August 01, 2017

Free Headphones! Kidding. But now that we have your attention, we do mean to take a gander at whether it’s a good for your headphones to be ‘free’ of wires or not. See what we did there? No? Moving on…

 

 

In this age of mobility and wireless tech, being tangled might seem odd. With 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth taking over the world of tech, audio too is well on its way to wireless freedom. But, there’s still time before wirelessness catches up with the prowess of a good ol’ wired pair of headphones. Why, you say? For that let’s understand the difference between using a wired and wireless headphones and how it affects the way you listen to music.

Wireless headphones are the trend in today's day and age. Portable and comfortable are all we look for, don’t we? Headphones and earphones are also becoming portable and convenient.

 
Technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC are used to transmit audio signals. There are many wireless buds and cans that have excellent audio reproduction. Beats X, V-MODA Crossfade and u-JAYS are some noteworthy examples. While going wireless helps in convenience and mobility, there are some limitations to itBluetooth operates at 2.4 GHz. Many wireless Radio and other transmissions also operate at this frequency range. There is a chance that during Bluetooth playback, some other device working at same frequency might interfere. Tough chance for something like that happening on a wired connection. 

If you are using Bluetooth to listen to Music from your phone or laptop, you have a benefit of moving freely. Bluetooth 4.0 works up to a range of 30 feet. There is a possibility some other Bluetooth device maybe in the same area as your Bluetooth headphone. This might interfere with your signal. Many headphones have now been rolled out with Bluetooth 4.2. To the aid of loss in transmission over Bluetooth, Qualcomm has come up with AptX technology. AptX uses a high-grade transmitter and receiver with an advanced codec support that reduces the loss to a great extent when it comes to wireless audio transfer

Near Field Communication (NFC) does not transmit audio signals continuously. It is used to connect to a NFC enabled device in a jiffy. It has a range of just 3 to 4 feet, it’s like we are bound to our mobile charging cable. The audio is then transmitted via Bluetooth. 

Another disadvantage of wireless devices is that there maybe a loss of quality while high resolution audio is  being transmitted.

Wi-Fi can be set over a larger area using inter-connectivity. Large Public Address (PA) systems can be set-up over Wi-Fi. Due to high inter-connectivity and better signal, the Audio does not interfere. However, Headphones cannot be set up over Wi-Fi networks as there is a problem of other devices and networks conflicting.

 

 

This does not mean that wireless headphones are not usable. Companies work hard at creating good sounding wireless headphones. Battery life and Connectivity loss are the only disadvantages,  which do not occur frequently. Not like we don’t face these with our mobile devices. But, keep your fingers crossed as the slew of wireless headphones hitting the market are getting better and better, with respect to their ability to play hi-res audio and battery life. The day when wireless will sound sound as good, if not better than a wired one isn’t too far off.

When we compare wired headphones over wireless, the main advantage is proper signal transmission over wires leading to better audio reproduction. Most wired Headphones use copper cables with fiber casing. This reduces loss of signal to nearly nothing. Some popular wired headphones are Audio-Technica ATH M50x and the Sennheiser HD series. Moreover, hi-res players and amplifiers can be used with wired headphones for playing lossless high resolution Audio.

The ability to customize headphone cables and ear caps are some things headphone lovers like to indulge in.

Every listener has an option to choose based on his need and lifestyle. Wireless audio as good as it is, will keep improving with technology. There is no disadvantage to using a wired or wireless earphone and headphone as long as the product satisfies the expectation of the user. Music whether natural or digitized, always pleases a music lover. So carry on listening and keep on grooving!

 

Talk to a Headphone Guru


Talk to a Headphone Guru

Information overload? Your Guru will find the best headphones keeping in mind your budget restrictions and brand preferences.



Also in Audiophile Guide

Open-back and Closed-back design
Open-back and Closed-back design

August 28, 2017

Understand the difference between open-back and closed-back headphones, the technologies used in both and how using it affects your music. Read about it on this simple audiophile guide.
Read More
Understanding Frequency Response & related concepts
Understanding Frequency Response & related concepts

August 28, 2017

Understand how your headphone responds to different frequencies and how your audio performance is affected by the responsive nature of your driver.
Read More
Understanding Mid & High range frequencies
Understanding Mid & High range frequencies

August 23, 2017

Understand how different audio frequencies play their part in framing your music. Frequencies like Bass, Mids and Trebles.
Read More