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General Talk How Do Wireless Headphones Work?

How Do Wireless Headphones Work?

A Comprehensive Guide

Working of Wireless Headphones

We live in a time where not having headphones is considered blasphemous. If you own a smartphone, PC, console or laptop, it’s pretty normal for people to own headphones. Headphones are products that come in all forms and shapes, literally. But, there’s one question that our experts keep getting from our audience, i.e., how do wireless headphones work?

Headphones users are so intrigued by the concept of wireless headphones. Are you one of them? Don’t worry; we’ll discuss wireless headphones in this article in details. But, before that, let’s look at different types of headphones, based on connectivity, style of fit, type of use, etc.

Different Types of Headphones on the Market

Based on Style of Fit

  • Earbud headphones
  • In-Ear Monitor Headphones (IEMs)
  • Ear-clip Headphones
  • Neckband Headphones
  • On-Ear Headphones
  • Over-Ear Headphones

Based on Connectivity

  • Wired Headphones
  • Wireless Headphones
  • Hybrid Headphones
  • True Wireless Headphones (such as AirPods)

Based on Usage

Advantages of Wireless Headphones

As you can see, there are a plethora of choices when we talk about selecting headphones. The most popular headphones in today’s time are wireless headphones. The reason is fairly obvious. Users prefer using wireless headphones because of two key reasons.

The Fact That They Are “Wireless”

A Pair of Wireless Headphones

Firstly that they are wireless. People prefer the mobility that comes with wireless headphones, having no hassle of carrying around a wire. Moving around with wired headphones on is only possible if you’re using them with a smartphone. If they’re being used with a PC, console, TV or laptop, they need to be taken off before you move around.


The second reason for choosing wireless headphones is their portability. Due to the absence of wires, wireless headphones are easier to pack and take with you on the go. They also elude the mess of tangled wires, which makes them even more convenient from a user’s perspective.

Limitations of Wireless Headphones

All products have advantages as well as disadvantages. And, wireless headphones are no different. Even though they have a lot of benefits, there are a few factors that hold back some people from converting to the wireless side. Let’s take a look at these.

They Run on Battery

Wireless headphones naturally run on batteries. Therefore, they have specific battery life on a full charge. Most wireless headphones in today’s time have a good enough battery life to support extended hours of playback. But, the fact that it may run out of battery power when a user needs it urgently, is something that pulls people back from getting wireless headphones.

Their Cost is Higher

The cost revolving around wireless headphones is definitely higher than that of wired headphones. This makes for another reason why users still opt for wired headphones.

There is a Slight Drop in the Audio Quality

Users have some inhibitions with regards to a slight drop in quality of audio, going from wired to wireless headphones. But in all honesty, with the technology at our disposal today, loss of quality due to wireless connections should not be an issue.

There Can Be Connectivity Compatibility Issues

Most smartphones, PCs, laptops, consoles and televisions come with a standard audio input jack, making wired headphones compatible with each of them. Whereas, in the case of wireless headphones, you must have Bluetooth connectivity on your device for them to pair with your wireless headphones. There’s often a question among users that exactly how do wireless headphones work? So, let us find out how exactly do these function

How Do Wireless Headphones Work?

There are mostly two ways in which wireless connectivity works in headphones – Bluetooth and NFC/Infrared Connectivity. Infrared is referred to as ‘ancient technology’ in the audio industry, with Bluetooth overtaking the wireless headphones.

How Does Bluetooth Connectivity Work?

Bluetooth connectivity works on radio frequencies, operating at 2.4 GHz. Each Bluetooth device has a unique address. Therefore, when we pair two devices via Bluetooth, they transmit signals to one-another, thereafter displaying or playing whatever is required. The Bluetooth connection for your headphones, is a three-step process which is as follows:

  1. Inquiry: Inquiry is the first step of a Bluetooth connection process. This is mostly a one-time process. If you have never paired your wireless headphones to a particular device, you initiate a search, often denoted by “Search for Bluetooth Devices Nearby”. This search is what you refer to as ‘Inquiry’. All the nearby devices then respond to this inquiry with their unique Bluetooth addresses.
  2. Connecting/Pairing: Once we get the list of available Bluetooth devices, we ‘pair’ with them by selecting them from the list that we have. This process is called as the ‘Connecting’ process.
  3. Connection: The last stage of the Bluetooth setup process is the connection process wherein your audio device is now connected with the other device. These two devices may now exchange data using radio signals, which are transmitted between the frequencies of the two Bluetooth addresses.

Benefits of Using Bluetooth Connection for Wireless Headphones

  1. Security: Once a connection has been established between two Bluetooth devices, there will not be interference by any third device because a Bluetooth connection is very strong and secure.
  2. Ease of Usage: Setting up a Bluetooth connection is much easier than setting up an Infrared connection. High-end headphones have a simple button to turn on/off Bluetooth which makes pairing it up much easier.
  3. Safe Connection: Bluetooth connections use very weak signals for transmission between 2 devices, making these signals nearly impossible to be interjected. Also, there is no leakage of signals between the two devices as Bluetooth connections are very secure.

So, now that you know how do wireless headphones work, you can decide if you wish to go for wired headphones or wireless phones.

At the end of the day, to each their own! If you have any questions, queries or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments section below!