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Difference between Wireless and Bluetooth Headphones

Wireless headphones are a rage these days. This major transition to smart devices gave rise to a new wireless era and smartphones are no longer limited to C-level executives anymore. Smartphones have become a new standard of wireless communication, which eventually shifted the people’s interest towards headphones. No wonder smartphones are killing the PCs. The luxury items of yesterday are the lifestyle staples of today.

Headphones, which were initially reserved for the athletes and trainers listening to the music while working out, have now become a popular accessory among the urban youth. Technology and fashion are becoming one, with headphones turning into a fashion accessory rather than being a technology. Headphones of today are available in all types and budgets, with wireless headphones growing in popularity and outselling their wired counterparts.

Difference between Wireless and Bluetooth Headphones

Koss Striva Tap In-ear WiFi Wireless Headphones

More and more people have already started embracing the change with wireless freedom, which means no wires or cables. The freedom from wires is really amazing and the best thing about going wireless is that it’s completely hands-free, which urged more people to spend time on the phone with the headphones on. However, there are a few people who think otherwise. While many have adopted the wireless technology for good, there are a few consumers who feel somewhat wary of the wireless technology.

Wireless vs. Bluetooth Headphones

Many consumers often feel a little lost in the wide range of headphones available out there. They have trouble understanding the technology when it comes to buying a new pair of headphones. Well, the market is flooded with all kinds of wireless headphones, which makes it all the more important for you to find the right headphone. The first question you must ask yourself is whether you want to go with a wireless or a Bluetooth headset.

Definition – Wireless and Bluetooth are often used in conjunction with each other and both are even used to determine the same products, especially headsets. Both the terms may sound synonymous, however, they are quite different from each other when it comes to technology. Also, not all wireless devices use Bluetooth technology.

Both are the standards for wireless communication but there are a few things that separate these wireless technologies. Both the technologies have their own uses and it is important to better understand the difference between the two. Depending on what you intend to do with your headset, one or the other technology may have an edge over the other.

Difference between Wireless and Bluetooth Headphones-1

JayBird Sportsband Bluetooth Headphones

Technology – Bluetooth is basically a wireless technology used to connect multiple devices using radio waves without using wires or cable within a short range. Bluetooth technology is used to send and receive data and information using Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices such as a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or any Bluetooth-enabled device. Bluetooth headphones directly pair with your cellphone via Bluetooth to provide a wire-free listening experience.

Wireless headsets, on the other hand, transmit audio signals either through infrared or radio frequency waves. The device receives the signal usually from a base that is connected to a device such as a speaker, smartphone, gaming console, or a computer without any kind of a cable or wire. The headset is powered by standard batteries which can be easily replaced if ran out of juice.

  • Infrared – It works exactly like your TV remote. The device uses infrared waves to transmit audio signal to the headset from the base unit. The operating range is a little limited in case of IR which is optical so it requires a clear line of sight in order to work. So limited range means limited movement which means the distance between the headset and the transmitter must be 7 meters or less.
  • Radio – Like a radio, it uses radio waves which are more powerful than the infrared signal, making it easy for you wandering around the house with your headphones on. The range is considerably better; let’s say up to 300 feet if the environment is free of obstacles like walls and cabinets. Depending on the environment, the range may vary.

Sound Quality – One of the most important aspects that separate a wireless headset from a Bluetooth one is the sound quality. Both the technologies are wireless, which means they do not use any kind of wires or cables, but the audio quality does take a toll on the overall listening experience, depending on the device you’re using. Well, it’s true that wired headphones sound way better than the top notch Bluetooth headphones.

The earlier versions of Bluetooth literally ruined the sound quality because of the dramatic compression of the signals, but the Bluetooth 4.0 technology have made the modern wireless headsets much better than their predecessors. The technology in the Bluetooth headphones has updated over time owing to the technological advancement which enhanced the sound quality to an unprecedented level.

Wireless Headphones Bluetooth Headphones
All wireless devices are not Bluetooth devices. All Bluetooth devices can be called wireless.
It covers a wide range of up to 300 feet, depending on the environmental obstacles. It covers a limited range, depending on the device, of up to 30 feet or less.
It uses either infrared or radio waves to transmit signals. It used radio waves to transmit audio signals
It requires an adaptor to connect to the device. Bluetooth comes built-in within the device by default.
Wireless headsets may or may not be compatible with all devices. Bluetooth headsets are compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices.


When reviewing the differences between wireless and Bluetooth headphones, you need to understand the technology first and then you should consider the purpose of the headphones. While some wireless headphones are great for enjoying music on-the-go, others are specially designed for gamers. Apart from providing you a hands-free listening experience, the best thing about a wireless headset is its ability to multitask. For example, some Bluetooth headphones will not only allow you to listen to music, but also allow you to make and receive phone calls. The freedom of movement is the one thing both the devices are really good at, combined with a decent audio quality and improved durability. However, the main difference between the two is the range. Well, that doesn’t stop either from providing wireless entertainment while on-the-go.

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  1. also one requires wifi signal while bluetooth requires just bluetooth device – so when you say “on the go” for wireless you mean on the go wherever you have wifi right? Because out in public you don’t necessarily have wifi until you go connect somewhere, otherwise you are eating up your cell data plan.

  2. I really want to understand the concept of wireless and Bluetooth headphones. Can you download music to the earphones? I live in the country and need to be outdoors but my phone has a bad low speaker sound. I have a Bluetooth stereo indoors. I need good music hands-free Outdoors. My phone would only play for 30 minutes before battery runs down. This is driving me crazy trying to figure out the technology. I only have internet through my phone which I don’t need Wi-Fi. After being ill for so long, I need to get in shape with music. Body Mind and Spirit. I really appreciate any help you can give me. I left my name but it should be, “Technically Challenged”

  3. I would appreciate if someone could really explain the technology and the range. If one had Wi-Fi could they run a mile away from devices?

  4. Thank you for sharing such amazing information with us. And Are You Looking For True Wireless Earbuds and True Wireless Earbuds For Workout?.

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References :

[0]Stallings, William. Wireless Communications & Networks (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2005. Print

[1]Dowla, Farid. Handbook of RF and Wireless Technologies. Oxford: Newnes, 2003. Print

[2]Miller, Brent A. Bluetooth Revealed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000. Print

[3]"Image Credit: http://gadgetsin.com/koss-striva-tap-true-in-ear-wifi-wireless-headphones.htm"

[4]"Image Credit: https://reload4btech.blogspot.in/2011/08/blog-post.html"

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