Do Wired Headphones Sound Better Than Bluetooth Headphones?

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Did you know that there are approximately 5 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices in the world currently?

Along with your smartphone, it’s your headphones that are an integral part of our communication and entertainment system. The world has moved on from wired headphones to Bluetooth, and in the last decade, it looks like the wired headphones are nowhere to be seen.

But how good is the Bluetooth headphone when compared to the wired version?

The truth is, the wired headphones are the ones that deliver a better sound quality. The amount of data that can pass through Bluetooth headphones is quite limited compared to their counterparts, the traditional wired version.

However, you may want to take into consideration that Bluetooth has come a long way. The latest devices have significantly better quality than just a few years ago, almost similar to a wired version.

Unless you are a sound expert working with high-resolution audio files, you probably won’t hear the difference.

READ MORE: Top 10 Best Bluetooth Headphones with Noise Cancelling (2022)

Why Does Wired Headphones have Better Sound?

Research indicates that headphones with cables have a better sound quality than Bluetooth and wireless headphones. A wired headphone is an analog device and has the ability to support a maximum bitrate of 2304 kbps. Bluetooth, on the other hand, can support up to 768 kbps.

You can basically experience the discrepancy in quality only during high-quality audio files. Normal digitals files you are listening to from your phone or computer are usually around 256 kbps. The high-quality files can reach up to a bitrate of 520 kbps, which is all handled perfectly by the Bluetooth headphone.

With Bluetooth headphones, you can also run into the risk of interference, which is absent with the wired counterpart. At any point in time, it’s the wired headphones that deliver near-perfect sound quality, but interference is also highly dependent on the brand and the quality of your device.

So do not imagine that the difference in sound quality is similar to a stone and a hill. With the recent developments in Bluetooth, only an audiophile will be able to hear the reduced quality. If you have been to quite a few concerts, you may not be able to identify the difference at all.

READ MORE! Best BT Headphones for both office and private use (2021)

Advantages of Bluetooth

For the most part, a good quality Bluetooth headphone gives you a near-perfect audio quality, except in specific formats. However, there are certain advantages to owning a Bluetooth headset.

If you are someone who lives for the finer things in life, Bluetooth is your friend. You can move anywhere from 30 ft to 300 ft, depending on your device. 

The lack of wires makes it easy for you to jog, run or even work out while listening to your favorite music. 

If you have a headphone with a microphone you can have conversations with customers when walking to the coffee-machine with the phone on your desk.

A Bluetooth Headphone really provides you with freedom.

Should You Go for a Bluetooth Headphone?

Provided that you are not working with high-resolution audio files, you will probably not be able to distinguish between the sound quality of wired and Bluetooth headphones. What you will distinguish between is the quality of the Bluetooth devices themselves.

Bluetooth Headphones nowadays delivers excellent sound quality, and digital files are handled perfectly. They are convenient and work with all the major electronic devices, including your mobile, laptop, tablets, and gaming devices.

Remember, Thanks to technological developments, most Bluetooth devices sound almost as good as wired devices. So, go ahead and enjoy uninterrupted music wherever you go.

READ MORE: Are Apple Airpods Max Comfortable? (Solved!) Full review!


What is Bitrate?

Bitrate is a measure of how much data is transferred into audio. A higher Bitrate corresponds to higher sound quality.

What are Bluetooth Codecs?

It is the Codec that determines how the Bluetooth signal is transmitted between devices (e.g. phone to headphones). The Codec is responsible for encoding and decoding digital data into different formats.

Does it matter what Codec my device uses?

The goal of the codec is to transmit the signal as fast as possible, with minimum use of bit rate. Old codecs are not recommended. Both AAC and aptX are common codecs for audio, where AAC is mostly used in smartphones.

Espen is the Director of ProPairing


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.

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