- Learn about the differences between Bluetooth vs Wireless headphones
- We cover differences in: sound, range, technology, and ease of use
- Also, check out our guide on whether wireless headphones can work without Bluetooth!
If you are looking to get rid of the cables with your next headphones, you will either go for a Bluetooth or a wireless pair of headphones.
As there are different types of technologies for headphones today, like Bluetooth and wireless, it is sometimes confusing and overwhelming to find the ideal one.
That is why we wrote an in-depth guide to cover the differences between Bluetooth and wireless headphones for you to make the decision easier.
While there are both amazing wireless and Bluetooth headset models, they both have their weaknesses and strengths.
Let’s dive deeper into the topic to explore which one is better for you.
Wireless Vs Bluetooth Headphones: What’s The Difference?
While both wireless and Bluetooth headphones work without any cable connection, the technologies they use for the connection are different.
Bluetooth headphones use a short-range radio wave system to send and receive audio signals; on the other hand, other wireless headset models use radio waves, infrared, internal memory, or KleerNet.
So Bluetooth headphones are actually wireless headphones, but not all wireless headphones are Bluetooth headphones.
There are different types of wireless headphones using other technologies for cableless connection. Wireless communication has many different possibilities.
The main difference is that with Bluetooth headphones, you can have a better connection quality and range.
However, with wireless headphones, there are some technologies in which the audio transmission signals are much better and more stable, providing you with a higher quality sonic performance and a more stable connection.
However, things have changed as Bluetooth technology progressed. Bluetooth 4.2 and 5.0 connection technologies provide greater ranges, sonic performances, and more stable connections than any other wireless headphones.
Types of Wireless Headphones
While Bluetooth headphones are wireless headphones, not all wireless headphones are Bluetooth headphones.
However, most wireless headphones today use Bluetooth connection technology with Bluetooth-enabled chips. These headphones often work with the transmission of audio signals via a low-powered 2.4 GHz frequency.
Bluetooth wireless headphones offer great ease of use as all Bluetooth devices come with unique addresses and names for an easier pairing up process. Plus, their ranges are pretty good at around 30 meters in an open area.
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However, Bluetooth headphones suffer from interference with other wireless devices using Bluetooth connections like Wi-Fi modems and microwaves.
Also, they are not the best when it comes to holding the connection when there is a door or a wall between the source and the headphones.
There are different types of Bluetooth connection technologies available today. Bluetooth 5.2 is the latest technology at the time of writing this article.
The higher the technology is, the better the audio quality and the more the amount of data transferred every second.
Bluetooth 5.0 connection changed the game significantly for Bluetooth wireless headphones, as this new connection technology provides long ranges, high sonic performance by bigger data transmission, more stable connection, and lower power consumption.
RF or Radio Frequency headphones work by sending and receiving data from a specific video frequency.
They generally work with a specific transmitter and are not as easy to use and as practical as Bluetooth headphones. But, the connection stability is far better.
RF headphones can transmit audio signals through walls and doors easily, providing you with an endless and issue-free connection even in wide ranges.
Furthermore, RF headphones use data compression for better sound quality and shorter latency.
Radio-frequency headphones often come equipped with audio setting features like surround sound and bass boost for increased versatility.
They also sometimes have an audio sharing function, allowing you to have a collective listening experience with other people. T
This is why they are popular in many places like silent discos or home theater system headphones for watching a movie with other people.
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Infrared headphones use infrared technology to make the wireless connection.
These headphones often feature a docking station to connect to the audio source, which sends and receives LED radio waves as audio signals.
As IR headphones work with LED radio waves, the headphones and the source docking station should be in the line of sight for them to have a proper connection.
But, IR headphones do not suffer from interference issues like Bluetooth wireless headphones.
Today, there are not many IR headphones in the market, as other technologies or more handy and trendy.
The IR connection has a shorter range, and the line-of-sight connection is not as convenient as other wireless communication technologies.
Kleer Headphones are famous for their innovative technology that provides top sound quality with their versatile technology that can operate in 2.4GHz, 5.2GHz, and 5.8GHz ranges.
However, unlike Bluetooth headphones, they require a transmitter-dongle and an audio source that supports Kleer to work.
Kleer headphones can provide 16-bit/44.1 kHz high-quality audio without any data compression. That means there is no sacrifice with the sound quality, and you can hear the real quality content.
These headphones also have lower latency and longer battery life compared to Bluetooth headphones.
Are wireless headphones the same as Bluetooth?
All Bluetooth headphones are wireless headphones, but not all wireless headphones are Bluetooth headphones.
There are also different wireless connection technologies used with headphones, like Radiofrequency, Kleer, and Infrared.
All connection technologies have their advantages and disadvantages.
However, the best balance is with Bluetooth headphones, which is the reason behind their popularity today compared to other wireless headphones.
Do Wireless Headphones Come Charged?
There isn’t really a definite answer for this, but most headphone manufacturers will ship their headphones to you charged. They probably won’t be at 100% however, so you’ll likely need to charge them for a short period before using them.
What are the disadvantages of Bluetooth headphones?
While Bluetooth devices offer a stable connection and relatively good range, they use data compression, which decreases the audio quality slightly.
Also, some Bluetooth headphones suffer from latency issues making them less convenient for studio use.
Are wireless headphones safe?
Yes, all wireless headsets today are safe and do not cause any problems because of wireless signals. You can use them without hesitation.
Whether it is Bluetooth, radiofrequency or Kleer, or Infrared does not matter as all these headphones are perfectly safe in terms of health issues.
While radiofrequency and Bluetooth headphones emit radiation, there is no research that shows this kind and amount of radiation has any significant short or long-term harmful effect on the human body.
Do wireless headphones use Wi-Fi?
There are some headphones that can connect to the existing Wi-Fi networks for pairing up with other devices in the same Wi-Fi network.
So the range and the connection quality depend on the modem and router. Wi-Fi headphones can be highly handy in home environments while not being very convenient on the street.
Wi-Fi headphones are smart devices that can connect to the internet and stream music from any platform.
While Wi-Fi headphones are not very common and are still progressing, they look very promising for the near future.
Is Bluetooth more reliable than WiFi?
While the Wi-Fi connection is more stable, versatile, and reliable compared to the Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi is a centralized system, but Bluetooth is mobile.
You need a center modem and router for the Wi-Fi connection to work. But, Bluetooth directly connects you to the audio source, which is more convenient for most cases.
Wi-Fi connection is faster and can work in different frequencies providing a better, stronger, and more flexible connection.
But, it is good only for home or centralized use as in the street, you can not use a Wi-Fi connection without a modem and router. That is where Bluetooth headphones’ versatility and convenience shine.
Are Bluetooth headphones harmful?
Not at all. Bluetooth uses radiofrequency for audio data transmission, which is totally safe for the human body. You can use Bluetooth headphones without worrying about any potential health risks.
While Bluetooth headphones cause radiation, it is not at any point harmful to the humöan body. There is no research or finding that shows this type and amount of radiation have any significant harmful effect on human bodies.
However, as with any headphones, you should be aware of the loudness of your headphones to avoid any hearing problems.
While Bluetooth headphones are the most popular wireless headphones today, there are also different options with different connection technologies.
The winner of the wireless vs Bluetooth headphones comparison is the side of the Bluetooth headphones, as they have the perfect blend of versatility, sonic performance, battery life, and price.
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The wireless range of Bluetooth headphones can reach up to 30 feet (7-9 meters), but Wireless headphones have a range of approximately 300 feet (90m).
But high-end headphones with Bluetooth 5.0 technology can reach up to 650 feet (200 m) range.
In terms of compatibility, Bluetooth headphones are better as they are universal and do not work with any additional transmitter or dongle like wireless headphones.
In terms of audio quality, still, the cable connection is the best.
But, Bluetooth headphones are getting better every day, especially with the Bluetooth 5.0 technology providing the best wireless headphone sound quality possible today.
In terms of connection stability, radiofrequency and infrared headphones are better than Bluetooth headphones, as they do not suffer from interference.