Do ‘True Wireless’ Earbuds Sacrifice Audio Quality?
You may or may not have heard the term ‘true wireless’ or truly wireless earbuds used before. If you haven’t, here’s a brief rundown. True wireless earbuds are almost exactly what you’d expect. They come in the form of earbud-like pods – such as the Apple AirPods and sync up wirelessly with devices via Bluetooth. This allows you to move around freely, listen to music, and not worry about a tether.
There is a tradeoff, however, at least that’s what many believe. In choosing to listen through smaller, wireless and battery-powered headphones you are sacrificing a lot of the audio quality you might get from, say, conventional wired headphones. For the most part, yes, that is true.
However, thanks to recent advancements the quality gap between these two configurations is considerably smaller. In fact, many true wireless earbuds offer noise-cancellation support which means they drown out ambient noise entirely — something unheard of until recently.
Do Wireless Headphones Sound Worse?
Honestly, Bluetooth connections can be funky at times especially when it comes to latency and quality but that’s true of any streamed content. Ever try to watch Netflix or Hulu when there’s a poor internet connection?
Overall, though, the audio quality offered by wireless headphones — in any capacity — is exceptional. As mentioned, Sony, Doppler Labs, Bragi, and some other brands actually offer earbuds that have the built-in noise-cancellation technology. If you’re in a busy or loud place and you just want to focus on your media, then noise-cancellation is ideal.
But also, because of the nature of earbuds, the sound tends to be more intimate, more personal. You might not get the body-jolting beats and bass of a surround system, or even something comparable to over-the-ear headphones but it’s still good enough that the experience is not subpar or ruined in any way.
Why Should You Go Wireless?
Aside from the obvious option to ditch wires totally, many of the best true wireless earbuds offer additional features that you will never get from conventional headphones.
For example, nearly all of them include a carrying case which doubles as either a portable power pack or charger. With something like the Apple AirPods, the earbuds get about five hours of continuous playback on a single charge. Yet, you can stretch them for a total of 24 hours with the included carrying case which holds extra energy. Just plug the pods back in when you need more power and let them charge up, then you’re good to go. This works great when you’re traveling, especially on long, international flights.
Others – a handful actually – includes a built-in fitness coach designed to provide activity alerts and information and offer suggestions based on your habits. It’s like having a personal trainer, talking to you and only you. It’s definitely a neat feature and provides an incredible experience one that just about everyone should try at some point in their lifetime.
Most wireless headphones cost anywhere from $100 to $300 at the most expensive, which means there’s something out there for everyone and nearly every budget.
Advantages of Wireless earbuds
- Cord-Free Convenience: The absence of cords and cables provides unmatched convenience. You don’t have to deal with tangled wires, making them easy to put on and take off, and great for activities like workouts, commuting, or running.
- Portability: Wireless earbuds are small and lightweight, making them highly portable. They come with a compact charging case, which allows you to carry them in your pocket or bag easily. This portability makes them ideal for people on the move.
- Comfort and Fit: Many wireless earbuds come with different-sized ear tips to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. This helps in reducing discomfort during prolonged use and ensures that the earbuds stay in place during physical activities.
- Sound Quality: Advancements in audio technology have led to improved sound quality in them. While the sound quality might not match that of high-end wired headphones, many wireless earbuds offer impressive audio performance with good bass response and clear trebles.
- Noise Isolation/Cancelation: Some come with noise isolation or active noise-canceling features. These technologies help block out external noise, allowing you to enjoy your music or calls even in noisy environments.
- Hands-Free Calling: Most have built-in microphones, allowing you to make and receive calls without taking out your phone. The built-in mic ensures clear voice transmission during calls.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Wireless earbuds connect to devices via Bluetooth, which is a standard feature on most smartphones, tablets, and computers. This makes pairing and connecting your earbuds to various devices quick and straightforward.
- Multi-Device Connectivity: Some wireless earbuds support connecting to multiple devices simultaneously. This means you can seamlessly switch between your smartphone, tablet, and laptop without the need for constant pairing.
- Gesture Controls: They come with touch or gesture controls on the earbuds themselves. These controls allow you to play/pause music, skip tracks, adjust volume, and answer calls without needing to touch your phone.
- Long Battery Life: Although battery life varies depending on the model and usage, many wireless earbuds offer several hours of playtime on a single charge. The charging case also serves as a portable charger, providing additional battery backup when you’re on the go.
- Customizable Features: Come with companion apps that allow you to customize sound settings, access firmware updates, and track battery life.
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