Ever seen a cool dude or lady in Joggers Park with Bose headphones — and no wires trailing? Ever wondered WTH is going on?
They’re called Bluetooth headphones and they’re the new sign that you’re ahead of the sonic curve. Bluetooth — derived from the Anglicized title of the 10th century Scandinavian king Harald Bluetooth — is a wireless short-range communications technology standard found in millions of products we use every day – such as smartphones, laptops and portable speakers. A product with a Bluetooth technology can connect wirelessly with any other nearby device that has Bluetooth as well.
And now Bluetooth has come to headphones, making music and chats suddenly wireless. No more messy tangles and cable nooses.
Should you get Bluetooth headphones? How to decide? And if yes, which kind? Here are 10 quickie guidelines –
1. Usage: If you will be using your headphone in a loud workplace to talk to other people on the phone, you’ll probably need one with a noise cancelling and wind reducing features such as the Bose QuietComfort 25. And you probably need a headset — which is what they call headphones with a mic attached in front. If you walk around while wearing the headset, you’ll need in-ear headphones with a ear hook such as the Jabra Sport Pace, or something more stable with silicone rubber tips which stay put. These can also be used while jogging.
If you’ll mainly be listening to music, buy Bluetooth headphones as they have better sound quality. Look for one with music playback control keys. If you’re the type of person who will pop a headphone on and off multiple times a day a no-hook model such as the BS15 is for you.
2. Battery Life: Bluetooth headphones require charging, so ask about the battery life before buying. Generally, the bigger the headphones, the longer the battery life, though smaller headphones usually look better and are more convenient. The average headphones can work up to 4-5 hours on a single charge, and standby time ranges from less than a week to over two weeks for headphones. JLab Audio’s Epic2 or Jaybird X2 stand out with 12 hours and 8 hours battery life respectively.
3. Mono, Stereo, and HD Sound: Mono sound headsetsfeature a single earpiece and provide sound to one ear, with acceptable sound quality for calls and other basic functions. However, if you that want to use them to listen to music or play video games, consider buying headphones with two earpieces and stereo sound, which offer good sound quality at affordable prices. Headphones with HD sound operating at 16 KHz rather than 8 KHz like stereo headphones, offer better sound quality and a truly immersive experience.
4. Multipoint pairing: Multipoint pairing is the ability to connect your headphones to more than one Bluetooth-compatible device, such as your phone, laptop or tablet simultaneously. Syska Multipoint H904, Jabra Voice Wave and Plantronics VOYAGER 510S are some great multipoint pairing Bluetooth headphones.
5. Voice command functionality: The popularity of the voice command functionality is growing rapidly. Bluetooth headphones allow pairing to a device, check battery status, answer calls, and reject calls. Some Bluetooth headphones permit users to access the voice commands included with a smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth-paired device. This makes them easier to use while cooking, driving, exercising, and working. Plantronics Voyager Legend is one such voice command Bluetooth headset.
6. Comfort: Not considering comfort while buying Bluetooth headphones can be a costly mistake. Some headphones use a head strap to stay in place, while others clip around the ear. Some headphones have earbuds thatgo inside the ear and rest in the entrance to the ear canal or at the outer edge of the ear lobe. Some earbud models have interchangeable speaker cushions that are different shapes so consumers can pick the one that is most comfortable for them.
Preferences in this area are very personal: some people find their ears aching after wearing headphones for several hours, while other are uncomfortable with earphones that hook around their ears. Try out the product at the shop if possible to make sure it feels good on your ear.
7. Mic: For people who need Bluetooth headsets especially for calling, it is important that they first check its sound quality. Do this by calling a friend and checking that the conversation is clear, audible, and without disturbances at both ends. Check indoor and outdoor volume levels, and how intelligible voices are in different situations.
8. Range: If you’re a person who moves around a lot without their phones, a headphone with a good range is necessary. Most Bluetooth headphones run with Class 2 Bluetooth, which provides a range of up to 33 feet before sound quality starts dropping. However, there are a couple of Class 1 Bluetooth headsets that have ranges up to 300 feet.
9. Budget: Bluetooth headphones on the higher end of the price range will give you better sound quality, and sometimes great designs with Bluetooth speakers, but even the low end ones such as the Brobeat HBS-730 are workable and satisfactory at ₹ Note down the features and decide whether it is worth spending the amount charged by a headphone as a higher end headphone could cost you about ₹70,000!
10. Being realistic: Technology is moving at such a rapid pace today. Headphones have now become so much more than a device only to talk or listen to music. There is no end to innovation, new and better features are added every day. High-end headsets can do everything from converting speech-to-text(VXi BlueParrott B250 XT– ₹12,839), to streaming music and local radio stations, and to broadcasting your calls through your car’s stereo system (Jabra BT2046 – ₹1,199)