Nice as it is to fill your house with music, it’s not always practical. Even if soothing classics are your style, it’s best to put the headphones on if you want to indulge in a little bit of night music. Sitting back in your favourite comfy chair with the headphones on and relaxing into your favourite tunes can be a little oasis of bliss. However, if the Hi-Fi is on the other side of the room it can dry up any thoughts of floating away on an ocean of music when the headphone cable won’t reach.

You can forget about those pesky leads with a pair of wireless headphones. With these, you can get Cosi Fan Tutte in your armchair even if the distance to the stereo is longer than Mahler’s 3rd Symphony.

The Knowhow

There are several types of wireless headphone, and some may be better suited to your needs than others.

IR (Infrared) Headphones:

  • Sends a signal to the headphones via an infrared beam, much like TV remote controls.
  • Needs a direct line of sight to headphones for signal to get through.
  • Has a range of around 30 feet.
  • Does not carry full audio range, so more suited to speech than music.
  • Less prone to interference from units in nearby rooms due to "line of sight" technology.

RF (Radio Frequency) Headphones:

  • Sends signal via radio waves.
  • Has a potential range of over 100 feet.
  • Signal range is reduced, but not blocked, by walls or other objects.
  • Headphones can still receive signal even if user moves from room to room.
  • Can be prone to interference issues.

Bluetooth Headphones:

  • Can be "paired" to audio devices that have Bluetooth technology, including smartphones.
  • Has a limited range, but is not blocked by walls or other objects.
  • Not prone to interference issues.
  • Can be more expensive than other technologies.

All wireless headphones need to be powered somehow. Some will have built-in rechargeable batteries and will charge up by being placed in a special "cradle" or via an adapter. Others will need you to buy and insert batteries.

Many wireless headphones need a transmitter unit of some type to be connected to your music device. This can mean that many models are not suitable for use while travelling. Due to the lack of interference and improved connectivity with mobile devices, Bluetooth headphones are better for use on the go.

Some users find the sound quality on cheaper wireless headphones is not as good as wired ones. These sound issues vary according to the type of wireless technology used, so check user reviews or try getting a product demo before purchasing. When it comes to wireless music, you’ll find there’s no need for cords when you’ve got these notes helping you tune in.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific details.

Updated On:

Nov 21, 2011

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