If you’re in the market for a new pair of headphones, you may be wondering whether to buy wired or wireless headphones. While the latter has its quirks, here are ten reasons why wired headphones are better than wireless.
1. They are cheaper
Sure, wireless headphones are more convenient, but they make you pay a lot more to enjoy that convenience. This is because making a pair of wireless headphones is more expensive than making wired ones.
The extra components that make wireless headphones wireless inflate their bill of materials, that is, the price of all the intermediate goods needed to create the final product. The higher this cost, the more you pay as a consumer.
2. They last longer
While there are exceptions to this statement, wired headphones tend to be more durable than wireless headphones because they have fewer components inside their body that can break after a potential drop.
This reduces their chances of taking substantial damage and allows them to handle more abuse than their wireless counterparts. In fact, some high-end wired headphones are so well made that they can last a lifetime.
3. They are lighter
One consequence of not having extra components on your body is that wired headphones are lighter than wireless ones. If you use your headphones a lot, you know how important comfort and weight are when it comes to headphones.
Since headphones are worn over the head, sometimes for hours at a time, they need to be lightweight and comfortable to prevent listening fatigue.
The heavier your headphones, the more discomfort you’ll feel after a listening session. You’ll find yourself wanting to take them off more often, as they make your neck ache and your ears sweaty.
4. No charging required
In this day and age, where almost every device comes with a battery, having something else to recharge from time to time is a huge pain.
On the other hand, wired headphones do not need to be recharged as they come with an audio plug; Plug and play convenience is not something to be taken for granted.
Plus, since you don’t have to constantly recharge them, they help you save some electricity and lower your energy bills a bit. While that may not be a big consideration for you, it is an added benefit nonetheless.
5. They do not have latency problems
Wireless headphones have come a long way, and the latency they used to have is slowly mitigating over the years. That being said, wired headphones will always outperform wireless headphones when it comes to pure performance.
This has nothing to do with its price and everything to do with physics. Even the most expensive wireless headphones can’t beat cheap wired headphones in terms of latency.
You might not notice the lag when casually listening to music, but if you’re a gamer, you’re well aware of how important those milliseconds can be.
6. They have better sound quality
You might love your AirPods Max, but you have no idea about all the wired headphones that can offer much better sound quality for the same or lower price. This is because compared to wired headphones, wireless headphones are still a relatively new invention.
Since wired headphones have had so much time to evolve, they are a tried and tested device and often follow the famous Harman curve. On the other hand, wireless headphones, as great as they are, tend to lean more towards the experimental side. But if you’re looking for the best possible sound, you’re more likely to find it in wired headphones.
7. They are ideal for professionals
Virtually all pro-level headphones are wired, and that’s because wired headphones are simply more reliable and designed to be specialized compared to wireless ones that are made for the masses. This is also the reason studio headphones are so expensive.
For professionals like artists and audio engineers, headphones are a working investment for mixing and mastering tracks, not a tool for recreational listening. This means that they must work as expected every time and be tuned in a very specific way.
Most consumer headphones are tuned to have a fun, upbeat sound, that is, a “V-shaped” sound signature. The sound signature is designed to manipulate sound in a way that is pleasing to listen to at the cost of losing precision and detail.
Professional wired headphones tend to have a flat or balanced sound signature to ensure maximum accuracy and precision in sound reproduction. Musicians can’t afford not to know what their track sounds like; they need it to be as real as possible.
8. They Are Easy and Cheap to Repair
This one is pretty straightforward. However, since wireless headphones have more components in their body, they are more difficult and complicated to fix.
That’s not to say that wired headphones are a bargain to fix, of course. Depending on the high end of your headphones, repair prices vary. But as a general rule, wireless headphone repair requires more work.
9. They are less harmful to the environment
Wired headphones are significantly less harmful to the environment due to their longevity, repairability, and absence of degraded batteries. They also tend to be less prone to planned obsolescence than wireless, since they are purely hardware.
A good pair of wired headphones under $100 can easily last three to six years or even longer if you take good care of them. A pair of wireless headphones for the same price almost certainly won’t last as long because the battery capacity will continue to decrease over time.
10. They do not face connectivity problems
Wireless headphones don’t always pair with your device smoothly, forcing you to spend more time than necessary trying to get the two to connect. Not to mention, there are various Bluetooth codecs and not all of them will be compatible with your device. For example, Apple devices use ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to provide high-resolution audio, but that standard doesn’t work with other devices. On the other hand, many devices will use Qualcomm’s aptX (and its variants) or Sony’s LDAC for Hi-Res Audio, but Apple’s iPhone and iPad don’t support it.
This is not a problem with wired headphones, as you only need to insert the headphone plug into the jack. The only minor connectivity issue with wired headphones is that if the plug or jack is dirty, you can sometimes hear static noises, but that’s something that can be easily fixed with a dry cloth.
Wired headphones are a better investment
In the age of wireless electronics, buying wired headphones can sometimes feel like a step backwards. But as many audiophiles will tell you, they’re sorely underrated. Even if you’re not an audiophile or an artist, wired headphones are still a better investment by most standards.
Yes, they are a bit inconvenient due to their cables, but you get a lot of value for the hassle. From better sound quality and longer life to not having to recharge and dealing with latency, wired headphones are a bargain and worth it.