What Determines Bluetooth Headphones’ Audio Quality?

Bluetooth headphones have become all the rage as of late, and it’s easy to see why. With regular, corded headphones, there is less hassle. You don’t need to deal with tangled cords that fry easily. If you're an athlete, you don’t need to worry about the headphones flying off because you tripped over the wire.

However, with Bluetooth headphones, there are some challenges when purchasing them. Here are a few things to consider before purchasing one.

True Wireless Vs. Wired

Wait, wired wireless headphones? That sounds like a contradiction. Let us explain. There are two types of headphones, especially in the earbud department. With a wired wireless piece, you have two earbuds connected with a wire, but no wire connecting to a headphone jack. These are still Bluetooth, and have way less wires to deal with, but they aren’t true wireless. True wireless is when you have two buds that have no wires.

Both have their pros and cons. True wireless is more expensive and can get lost easily. Wired wireless you can keep easier, but there’s always tangling. However, never as bad as a full wired pair.

Charge Time

Bluetooth headphones aren’t powered by the sunlight (not yet, anyway.) You need to charge them. Luckily, most pairs, even the budget ones, have enough power to last you for a while. As long as you charge them once a day, you should be fine. With that said, there are some pairs that last only a couple hours, so do your research.

Noise Canceling or No?

Noise canceling is when a mic is used to create a negative of the sound around you, eliminating noise. This is great for when you're on a long train or plane ride and just need sleep. If you're an athlete or use your headphones for another reason, you may not need it. A noise canceling pair of wireless headphones tend to be pricy.


Wireless headphones can last longer due to less wires, but some are not durable. Budget pairs may have charging ports that break off, making the headphones a paperweight. Do your research and read the reviews before you commit to it.

What Determines Audio Quality?

Bluetooth headphones are catching up to wired headphones, giving you great audio quality that doesn’t lag. Often, you may be able to find a great pair of headphones for cheap. If you Google “best bluetooth headphone under 200,” you can find plenty of headphones for cheap. Even a pair in the $20-$30 range may give you quality, especially in the online world. Here are a couple we recommend:

plantronics wireless noise cancelling headphones

Plantronics Wireless Noise Cancelling Backbeat – Headphones (Black & Tan) (Pro 2)

This is a higher range model, but one of the best bluetooth headphones under $200. Exactly a dollar under. These can last up to 24 hours and have noise canceling capabilities. If you're traveling on a budget, you can’t go wrong with these. They are definitely worth checking out.

iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Headphones Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones Foldable Headset with Mic (Stealth)

Of course, $199 is above many’s budget. Here’s one most people can afford. It’s only around $15. You're not going to get super high quality, but they last long enough and you can use it as a hands-free headset. If you're new to the wireless world, this may be a good starter to have.

Audio Codecs

If you want to get the best audio quality, be it because you're an audiophile who loves music or because you want the clearest sound possible, look for the audio codec. Different headphones may use different codecs. Your device you're listening from needs to support the codec as well. Here are a few.

  • This is the standard for most headsets. The quality should suffice fo most, however, it does have its limits. There may be some artifacts left over that while you may not hear, it can affect hardcore listeners.
  • This is found in many Android devices, and can give you good audio CD quality. There is also aptX HD, which allows for more detailed sound, but not all devices support it.
  • This is found in many Apple devices. It’s a good format that has clean audio to boot.


Wireless headphones are great, and as the technology evolves, they will probably make wired headphones obsolete. It’s a great time to get a pair that’s affordable and can give you good audio quality. Do you own a pair? What’s your favorite? Tell us.

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