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Bluetooth headphones have become increasingly popular in recent years. While they are a convenient way to listen to music and make phone calls, there are some risks associated with them.
Using headphones, whether wireless or wired, for many hours every day may be damaging to your hearing and expose you to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. Excessive use of either might have health consequences in the long term. However, using wired earphones is safer than using wireless earphones.
Read on in this article as I dissect the effects of using both earphones and answer frequently asked questions about the topic.
Are Wired Headphones Safer Than Wireless
I will highlight factors that make wireless headphones more harmful than wired headphones in terms of issues to do with health, based on the perceived health impacts of Bluetooth technology, radiation dangers, and long-term use.
Electromagnetic Field (EMF)
EMFs (electromagnetic fields) are less powerful near-field waves created by devices such as your mobile phone or wireless headphones. A gauss meter and its unit of measurement may be used to measure them.
The lower levels of EMFs emitted by wired headphones may still have a negative impact on your health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified EMFs as a Group 2B carcinogen. This means that there is limited evidence that exposure to EMFs can cause cancer in humans, but the potential for this is there.
The main concern with wireless headphones is their proximity to your head and brain. Wireless signals are transmitted through the air and can easily pass through your skull and reach your brain. This means that you are constantly exposed to these low levels of EMF radiation, which could potentially harm your health over time.
Radio Frequency (RF)
This is a kind of electromagnetic wave that has a larger wavelength when compared to microwave radiation and is typically emitted by electronic equipment such as televisions and microwaves. They may also be emitted by wireless headphones.
Wired Vs. Wireless Headphones
Are Wired Headphones Safer Than Wireless
Wireless headphones have many advantages over wired ones. This is basically why individuals prefer them over wired headphones.
Benefits of the wireless headphones include:
- The wireless earphones provide you with mobility. This is because you can utilize the Bluetooth capability to use the headphones up to 33 feet from your phone.
- Wireless headphones provide higher sound quality than wired headphones, allowing you to enjoy your music or audio material thoroughly.
- They are tangle-free since they are wireless. You won’t have to be concerned about the cords getting in the way of your job.
- If you’re driving and listening to music, a pair of wireless headphones won’t obstruct your ability to react quickly.
- When you’re exercising, wireless headphones won’t get in the way, and they won’t suffocate you when you sleep.
Limitations of the Wireless Earphones include:
- Wireless headphones create more EMF and RF radiation than wired headphones, making them more dangerous. However, this will only happen when you use the headphones for long periods of time. Even if you use wireless headphones, you will be completely out of danger if you use them for short time.
- When used for lengthy periods of time, wireless headphones may increase the risk of depression. This is particularly true when you use a lot of volume. It’s possible that you won’t feel the effects immediately.
The main advantage of wired headphones is that they do not emit radiation. This makes them a safer option if you need headphones to use for a long time.
If you plan on using your headphones all day, I recommend going with the wired alternative. If the headphones are used for an extended period of time, the radiation might lead to difficulties such as headaches or hearing problems.
However, they are not completely safe in matters of radiation. When you use them, you’ll still be exposed to radiation; there’s just a bit less to worry about.
You are exposed to electromagnetic field radiation when you use any kind of headphones, whether wired or wireless. Excessive usage of either might cause temporary issues such as ear discomfort and headaches.
Due to the frequent exposure to radiation, you may have noticed your headphones heating up and becoming unpleasant. There are also the potential risks of headphones that you should be aware of.
Wireless headphones may expose you to more radiation, but they may also be safer in certain situations.
Disadvantages of Wired Headphones include:
- The cords might become tangled with other things and get in the way, particularly if you operate in a busy area.
- You must keep your phone in your pocket at all times, particularly while moving about. If you don’t have pockets, this may be inconvenient. Because the cable’s range is limited, you can only do chores within one or two feet of the device without picking it up and moving it or carrying it with you.
- Because mobile phones emit a lot of radiation, carrying one in your pocket might have negative consequences, such as increasing male infertility.
What Are the Precautions You Should Take When Using Wireless Headphones?
The truth is that both wired and wireless headphones come with certain dangers – but they’re minor. Even while Bluetooth headphones generate more radiation than wired headphones, it’s still a negligible level — much less than any medical expert would advise against at this point.
Moderation is the key to being safe, as it is with most things. You’ll suffer consequences if you spend all day absorbed in any form of technology. You’ve undoubtedly experienced eye discomfort from gazing at your phone for an extended period of time or wrist aches from typing at a workplace keyboard.
You’re more prone to have headaches and ear discomfort if you use your wireless headphones too often.
If you don’t want to give up the freedom of movement and convenience to use, use that Bluetooth headphones provide; make sure you take certain precautions.
Space Out How Often You Use It
You’ll be uncomfortable if you’re continually listening to music using wireless headphones from the time you get up until the moment you go to sleep. Even if the radiation isn’t harmful, your ears need space to breathe from time to time.
Make sure you take pauses between periods of listening.
Regulate Your Volume Appropriately
When we need a pick-me-up, we all enjoy blaring our favorite songs, but be realistic about what your ears can tolerate. If you raise the decibels too high, you risk damaging your hearing and even causing long-term harm.
Reduced volume should also minimize your chances of getting a headache.
Switch To Another Device from Time to Time
You don’t have to listen to your music via headphones all of the time.
Consider investing in a speaker or portable speaker that allows you to listen to music without anything being pressed on or lodged in your ears. It’s fun to share the music you like with your friends occasionally.
Do Not Use Headphones in Bed
Whether wired or not, wearing headphones to bed is not a smart idea. Because your ears can’t drain properly throughout the night, you could develop issues like earwax impaction.
According to scientific reports, wireless headphones have not yet been demonstrated to be particularly harmful. While there are certain issues to be aware of, the majority of specialists feel that using these headphones is risk-free. Just make sure you’re treading carefully.
Buy Earphones with a Low EMF
There are wireless headphones on the market that are meant to limit the amount of EMF you are exposed to. You could have better peace of mind if you can get your hands on a pair of them.
Why Should I Choose Wired Headphones Over Wireless?
Why Should I Choose Wired Headphones Over Wireless?
You can choose wired headphones over wireless headphones because, based on the perceived health consequences of Bluetooth technology, radiation risks, and long-term use, wired headphones are safer than wireless headphones.
The wired headphones do not emit RF, which is considered a threat to the human body when exposed to it for a long period of time. The safety of each, however, is dependent on the circumstances. Wireless headphones are safer than corded headphones whether driving, traveling, or working in a crowded setting.
Are My Ears Safe with Headphones?
The safety of your ears will depend on the amount of time you use your headphones. Hair cells lose their sensitivity to sound vibrations over long periods of constant exposure to loud music. Loud music may sometimes cause the hair cells to bend or fold over, resulting in temporary hearing loss.
The hearing cells in the ear may be destroyed if the sound is extremely loud and played for an extended period of time. Furthermore, the earbuds may push the wax in the ear farther into the ear canal, potentially causing infections.
Do Wireless Headphones Emit More RF Than Wired?
Yes, wired headphones emit more radio Frequency than wired headphones. This RF has a couple of effects on the human body. When RF radiation is taken into the body at very big levels, heat is produced.
This may lead to damage and burns to bodily tissue. However, the RF emitted by the headphones may be very insignificant for it to cause any harm to you. You should avoid using headphones for a long time to avoid the effects of RF on your body.
The wired headphones may be a better option for many people than wireless headphones. This is mainly because the wired headphones do not emit RF which has a couple of health impacts on humans.
However, it is important to note that both have a number of pros and cons. I hope this article helps you know the measures you need to take when you are using wireless or wired headphones.
Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.