Which is better wired or wireless headphones

Headphone connection possible via cable or radio






When buying headphones, several decisions have to be made: should it be a headphone or an in-ear headphone? Is the open or the closed construction preferred? Finally, there is the question of the type of connection between the headphones and the playback device, because this does not necessarily have to be done via a cable - the alternative is wireless headphones.



Wireless headphones: no problems with the cable


The main reasons for wireless headphones that are connected to the MP3 player or smartphone either wirelessly or via Bluetooth are the lack of annoying cables and the significantly better freedom of movement that this enables. The situation is completely different with headphones with cables: Either the latter are too long and the listener runs the risk of getting stuck with them all the time, with other headphones - especially in-ears - they are again kept too short and the connection is too short a hi-fi system is as good as impossible. In addition, there is another problem in this regard: the knotting of the cable. If the cable is rolled up (for transport, for example), it must first be untangled or even untied when unpacking; In the worst case, a cable break can even occur - such complications do not occur with wireless headphones.



Sound quality: Wired headphone variants are ahead


However, it must be said: Not everything speaks inevitably in favor of wireless headphones, because there are certainly situations in which they reach their limits and the variant with the classic jack plug is the better. It starts with what is probably the most important criterion for headphones - the sound. In this regard, no sound miracles should be expected from the wireless headphones, because the wireless connection simply entails a loss of quality. It is not without reason that headphones that are specially designed for use in the studio or as a DJ are always equipped with a cable. The technology has caught up in this regard in recent years, the noise disturbing the enjoyment of music is almost no longer to be found and wireless headphones meanwhile sound quite good - the same applies to the transmission itself - the grade “very good” in various tests almost exclusively received the cable headphones.



Different technologies of wireless headphones


Various technologies can be used to transmit the audio signal in headphones without cables. Wireless headphones that use infrared technology have the disadvantage that there must always be visual contact between the receiver and the transmitter. Analog wireless headphones are somewhat better in this regard, visual contact is no longer necessary here, but the transmission does not go too far either. Probably the best results with wireless headphones are achieved by Bluetooth technology, which offers good listening quality at a distance of a few meters - this technology also reaches its limits at greater distances. As a result, wireless headphones are not only inferior to models with cables in terms of sound, but their great advantage of freedom of movement is again somewhat limited by the transmission range.



Wireless headphones require a power supply


Due to the technology used for the connection, wireless headphones need a power supply in the form of a rechargeable battery integrated in the headphones, while the “normal” models draw their energy from the playback device via the cable. This limits the use of wireless headphones not only in terms of the transmission range, but also in terms of the battery life: If this is empty, the headphones must first be recharged before wireless music enjoyment can be continued. However, this fact is not a disadvantage compared to normal cable headphones, as the manufacturer often supplies an additional cable for such cases - when the battery is empty, it is possible to continue using the headphones in passive mode via a jack plug.


Ultimately, the user has to decide for himself which properties he considers more important: If freedom of movement is the decisive criterion and if sound is compromised, wireless headphones are the right choice - on the other hand, wired headphones are easier to use and offer the better sound quality.