Gone are the times of uncertainty about the capabilities of wireless sound. In just one year we have experienced a huge change in terms of connectors, applications and different protocols of use. Voice assistants, the smarter the more we use them, have determined usage trends: the cables have aged. If smartphones have begun to do without their jack port – HUAWEI Mate P30, iPhone 11 and 11 Pro or the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 we refer – we can only ask ourselves, do they comply with the Wireless headphones minimum requirements and sound qualities?
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For many, that was a decision that is not supported anywhere. But the reality is that more wireless headphones are sold than wired. In fact, we have doubled the figure in just a decade. We can get used to it.
An important Technological Leap
Wireless headphones have always invited distrust. Coding technology, until recently, was not up to the occasion. From the radiofrequency, we go to Bluetooth and the NFC (near field communication), which has not been a little way of roses either.
Any modern headset is compatible with the A2DP profile (advanced audio distribution profile). The SBC (Subband Coding) is the coding system used by default. aptX is the second best known – which can reach qualities of DVD, 96KHz and 24 bits -, common to almost all stereo equipment, and then there would be the AAC algorithm, with more advanced compression but smarter than MP3, for example. A good headset will include compatibility with all of them.
What should be clear to us is that with the bandwidth of the new Bluetooth and WiFi protocols, the doubt about quality is no longer valid. It’s over that extreme compression or audio delay. Moreover, moving to wireless models in most cases involves making the leap to models that include their own DAC. The DAC is the hardware responsible for transforming digital information into analog. In other words: take all those zeros and ones and make them something audible that our headphones interpret. So if the DAC is up to par, in the case of digital music, the quality can be 1: 1 compared to the source. In theory, at least.
A for the PERFECT Hearing Aid
Beats, Bose, Jaybird, Skullcandy … everyone knows the most popular brands – not necessarily the best, as we will see. First, we must focus our search. We could classify wireless headphones in three subcategories:
- Sports: for any outdoor activity, with tolerance to rain and sweat, to withstand the shock and abuse inside and outside the home. The keyword is waterproof.
- Domestic: headphones designed to go from room to room, office to office. For study or for YouTube broadcasts, to play without hindrance or be lying in bed playing the audio from the desk of another room.
- HiFi: more technical ear headphones. High-performance systems that complement a High Definition DAC. And, of course, with an emitting source at the height. Forget about Spotify.
Regardless of the type of headset, the three values that we must take into account when choosing a good wireless model are:
- Autonomy: most range between 5 and 10 hours. But here we also depend on our smartphone, tablet or system. We should look for a headset that does not sacrifice quality when the battery is running out or that increases weight/size disproportionately.
- Construction: Most wireless headphones include some type of head or ear support: neck, clip, elastic band, and so on. Comfort is absolutely key and should be able to operate in more hostile environments than just two meters from the sofa.
- Functionalities: pairing, codec support, etc. The ultimate goal of a headset should always be the quality of transmission and reproduction. Everything else is an accessory.
The scope is something that worries many users, although it is not so serious; any current standard comfortably reaches 8-10 meters and we rarely separate more than that distance from the emitting device. For pure practicality, we will focus on earbuds and intramurals, with some specific exceptions. They are more comfortable and versatile than supraaurals – those that cover most of the auditory pavilion but are the No. 1 enemy of users with glasses.
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A similar surprise is found in the HOMTOM Official website: more ZOJI Free X stable and above all comfortable than almost any wireless model of its strip and construction, which grant 20 hours of autonomy, Optional cable included in the original packaging and stable compatibility with the low latency support aptX, SBC, and the AAC codec.