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How To Choose Between Wired or Wireless Headphones?

How To Choose Between Wired or Wireless Headphones?

When I am asked a similar question, I orient people to a different choice: quality or convenience? There is no doubt that wireless headphones have become much more convenient. In addition, wireless headphones have become completely untethered from the analog part of the source. They no longer need an expensive audio player because the headphones receive sound from the source in the form of a digit and already convert it into audio with their internal DAC, and then amplify it with their internal amplifier. That is, the DAC and amplifier of your smartphone or player are not used.

It seems to be convenient; you can choose headphones with the best filling and excellent emitters. However, due to the dimensions of the case, the quality of the converter is limited. And all this is also superimposed on the shortcomings of the compression codecs used to transfer data between a smartphone and headphones. The current channel is not enough, which means we have losses. Overall detail and high frequencies suffer the most. That is why this range of wireless headphones is often relegated to the background. And this applies even to modern AptX HD and LDAC codecs.

In terms of music quality, bluetooth headphones & headsets now cannot compete with a wired connection from the word at all. This is technically impossible. Of course, there are wireless models that are very successful in terms of sound, created considering all the shortcomings of the connection, but there are frankly few of them. Basically, the Bluetooth segment focuses on the average, not particularly demanding music lover.

Active noise cancellation

Modern problems require modern solutions, which is why both wired and wireless headphones are getting the active noise canceling function everywhere. Is it convenient? – yes, especially in the subway or plane. Another question is what happens to the quality of music. Usually, all this is implemented as mixing a signal from a microphone in an antiphase to it. That is, external noise seems to collapse, alas, with part of your music.

Therefore, active noise reduction is not about melomaniac at all. And if all this happens in wireless headphones, where everything is far from perfect, then in the end we degrade the quality even more. Although, there are times when the need outweighs the aesthetics and active noise cancellation is still vital. See for yourself here.

Playback delay

The issue with playback delay is only found in wireless headphones and often in their application to games. Most of the good video is dubbed, so the words don’t get on the actor’s lips anyway. But for games, this is important. But again, if you are going for a record, then no TWS will help you – use wires. And so, the more modern codec, the lower the delay.

The exception is models with the so-called “game mode”, where those are reduced due to a shorter buffer. Remember only dependence: lower latency – worse communication. Therefore, the game mode is not recommended for the street, and powerful modern codecs often switch to adaptive communication mode themselves if there are problems.

Frequency response graphs

With the frequency response, everything is very simple, if you like bass, then see that this range has risen. If you do not like sonorous and sharp highs, it is better that there are no corresponding peaks. In any case, the frequency response is, of course, very important, but it can always be compensated for your own needs with the help of an equalizer. So, there is nothing directly critical here.

Final Words

As a result, I emphasize that wired headphones are still needed today for maximum quality and minimum delays. Wireless models, juggling with the built-in DAC, amplifier and emitters installed in the case, try to give out the cleanest, most detailed sound over the entire range, but this is just an attempt to squeeze the maximum out of what is. Regarding wireless codecs, it’s best to have AptX HD or LDAC. So far, they are not very common in the TWS segment, but some models are already found. As for AptX, it’s not much better than the more common AAC.


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