Bluetooth headphones and earbuds are becoming a need of the hour these days. Along with portable speakers like the JBL boombox 2 (Check out our jbl boombox 2 review) they are fast becoming our way for audio consumption. Other than being a strong trend or a fashion statement. The concept of going wireless has been around for quite a while now. People have seen the transition from wired telephones to wireless cordless handsets. The cordless ones were then replaced by mobile phones and, in the present day, wireless earphones. Wireless devices are ruling the world today, and why not! They have made everyone’s life so much easier. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some different types of Bluetooth headphones.
Types of Bluetooth Headphones: Wire-Free Technology
When it comes to headphones, the wire-free concept has proven to be highly beneficial for everyone; convenience and comfort is the most obvious aspect associated with them. Most people have switched from using wired headphones to wireless ones for several reasons. Whether you are an athlete, a homemaker, a salesperson, one of the best things about wire-free headphones is the leverage it gives you. Especially to move around freely, more independence in your work to be precise, by keeping your hands free.
Types of Bluetooth Headphones: Wireless Headphones in the Market
Before hitting on the main topic, let’s quickly understand how these Bluetooth headphones work. Many people get confused between Bluetooth wireless headphones and other wireless headsets. Well, to make it clear, all wireless headphones are not Bluetooth headphones but all Bluetooth headphones are ‘wireless’.
The Bluetooth headphones pair with other Bluetooth-enabled devices through radio wave transmission, allowing them to function wirelessly. This means that the only two things that are needed for a Bluetooth headphone to function. They are the headphones themselves and the main audio source (like your mobile phone, etc.). They have a small chip inside them called the transmitter. The headphone, which acts as a transducer, converts the audio signal into radio waves which then travel through the air. These radio waves are then received by the decoder. This part is present in the battery-operated headphones, which decode these audio signals into sound information. This is how you can listen to music and take calls.
Bluetooth and Why Is It So Popular?
It is the latest inclusion to the wireless headset category, Bluetooth technology has been adopted pretty fast. It is chosen as one of the primary modes of transmission across the audio equipment industry. The best part about this is with the latest Bluetooth versions. You will not feel any difference from the wired ones in terms of the quality of sound or the audio output.
You will find different types of Bluetooth headphones in the market. Those that vary in design and style to suit every type of need. While some people like small weightless ones that will fit within the ear, some people who need a headphone for longer hours prefer a full-fledged headphone. Based on the style, here are the different categories of headphones available today:
One of the most common types of Bluetooth headphones is over-the-ear headphones. They are widely available online as well as across all the audio equipment stores. You will get Bluetooth wireless headphones with a mic or without, depending on what model you choose. These audio gears are extremely versatile and are one of the top choices of music lovers, video gamers, audio enthusiasts, and even professionals who work in studios.
As the name implies, these types of Bluetooth headphones are made to be worn on the head. The earpads cover the ears in a way that they are completely covered. The earpads, therefore, are large, and their main focus is to isolate the ambient noise. Over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones come with active noise-canceling features of different levels. They are pretty good at delivering it thanks to their design.
It is considered to be one of the best types of wireless headphones with a mic. This device can be worn for long hours without causing ear fatigue. Owing to their over-ear style, they offer solid comfort to bespectacled individuals who have limited options of headphones. The ear pad sits on the ear and the handle of the frame perfectly. They ensure that they do not hurt the temples.
These types of wireless headphones are packed with a wide array of modern-day technology like built-in microphones, integrated voice canceling features, sound boosting technology, superior battery life, and many more. Products like Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones offer powerful performance.
- Incredible noise-canceling performance, thus delivering a clear and precise audio output.
- Ideal for people wearing glasses
- Comfortable fitting and suitable for long hours of usage
- Excellent sound quality
- These types of wireless headphones are large and may not be preferred by everyone.
- Portability may be an issue due to the size unless they are foldable.
- Some earpad material in the over-ear models may cause sweating if worn for long hours.
- Good quality over-ear wireless headphones with a mic may be expensive.
On-ear headphones are relatively smaller than their over-ear counterparts and are an adaptable option as well. They are mostly preferred by people who are not comfortable in in-ear ones but require something easy to carry around. These types of Bluetooth headphones are usually cheaper than the over-ear headsets. You will find them in a broad range of the price spectrum depending on their class.
As the name suggests, on-ear headphones are worn from over the head, but their ear pads sit right on the ears rather than cupping the ear around. Since these headphones rest right on your ear, getting the right size and a perfect fitting is paramount. Especially if you are planning to use them for longer hours. Improper fit may hurt your ear or cause inflammation of the cartilage. They also may not be an option for people with glasses as the on-ear built may exert pressure on the frame’s handle leading to discomfort and pain.
Walk Away From the Noise
These types of wireless headphones with a mic are a great option when you are using them in a public place. While they also exhibit excellent noise isolation function, they may not be as effective as the over-ear option. The reason being, they sit on the ear and if the size and the fitting are loose, they likely let in a bit of the surround sound. These headphones also tend to apply pressure on the head which is why some people are not comfortable using these types of Bluetooth headphones.
You can take a look at Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones to know more about how an on-ear headphone looks like.
- A versatile option that can serve multiple functions like listening to music, taking calls, etc.
- These wireless headphones with microphones are more portable and compact than over-ear audio gears. Most of the present-day headphones can be contracted or folded to make them more compact and travel-friendly.
- Available in a wide spectrum of the price range with both economic and premium options.
- Loaded with various features like noise cancellation technology, long battery life,
- Not a great option for people who are used to using earphones as lightweight as earbuds.
- Not for bespectacled individuals. Can exert thrust on the temples leading to pain.
- Tends to absorb sweat therefore if you are looking for something for gyming, then this will not be the best option.
One of the most convenient types of Bluetooth headphones is the in-ear earpieces, commonly known as truly wireless earbuds. They are multifaceted and can be used anywhere, whether you are in the gym, traveling in public transport, driving, and more.
With these types of wireless headphones, don’t worry about the ear getting compressed due to the clamping force of the ear pads or the headband pushing into the head as they are just tiny buds that go inside your ears. What you need to be careful about is that they are tiny and there is always a chance of them falling out when there is too much movement involved. There are different sizes of ear tips that come with these buds. So pick one that best fits in your ears and seals within the ear canal in a way that it doesn’t slip off.
Bluetooth earbuds are available in different designs and types to suit various purposes and preferences like one ear wireless earbuds, regular earbuds, and sports earbuds.
One Ear Wireless Earbuds:
These types of wireless headphones with mics mostly find themselves in possession of those who are not much into music. The main purpose of this audio gear is to answer or make calls while you complete other works simultaneously. A good option for work professionals, onsite or field engineers, or people working in factories, etc. who want a simplistic hands-free earphone option.
You will, however, not find a bunch of technology or features included here like the other types of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds. Now, if you are a music lover and want earbuds that are multifunctional, then the next one should be your go-to.
Regular Earbuds or Truly Wireless Earbuds:
These are two tiny buds that are fitted into the ear canal of both ears. They pair with the Bluetooth of your mobile device to work. The modern-day earbuds are loaded with several features other than just the call answering button, like the play and pause, track skipping options, activating the voice assistants, and more. They are also equipped with high-quality drivers to give you the best music experience with boosted bass presence. The buds are powered by a battery and give you a run time of anything between 4 and 12 hours or even more depending on the product. They come along with a protective charging case which gives an additional battery backup of several extra hours. JBL Tune 125TWS True Wireless earbuds are a great product to look at under this category.
The earbuds are weightless and easy to carry when not in use making them a travel-friendly gadget. The only thing about these tiny audio gears is that they tend to fall out when there is too much physical movement or excessive sweat or moisture inside the ear which brings in the sports earbuds concept.
These types of wireless Bluetooth headphones are pretty similar to regular earbuds except for the fact that they have a tougher design with IPX ratings for water, sweat, and dust resistance. They also have around-the-ear hooks that have specially designed magnetic ends that clip with the ear providing greater stability, so the earbuds can stay sealed in. Oftentimes, the sports-oriented earbuds are integrated with bass enhancement technology for that extra boost you need for motivation when you see yourself in the gym. Some of these earbuds are also 100% waterproof which makes them an ideal option for swimmers as well.
There are numerous options for sports earbuds available in the market. Check out Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds, if you want to go for the sports-oriented earbuds for your next gym session!
- Extremely compact and travel-friendly.
- Available in a diverse range of styles and prices.
- Can pair up easily with your Bluetooth devices.
- Available in waterproof designs ideal for sports lovers.
- Equipped with different controls on the earbud itself allowing it to go hands-free completely.
- Some people find it uncomfortable to place the earbuds inside the ears.
- They have a tendency to fall off or get misplaced if not for a proper fit. To avoid losing them make sure to take the charging case along everywhere.
- The controls are touch-sensitive, therefore, maybe a bit exasperating in some earbuds. But once you get habituated with the exact places you need to touch to navigate, it may get easier.
Bone Conduction Headphones
Bone conduction headphones may be a completely new term for some of you. Well, these types of wireless headphones are pretty unique when it comes to functionality. They are designed with bone conduction technology that enables the sound waves to travel through the cheekbone of the person and reach right into the inner ear without the involvement of your actual eardrums. These are not as popular as the other types of Bluetooth headphones listed above, but they are useful for people who do not like their ears to get completely sealed with headphones or earphones. These types of wireless headphones are worn over the ears and that is why it is a perfect option for those who need a headphone to use in a busy environment while staying aware of the surroundings.
Bone conduction headphones do have some downsides that you should be aware of. The sound quality of these types of Bluetooth headphones is sub-par because the sound transmits through the bones and that is all they can deliver. The overall audio output is fine as long as you are not expecting much detail or the bass element. Owing to their design, you will also be able to hear the ambient sound when you use the headphones.
Now, it may be a tough decision to make. I mean which one do you pick next? Given that there are so many types of Bluetooth wireless headphones available today. The next part takes you through a headphone buying guide with some points covering the things you need to take into account when buying Bluetooth headphones. But if you are looking to buy an audio device that can make the atmosphere more sociable, take a look at JBL Partybox 300 specs.
Why Switch to Bluetooth Technology?
These types of Bluetooth headphones are not just for making calls but also come with multiple different functionalities and cutting-edge technology. Right from having a crystal clear voice call with superior audio quality (thanks to the noise-canceling technology); dancing to the tunes of your favorite bass boosted music to active virtual assistant functionalities, you can do anything without holding your mobile device in your hand.
The latest Bluetooth technology enables you to quickly pair up your headset with your mobile, TV, speaker, etc. so you can enjoy seamless video or audio streaming while doing your daily chores while working out or, on the go.
In short, wireless Bluetooth headphones with a mic give you access to more control on the various functionalities without wasting time having to untangle the wires. This is why most people are shifting from wired ones and going wireless.
With technology innovation, wireless headphones are seeing a multitude of variations with differences in features, price range, purpose, types, and more. Speaking of variations, different types of wireless headphones are available in the market like Bluetooth, infrared, Ultra High Frequency (UHF), and Wi-Fi standard headphones. In this article “Types of Bluetooth Headphones”, our main focus is on the various types of Bluetooth headphones because Bluetooth wireless headphones with mic (or without) are the most commonly accepted wireless connectivity in a present-day scenario whether you use a TV, mobile, speaker, or any other device.
Future of Headphones and Bluetooth Technology
Headphones have become a major part of one’s life today because of the extremely busy lifestyle. On average, a person spends about 8 hours a day on headphones, whether it is at work, work-out, or for entertainment purposes while relaxing at home. History shows that earlier when the concept of headphones was introduced to people, it was intended only for professional use and to use at the workplace. In a present-day scenario, the headphones have made a greater influence on a person’s everyday life, owing to the huge leap that technology has taken.
People can control their calls, navigate music, and even check weather updates and multiple other functions just by voice control. If technology can do so much today, imagine what further evolution can bring to the world of headphones!
The need for earphones and headphones will never diminish in the future given the number of benefits it has and the upward-pointing demand growth curve it has created from the past till now. Audiophiles will not stop loving music and the video gaming industry is booming because of its high demand. So headphones will always be among one of the essentials for everyone, especially the younger generation.
Bluetooth has shown a significant evolution in the wireless world over the last 20 years and is now the most widely preferred connectivity across the globe. Right from swift connecting to uninterrupted audio and video streaming, Bluetooth allows you to do everything wirelessly.
The headphone jacks are almost diminishing with the boom of the wireless technology market and pretty soon people will see a complete shift from the wired to the wireless world.
So, speaking of what is going to be the future of headphones, we are already seeing the changes through several innovative creations right from Bose Frames Soprano- the Bluetooth Sunglasses, Amazon Echo Frames to the futuristic smart glasses. There are many more to come.
With an effort to improve the listening experiences, an emerging company, Human Inc., has come up with a revolutionary hybrid of banded headphones and in-ear earbuds. They call it Human Headphones but the technology enthusiasts and the users call it AirMuffs. This wireless audio equipment has undergone a complete makeover from the usual wireless headsets. It has an over-ear ear padding design but without the headband or any other connecting wire tagging along, the comfort and benefit of an earbud, and an integrated Bluetooth speakerphone.
Human Headphones feature exceptional audio performance, superior touch-sensitive controls, and several other features that give them an edge over others. The fact that this unique creation has its ergonomics driven by the shape and the biology of the human ear has already set a high standard for future headphones and raised the expectation of the users.
Headphone Buying Guide: Parameters to Follow When Buying a Wireless Headset?
With innumerable choices of wireless headphone options in the market, choosing the right one is certainly not an easy task. Especially if you are planning on investing in a good quality headphone that will last long. But, do not worry! There is a model out there for everyone. This headphone buying guide will make your life easier by listing some essential aspects so you can get exactly what you need:
What Do You Need the Headphones for?
People need headphones or earphones for various reasons. While some want it for the gym, some need it for work, others may be looking to have one for playing video games. You may also need one to give you company while you are traveling, right? The converse is true too, so if you are looking to party, a long-lasting party, check out our review of the JBL Partybox 1000 and JBL partybox 1000 battery life.
You have to look for a headphone that suits your lifestyle as well as your wallet. Furthermore, you can find headphones in various sizes, like the big over-ear ones or as small as an earbud. For example, if you are a music professional, then the bigger headphones would be you’re go-to. But, if portability is your first preference, or you are always on the go, then either go for the earbuds or the thinner lightweight headphones that can be easily folded to carry in your backpack.
There are types of wireless headphones like Bluetooth, WiFi-enabled, Infrared headphones, etc. Bluetooth headphones are the most reliable and widely available options today. You also need to ask yourself what version of Bluetooth does the headphone support. What range does it cover? Which audio codec does the headphone use. These are crucial for the overall performance of the headphone.
It is always recommended to go for one that supports the latest Bluetooth version for seamless audio streaming. Codec versions AAC, AptX, AptX HD are good for sound quality and video streaming and have lower latency. So if you are looking for video games you need to go for the ones specifically designed for gaming.
As mentioned earlier, a Bluetooth codec is necessary for better sound. Other than that, the size of the drivers and other audio enhancement features can have an edge over the regular ones. Wireless headphones can be focused on a variety of levels. This means that some may be good at delivering powerful bass, some may sound more neutral. If you want a headphone particularly for music, you need to pay special attention to this aspect. The best thing would be to try out the headsets and evaluate the audio performance physically. If you are planning to buy it online, then it is best to read the user reviews before buying one.
No matter what model of headphones you use, ensuring that it is 100% comfortable. This is an absolute necessity whether you use it for long hours or a short duration. Now, buying in a physical store gives you the leverage of trying out a few models and deciding which one works best for you. However, buying one online can be a real challenge. You cannot predict which one will fit you perfectly unless you have tried the model before. So make sure to go for the ones that have a return policy and a smooth process in case it doesn’t turn out to be comfortable.
This particular feature varies with different types of wireless headphones. Some are designed to isolate or reduce noise partially. There are some with good quality or high-priced ones that have inbuilt active noise cancellation technology. This feature obstructs out the ambient noise completely. Depending on where you need to use it, you can go for what works best for you. Most of the studio-grade headphones come with high-level ANC that potentially blocks out every other sound except for the one coming from the audio source. These headphones are comparatively expensive as well.
What Type of Controls Does Your Headphone Have?
Headphones and earbuds come with different types of controls on them like the play/pause, track skipping, Virtual assistant function, Bluetooth pairing, volume keys, and more. The earbuds and some high-end headphones have a touch-sensitive build, while some headphones have tactile controls. Go through the details and see which type works for you.
Durability and Waterproof Rating
If you are investing in good headphones, they have to be long-lasting. Different types of Bluetooth headphones have different builds and designs. You need to pick one depending on your lifestyle. For example, if you are a fitness professional, you should go for one that clips in your ear firmly and doesn’t fall off easily. Also, go for the ones that are made of scratch-resistant material. Water-resistant property is another important thing you need to make a note of, especially if you are into rigorous exercise or a swimmer. Check the IPX rating before you buy.
Does Your Headphone Have a Microphone?
We have noticed that many people happen to miss out on this aspect. They think that every headphone these days comes with a mic. Well, to be honest, it is completely product-specific, especially when it comes to the bigger headphones. Some have an external mouthpiece, some have a built-in mic, and some don’t have one at all. If your main purpose of buying a headphone is conference calls or office work, then be extra sure that your headset has a mic. There are different types of wireless headphones with mics that vary in design and style. This leaves you with a vast platform to choose from.
If you are particular about storing your headphone the right way or carrying it without damage, then many headphones come with a carrying case. You may want to opt for those.
Battery Life and Charging
This is one of the very important factors that you should keep an eye on. Different types of wireless headphones have different battery life. There are a few Bluetooth headphones that can give you a runtime. These devices can last about 15 to 24 hours while some last for lesser hours when used continuously. Most of the Bluetooth earbuds run for about 5 hours or so but they have a backup case with additional battery backup totaling up to 24 to 38 hours. These devices can certainly be found, but they are rare and often quite popular. There is a compromise somewhere if the battery life is long. For example, a high price, or a heavy power case because of the larger battery size.
You also need to understand that the more hi-fi technology the headphone has, like active noise cancellation feature, or sound boosting technology when paired with an app, the faster the battery drains out when these features are active.
Last but not least cost is a deciding factor when buying anything. If you are investing in a particular product, you want it to have all the features and give you the best performance. There are both economic options and high-priced ones in the collection. The budget-friendly models may lack some features. For example, active noise cancellation or the virtual assistant feature, but there may be a difference in the overall sound performance. Some may have a shorter battery life as well. On the other hand, the products with a higher price tag may have good battery life. They also feature solid noise-canceling technology or other additional technologies.
Coming back to the present, there is a broad spectrum of Bluetooth wireless headphones and earbuds available in the market. While the wired headphones are being replaced by wireless ones, both have their benefits. If you are an audiophile, then you will know that nothing can beat the sound quality of a wired headphone. However, with innovative technology, the wireless audio gears are delivering no less than the wired ones. With that said, if you find it confusing to choose the right kind of headphones, then the headphone buying guide provided above should be able to make your selection process easier.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Headphones are a very personal choice and the level of comfort depends on the individual. However, according to most experts, over-the-ear headphones are more comfortable because of the way they fit in. The ear cups surround the ear, so the pressure is evenly distributed around thus reducing the discomfort.
Bluetooth wireless headphones are considered the best wireless option today because of their improved technology. Headsets that support Bluetooth are easy to pair and offer smooth and uninterrupted audio streaming within a large range. Some headphones geared towards video gaming are equipped with advanced codecs for low latency that reduces the time lag giving a better sound and visual experience.
Not necessarily. If you are particularly looking for waterproof or water-resistant headphones, then make sure to check the IPX rating of the headset. IPX7 is the best one considering these headphones are fully waterproof, but there are splashproof options as well if you are only looking for gymming or running.
The battery life of a headphone varies from product to product and the type of earphone. For example, the earbuds have a battery life of about 6 to 8 hours with a charging case that has a battery backup of 22+ hours. The bigger headphones, on the other hand, can have a run time between 6 and 12 hours. You will also see a better battery life in high-end or expensive ones when compared with the ones with a lower price tag.