True Wireless Earbuds: Making the SwitchJune 3, 2019 157
The concept of fully wireless earbuds is relatively new, but the technology is moving quickly. If you're still using wired earbuds, it's definitely worth considering making the upgrade.
What Exactly is "True Wireless"?
First of all, we'll clear up some of the terminology. It may seem a bit confusing that there can be "wireless" headphones that in fact have wires, but the distinction is actually fairly straightforward. Regular wireless headphones are those using Bluetooth or similar technology to connect to a device without using a cable, but the left and right headphones or earbuds are still joined by a wire. True wireless refers to those products where the left and right earbuds are individual pieces that are usually stored in a charging case when not being used.
Think about this. You're replacing a 1.2m cable with... nothing. The cable is gone. No more having to tuck the cord down your shirt at the gym. No more having the cable yanked out of your phone. When you go wireless, the entire equation is simplified and the distractions are gone. You'll quickly notice that everyday tasks become less complicated, for instance, when you go to pull your earbuds out of your pocket you no longer need to unwind or untangle them—they're ready to go right away.
It's all very well if you are happy with your current 3.5mm headphones, but chances are they will soon be obsolete. Smartphone manufacturers are increasingly moving away from 3.5mm headphone jacks, thereby pushing consumers into changing their habits. Wired headphones using USB-C (most newer Android devices) and Lightning (Apple) can't be used while the device is charging, and are only compatible with devices that have that particular port. Bluetooth wireless headphones can be used with smartphones from all manufacturers, as well as laptops, PCs, and other Bluetooth compatible devices. In other words, when it comes to compatibility, wireless is streets ahead.
Critics of wireless headphones contend that battery life is the Achilles' heel of the technology. However, for most wireless earbuds, battery life is in the 6-10 hour range, which is good for a week's worth of workouts or a dozen or so albums back-to-back. As for true wireless earbuds, at the bare minimum you're looking at three hours on a single charge, but with the portable charging case this can be extended to 12 or more. The reliance on batteries is certainly a downside, but manufacturers are improving in this area all the time. Take the Key Series T10 for example, which on a single charge will keep your music playing for at least seven hours (increased to 24 hours when using the charging case).
Keeping Your Phone Away From Your Bed
Wireless headphones are also great for using in bed. Prior to sleeping, it's important not to expose your eyes to too much light from your smartphone's screen, but when you are physically tethered to your device this can be difficult to avoid. With wireless earbuds, you can keep your phone well away from the bed (connected to the charger, for example) and simply take them out when you want to sleep.
In fact, some people like to keep their earbuds in even after the lights are out, either to help them relax or to block out unwanted noise. After tossing and turning throughout the night, wired earbuds have a tendency to become tangled, and if the cable wraps around your neck it can even be a health hazard. True wireless earbuds act more like earplugs and provide a much more comfortable experience.
This post was written by the editorial team at RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard, consumer review websites that cover electronics, home goods, and more.