Bluetooth sound accessories such as headphones, earbuds, speakers and so on are in popular demand these days. It’s not just because these are more convenient than the traditional wired ones but also because smartphones are losing the 3.5mm headphone jack. So, if you’re someone who is looking to purchase new wireless headphones or earbuds, how would you choose one? And should you really buy one?
Of course, it depends on your usage. And that’s what we’re going to discuss here. I’ll be telling you what you should look for while choosing wireless headset.
Bluetooth Headphones/Earbuds: Everything you need to know:
It’s something you’ve to look on both- your Android phone or laptop and the wireless headphones or earbuds. There are different codecs which works differently.
- SBC is the common one which is not great in quality compared to other codecs but supports on most devices.
- AAC is another quite common codec nowadays on smartphones, it has better sound quality than SBC but not that good latency on Android.
- AptX and AptX HD are having near lossless sound quality but the latency is not really great. AptX Low Latency or AptX LL is having decent sound quality and great latency. And AptX Adaptive which is simply best in terms of latency.
- LDAC is having best in class sound quality but at the same time, the latency is not that good as AptX.
So, you must make sure that both- your phone and the headphone or earbud you’re looking to buy supports the codec which you gonna use.
If you’re an iPhone user then just look for AAC supported headphones or earbuds and you’re good to go. iPhones only support SBC and AAC but AAC sounds way better in iPhones compared to Android devices.
Know more about Bluetooth Audio Codecs here.
Wireless headphones and earbuds have issue with latency. The audio doesn’t always sync perfectly with real time. For example, if you’re watching a video or playing a game then you might feel that there is a delay between what you’re seeing on the screen and what you’re hearing.
In high end devices such as iPhones, the audio delay might not be as bad as in mid range smartphones. Usually, new headphones and phones don’t have much big issue while playing videos unlike in the past.
The big issue with bluetooth headphones is that, if you’re using mid-range phone which doesn’t support low latency codec such as aptX LL or your headphone doesn’t then while playing games, the audio delay will be clearly visible.
So, if you’re going to play games while using bluetooth earbud or headphone then be ready for high latency issue. It’s not going to be an issue if you’re not going to game though.
Wireless headphones and earbuds use battery as power source, unlike the wired ones which uses your device’s power. And due to that, you will need to charge them frequently and there might be a time when you want to use them and you realize that the battery is almost empty. So, make sure to check what the manufacturer claims about the battery life and what the ‘customer reviews’ says about it.
If you’re someone who loves to play games, especially where you need to hear enemies’ footsteps then it’ll be best to avoid wireless.
Look, I am not saying they are bad. They are usable if your device and headphone/earbud are both great. However, if your device or headphone don’t support low latency codec then the express is not going to be really smooth.
Besides, while gaming, you may not be able to hear some really low audible sound due to lossy quality or interference.
I would say- go for wired headphone or get an dongle if you can’t find proper headphone for your phone.
It’s true that wireless is the future, but we’re not ready for it yet, especially in mid-range smartphone segment and mobile gaming. Hopefully, soon wireless audio accessories will improve and there might no longer be need of wired headphones. I hope this article was helpful in choosing the right wired headphone or earbuds for you.