Finding the right headphones can be difficult. It took me a few gears to the electronics market and some exchanges via Amazon until I had a model that met all the criteria that were important to me. The first requirement was that it connects wirelessly via Bluetooth. But every buyer has different ideas, and for some, a Bluetooth headphone may not be the device that offers the most added value. That is why I would like to explore in this article the purposes for which a wireless headphone is better than Bluetooth headphones.
Wired vs. Wireless Headphones
Headphones for the absolute best sound
Right from the same time: if your absolute highest priority is the best possible sound, there is no way past the cable. A connection via Bluetooth always means an (ever decreasing) loss in sound quality. For Otto Normalhörer, however, this is no longer problematic. In other words, the vast majority would not hear the difference. Even if you notice the difference, it is a worthy compromise, given the benefits of cable freedom.
Besides, it should be borne in mind that you will only pay half the rent even if you opt for high-quality cable headphones. To really have something of it, you also need a headphone amplifier.
The music should also come from high-quality sources:- e.B. from a CD or a lossless audio file, such as FLAC or ALAC. This makes the thing with the perfect sound, at least on the go, quite impractical. As a rule, you can’t drag your sound system around with you and will only really enjoy the living room chair to get everything out of the music.
In short, as long as you don’t have the highest demands on sound and count yourself among the “audiophiles” and hi-fi friends, there’s a wealth of Bluetooth headphones that can inspire you with their sound. And even if you’re part of the sound elite, you shouldn’t write off Bluetooth headphones: on the go, cable freedom is a real blessing, and codecs like aptX can also be transmitted almost losslessly.
This is now a question of where the average user has wired and wireless headphones’ respective advantages.
Use at home
Even if you would like to think that a cable hardly disturbs at home, Bluetooth headphones in-home use also have their advantages. Here is a list of scenarios in which both types of connection are convenient
- Housework: If you are cooking or cleaning up. B and moving through the house, the cable-free is in place when listening to music. Of course, it should be centrally placed to have reception everywhere if you hear about the PC.
- Television: Depending on how far away you sit from the TV, a cable connection is ridiculously awkward at some point. With a Bluetooth transmitter, any TV without Bluetooth function is quickly upgraded (how to do this and which devices are suitable, I explained in this post), and you can watch your movie wirelessly without sonicating others in the room.
- Music: If you like to take the time to sit down and dedicate yourself to the music, the cable won’t be particularly disruptive. Besides, even cheaper wired models offer a perfect sound.
- Gaming with a headset on PC: of course, you can also use Bluetooth headphones as a headset – but it’s easier to install with a wired device. Since you mainly sit here, a cable doesn’t bother either. Besides, using a headset pretty much adds to Bluetooth headphones’ battery – a problem you don’t have wired.
- Music via CD player, stereo,…: clearly, if you want to listen to music at home from a device that doesn’t support Bluetooth, all that’s left is the handle to wired headphones or A Bluetooth transmitter – and the former is much easier and cheaper to do.
Use on the go
While both types of connections have something to their own, the go is a home game for the Bluetooth headphones. In almost all applications on the go, it has its nose clearly ahead:
- Train travel: on public transport, it is much more convenient not to have a cable hanging from your headphones. This does not run the risk of getting tangled up where. By controlling the headphones themselves, you don’t have to pull out your phone or MP 3 player while standing on a tight tram in the middle of other people.
- Sports: in the fitness centre or jogging, it is a blessing to listen to music wirelessly. A cable can rub on the clothing during fast movements (which cannot be avoided when running), causing an unpleasant crackle. If you are in the gym again, the cable is often in the way and can get tangled up or ripped out.
- Wear and tear: almost all the headphones I owned so far died of a jack plug’s wobble contact. If you are knowledgeable and have sensitivity, you may be able to fix this – but I had to give up many otherwise flawless headphones when the plug broke. Much worse is when the socket, e.B. on the smartphone, suffers the same fate. The problem is completely alien to you with Bluetooth headphones.
- Longer journeys: a benefit of wired headphones becomes obvious when you’re on the road for longer – you don’t have to charge them. However, sooner or later, you will have to charge your Mp3 player/mobile phone – and they usually don’t last any longer than most Bluetooth headphones, which average just over 15 hours of playtime.
Bluetooth or cable Headphone: why not both?
One must not overlook an important point with all the pros and cons: most Bluetooth headphones can also be operated with cables. Comparing Bluetooth models with the same wired counterparts (e.B. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless & Sennheiser Momentum), the cable-only models usually have minimally better sound. Again, you don’t have problems like compatibility with such a hybrid device. That would be a way of striking a reasonable compromise between the two options.
Another way to get the best of both worlds is to buy Bluetooth headphones on the go and a wired one for home. Often, a single device does not combine all important characteristics. Depending on your priorities, this can vary in price– so you should first clarify them and ask yourself what is important to you:
Good sound for both devices at the lowest possible price:
For good Bluetooth headphones, you have to always put a little more on the table. From about 100 Euros, you are well-served sound wisely and comes into the class of around-ear headphones. My personal favourite and everyday headphones are the Sony MDR ZX77oBN – not because it’s the absolute best Bluetooth headphones out there. But because he hit the price-performance nail on the head for me: super wearing comfort, good battery, great sound and as an extra still noise cancelling.
Wired headphones are already available for a very narrow thaler – a cheap wired model, which has been on the market for about 10 years and has proven itself, is the Sennheiser HD 201(here it is usually available for about 20€ on Amazon). It offers a wonderful sound for a quiet evening in the armchair and lasts for years if you handle it carefully.
The Sennheiser HD 201 has been the budget headphone par excellence for years.
The combo of these two headphones provides you with good sound on the go (and usable noise-cancelling – perfect for driving to work or air travel) and lets you enjoy your music on CD or lossless audio files at home on an above-average headphone, while the wireless headphones charge for the next use.
Price doesn’t matter – the best of both worlds.
At this point, I don’t want to presume to choose the best headphones, but instead, make some suggestions:
Leading the way in Bluetooth headphones would be the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, the Parrot Zik 3.0 (here on Amazon) and the Bose Quiet Comfort 35. All three have in common that they have good noise cancelling, with Bose undisputedly ahead. If you don’t need Noise Cancelling, it’s not that easy to find a high-quality model and is either equipped without NC or has only optionally installed it. One option would be to switch to the Bose Soundlink Around-Ear Wireless II, which is largely similar to the Quiet Comfort 35 but is built without noise cancellation – but it costs about 100 euros less.
For the best sound, open headphones need to be made without controversy. The difference with closed headphones is that the sound is not isolated but (intentionally) also penetrates. The design allows a larger stage in terms of sound – i.e. a more spatial separation of the instruments and the feeling of being “in the sound”.
In any case, make sure that you won’t make friends with it on the tram. So open headphones pretty much restrict you to use them in your own home.
Notable models in this category are especially the Beyerdynamic DT 990 and Sennheiser HD 600. Important: they are not optimized for use with mobile phones/Mp3 players etc., but usually require a headphone amplifier to be supplied with enough juice. This purchase makes real sense if you hear about CD, vinyl or lossless file formats. If you only hear MP3s, the sound will be high quality, but you won’t get it all out of it.
The savings package with usable quality at the lumpiest price
If, on the other hand, you really want to get on with the tightest budget, I actually only recommend buying Bluetooth headphones.
If we stay in the category below 100 euros, we have to limit ourselves to on-ear headphones. Since you can also connect a cable with many headphones, two flies are beaten with one flap – e.B. with an August EP 650 or a CSL 450 LE. Both would be available for around 50 euros and provide acceptable sound quality and comfort.
If there’s a bit more budget in, I recommend the Sony MBR ZX330BT on the go and again the Sennheiser HD 201 for home. An even cheaper old-age rating to Sony would be the Skullcandy Uproar (here on Amazon), which does an excellent job in the budget sector. Both can’t be driven by cable, but as cheap portable headphones, they are worth their money.