- 1 Mpow Bluetooth 4.1 Transmitter/Receiver
- 2 Mpow Bluetooth 2-in-1 Receiver/Transmitter
- 3 ANKER 2 in 1, 3.5mm Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver
- 4 Griffin iTrip Clip Bluetooth Audio Adapter
- 5 Trond Bluetooth Apt-X Transmitter and Receiver
- 6 TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver / Car Kit
- 7 JETech Wireless Bluetooth Stereo and Audio 2 in 1 Receiver and Transmitter
- 8 Etekcity Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver and Music Adapter
- 9 AMAKE Mini Wireless Bluetooth Receiver Portable Audio Adapter
Do You Use Bluetooth Headsets?
You must have at least once used Bluetooth headsets and Bluetooth headphone adapters, but you probably never thought about their use and purpose. Most people got Bluetooth headphones with their new phone, but have never unpacked them because they never thought that they can be very useful.
What are Bluetooth Headsets and Which are the Appropriate Bluetooth Headphone Adapters?
A Bluetooth headset is a device that consists of one or two headphones depending on the kind of headphones and microphones. Its main objective is to provide a smooth talk over a mobile phone or similar device for hands-free communication. Bluetooth headsets are connected with other devices using Bluetooth, which is based on wireless technology.
With the development of technology headphones progressed and adapted according to the type of use. So, today there are different divisions of Bluetooth headsets, but the basic one is on mono and stereo. Mono headsets consist of one headphone and a microphone, and most often are used for talk over a mobile phone. Stereo headphones consist of two headphones and a microphone and are generally used for professional purposes.
When it comes to the use of headphones, they are most often present in call centers, but also in private life when our hands are busy. An ideal example is car driving. If you use public transport very often, you can notice how many drivers use a mobile phone while driving a car and indeed you will be unpleasantly surprised how often this happens. So, all those headphones that collect dust at your home should better be used while you are driving your own car.
Guidelines for Choosing the Best Bluetooth Headphone for Your Own Needs
Today you can find various models of headphones on the market, from cheap ones to expensive and higher quality headphones. When purchasing headsets, you need to pay attention to some basic characteristics. You should first check whether you headset stands well in your ear. You must be sure that when you put the headphone in your ear it doesn’t pinch you and that it won’t physically damage your ear. The next thing is to check the sound quality of the headphones so you could be able to speak freely. Each Bluetooth headset has its own battery, so it is very important to know how much battery can withstand a single charge. Higher quality headphones have a battery that can last up to ten hours while the cheaper ones are mostly reduced to just a few hours.
The last important feature is the range of your Bluetooth headset. Most models have range of 3-5 meters and some even 10 meters depending on the situation.
Best Bluetooth Headphone Adapters In 2017 – Top 9
|Bluetooth Headphone Adapters||Model||Rating||You Save||Approximate Price|
|Mpow Bluetooth 4.1||4.3||N/A||$40 - $80|
|Mpow Bluetooth 2-in-1||4.1||$9.00 (28%)||$20 - $50|
|Anker SoundSync Drive||3.9||$20.00 (50%)||$15 - $45|
|Griffin iTrip Clip||3.7||$1.99 (10%)||$10 - $25|
|Trond||4.4||$40.00 (57%)||$20 - $80|
|TaoTronics||4.4||$4.00 (20%)||$10 - $25|
|JETech||4.1||N/A||$10 - $30|
|Etekcity||4.4||$27.20 (54%)||$20 - $50|
|AMAKE||3.0||$36.70 (75%)||$10 - $50|
Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology enables connection of compatible communication devices without using cables. Bluetooth connection does not require the headset and the phone to be in sight, but that the distance between them should not exceed 10 meters. Disturbances in the connection may occur due to the operation of any other electrical device or walls, if you are indoors.
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Until recently, wireless headsets have been known for a very bad sound quality with little bass. However, with the advancement of technology there are now very good wireless headsets that remove the surrounding noise because they have good isolation. Now the leading headset manufacturers are able to make a wireless headset (Wireless Headphones, Wireless Headset) with crystal clear sound and good range. Wireless headphones allow you to listen to music from your MP3 player or your computer. The range of wireless headsets varies. The most trusted use is up to around 30m away from the transmitter. The transmitter should be connected to the device you want to reproduce the sound from, for example, a personal computer.
What to Pay Attention to When Selecting the Best Bluetooth Headphone?
One of the most important factors when selecting a wireless headset is definitely the sound quality. You must also pay attention to the performance of headphones that include range and isolation of background noise. When it comes to the characteristics of the product, you should find, if possible, a headset with a channel 5.1. The configuration of 5.1-channel sound is achieved by incorporating multiple speakers in the headphones that are used for background sound, center, front and subwoofer. The next thing you should pay attention to is the accessories provided with the headset. For example, some headphones have rechargeable batteries while some have batteries that need to be changed.
The characteristics of wireless headsets vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
In our list of best Bluetooth headphone adapters we have selected the top 9 adapters and presented their features in order to facilitate your purchase.
Top 9 Best Bluetooth Headphone Adapters
Mpow Bluetooth 4.1 Transmitter/Receiver
Powerful, unique, all in one adapter, made for you to enjoy. Just after getting it out from the package you will immediately notice its sophisticated and elegant design. High quality is visible at first sight, and its beautiful design is what you will adore most.
Upgraded Bluetooth version to 4.1 version takes us into the world of new high quality devices. It is important to emphasize that this adapter has both transmitter and receiver features. What’s impressive is the fact that it is characterized by easy pairing to other devices. You can also use it if you don’t have Bluetooth in your car. It works for answering calls as well. Charging is easy and it can work for a very long time. It has two buttons aside, intended for changing tracks, which is an extremely useful feature. All the functions mentioned above distinguishe it from the other products. Great look, you will not resist it!
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Upgraded 4.1 Bluetooth version
Very good sound quality
Very easy to pair
Cannot be used while charging
Mpow Bluetooth 2-in-1 Receiver/Transmitter
New, upgraded Mpow Bluetooth receiver product. Sophisticated design that you will like, small and compact device.
The device operates quite well, so you will certainly not complain about that. Opinions about the appearance of this product could vary depending on what you like. On the one hand, the design is quite attractive and appealing, but it might also seem a bit cheap because of the plastic body. It can be recharged, and the battery lasts up to eight hours. The microphone quality is not among the best ones, but it is quite acceptable. Aside it has two buttons, intended for changing tracks. It can be easily paired to your mobile phone etc. so you can, for example, listen to your favorite songs in your car. It has a microphone, so it can be used for making phone calls, and this is very important for lots of people. It can be charged quickly, and lasts for hours. Used with every device with Bluetooth, it has a wide range of use: in our car, while walking, or just sitting at home and relaxing. The device is good alternative for cable use, and what is definitely very important it isn’t expensive at all. Quite good quality for a very good price.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Connection of two Bluetooth devices at the same time
Easy pairing with other devices
Smart portable device
Clear sound of good quality
Average quality of the microphone
ANKER 2 in 1, 3.5mm Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver
Dual performing device, both Bluetooth receiver and transmitter. Although the device is very tiny, it fulfills all the criteria. When talking about the design it looks classic, without too many details. It is small so you can keep it wherever you want. In this case everything is simplified: nice, simple, minimal design fits the easy way to operate with this device. Very simple to deal with, especially when mentioning the fact that it has one switch button between the transmitting and receiving mode. If you want, for example, to listen to music from your phone, you just have to pair it with Anker device. The Bluetooth connection is easy and fast. Then you plug your headphones to the adapter, and just pick a song on your phone, after what you can immediately listen it and enjoy.
This ANKER Bluetooth TX/RX device has the range of around 10 meters signal. It help us follow the new wireless technology path and it works perfectly. It has a wide use: you can use it, for example, in order to get wireless headphones, and also for listening to music, as mentioned above, etc. You can carry it with yourself and use it every day. To charge it, it is enough to have micro USB and do it with its help. You can also use it if you don’t have Bluetooth in your car. Fantastic, isn’t it? If you are satisfied with these characteristics, you will also be with the product. You can have it for a wide range use, and most important thing is that it has a solid, average price. We recommend it, so you will be happy and satisfied with it.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Small and slim device
Intensely easy to pair with other devices
One switch between RX and TX
Very good audio quality
Does not work with phone calls
Griffin iTrip Clip Bluetooth Audio Adapter
Another full compact, well made device you can use any way you like. It works with Bluetooth 4.1 version, and completes the story of your phone and headphones. It is small, very light round gadget, with nice, portable design.
Very useful device, easy to deal with, everything works perfectly fine. It can be attached wherever you like, because of its compact look, but also the clip it has. If you have average headphones at your home, than you will be perfectly satisfied with this one. Your favorite headphones become wireless with this amazing gear. But, if you love quality sound, you must think about something with more options to work with and customize it by your needs. Firstly, it is referred to a slight difficulty to control the volume. If you press some buttons, a voice speaks and pronounces your command. For some people it may be a bit loud. With this gear you will be able to make phone calls, play music and control track. Its microphone is of average quality. All what you need! You can connect it to any of your devices that don’t have a headphone jack. Simple way to pair it with other gadgets. Battery is of regular durability, around 6 hours, and it’s rechargeable. It has a range of around 10 meters. All in all, very functional device with gives you everything you need for its regular price. And what is very helpful is its tiny appearance.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Works with phone calls
Works while charging
Very good price
Buttons work perfectly fine
No possibility of using ear phones along with Griffin iTrip Clip
Small sound delay
Trond Bluetooth Apt-X Transmitter and Receiver
The design that will attract you at first sight. This 2 in 1 device, both transmitter and receiver, works with Bluetooth 4.1 version. It can connect to your tablet or phone and you can enjoy the music you like most wirelessly. New on the market, but still very good!
If you are tired of using your wired headphones and irritated by the fact that late at night you cannot listen to your favorite music because you bother your family members, you should really consider buying this practical, new adapter. It will make your life easier and full of enjoyment. The battery is rechargeable and it works around 8 hours. What can possibly be important to you is that this device can be used while you are charging it. This is a good device for users that don’t need too many features and it will suite their needs for sure, but for audiophiles it might not be enough what this gear has to offer. It is suitable for your daily use. It connects easily to your stereo in the car or your wired headphones, or Bluetooth speaker. It has TX / RX switch aside, which makes maneuvering more simple. Good price, and compact, tiny, useful gear. New characteristic, maybe useful for you, is the fact that this Trond RX TX can be used with a camera. Definitely great, all that you need.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Very good sound quality
Able to pair to two devices
Able to use it while charging
Portable, adequate size
No hands-free calls supported
Slight sound delay
TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver / Car Kit
This TaoTronics device looks very attractive, it is small, portable and very practical. It works with Bluetooth 4.0 version. Smart addition to your equipment, excellent, flawless gear.
For most of you the important feature, it has a microphone, hands free system and can be used for phone calls. So, apart from enjoying while listening to good music, you can answer your phone calls. It can be used at home or in a vehicle. For you it has also opened the possibility to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. It is compatible with many devices, with Bluetooth system. It can be controlled easily, since this gear has a button for volume controlling, but apart from changing volume you can as well change tracks and pause music. When talking about the battery of this device, it has satisfying duration, around 8 hours. Sound quality is also very good so you can both talk and listen to music without interruptions. It has so many options to help you and make enjoying much easier and simpler. Its setup is very simple, you will very soon get used to it and especially you will like buttons for song playing control. So, if you are tired of tangled cables and want to enjoy music without a prior preparation, this is the right gadget for you!
Advantages and Disadvantages:
It has a microphone
Works with phone calls
Connection of two Bluetooth devices at the same time
Regular battery duration
Good sound quality
Easy pairing with other devices
JETech Wireless Bluetooth Stereo and Audio 2 in 1 Receiver and Transmitter
This JETech device is 2 in 1 device, i.e. both receiver and transmitter. There is a button on it used for changing between receiver mode and transmitter mode (RX and TX), so it is very helpful. Nice look, small and portable device.
The JETech pairs easily with other Bluetooth devices. It is very simple to use, without any difficulties. If you are tired of being criticized because of disturbing your family members or your neighbors at night, than you will definitely be relaxed and satisfied with this gear. The price for this device is very reasonable comparing to what you get for it… a good device packed with lots of helpful features. If you ask just for an uncomplicated, simple device for your car and home that will have the characteristics for both transmitter TX and receiver RX, then this is the one for you. Generally, it can be paired easily but sometimes there can be some problems with pairing and connection, so you have to do it again. But it’s not a big deal, and should not be an annoying feature. For the purposes mentioned above it is just excellent. Regarding its appearance, it looks good despite the fact that it is made of plastic. Its size is small so you can carry it with you and put it anywhere you want.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Can be used while charging
Button for TX / RX mode
Excellent sound quality
Not a device for audiophiles
Etekcity Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver and Music Adapter
This Etekcity adapter has very attractive design, since it is very small and easy to carry and put wherever you want. It works with Bluetooth 4.0 version. It is great for you if you need a mini design portable device which will let you enjoy your favorite music.
It works with every piece of equipment that has Bluetooth, so you can play the songs you like on different devices. It is very functional and easy to use, so it can be paired to the other devices very quickly. Basically, you will instantly be able to listen to whatever song you like. The battery lasts for around 10 hours, which is definitely a long work time, and a new, helpful feature is that it can be fully charged super quickly, in around 2 hours. Very useful and reliable product which offers good sound quality and that you will use without complaints. With this device, your regular speakers become wireless thanks to the Bluetooth connection, and you can stream your favorite music on your player. Its range is around 10 meters, which is very good characteristic. You can put it in your pocket and listen to your playlist. It can be connected to your phone, lap top, tablet, etc. For turning it on or off you just have to press the button in the middle which is in the circle shape. It is a very good purchase if you compare it to the price. It will do what is necessary for music playing so in this field you will be completely satisfied. Deeply recommended!
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Tiny and portable
Easy pairing with other devices
High quality sound
Ready for using while charging
Simple to use
Capable to work with devices with NFC
No volume control
It powers off soon after the device is disconnected
AMAKE Mini Wireless Bluetooth Receiver Portable Audio Adapter
As it is mentioned in its name, this MINI Bluetooth adapter you will certainly love! First of all, it has a light design, which is great as you can carry it wherever you wish.
It works as a transmitter for two devices at the same time. It has stable connection, and compares well with other devices. Works perfectly fine, good way to avoid cables that can be very annoying and make your life more comfortable. Average working time, around eight hours, what is similar to most of common devices. Good price, good quality. Fine for everyday use, if you are bored with cords. You can take it with yourself and put it in your purse, pocket, etc. because of its compactness and mini design.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Easily pairing with other devices
Good sound quality
Two connections at the same time
Bluetooth headsets vary in price, design, comfort and functions.
Since they are often bought over the Internet, you need to visualize how a particular model will work and think about how we plan to use the device to be able to make the best possible choice. Here’s what you should evaluate before purchase:
Bluetooth headsets are sold at very different prices, ranging from 30 to 300 dollars. Usually, the smaller headsets are, and with more technological innovations (such as noise reduction) more expensive the price will be.
Our ears are not of the same size; Headphones usually are. It is difficult to judge how you will feel something before you try it, but there are some things you can judge based on design.
First of all, there is no such thing as a really comfortable Bluetooth headset but some are more comfortable than others. Secondly, there are two basic variations in design. One type is based on small earbuds that can fit in your ear. The other variation are headphones which are put over ears, and are fixed to your ear by frame or some other type of a supporter.
More characteristics of wireless headsets and Bluetooth headphone adapters that you must have in mind before purchase
Since Apple left audio input, the wireless headphones industry rapidly began to develop. Sales are better than all optimistic forecasts. But will you really get a good quality sound? Think carefully about the following 5 important factors.
If you are a true audiophile, the mere fact that you have wired or wireless headsets is less important, much more important is to have a good sound quality. You’ve probably already heard how wireless headsets generally have lower sound quality.
Trends and fashion are on the side of wireless headphones, although they can be quite more expensive. However, prior to purchasing a new wireless headset you need to know something about the following information.
Simple guide for cables and the best Bluetooth headphone adapters
Confused about a bunch of different standards for connecting to your electronic devices? Among other things, in this top 9 best Bluetooth headphone adapters guide you can find out what are the most frequently used cables, adapters, dongles devices and other high-tech accessories for. You can find the meaning of all acronyms, as well as how to use them in order to use your hardware in the best way.
USB cables for data transmission
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a standard for connecting that is widely used on PCs, that make it possible to connect various devices such as hard drives, mice, keyboards and media players. USB connectors come in several variants known as type A, type B and so on. You can recognize them by the USB logo (a circle from which the three arrows come out), which is usually located on the cable. The most common is USB type A: straight, silver connector with rectangular finish.
USB cables for transmitting data, known also as cables for synchronizing data between two computers, use a Type A connector for direct connection of two computers and prevent any of them to go into sleep mode. Using the Samsung USB cable for data transmission, you can copy files from one computer to another. USB connection lets the first computer use the optical drive of another computer so that you can install a program or watch a movie – perfect solution if you do not have a DVD player on the first computer.
Which are the Best Bluetooth Headphone Adapters?
The term adapter has several meanings, but in essence, it refers to a device which converts one format into another. If the cable has one connector type at one end and other on the second one, you can be sure that it’s some kind of adapter. Samsung makes adapters that can help you get the most from your devices and solve interconnection problems. They can be classified into several main categories:
- Bluetooth Headphone Adapters. Many adapters connect digital ports designed for one standard with ports of different standards. They can be easily identified by the different connectors on the ends. A common example is a VGA-to-HDMI adapter which on one of its end has a D-shaped connector with multiple pins, and on the second end a trapezoidal connector. Do not confuse this type of adapter with regular cable which at both ends has the same types of connectors (although sometimes in male and female versions).
- Power adapters. Power adapters or AC adapters convert alternating current from the electrical socket into direct current that powers your computer or other devices. You can recognize them by a rectangular casing (or “brick”) on the cable that at one end ends with a plug with two or three tabs. Adapters for the car are designed to receive power from the car accumulator so they end with a bulky plug that can be plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter. Aircraft adapters take advantage of Empower standard embedded in airplane seats and use circular connectors.
- Dongle devices. The term dongle describes a special type of adapter, compact device with two connectors between which is no cable. In the case of dongle device is located the electronics that processes the signal while going from one end to another. A good example is a LAN dongle (see below). If the device requires a dongle, it is usually included in the package.
Ethernet adapters and LAN dongle devices
Ethernet adapter connects the device, usually a computer, to an Ethernet network. One end usually ends with a USB connector type A. On the other end is Ethernet port (also known as RJ45), which looks like a large telephone jack, and which is designed so that it can connect to a wired network connection – necessary if wireless network is not available.
Although most computers have Ethernet ports, thin laptop computers are not big enough to fit in this port. The solution is a LAN dongle, a compact adapter which makes a connection to a smaller connector on the computer and provides full Ethernet connector on the other end. LAN stands for local area network, which is logical, since the dongle allows you to network your computer.
Micro HDMI-to-VGA adapters
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is the latest standard for televisions, monitors and projectors. Connection for this standard for digital video and audio looks like a longer and thinner USB connector. Micro HDMI is a smaller version that is often used on ultraportable laptops. However, many computer users still use older equipment that uses an analog VGA (Video Graphics Array) standard, a trapezoidal connector which has 15 small pins. In order to convert the signal between them, you need a micro HDMI to VGA adapter (also known as VGA dongle). Samsung offers these adapters that allow you to show the picture from your old computer on the latest TVs and projectors of high definition.
Wireless headphones have batteries that should regularly be recharged
The average duration of the battery in the headset is around 20-30 hours, so you will need to charge it very often. If you are an intensive music lover, you will have to charge the battery as often as the one on the smartphone. Some headphones cannot be used while charging. However, some brands offer spare batteries, such as the Beoplay H7 and H8 wireless headset. If you have a higher quality model together with wireless headset you get a cable so you can use it as wired.
If you’re more on the go, then you will probably be interested in some waterproof in-ear headphones. The capacity of their batteries is much lower, around 6 hours average, maybe less, so you will need to charge them more often, and they generally don’t have a spare cable.
Most wireless headsets have expiration date
Of course, in the first place it is because of the batteries. Traditional lithium-ion batteries can be fully charged up to 500 times, after what happens degradation i.e. the capacity of a battery is reduced. After some time, they will no longer be able to be charged.
Our advice is definitely to buy a wireless headset where you can replace the batteries. Or buy a new headset.
Do Best Bluetooth Headphones have lower quality sound?
Do not be fooled, wireless headphones offer a weaker sound. The logic is clear – to make the sound come to your ears it must pass through the air in which there are various other “signals” that can diminish its quality. New models of headsets reduced that difference, but still a sound is better through wire.
Also, when traveling wirelessly, the sound must be compressed, transmitted via the transmitter, caught in the receiver, decompressed again and then it can be used. In this process the loss of quality must be felt which can significantly vary from headset to headset.
However, the good news is that the loss is reduced thanks to Bluetooth technologies, such as A2DP and aptX, so much so that the average listener’s ear will not notice the loss of quality, which depends on both the headphones and the quality of the audio track.
Portable headphone amplifiers
They are very popular among audiophiles who want to enjoy the superb and powerful Hi-Res (High Resolution) sound or music. Except the sound amplification, they extend the sound detail richness. This small amplifiers are the power bank batteries, so they are very convenient for carrying.
Always carry charged in-ear headphones
There are two basic types of in-ear headphones – with and without pads (earbuds). The second ones usually have a part that goes around the ear and in the ear it doesn’t touch the walls, just vibrate inside the ear. If you have these headphones, when you battery runs out you cannot use them while charging, and beside that they don’t have an extra cable.
We hope that after these 5 characteristics of wireless headphones, which you maybe didn’t know, it will understand better how they function. Wireless or wired, the decision is up to you.
If you’ve ever tried portable Hi-Fi headphones, then you know the miracles they make for the sound from your mobile phone. That is great, but if you are not into Hi-Fi world, you can easily get lost. Which type of headphones to buy? In-ear, on-ear, noise reduction, wireless – to name just a few categories…
Quality headphones will allow you to “bring a good sound with you”, and best of all is that with them you can experience the true Hi-Fi experience for a relatively small amount of money. But the most important thing when choosing a headset is to consider well where and how you will use them.
In-ear, on-ear, noise reduction, wireless
If you are looking for high quality headphones for listening to music at home, i.e. on your A/V system, on the occasions when you do not want to disturb the environment, a logical choice are Hi-Fi headset, where the wire length does not have to be a decisive factor – because you can always buy an extension cord or cable that on one side contains the classic “banana”, and on the other side has a 3.5mm attach for your “short” headphones.
But if you do not have high-quality A/V content or plan to listen to music from your computer, you should consider the purchase of the headphone amplifier.
If you are looking for a headset for the office, in that case, the most important will be that they have good sound isolation – closed are better than opened because out of them can “leak” sound. Many people have the problem of concentration in business premises or in noisy areas, so for them the best solution are noise reduction headphones.
Such headphones have a feature known as “active noise control”, but you have to know that this feature is especially useful with constant sounds. Loud and sudden noises should be avoided.
According to experts’ opinion (i.e. all those who use headphones often) headsets are more comfortable for long-term use.
When you insert the headphones into your ear canal you can feel the number of decibels increase drastically. The main reason for this is lower dispersion of the sounds. Apart from all this, by rule, headsets can project the sound of better quality than in-ear models for bigger drivers, but for some opportunities (such as fitness or loafing in math class), in-ear headphones are the perfect solution.
In no way do not underestimate in-ear headphones because they can also reproduce superb sound, which can be shown by a hearing test.
If you go to work using the public transport, it would be best to get headphones designed for ear placing- they are a bit smaller and you can place them inside your ear canal, and as a result the outside noise will be blocked so you can hear the music and not the people around you. In case you need portable headphones for your smartphone, you should look for models that come with a built-in controls and microphone.
We have to emphasize that the headphones you put in your ear can accumulate ear wax after a while, so you have to clean them regularly or replace the gel every now and then. Also, if you want to avoid possible ear infections you should avoid sharing your headphones with others.
If you do not need isolation of closed headphones, a headset with an open design is there to guarantee a superb sound quality. The ear pads go over the earlobe smoothly and leave room for the sound to escape.
Most headphones can easily cover the range (20 Hz – 20.000 Hz) which humans can hear, but some models can play a wider part of the spectrum. However, smaller drivers and fittings in headphones generally have problems with playing sounds below 20 Hz so for the “extremes” the models with larger drivers which cover a wider range are still better – mainly because the sound performance is way better thanks to the higher tones and lower bass.
Wireless headphones – YES or NO?
If portability is important as much as high quality, you should think about compact models, but for maximum comfort the only choices are the wireless headphones. In a large number of wireless headphones a 2.4 GHz transmitter is being used for sending audio record from the source, for example an A/V receiver, to the pair of battery-operated headphones. All those who think that wireless headphones cannot reproduce the sound quality like those with wire, should definitively try them.
You can find a very luxurious headphones providing superior comfort without compromising on style. It can be connected to any device that offers Bluetooth connectivity, and with dual microphone system for noise reduction you will surely eliminate all unwanted sounds from the environment.
Maybe you prefer a small, high-quality in-ear fitness headphones? You do not have to give up good sound even when running or exercising at the gym. Anyway, the selection of music is often very questionable there.
Audiophile for beginners
Mentioning the word audiophile evokes the large sums along with the principle of profitability, but in the category up to $ 200 are some models that could be a great first purchase if you want to enter the world of high-quality music listening.
Headsets become an integral part of our everyday lives, and if you still use the headphones that came with your smart phone, it might be time to consider a small upgrade. Headphones exist in all sizes, from small in-ear headphones to the headsets that fully cover your ear. Fans of this field did the research where they focused on the over-the-ear headphones, i.e. headphones which are better option for music listening. They set the limit of $ 200 which is not enough for a bigger high-end audiophile interference, but still consider that this amount can find a model to suit each user.
During these researches headsets that are designed for listening to music on the move are not strictly tested, but also are tested some that require additional amplifier, i.e. external DAC, connected to either computer or smartphone. In the test there are also different connection modes, from classical wired connection until the wireless connection via Bluetooth or RF. With classic headphones designed only for media content, they wanted to compare also how much gaming headsets are close to ones that are more intended for sound lovers. With relatively similar prices, they wanted to explore how much today’s gaming models are similar to entry-level audiophile models. Along with sound quality, they wanted to test the quality of Bluetooth connection which wireless headsets from the market have. In the past, when we only had the older Bluetooth generations, reproduction quality was significantly bad, with interferences and connection breaks, while in return we got extremely weak autonomy.
Of course, this test is more subjective than the rest of the compared tests, but some elements, such as wireless headphones autonomy, provide some objective elements for evaluation. Comfort and potential for long-term use is subjective. Some models showed extremely firm covering with over-the-ear design, which after a few minutes caused a pain in our ears, as if someone has pulled our ears. Other models fully wrapped our ear shells, and cuddled us with their soft and velvet cushions, as if we were in a romantic movie. But, despite both of it, the main focus was still the quality of music reproduction.
Headphones as a ticket to high-end audio world
Among the huge number of specifications and measure units there is just one question. Do all these specifications mean something?
Right from the start one thing should be clarified: not every “expensive” pair of headphones is automatically worth of its price. In some cases, the buyer actually buys the design or brand of headphones, but not necessarily the audio quality. Therefore, in this segment of the test we should pay little attention to what actually distinguishes quality headphones from the fashion accessories. The good news is that the marketing favorites, Apple white headphones of relatively low quality appear less frequently, but we can see more often the headphones of reputable manufacturers such as Sennheiser. Thereby users are looking for something more than highly-compressed MP3 files.
Roughly speaking, better sound quality can be obtained by investing larger amount of money in headsets. Seen in detail, here appears the drop-down utility effect, i.e. the more you invest, the difference in quality is decreasing. Differences exist in higher categories and are so small that in order to have a complete pleasure, the listener should have “perfect hearing”, usually reserved for people who directly work with music, e.g. conductors.
But the important thing is that almost everyone can tell the difference between the $5 headsets you can buy in a nearby store, opposed to those that require the purchase in sound specialized high-end shops. Although you can find the set of quality headphones for around $50, they are still miles away from those that are located in the more expensive segment. Most of the more expensive models can reproduce a cleaner sound, and logically – an improved listening quality. Your music will be full of details, the bass will not be so muffled, and high tones won’t be so sharp. With better headsets you will feel better Soundstage, which makes you feel, if you close your eyes, as you were in a studio with a band while recording the song, or at a live performance, somewhere among the audience.
It will be easier for you to discern the certain instruments, especially when playing multiple instruments at the same time. Cheaper models often lose details in these sections. If you listen to the song you have heard hundreds of times on weaker models on high-end headphones, you will have the feeling that you are experiencing music once again. The easiest comparison is listening to music on top of the mountain with clogged ears and finally putting a high-end model which releases the pressure and allows hear all around you clearly.
As already mentioned, we concentrated only on the headphones that go through the earlobe, colloquially referred to as “headbands” and not on those that are inserted in the ear, i.e. in-ear headphones. But also we have two types of headphones that are placed over the ear, ear pad and full-size headphones. The difference is in the fact that one type makes contact only with the earlobes and the other wraps the whole ear. Both methods have their own advantages. For example, ear pads usually tend to be a little more comfortable if they don’t squeeze the earlobes too much, since it does not wrap whole ear, and therefore doesn’t warm it. Another advantage could be taken as a disadvantage, depending on what you are looking for. Since it doesn’t wrap your ear completely, ear pad headphones leak ambient noise.
For that reason they are suitable for use while walking because you can hear the coming noises, but not so ideal if you fly 12 hours transatlantic flight and want to suppress the noise. They are smaller and that is why the components such as membranes and magnet should be slightly less, because of what the sound quality is lower. Over-the-ear headphones are completely opposite type. They wrap the ear entirely and thereby distribute “headband” pressure more regularly over a larger surface. At the same time they isolate background noise which was already mentioned as both advantage and disadvantage. But the sound quality is often dramatically different, partly because of sound insulation, partly because of the possibility of installation of larger and better components. Full size headphones are also often too big for portable use, and you will often find yourself using them connected to the computer.
Headphones of larger size often have a higher resistance (impedance), which is why audio jacks on your computer or mobile phone are often too weak, and require an external DAC, i.e. amplifier/ digital-to-analog converter.
These headsets have closed and open back headphones type, i.e. opened or closed back headset side. The effect is similar to the ear pad and full size headphones, i.e. closed back headphones leak less ambient noise, while the open back ones admit more. It is important to mention that open back headphones leak more sound into the environment, and therefore are not recommended for using them in company, unless you want everyone around you to hear the latest album of Taylor Swift that you intended to listen to privately.
Wireless vs. wired models
Once upon a time wireless headphone models had to be looked for through a magnifying glass, while the most common way to connect was through radio frequency (RF) or infrared connection (IR). Today these ways to connect are less common and more often we can see Bluetooth headsets which allow connection to a wide range of devices, from mobile phones to laptops. The range of such headsets can be up to 10 meters, and based on our experience, everything over 5 meters causes interruptions and interferences. Home models of wireless headphones have base stations on which our headphones can be charged, and the sound spreads through radio frequencies.
Interferences occur frequently since a large number of devices in the household uses the same frequency, 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz. With aptX technology, along with the arrival of Bluetooth 3.0 standard, Bluetooth could play music in quality beyond conventional CDs music. With aptX, wireless headsets won a fight against the wired headsets, but still for the full sound quality you should choose the wired models.
Although digital wireless listening modes (Bluetooth) provide a much better quality than analog (RF), wired connection method almost completely eliminates interferences. It is also important to note that interference can still occur inside the device that reproduces music, for example inside the integrated sound card of the computer. Therefore, for serious music listening via computer it is necessary to invest in a special sound card or an external DAC that connects to the computer via USB cable, and all digital sound track processing transfers to analog signals out of the computer, away from potential interferences. The sound quality, however, depends on many factors, so it cannot be instantly concluded that any of wired headsets in the test will automatically sound better than wireless ones.
Recommended Reading :
- Top 10 Best Open-Back Headphones Under $100
- Top 10 Headphones for Music Lovers
- 14 Most Durable Earbuds Under 50 Dollars
Active suppression of ambient noise
Some more advanced models have the ability to mute the environment. Headphones thereby have microphones on outside parts, which record the external noise and insert in the music you’re listening to the tones which invalidate the same noise. Active muting is the effect similar to surrounding noise muting effect during smartphone calls, when an additional microphone is used. While many full size headphones isolate a good part of the background noise by turning Noise cancelation on, you will nearly feel like you have entered into a vacuum. Isolation is not so perfect, but if you play a song, it is almost impossible to discern whether someone around you is talking or producing some unpleasant noises that disturb the music enjoyment. Muting external noises entails higher energy consumption.
What to listen to?
No, we are not referring to your taste. Many prefer Taylor Swift or hatched in a bean bag listen to the latest hits of commercial music. Here we primarily talk about the music record type that should be played with high-end headphones. FLAC files are already widely known concepts, but in fact it is about a free lossless mode of music files. Lossless also indicates that no part of music in opposition to analog music file is lost, no matter how weak it is or irrelevant for enjoying the music. MP3 files compress audio records and remove the music sections that we cannot hear creating a richer listening experience.
The amount of compression is indicated by the amount of kbit/s, where a larger number of kbit/s indicate lower compression. According to our experience, a minimum of 320 kbit/s is recommended for better enjoyment in music. With much effort and late evening sessions of listening to music a difference between MP3 tracks of 320 kbit / s and FLAC isn’t noticed. It is interesting that the streaming music tests on Google Play Music, in just a few occasions showed slightly lower reproduction quality, usually during muted bass.
During this research play Counter songs in some musical applications received around hundred listening, but also in the FPS game.
During the tests we were thinking what metrics to apply for a long time, since many subjective factors exist in the test. Primarily, the decision was made to test the sound quality using a few music genres. Some songs were listened to in three ways, listening to MP3 files of 320 kbit / s, the FLAC record and music streaming on Google Play Music. The differences in this category were minor as already mentioned, except in a few special cases, with muffled bass during listening on Google Play Music. The biggest difference was shown in hardware itself.
In order to ensure more equivalent test conditions, the headphones were tested in late night hours when music listening was not affected by traffic noise from our urban environment. Headphones were then connected to the same external DAC, where the goal was to hit the same volume level in all models. During listening on some models more than 50% of the available volume had to be used, while with some was used barely 10%. Bluetooth headsets usually should be set at around 60-70% of the volume.
Music in the first plan, Kalashnikov in the second
After listening to the songs, it was time for relaxation and given that the part of this test were also gaming headsets, researchers have tried to play games, though most of the headsets were not for gaming purposes. And which is better way to test gaming performance if not with a fast FPS where every fraction of a second counts? They played a couple of rounds of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, where they walked with Kalashnikov around Dust II, and listened to the enemy steps. Game Results with audiophile headphones led them to the surprise fact, since averagely speaking (if audio setup is set on stereo), you hear much more sounds. Even gaming headsets in some situations didn’t provide a clear sound able to recognize the steps. However, the main disadvantage of non-gaming headsets is the lack of a microphone, needed for tactical FPS like CS: GO.
It is always possible to connect an additional microphone that will potentially provide better sound quality to your teammates, depending on how much money you are willing to spend. Another problem is when you consider a virtual surround offered by many gaming models, which better indicates the exact location of the opponents. The direction from which the steps come can be clearly heard in this way, but with audiophile headphones you would recognize it more clearly and much sooner.
Interesting facts from the world of technology
People are already complaining about the iPhone 7 headsets
As expected, Apple called off the headphone output for new iPhone 7, and instead offered two options: the first is headset that connects via cable to the charger, and the second is AirPods wireless headset .
These tiny devices without cables that can be put into your ear lobe act like something that might forever free us form the tangled headphones in our purses, but potential users have already noticed several disadvantages of this solution.
Since the new headphones have the same shape as those that we got with the earlier iPhone models, it is known that easily fall out of your ears, especially during exercise.
Apple knows this, and therefore he offered a line of Beats Wireless headphones with the same chip.
Another problem is the battery. Headphone box acts as a charger, and prolongs battery life for 24 hours, which means that you should not lose the box and that you always have to carry it with you, since headphones have only five hours autonomy.
After all, people do not like a $150 price, for only a pair of tiny headphones and a box.
Also Apple is aware of how risky this move is, so even Phil Schiller, senior vice president of the company, named a decision to call off the headphone output on the iPhone 7 with one word – “courage”.