over to using wireless headphones but if they don’t sound as good, am I better off?

When it comes to the sound quality of wireless headphones, a lot of people will typically tell you that wired headphones are better when it comes to sound. No questions asked. However, there are a few things that you are going to have to consider. One thing is going to be the format that your music is in.

If the music you are playing is in mp3 format, then you won’t notice a difference in sound quality when compared to wired headphones. However, if your music is in AFLAC, FLAC, or WAV formats then you will notice a significant difference in the quality of sound produced with wired headphones producing the best quality.

It is widely accepted that wired headphones produce the best quality when it comes to sound. This is because it is easier for large amounts of electrical data to be transmitted through the use of a wired connection as opposed to going through a wireless one. However, as wireless technology continues to improve, the gap in sound quality will continue to decrease.

It is to be noted that with higher quality wireless headphones, the gap in sound quality is minuscule for the most part that it is almost impossible to notice, even by the most highly trained ears of listeners. For about $148 you can get studio-quality music from a good pair of wireless headphones like Sony’s Professional MDR-7506.

With this in mind, if you end up paying more than $150 and are buying a set of wireless headphones at over $400, you are paying for extra features instead of the quality of sound. If you have that kind of money where doing that doesn’t bother you, go for it. Just know your music isn’t really going to sound any better.

What Are Some Good Wireless Headphones To Get? 

If you decided after reading all of this that wireless headphones are the way to go for you, you probably want the best sound quality you can get as well as the best quality headphones. Here are some of our top picks in over-ear wireless headphones:

#1 Sony WH-1000XM3 

The Sony WH-1000XM3’s biggest rival is the Bose QC35 II. With that in mind, this pair of wireless headphones provide unrivaled quality where sound and noise cancellation are concerned. Aside from the clear benefits of providing music industry quality music on a wireless platform and superb noise cancellation, the Sony WH-1000XM3 offers an added Quick Attention feature that allows outside noise to come in when you need it to communicate with those around you.

PROSCONS
– 30 Hour Battery Life
– Excellent Noise Cancellation
– Studio Quality Audio
– Hinges Are Fragile

#2 Jabra Elite 85H

This is a set of wireless headphones that are stacking up to the juggernauts of Sony and Bose in regards to wireless headphones and sound quality. It has a battery life of 36 hours and produces high-quality ANC sound. However, as Jabra’s first shot at creating wireless ANC headphones some people may be disappointed in its lack of high-end codec support. All in all though, it is a great alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM3. They also happen to be a very stylish set of headphones to compliment your style.

PROSCONS
– 36 Hour Battery Life
– Amazing ANC Sound Quality
– Stylish And Comfortable
– Lacks The Ability To Support High-End Codec

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

This pair of wireless headphones is what happens when Bose takes an amazing product that they have released and combines it with another amazing product like Google Assistant. This pair of wireless headphones are identical to the Bose QC53 in every way except now it has the added Google Assistant button added to the headset.

These wireless headphones maintain the studio sound quality and noise cancellation Bose has been known for since 1980. The battery life is still good but not as great as Sony’s and Jabra’s but then again, most people aren’t staying up for 20+ hours.

PROSCONS
– Broad And Clear Soundstage And Music Quality
– Excellent Noise Cancellation
– Not Very Stylish
– The Active EQ Takes Some Getting Used To

Hope this answers all your questions in regards to whether or not wireless headphones are going to be the best option for you. If you want a deeper and more inclusive review of wireless headphones, go to https://www.techradar.com/news/audio/portable-audio/best-wireless-headphones-1280344. There you will find a comprehensive review of wireless headphones so you have all your options available before you order a pair.

Difference between Bluetooth versio...
Difference between Bluetooth versions

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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