Wireless vs. Wired Headphones: Which One Should You Buy?

With the increasing number of ways we can enjoy various multimedia entertainment, we can enhance such an experience by using the right headphone.

If you want to enjoy your entertainment for yourself in front of your computer or mobile device, then the headphone that you are using need to give you the best clarity of sound that is as accurate as possible. It also needs to be placed comfortably on your head.

Otherwise, you can’t enjoy your multimedia entertainment, whether it is music, movies, or video games, in the best possible way.

Wired vs. Wireless Headphones

When choosing for the best headphone to use, you will find two different types of headphones.

The first type is the wired headphones. This is the headphones that use wires to connect to your devices. Usually, the wires are connected to the USB port or the regular 3.5mm jack.

The second type is the wireless headphones. This is the headphones that can be connected to your devices wirelessly. Usually, it uses the wireless dongle as the wireless transmitter or it can be connected via Bluetooth.

For certain types of headphones, using the wireless dongle that is plugged into the USB port is the most common solution to bring a stable sound transmission and superior sound quality.

Bluetooth Headphones

The Bluetooth headphones, on the other hand, doesn’t come with any dongle that you need to plug into the USB port. A Bluetooth dongle is usually just an addition by the headphone manufacturers to be used in devices that don’t have any Bluetooth module built-in, such as the old laptop models or desktop computers.

Bluetooth Headphones

The way the Bluetooth headphones work is by transmitting sounds via the Bluetooth protocol after pairing both the headphone and the Bluetooth device. Since most modern laptops and mobile devices have Bluetooth module built-in, they can be paired with most Bluetooth headphones without plugging in any dongle into the device.

The Differences Between The Wired And Wireless Headphones

Of course, between the wired and wireless headphones, there are some differences that make the one preferable than the other. Make sure that you understand the differences between the two before you decide on which one to use.

Simplicity And Practicality

When we talk about simplicity and practicality of these headphones, the wireless one is better because it is simpler to use and it is also more practical. When you use the wired headphone, you need to deal with wires that can be very long (up to 2 meters long) and it can be troublesome to manage.

With the wireless technology, you don’t need to deal with wires because you just need to pair the headphone with your device and you are good to go. When you are putting it on your head, it feels more comfortable and flexible because you can be up to 50 meters from the device and still be able to hear the sounds that are transmitted from it.

The Sound Technology

Between wireless and wired headphones, there is a big difference in the sound technology that is used in these sound devices. For instance, most of the headphones that have a plug for 3.5mm jack will usually have the standard stereo sound technology for it. For wired headphones, to have an enhanced sound technology like virtual surround sound, it needs to be connected to the USB port, and thus, it is mostly compatible only with PC.

Wired Headphones

However, the wireless headphones will usually have a modern sound technology attached to it due to the digital sound transmission. As a result, many wireless headphones have enhanced sound modes that the users can enjoy to improve the sound of various multimedia content.

The features such as virtual surround sound, movie/music mode, enhanced bass, and so on can be applied using these wireless headphones.

How Long It Can Be Used

When you buy a wired headphone, you don’t need to worry about how long you can listen to your favorite music with it, especially when you are outdoor. You simply plug the wire into your device, and you can listen to your music with it as long as you want.

But, with the wireless headphone, you can’t do that. Wireless headphones have a battery installed in it, and like any wireless device (such as mobile devices), you need to charge it from time to time. Also, you can use it for just a few hours after you charge it fully.

Most wireless headphones can go between 4-8 hours depending on the battery capacity. However, do keep in mind that most wireless headphones will include the regular 3.5mm jack plug in case you are running out of power in the wireless mode. Usually, you will not be able to use all the sound enhancement features when you are using the wireless headphone connected with the 3.5mm jack plug.

Device Compatibility

The wired headphones will usually give you the best compatibility with most of the devices that you have because it comes with the regular 3.5mm jack plug that you can plug to your PC, laptops, mobile devices, sound devices, TV, video game consoles, and so on. However, for the wired headphones that have the USB plug, you can mostly use it only on your PC or laptop unless it also comes with the 3.5mm jack plug as well.

On the other hand, the wireless headphones are only compatible with the modern devices that supports Bluetooth technology or the installation of the wireless dongle. In some cases, some platforms might not support the installation of the wireless dongle due to the lack of drivers from the manufacturers. Most modern devices that support the Bluetooth technology can be paired with the Bluetooth wireless headphones.


Because the wired headphones mostly offer just the regular stereo feature, the price range for this type of headphones is quite diverse.

You can find many wired headphones offered for as low as $10 depending on the built quality and the brand. But, most wireless headphones will be offered at a higher price due to the enhancement features and the modern technology that it offers.

The price might start from as low as $50 and it will add up as it offers new features and technology to maximize your multimedia experience.

Martin Martens

I have graduated electronics and information systems at Ghent University. I like to learn new things in the field of technology and apply it in our household. I'm also a passionate traveler. Read more...

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