Audio and Video

Published on May 11th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan

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Wired vs Wireless Headphones: What offers the best Sound?

For as long as we have had the option of buying wired or wireless headphones there has been a debate. It always begs the question, “wired vs wireless – which type is better?”. In this short guide we will discuss all the pros and cons of each and let you decide on what pair of headphones is right for you!

There are many different considerations when choosing headphones. By doing this, I have no doubt your mind will feel more at ease with knowing your decision was an informed one. If you like to have the newest and latest technologies it would be fair to say that you would be leaning to go straight for a wireless pair, but, is that really the best option for you?

What Are Wired Headphones?

Just as with your home stereo system you have a set of speakers where sound is received through wires from the back of a music player. Your wired headphones do the same thing, just on a much smaller scale. One notable difference is that headphones make use of jacks and plugs to receive sound from the device they are plugged into. There are a variety of plugs out there. The more common one is the 3.5 mm. The others include TRS, TRRS, and USB.

In spite of the fact that wired headphones are of older technology they still hold by a huge margin in popularity.

When wireless there is an additional step during transmission which is audio compression. Wired headphones skipping this step enables a full resolution.

Advantages

Headphone technology as with many technologies has seen leaps and bounds in advancements and improvements. With headphones, this does not mean they have become better because of the new wireless technology. Nothing can beat the quality and the amount of data sent and received through a wire. Wireless headphones require their data to be sent and received through digital signals. By sending and receiving this way they are unable to cope with loads of data. Wired Headphones pump our higher quality sound because it never misses a beat.

Even though the definition of audio quality to many is enough for them to be persuaded, it is not the only factor that is advantageous.

They often cost less due to the technology and materials to build are cheaper. This pleasantly results in repairing is affordable and replacement parts are more often than not readily available.

Unlike wireless headphones, wired ones are easy to use. It’s simply just a matter of “Plug n Play”. Wireless headphones on the other hand require you to perform more than 2 steps. Lastly, the vast majority of wired headphones have unlimited playtime. There is no need for any external power source because of how they work. Usually, the audio signals create enough energy for them to be operated. The speakers of wired headphones are passive and are more common to use line-level audio signals.

Disadvantages

An obvious disadvantage to headphones that are connected via wire is that your movement when using them is limited to the length of the wire. The length of your headphone wire does not necessarily mean it is binding. You are able to purchase headphone wire extensions. These extensions can be found in a variety of lengths.

When there is constant use, it can be quite likely for the wire to lose its integrity. Audio wires can be fragile and easily receive wear and tear, eventually resulting in them breaking.

At the other end of the wire is mostly found a 3.5 mm jack. These days there is a rising number of devices that are not compatible with a 3.5 mm jack. This is not to say there isn’t a solution, there is. Be aware it will come at an additional cost.

What are Wireless Headphones?

Unlike wired headphones that use analog transmissions to send audio signals, wireless headphones use radio transmission technology. There are 3 main ways to send audio through radio transmissions and these are, Bluetooth, Radio Frequency (RF), or Infrared Frequency (IF).

Simply put, Bluetooth technology compresses audio then encodes it to be sent wirelessly through radio waves. At the speaker end, those signals are then decompressed and decoded so there is audible sound. In recent times Bluetooth technology has come a long way with its latest version being “Bluetooth 5.2” having a range of up to 240 meters.

In terms of headphones using radio frequencies, it is very rarely seen. RF transmission technology is usually for wireless headphones that are specifically used with a TV.

Infrared transmissions are not nearly as common as Bluetooth transmissions. It needs to have a clear line of sight. There can be no interruptions with the audio signals that are being transmitted. If there is, the signal will be lost and you won’t hear any sound.

Advantages

Over the years, technology has seen many great innovations from wireless headphones to the best waterproof bluetooth headphones in 2021! One of these innovations that has seen many manufacturers of electronic goods such as, headphones, game controllers, and phones is wireless technology. This, fortunately, has resulted in many products being compatible with wireless features. Trends are seeing wired devices are becoming obsolete. A pair of wireless headphones will give you noticeable freedom of movement. No more untangling wires or worrying about tripping up. They are convenient and can be very compact.

Disadvantages

Despite the fastly growing popularity of wireless technology, there are still hurdles to overcome. Portable sources of energy could be seen as the greatest if not one of the greatest hurdles of the 21st century. As with anything wireless, they require a source of energy to keep them powered on. Wireless headphones do not only drain their own battery but also suck the battery life out of the audio device. This requires them to be charged after use.

If your wireless headphones break, the repair is very difficult if not impossible. They also need to be able to read a wide range of audio codecs for compatibility.

Which Type of Headphones is the best for your needs?

Wired headphones are good for:

If you require good active noise cancelation and optimal audio clarity, wired headphones are a good choice. They are good for people who are unlikely to move them away from where they are primarily used. They are often used by musicians, composers, office workers, and gamers.

Wireless headphones are good for:

If you are one to be on the road a lot and require that freedom of body movement you can’t go wrong with a pair of wireless headphones. These headphones are by far becoming the most sought after headphones.

We Prefer wireless Headphones!

Conclusion

For myself personally, I would have to lean towards a pair of wireless headphones. They suit my needs perfectly. It’s the freedom of movement and not getting worried about snagging up on something or being stuck in one place for long periods of time.

I hope this post helps you with your purchase. Being informed helped me!

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About the Author

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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