Wireless Headphones Buyers’ Guide
With the ease of use and the freedom that you get with wireless headphones, it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular in recent years. It’s true that when they first came out and were new, they had their fair share of problems, but these problems are a thing of the past. Today, new wireless headphones have amazing sound quality, an incredibly long battery life, and premium noise cancellation. Trying to decide between headphones? We’ve highlighted key considerations below to help you make the best decision for your individual needs.
A Wired or the Wireless Option
It’s true that the sound quality of wireless is not as good as wired ones, to a certain extent. This isn’t to say that the sound quality of wireless earphones is bad – just ever so slightly inferior. If you can’t compromise on sound, and convenience isn’t that important to you, you may prefer headphones (whether over-ear or in-ear) with wires. On the other hand, if you’re tired of wires and cables and want more freedom, then a new wireless option is a good pick.
Wireless headphones are specially designed to cater to the needs of a person who wants to listen to music on the go. With the new, improved sound and extended battery life in modern wireless over-ear or in-ear headphones, they can make life easier when you’re listening to music on the move.
The Type of Headphones
Whether you want earbuds (aka in-ear headphones) or conventional headphones is important to decide before you make your purchase. In-ear earbuds have a lower sound quality compared to conventional ones. However, they’re much easier to use. If you enjoy listening to music while working out the gym or playing sports, earbuds might be a better choice for you. Most are water and sweat-resistant, so you can use them easily and without any hassle.
On-ear and over-the-ear headphones have better audio quality. Over-the-ear headphones are great in cancelling external noise and most come with active noise cancellation. However, on-ear headphones are more portable. (click for budget options).
If you’re aware of all these different types and what purpose they serve the best, then it’ll be easier for you to make the correct decision as to which wireless headphone to buy.
Another important thing to look for when shopping around for a wireless option is battery life. Wireless or Bluetooth headphones are incredibly convenient, but you can’t use them if they’re not charged. This is why battery life is so important. Some manufacturers also include a portable charging kit so you can charge your headphone on the go, but this is less common. Most Bluetooth options come with a detachable 3.5mm cable. These models come with a detachable cable, so they can be used as conventional headphones by plugging the cable into the jack if the battery runs out.
One thing that you should always keep in mind is that in-ear headphones don’t come with this detachable cable option. The earbuds are too small for a headphone jack. There are also some models that have an extended battery life lasting up to 22 or even 24 hours when charged completely. However, they tend to be more expensive.
Last but certainly not least is the budget. Wireless headphones are available in price ranges from as low as under $100 going up to hundreds of dollars. You can still get good quality sound from a relatively cheaply priced wireless headphone set, but high-end models will have more features. Decide what you want from your wireless earphones. Will you be content with good audio quality or do you want extra features?
Our Top Pick
The Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones are one of the very best wireless solutions that you can go for. These Bose noise cancelling headphones have a stylish design, and an incredible battery life (of up to 20 hours). They give you the freedom to move, and to top it all off, these Bose noise cancelling headphones are incredibly comfortable. You’re looking at a top-class pair of headphones from start to finish. They also come with a noise-rejecting dual-microphone system so that you get clarity in your calls. If you want great audio, these Bose noise cancelling headphones is a must-buy as far as we’re concerned.
Available in two different colors, this headphone is surely one of the best wireless headphones available. Sony has produced quality electronic products right from its very beginning. This brand is preferred by most audiophiles and audio professionals worldwide. Click here for our latest review of these products.
The Sony Premium Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphone is another amazing product by Sony. It comes with an industry-leading noise cancelation ability to isolate you from the world and give you enhanced listening experience. The 40mm driver offers the best hi-res audio quality. It also has the Easy Touch Control feature, so that you can be in total control while using it. The battery life lasts up to 20 hours
All these amazing features make the Sony Premium Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphone an excellent choice if you’re looking for a premium product.
Plantronics is one of the industry leaders in producing phenomenal audio solutions and the Plantronics BackBeat PRO Wireless Noise-Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones is no exception. What sets it apart from the others on this list is that it’s available for a relatively low price. This is amazing, given its high-quality make and many features. All in all, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO Wireless Noise-Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones is one of the best values you’ll find on the market.
What are Wireless Headphones?
When it comes to headphones, wireless is a great option. Wireless headphones connect to a smart device using Bluetooth or NFC without using long wires and cords. The best wireless headphones offer convenience, and more freedom to move around, compared with a traditional pair.
Some feel the sound quality of even the best wireless earphones is slightly inferior to wired sets, but there have been many advances in wireless headphone technology. Today, the sound quality is phenomenal and, while there may be a slight difference between wireless and wired in terms of sound, most people won’t notice – not even with a true wireless option.
How Do Wireless Headphones Work?
Similar to closed back and open back wireless design options, they take the device’s audio signal and transmit this signal through infrared or radio signals. Most modern wireless microphones can easily connect with any smart device.
Who Needs Wireless Headphones?
Anyone can benefit from using them. These are designed for listening to music or sound on-the-go, so you can enjoy your music while traveling. They’re also good if you’re the sporty type, or lead a very active lifestyle. A wireless solution allows you to listen to music while at the gym or playing sports without having to worry about getting tangled up in a wire. Going wireless is also an excellent choice if you want the freedom to move around while you’re listening to music or audio at home.
Why Buy Wireless Headphones?
The single biggest reason why people go for a wireless option over wires is the level of convenience. It frees you from dealing with wires all of the time. These wireless headphones are compatible with virtually every smart device. You also get an ANC (active noise cancellation) feature with most wireless headphones available out there.
What to Look For in Wireless Headphones?
There are some key factors you should consider before buying wireless headphones, which we’ve listed below.
You should also consider whether they’re just wireless or true wireless. Wireless earphones will have a connecting wire, whereas a true wireless option won’t have any wire at all. This makes over-ear earphones and headsets, such as the Bose and Sony WH 1000XM3 we’ve mentioned above, automatically true wireless.
Be aware of the different price ranges that they come in and what they feature at these different price levels. The more you spend, the more features (such as extended battery life) you’ll get, and the better the sound quality will be. That said, you can still get good quality at a lower price. It’s all a matter of how much you’re willing to spend. Decide on a budget before you go shopping.
Earphones vs Headphones
Another important thing to consider when going for the best wireless headphones is the type that you want. In-ear or earbuds are often sweat and water-resistant so that you can use them when you’re at the gym. On the other hand, the sound quality with conventional over-the-ear ones is unmatched. Furthermore, this will usually provide the best noise cancelling ability, such as found on the WH 1000XM3 mentioned above. So which type you decide to buy depends on what sort of application you’ll be using them for.
You should be choosy about this factor because you won’t be able to listen to music if your headphone battery dies. Some brands offer a portable charger, along with their wireless headphones, so you can also charge them up while you’re on the go.
Some of the high-end models like the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones come with a battery life of 20 hours once charged completely. There are also some models that come with a detachable cable that you can plug in the same way you would a traditional headphone when the battery dies on you.
Is ANC important?
ANC is the active noise cancellation feature that you get with most products, whether they come with wires or they’re wireless. The primary purpose of wireless headphones is to give you music on the go, but there will inevitably be external noise when you’re out and about. To eliminate all this external noise and dive deep into your listening experience, it’s important for your wireless headphones to be equipped with the ANC feature.
How Do You Charge Wireless Headphones?
Wireless headphones work with their own power supply. The power supply can either be disposable batteries or a built-in rechargeable battery installed in your wireless headphones. It’s always good to have wireless headphones with built-in rechargeable batteries because they can be charged conveniently. You won’t have to spend tons of money on purchasing disposable batteries all the time.
When going for a Bluetooth option, it’s important to buy one with a battery life of at least 8-12 hours.
It normally takes around three hours for the battery of a wireless headphone to charge completely. One thing to keep in mind is that the battery life is directly related to the volume. If you listen to music at a higher volume, the battery will drain very quickly.