Wireless headphones are the way to go in this modern world. From call center agents to field workers, each and every individual understands the importance of wireless headphones and how much ease they bring to the job. You can find a wide range of such headphones in local and online markets.
Since they have become so common, there has been a lot of talk about their different modes of functionality according to user preferences and their suitability to gamers and other professionals. You might have the best headphones around with you right now but did you ever wonder how they really work? If not, then today’s the day we unveil the science behind wireless headphones and what makes you listen to the noises from inside your computer, tablets, smartphones and mp3 players without any apparent physical connection.
The Need of Going Wireless
With growing businesses and mobility being a huge factor, wireless headphones became an essential need for the modern day world. Daily life users will understand the convenience offered to them by wireless headsets. Especially for field workers, it became quite a handy tool to stay connected to their co-workers without having to carry more wires around with them. Likewise, gamers enjoyed these headsets because of better mobility and lesser hindrance in movement especially for some of the more enthusiastic and emotional gamers.
According to a survey, headphone sales are expected to rise by 8% of the current sales and by the year 2018, there will be more than 309 million headphone units to be sold worldwide. A decent percentage of them will be of wireless headphones as more and more people are turning to this amazing and convenient technology.
How Wireless Headphones Work
It is now time we focus on the core purpose of this article. We will have a glance as to how these headphones really work. Some of the best wireless headphones offer great sound quality without there being physical connection between the player and the speakers.
Wireless headphones work on one of the three major connectivity modes. Some of the common wireless transmission modes which are used for data transfer are used for transmitting audio signals as well. These signals are mainly transmitted through waves and the three transmission modes are as follows:
- Bluetooth Headphones
Bluetooth transmission is actually digital transmission of audio signals at fairly low power. Although these headphones are not that common right now, many MP3 manufacturing companies are now shifting their focus on developing Bluetooth headphones to go with the MP3 players. However, Apple has still not and doesn’t intend to develop cordless headphones anywhere in the near future. However, Apple users shouldn’t be disappointed because third party accessories are compatible for iPhone, iPod and iPad.
Both the headset and the music player have a chip fitted inside them responsible for generating and processing radio signals. Pre-installed software is used to decode the digitally transmitted signal which you can then hear in the form of your favorite tracks. It happens before you know it so you shouldn’t worry about transmission speed and delays.
Most of the devices such as smartphones, tabs, laptops, X box, PSPs and MP3 players have Bluetooth installed in them so Bluetooth headphones can be connected to almost all the devices.
Best use For Bluetooth Headphones
Unlike IR headphones, Bluetooth headphones work on radio transmissions. Hence, there is no limitation of staying right in front of the transmitter all the time. It makes these headphones ideal to be used for cell phones where you can keep the phone inside your pocket and talk to and listen to your favorite tracks. One of the best things about these headphones is that you can connect to more than one device so it allows you more connectivity options. They are not dedicated headphones and you can use the same headphone with your cell phone, laptop and any other Bluetooth featuring device.
Limitation of Bluetooth Headphones
Bluetooth headphones are best used for shorter ranges. When both the devices are in close vicinity, the transmission will be the most effective and quickest. It has a similar range to that of the infrared headphones so you are better off not using them in open and wide fields.
- Infrared Based Wireless Headphones
The headphones work on the principle of Line of Sight (LOS) communication. It works in a similar way like your TV remote. Signals from the media player are transmitted through an IR transmitter which is received by the Receiver inside the headphones. Normally, the range is as long as 7 meters and the application if best suited for domestic used. The range decreases if the receiver and transmitter aren’t directly in front of each other. Field workers may require longer ranges so it doesn’t really suit them.
Best Use of IR Based Headphones
IR based headphones are best suited when you don’t have to move around too much and listen to the music or tracks while sitting at a place. Watching TV and playing video games are too of the common uses of IR based headphones. If you watch late night plays on your TV, these headphones will be of great help. However, you can use them for listening to your MP3 player as well if you are willing to stay at one place.
Where Not to Use IR Based Headphones
Since IR based headphones work on LOS principle, they won’t function if there is any hindrance between the transmitter and receiver. Hence you have to maintain a clear path for the audio signals to travel through.
- Radio Headphones
Another type of wireless headphones is radio headphones. They work on the simple concept of frequency matching just like you do it for your FM radio. Waves transmitted from the transmitter are received through the channel receiver in your headset. They are pretty similar to how Bluetooth performs except for the fact that these signals are much more powerful. Hence the range of transmission increases dramatically.
Radio transmissions are analog signal transmissions so there is always a chance of them mixing up with other frequencies around the environment. To avoid mixing of signals, there are normally two or more channel options. It helps eliminate any possible mixing of sound so that you enjoy high quality sound even if you are at a longer distance away from your music player.
Where to Use Radio Headphones
These headphones have a wide transmission range and the signals are quite powerful. Hence, you can use them almost anywhere you want. Because of such a powerful range, they become a useful tool for field worker who can replace walkie talkies and switch to these more convenient headphones.
Where Not to Use Radio Headsets
If you live in an environment where there are security concerns, there may be jammers installed in your nearby locations. Hence, your headphones may not work in such areas. SO you may have to go for IR based headphones.
How to Connect Wireless Headphones
Connecting Wireless headphones is subjected to their mode of signal reception. The main idea is to transmit the signal through space without connecting wires. For the purpose, there is help taken from IR radiations as well as electromagnetic waves.
- Connecting Bluetooth Headphones
Since a Bluetooth device can connect with most devices, there can be different ways to connect them to your desired sound transmitter. Simply turn on the Bluetooth in your headphone and make sure that your headphone is charged well enough. Turn on the Bluetooth settings in your music player device and search for new devices. You should be able to find your headset in the settings and you simply have to connect through the software.
- Connecting IR Headphones
There is nothing you have to do in order to connect these headphones with the music player except for the fact that you might have to change the batteries once in a while. The transmitter and receivers are preset and hence communication is never a problem. Normally headsets have an On/Off button to start and stop audio transmission. Other than that, there is nothing else you have to do. These headphones normally come with TV sets and if you have to buy one separately, you will have to make sure of the model number because all headsets may not be compatible with all devices.
- Connecting Radio Headphones
These headphones are battery operated and there is not much you have to do to connect these headphones. There haven’t been too many radio headsets used with laptops and smartphones right now thanks to Bluetooth devices, there is still a decent demand of the devices in field work. Connecting is pretty simple as you just have to tune to the right frequency. The frequency can be selected through digital buttons or there may be an adjusting knob to serve the purpose. As soon as the connection establishes, you will be in for some amazing sound quality.
You now know the basics about working and connectivity of wireless headsets. The next time you go out buying for the best wireless headphones for yourself, make sure that you know which type would suit you the best.