The Next Generation of Headphones
In today’s era of interconnectivity, using wireless accessories is a must — especially now that major smartphone brands aren't including headphone jacks on their new models.
Using wireless devices allows us to move around more freely and is more convenient. However, the downside of wireless accessories is that you have to be concerned about battery life. But don't let battery life concern you too much; every year the longevity of wireless accessories gets better and better.
Whether you're buying a phone that doesn't have a headphone jack or you just don't want to have to deal with your headphone wires getting tangled anymore, this article will tell you everything you need to know about wireless headphones so you can make a purchase with confidence.
What are Wireless Headphones?
Wireless headphones are able to connect to devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and consoles with the use of Bluetooth.
How Do Wireless Headphones Work?
There are two kinds of wireless headphones. Although both allow you to do the same things at the end of the day, it's good to understand the difference in how they accomplish this.
First are the RF (radio frequency) wireless headphones. These headphones pass a signal between a frequency of 3 kHz and 300 GHz to a receiver connected to a stereo or TV. Although the signal can extend over a distance of 100 feet, it can also interfere with other wireless devices.
This type of wireless headphone uses frequencies like a radio does. A great example is the Sennheiser RS 185 RF wireless headphone system. This wireless headphone comes with a base stand that can connect two headphones by using the multi-receiver transmission.
The second type are Bluetooth capable wireless headphones. This is the standard type of headphones nowadays. For this wireless headphone to work, all you need is a device that has Bluetooth functionality, such as you smartphone.
The downside of this kind of wireless headphone is that Bluetooth devices are developed for short distances. This means your device must be in close proximity to your headphones at all times in order to work. A great example of this type of headphone is the Apple AirPods.
Can Wireless Headphones Connect to TVs, Laptops and Game Consoles?
It depends on the device. When it comes to televisions, smart TVs are able to support wireless headphones. In order for your wireless headphone to work on all other televisions, you must purchase a dedicated wireless headphone, just like the Sennheiser RS 185 RF wireless headphone system.
Another alternative is using a media streaming device such as Apple TV, Roku or Android TV. These devices support wireless headphones by using Bluetooth.
Laptops nowadays are built with Bluetooth, so connecting to your wireless headphones won't be a problem at all. Gaming consoles however still don’t support wireless headphones. Some people use a Bluetooth adapter, but it’s a hit or miss as to whether this works effectively.
Best Over-Ear Wireless Headphones
Without a doubt, Sony is the top brand in the headphone industry. The premium design and feature-rich Sony WH-1000XM3 shows its competitors what noise canceling headphones should be like. It switches from the traditional buttons to finger movement-sensitive touch controls. It also uses a USB type-c port for charging and is lighter than its previous model.
On the left ear cup, you’ll find two buttons: Power/Bluetooth and a cycle for the noise-cancellation settings. On the right ear cup, you’ll find the touch capacity playback controls.
In terms of battery life, it offers around 30 hours. It also has a quick charge feature that allows you to use the headphones for approximately five hours after 10 minutes of charging.
- Great battery life
- Outstanding noise cancellation
- Premium feel and quality
- Not cheap
- Mediocre call quality
- $349 USD (Amazon)
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Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose is one of the best manufacturers in the headphone industry. If you are looking for wireless headphones with active noise cancellation, then Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the perfect headphone for you
This headphone's best feature is how well it works with Google Assistant. Unlike other headphones, Bose QC35 II has a button integrated for Google Voice Assistant (which means no more yelling, "OK Google”) located on the left ear cup. The plastic build and design feels cheap, but the weight does wonders when traveling.
Concerning sound quality, Bose QC35 II are good, but not as good as Sony WH-1000X M2. For the battery life, it averages around 20 hours with noise cancellation and moderate volume.
- Has Google Assistant Support
- Great noise cancellation
- Perfect for travelers
- Plain design
- No autoplay/pause
- Cheap build
- $349 USD (Amazon)
Best In-Ear Wireless Headphones
NuForce BE Sport 4
In-ear wireless headphones are ideal for exercise, but don't always have the same audio quality as over-ear headphones. However, the NuForce BE Sport 4 is suitable for all situations. NuForce BE is designed and built well. It’s made of glossy black metal with a subtle splash of color. It has three pairs of silicon ear tips in different sizes which helps you snugly fit them in your ears.
The best feature of NuForce is it connects the earbuds to each other by the use of built-in magnets. The sound quality may not “wow” you, but it gets the job done. The NuForce BE Sport 4 has a 10-hour battery life. It is also water and sweat resistant.
- Premium build
- Impressive audio quality
- Customizable ear tips
- Water and sweat resistant
- Not suited for one-ear listening
- $79 USD (Amazon)
Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earbuds
Ever since Apple released their AirPods, true wireless headphones/earbuds are now in demand. If you want premium quality and a trusted wireless earbud brand, then Jabra 65T should be the top of your list.
Jabra Elite 65T has a practical design. Though it’s made of plastic, it still feels like a premium product. To maximize this earbud, you must download the Jabra app (IOS and Android). In the app, you can customize the volume and choose different presets such as "relaxing" and "commuting."
Each earbud has a different set of controls. On the left is the volume adjustment. You can skip or play the next song by holding the button down for an extended amount of time. On the right is a single button to play/pause music, answer a call and activate the voice assistant.
For a true wireless earbud, the sound quality is excellent. You can block out external noise by customization via the Jabra App.
Regarding battery life, the Jabra Elite 65T is rated to last around five hours. To charge the Elite 65T, all you need to do is put them back in the charging case just like the Apple AirPods. The downside, however, is it still features a micro USB charging port.
- Simple design
- Balanced sound quality
- Easy to use
- Customizable via Jabra App
- Excellent battery life
- Alexa enabled
- Limited water resistance
- Slippery case and earbuds
- $158 USD (Amazon)