Best Wireless Headphones – The Art of Wireless Listening
Headphones give a person the ability to enjoy their music, podcasts, or any other audio without disruption to their surrounding. As music and audio continue to become more a part of society’s everyday life, it is important that improvements in accessories such as headphones and music players are constantly improving as well.
Headphones allow us to concentrate on what is being played through our personal devices without interruption from the surrounding environment. They are great for anywhere a person may go and allow maximum mobility for their daily audible needs.
Of course, wireless headphones are surely the winner when it comes to quality sound and total mobility. With wireless headphones, people can listen to their favorite tracks and watch movies without the hassles of managing and untangling the wires every time they use their headphones.
When it comes to wireless headphones there are so many choices to choose from. Obviously, the best wireless headphones would be the ones that fit right for the particular ear shape/size and give high quality, interruption free surround sound.
The Top 5 Recommended Wireless Headphones:
What Are Wireless Headphones?
These are headphones that connect to a device such as a computer, stereo speaker, gaming console or other devices WITHOUT wire or cable.
They are used by many people daily for work or play and are popular with gamers since it allows the user to move around without disturbance. It’s also good for people who watch late night movies to avoid disturbing other people.
Headphones were invented as far back as 1910 by Nathaniel Baldwin and some of the features include Bluetooth, noise isolating and noise cancellation, wireless capability and others.
Types of Wireless Headphones:
There are several different types of wireless devices used in the wireless headphones. It can be tough to know which product is right for you. The 3 most common types are Bluetooth, infrared and radio frequency.
Every type has its own positives and negatives. By reading this guide, you’ll understand the differences between each type and understand which type is best for you.
This technology is well known as it is used with many headsets on cell phones. Bluetooth is exceptionally easy to use with cell phones as it syncs with your phone with the push of a button. Cell phone headsets provide exceptional sound quality due to the short distance between the transmitter and the receiver.
Bluetooth headphones are not as common as cell phone headsets. While providing exceptional quality over short distances, sound quality degrades quickly over long distances.
While it is possible to find a good set of Bluetooth headphones, expect to pay several hundred dollars. The biggest drawback is the low sound quality over long distances. If you are looking to use your wireless headphones for TV, you may need to sit closer to the TV than you’d like. In more expensive models, you will find a stronger transmitter.
Infrared wireless headphones operate on the same technology as old cordless home phones. Using the same frequency as cordless phones, 900MHz, you get a high sound quality and a long transmission range of approximately 150 ft with a clear line of sight, allowing you to move around your house and still receive high-quality sound.
Sound quality does degrade slightly while transmitting through walls. Though if you are using your wireless headphones for TV, then you should have no issue with sound degradation.
Infrared headphones have several benefits over Bluetooth and Radio Frequency headphones. Radio interference or static is not an issue with infrared headphones. They are also cheaper than other types of wireless headphones. They also don’t get interference from nearby electronic equipment.
Unfortunately, these benefits come with one negative. They often lack certain features that are only on upper-level models.
Radio Frequency Headphones:
Radio frequency headphones offer a diverse range of options and prices. It is possible to find a high-quality sound in a reasonable price range. Those looking for the highest quality sound and are willing to drop some money will likely look for radio frequency headphones.
These type of headphones have somewhat heavy batteries within the headset themselves. These batteries typically charge on the radio transmitter. The transmitter sends out low power radio waves, much like radio stations broadcasting a signal, just at a much lower power.
Radio frequency headphones offer exceptional sound quality over long ranges and aren’t impacted when transmitting through walls or other obstructions.
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides. As mentioned above, these types of headphones are heavier than other types. Also, there is a potential for static interference if you are near other electronic devices.
Typical Uses for Wireless Headphones:
The main advantage to using a wireless headphone setup is the convenience factor. Whether you want to sit in a quiet corner listening to loud music without disturbing the neighbors or lie in bed and watch TV while your spouse is sleeping they’re perfect. They’re great for:
- Listening to your stereo, MP3 or TV.
- Listening to your PC, whether it’s music listening, chatting or gaming.
- In flight movie watching or music listening. Noise canceling headphones might be the best option here.
- Going to the ballgame, listening to a radio broadcast rather than the roar of the crowd.
- Mowing the lawn or performing other jobs around the house where you need freedom of movement.
With the mobility provided by wireless headphones, you’re not forced to sit in one place or drag a long, cumbersome cord behind you when listening.
The range of some of the good units is up to 300-feet. That makes listening possible all around the house and usually even at the neighbor’s place. The signal goes through walls, floors, and ceilings unchallenged and the sound on the third floor is just as good as when the phones are in the same room as the sound source downstairs.
How To Find The Best Wireless Headphones That Meet Your Needs?
Getting a good set of wireless headphones can be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying decisions you can make. Whether for music, TV, or home theater, the right headset can make all the difference in how much pleasure you get out of your system.
To make sure you are getting the best wireless headphones, there are certain basic considerations that will steer you right.
Before considering anything else, it would be helpful to know what purpose the wireless headphones will be primarily used for. It will make a difference what you will be listening to, where the headphones will be used physically, and if two-way communication will be required.
- Input: If you plan to plug in a variety of peripheral devices, be sure the transmitter will accommodate the input. Several models only have a single input jack. The best wireless headphones allow all your devices to be played including Laptop, PC, DVD, and game boxes.
- Physical Location: When walking around the house and listening to music or a favorite soap opera, consider using RF frequency. This signal can go through walls and will even follow you outside. Even the Bluetooth headset doesn’t allow the user out of the room.
- Two-way Communication: If hands-free communication is a requirement for gaming or working online, then a wireless headset is on the table for consideration.
Size and Style:
Personal preference based on comfort and extended wear time can influence the choice of headphones. The choice of a seven-foot tall 300-pound man may differ from a tiny elderly lady. Certain styles are larger and heavier based on simple design. Planned activities may contribute to choice.
- Largest Wireless Headphones: Full-sized circumaural or supra-aural headphones are larger and heavier and probably better suited to sitting and watching TV or listening quietly to music. This style would likely be better suited to larger users for extended wear. When considering full-sized, if primarily use will be alone without others close by; open-backed ear cups may provide additional quality to the perceived audio. If others will be affected by the potential sound leak from open-backed ear cups, choosing closed-backed headphones would remedy that potential issue.
- Smaller Wireless Headphones: For extremely mobile applications, for example, while working out or on the train commuting; canal phones may provide convenience and the freedom full-sized headphones would not. Smaller and elderly users may find the in-ear headphones easier to use and more comfortable for longer wearing.
- Frequency: If the intention is to listen to high fidelity recorded music for personal enjoyment, consider using IR frequency or one of the best wireless headset models. The shorter transmission range provides less background interference and static.
- Surround Sound: There is no question that audiophiles that demand the highest quality sound will need to select the best wireless headphones with 5.1 surround sound. Using multiple drivers in the ear cup to provide front, back, and sub-woofer audio allows the untethered headphones to equal the sound quality of wired headphones. One headphone even provides a choice of room environment small, medium, or small area.
Another performance issue to review is the frequency response range that each model reproduce. Most offer ranges that are similar; from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. A few have an extended range that can increase audio perception, especially in the lower sub-bass range.
Most all packages will come with rechargeable batteries. The average battery life fully charged is about ten hours. Several models have batteries that last much longer, up to 18-20 hours. If extended use is planned, this may be an important factor.
In general, all transmitters double as both headphone holders and battery chargers. This is extremely convenient. Not every unit provides this benefit.
The distance a signal will supply a headphone is dependent on several factors. The transmitter range is related to the frequency type and the model itself. Deciding how far you plan to travel with the headphones is an important consideration.
IR frequency requires line of sight, Expect less than thirty feet and in one room, the signal will not go through walls. The same applies to Bluetooth except the distance is even less. Even the best Bluetooth headphones need to be within 20 feet or less.
RF transmitters can potentially broadcast 100 feet of more. In reality once more than 30-40 feet away from base produces background distortion and static, even the best wireless headphones. The amount depends on the model. The plus is that with RF the headphones can travel from room to room or outside.
What comes with the headphone package is important. Everything needed to get up and running should be included. This is one area in which most companies excel. Be sure batteries and a carrying case is included.
Support and Warranty:
Hopefully when making an investment in quality headphones or the best Bluetooth headset, needing support or a warranty won’t be necessary. It is good business to check before hand and consider what is available. Specifically look to see if the following are available:
- Toll-free telephone support 24/7.
- Online downloadable users handbook.
- Online help forum, live chat, and e-mail help.
- A 1-year warranty covering all factory defects.
“Wireless Headphones/Headset Buyer’s Guide”
Narrow Down the List
Now armed with some basic information about available options and an idea of what you want from the best wireless headset, create a short list. Do some research and see what others have tried and recommended or panned. Comparison shop and check prices. You will find the best wireless headphones to fit your needs.