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Wireless vs. Bluetooth Headphones: What’s the Difference?

Similar Functionality; Different Technicality

wireless vs bluetooth headphones

The difference between wireless and Bluetooth headphones is something that most people don’t know. For a fact, even we didn’t. But, thanks to the headphones experts on our team, we now know that wireless and Bluetooth headphones aren’t the same. All Bluetooth headphones are wireless, but not all wireless headphones are Bluetooth. Confused even more? Don’t be; we’ll discuss the wireless vs Bluetooth headphones comparison in detail. After all, it’s of the utmost importance to understand the difference between both if you are planning to buy new headphones; the market is flooded with both wireless and Bluetooth headphones. Read further to know more.

Quick Roundup of the Best Wireless and Bluetooth Headphones

Most High-Quality Wireless HeadphonesSennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones with Alexa
Wireless Headphones With Best Sound QualityBose SoundLink Around Ear Wireless Headphones II
Best Budget Wireless HeadphonesiJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Headphones
Bluetooth Headphones With Best Design and Sound ClarityJabra Elite 85H Bluetooth Headphones
Best Budget Bluetooth HeadphonesJabra Move Style Edition Headphones
Bluetooth Headphones With Best Sound QualityNAD Viso HP70 Headphones

Main Differences Between Wireless and Bluetooth Headphones

Before moving to the details, let’s quickly look at the main differences between wireless and Bluetooth headphones.

  • While Bluetooth headphones use radio waves to transmit audio signals, wireless headphones use both radio waves and infrared to transmit and receive audio signals
  • On one hand, Bluetooth headphones offer a range of up to 30 feet. And, on the other hand, wireless headphones offer a range of approximately 300 feet.
  • Both wireless and Bluetooth headphones have lower sound quality than wired headphones. Bluetooth headphones are compatible with more devices when compared to wireless headphones that are only compatible with devices belonging to the same brand.
  • Bluetooth headphones are easier to use than wireless headphones and belong to the category of wireless headphones. Other categories of wireless headphones include, 2.4 GHz proprietary radio signals, commonly used for wireless gaming headsets.

Wireless vs Bluetooth Headphones – Differences Based on Technology

The first and most important difference between wireless and Bluetooth headphones is the technology they are using. While Bluetooth headphones use radio waves to transmit audio signals, wireless headphones use radio waves or IR to send and receive audio signals.

Bluetooth headphones directly pair with mobile phones through Bluetooth to allow wireless usage. On the other hand, wireless headphones typically receive signals from a base that is connected to devices such as a PC, gaming console, speaker or smartphone. They run on batteries that can be replaced periodically. Therefore, some of the best audiophile headphones and most expensive headsets on our list are wireless. Even silent disco headphones are wireless.

Wireless vs Bluetooth Headphones – Differences Based on Range

Another significant factor that you can use to distinguish between both Bluetooth and wireless headphones is the wireless connectivity range. In the case of Bluetooth headphones, the connectivity range is typically up to 30 feet (7 to 9 meters). However, in the case of wireless headphones, the range is approximately 300 feet (90 meters). Nevertheless, the advancements in Bluetooth technology have managed to increase the range to approximately 650 feet (200 meters), and you can get this range in headphones that come with Bluetooth 5.0.

Wireless vs Bluetooth Headphones – An Overview of the Sound Quality

You probably already know that the sound quality of wired headphones is better than the sound quality of Bluetooth and wireless headphones. But do you know? This is because in the case of Bluetooth and wireless headphones, the audio signals are compressed to reach the headphones. This consumes the wholeness of the sound and leaves it flat.Nevertheless, to overcome the flatness of the sound and enhance its quality, headphones manufacturers are adding headphones codecs to Bluetooth headphones. These codecs convert compressed audio signals into high-quality sound.

There’s another issue that makes Bluetooth headphones unsuitable for watching videos – latency. It is basically the lag in time taken by your Bluetooth headphones to receive audio signals from the source.

Wireless vs Bluetooth Headphones – Which is More Compatible With Most Devices?

In terms of compatibility and connectivity, Bluetooth headphones have an edge over wireless headphones. Most Bluetooth headphones on the market are compatible with almost all Bluetooth-friendly devices, irrespective of the device’s brand, make, or model. On the other hand, wireless headphones are mostly compatible with devices of the same brand.

Wireless vs Bluetooth Headphones – Which Is Easier to Use?

Bluetooth headphones are easier to use as they comprise a built-in chip, which allows you to pair them with Bluetooth devices in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, wireless headphones come with a USB adapter that establishes a connection between the wireless headphones and your device. Therefore, Bluetooth headphones are much easier to use than wireless headphones.

Read Also: How Do Wireless Headphones Work?

Top 3 Bluetooth Headphones on the Market

Since Bluetooth headphones are more popular among headphones users, we handpicked 10 trending Bluetooth headphones on the market and tested each of them to narrow down our choice to the 3 best Bluetooth headphones. Here’s a quick summary of our experiences with each pair of headphones.

1. Jabra Elite 85H: Bluetooth Headphones With Best Design and Sound Clarity

The Jabra Elite 85H Bluetooth Headphones sound excellent right out of the box. They are easier to set up and use than most Bluetooth headphones on the market. The headphones automatically pair up with Bluetooth devices around them, without any hassles.

Secondly, the battery life of the headphones deserves appreciation. With active noise cancelation (ANC), the headphones can work for up to 36 hours in a single charge. When out of charge, you can easily charge the headphones to full capacity in approximately 5 hours or use the headphones after 15 minutes of charging.

Thirdly, when it comes to compatibility, the headphones work perfectly with Apple, Amazon and Google Assistants. The microphone quality is excellent for phone calls.

All in all, the Jabra Elite 85H Bluetooth headphones have a great sound quality and an even better design. Even though they are slightly expensive, they are worth investing in.

2. Jabra Move Style Edition: Best Budget-Friendly Bluetooth Headphones

The Jabra Move Style Edition Headphones sound much better than many costlier Bluetooth headphones. The headphones come with intuitive controls and are one of the most comfortable headphones on the market. The well-padded headband, soft earpads and swivel earcups make them perfect for continuous use. Even though the headphones do not come with ANC, they have many other compelling features that make them perfect for their price.

3. NAD Viso HP70: Bluetooth Headphones With Best Sound Quality

The NAD Viso HP70 Headphones are indeed the best sounding Bluetooth headphones on the market. Even though Jabra Elite 85H and Move Style Edition are the top 2 contenders on our list, NAD Viso HP70 has an edge over both when it comes to sound clarity and quality. What’s even better? The headphones come with ANC functionality.

The headphones are lightweight, easy to use and set up, and comfortable for daily use. They are sleek, yet stylish. Even though the battery life is not that great, the sound quality makes up for everything less.

Read Also: Can You Use Bluetooth Headphones on a Plane?


As you have seen in the post above, Bluetooth headphones are also wireless headphones. However, wireless headphones also use other technologies such as 2.4 GHz proprietary radio signals, IR technology, and so on. Therefore, your choice will completely depend on your requirement. The most comfortable headphones are typically either Bluetooth or wireless. Even though most headphones users prefer Bluetooth headphones due to the ease of use and their compatibility with multiple devices, if you are a gamer, you may find radio frequency (RF) headphones better.

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