What a wireless bluetooth headset is better for your phone? Comparative overview of the 6 best models
Despite the fact that the data format called “Blue Tooth”, or Bluetooth, was developed in 1990, on do now remains the most popular and applied in all models of smartphones, mobile phones, laptops, or even in televisions. Among the main advantages of this standard of wireless communication include stability and almost complete lack of distortion when transmitting even sound information from the source directly to headphones.
NOTE! At the dawn of format format, he did not guarantee a high speed of information transfer, but gradual development and improvement of the version led to the fact that the modern protocol allows you to transmit even a media content. The range of action when using Bluetooth is 10?20 meters, depending on the power of the transmitter itself generating a signal. This happens enough to pair the mobile phone and wireless headphones or headsets. The headset is simple in the device. it is an ambush, speaker, microphone, Bluetooth receiver and plastic case The principle of operation of the protocol is to use special radio waves passing in the IMS band. This allows you to increase the channel change frequency to achieve an increase in security when applying wireless data transmission.
Multiple frequency change does not allow other devices having a Bluetooth to affect the reception / transmission of the signal. This protocol has its advantages and disadvantages to consider if desired to buy a Bluetooth headset for the phone.
|Full lack of wires.||The price is slightly higher than that of ordinary wired analogs.|
|Low power consumption.||The need to periodic batteries charging.|
|Convenience and simplicity.||On Bluetooth versions below 3.0 There is a problem of signaling instability.|
|Ability to connect to any protocol support gadget.|
Despite the minuses, the advantages prevail, and the ability to fully free his hands when conversations on a mobile phone are the determining criterion when choosing a wireless device.
Unlike APTX, the new standard has even more prominent characteristics, including support for up to 24 bits / 48 kHz and data transfer rate up to 576 kbps.
What gives us? In theory, we get sound quality comparable with high-quality sound transmission by cable.
How to get this “winnerwafron” in your hands, or rather ears? And here is not so simple.
First, both of your devices, and the receiver and the transmitter must be equipped with the support of this codec, otherwise the magic will not work. Secondly, it is necessary to carefully read the specifications of your device, because there may be surprises, such as this. in the Snapdragon 820 processor specifications, the APTXHD is declared, but the LG G5, based on this processor, support APTXHD received, and American options Galaxy S7, S7 EDGE, running on just such, only APTX is content. It’s a shame, since I have such such SGS7.
Profiles. a set of specific features supported by devices. Of all those used in Bluetooth, the following are interesting for listening:
- Headset Profile (HSP) is required to communicate a headset and smartphone and a mono-sound wireless transmission with a bit rate of 64 kbps / s.
- Hands-Free Profile (HFP) also provides mono transmission, however, with higher quality.
- ADVANCED AUDIO DISTRIBUTION PROFILE (A2DP) is required to transmit a two-channel audio stream.
- Audio / Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) provides control of the functions of reproducing devices (without it, even changing the volume of music).
For a full listening of music you need A2DP. It not only provides the transfer of the audio stream, but also controls the compression of data before transferring.
However, even if the transmitting, and the reproducing device (for example, smartphone and wireless headphones) are equipped with Bluetooth 3.0 or 4.0 and support work with the necessary protocol, you need to pay attention to the codec that is used.
We listen to music in high quality. Or a few words about codecs
Unfortunately, the choice of wireless headphones is not limited to the same type of construction. If you have ever been interested in high-quality sound, you could hear the widespread opinion, as if you could only get a good sound on the wire. And it is actually so. Rather, it was so until recently.
When you choose, do not pay attention to which codecs are supported by headphones
The problem with wireless headphones is to transmit data (in particular, audio) via Bluetooth, it is simply not enough for a high bitrate (1411 kbps if we are talking about CD-quality). This leads us to the need to squeeze the audio stream before sending to headphones, and they, in turn, should decode the data obtained and after that “the figure” is converted into an analog signal.
So, for encoding \ flow decoding corresponds to the codecs. special compression algorithms. To date, there are 5 main codecs, namely: SBC, AAC, APTX, APTX HD and LDAC. Be sure to share a couple of minutes of your attention to deal with this issue. It will save you from errors when choosing a bluetooth headphone (especially if you are ready to spend a decent amount).
So, let’s briefly consider the characteristics of these codecs:
SBC codec. Or standard codec
This is the oldest and least efficient codec that is used in the overwhelming majority of wireless headphones. If you can not find in the description of the device of such words like APTX, LDAC, AAC, or even SBC. you can be sure, headphones use SBC codec. The maximum bit rate can be 328 kbps, but, in reality, the bitrate does not exceed 200 kbps. It is even lower than the quality of the music used in the streaming services like Google Play Music, Spotify or Apple Music. About any Hi-Res (or Hi-Fi) sound speech can not be.
AAC codec. Favorite apple algorithm
This codec is widely used on devices from Apple. On Android smartphones, this codec sounds noticeably worse than on the iPhone. AAC sound quality with a bit rate of 256 kbps / with Similar to MP3 quality with 320 kbps bitrate / s.
AAC codec uses a complex psychoacoustic model in compression, and therefore is the most difficult in terms of computing. Because of this (especially on Android) the AAC codec has a greater audio delay.
APTX and APTX HD. It is more interesting!
Codes belonging to Qualcomm can already offer a noticeable improvement in sound quality. A simpler version of APTX supports bitrate to 353 kbps, while the APTX HD bit rate is already 576 kbps! For the end user, this means less losses of the dynamic range, below noise. APTX codec is slightly better than SBC and AAC on Android, while APTX HD exceeds them in everything.
Note: As already mentioned earlier, the sound is first compressed on the device, and only then decoded on headphones. This means that both devices (both smartphone and headphones) must support the same codec. If you buy expensive wireless headphones with support for APTX HD and connect them to the iPhone XS Max. you will not get any advantage, because on the iPhone there is no support neither APTX nor APTX HD.
If you are installed on your smartphone android 8.0 or newer. excellent! You do not need to worry about codecs, as all Android smartphones (starting with version 8.0) have built-in support for APTX codecs, APTX HD and LDAC. Owners of the most modern iPhone will have to be content with Quality AAC or SBC.
LDAC codec. Or Sony Wireless Standard
Sony has developed a codec, the quality of which is exceeded by everything, as stated above. LDAC allows you to reach a bitrate of 990 kbps, while the sampling rate is 96000 Hz, and the bit rate is 24 bits. These indicators correspond to Hi-Res Sound. However, it does not know how to transfer Hi-Res Audio without loss, although the company declares it.
Let’s see for clarity a small graph of comparison of all codecs:
How to choose perfect wireless headphones
Outside Summer. the time of active relaxation in the fresh air. In these three months we hold at least time at home, and therefore the ability to listen to music on a computer or a media player falls infrequently. Most people solve the problem with headphones and phone. And although at this hot period we are not burdened with countless layers of outerwear, the notorious active rest implies a movable lifestyle, which significantly limits the convenience of using wired headsets.
So summer is one of the main reasons (not to mention the “extinction” of mini-jack in smartphones) to acquire wireless headphones. Next, let’s talk about what moments should pay attention when choosing this accessory. I will immediately say that we will only touch on the options with a Bluetooth connection, as models with a radio channel on the market literally units, and they are not intended for smartphones, but for cars.
From how the generation of this standard is supported by headphones, the sound quality, and the time of operation of the device depends. For music lovers, Bluetooth versions starting with 4.1 and 4.2, presented in 2013 and 2014, respectively. AT 4.1 The sound quality was improved by increasing the speed of information transfer, and in 4.2. by increasing the amount of transmitted data packets.
Last generation (2016) is indicated by the index 5.0. Compared with the previous version 4.2, devices with Bluetooth 5.0 are able to install two compounds at once, and also have 2 times greater transmission rate, 4 times more radius of action and 800% greater signal penetration through obstacles with the same sound quality and better energy efficiency.
An important role is played by support for codecs, significantly improving sound quality. These include:
- APTX. allows you to transmit uncompressed audio files via Bluetooth without loss of quality (as when listening to files from a CD)
- A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). Advanced Audio Distribution Profile. Responsible for transmitting stereo sound on Bluetooth radio channel for any receiving device.
- LDAC. Sony proprietary technology that transmits HI-RES audio (bit rate to 990 kbps) via Bluetooth connection. In addition to the flagship Sony smartphones, LDAC support is embedded in Android OS 8.0.
- APTX HD. in 2009 Qualcomm introduced an improved version of a friend to many APTX profile. This development is characterized by the possibility of transmitting an audio signal as 24 bits / 48 kHz at a speed of 576 Kbps.
All of the above is right only if one technology is supported by both devices: that is, if your smartphone has a Bluetooth module 4.2, it makes no sense to buy headphones for the benefits of BT 5.0, and vice versa.
Wireless headphones are divided into 3 types:
In view of the understandable reasons, the full-sized in the summer do not specifically imagine (except at home, under air conditioning). But the sound quality in them is much higher, however, they are more expensive.
Although plug-in models and do not boast of so saturated sound, their indisputable advantages. comfort, ease and high ergonomics. They will not take a lot of space in his or bag, quickly charge and allow us to use only one “ear”, if there is such a need (for example, when talking with other people, on a walk, in the university class, when driving on a motorcycle / scooter and t.P.).
Imagine the situation: on the road you listen to your favorite podcast, but here the headphones inform about the discharged battery, and there is no charge nearby. The mood is spoiled, there is no music to listen to the music, and the path is still long. In models with 3.There is no such problem with a 5-mm audio connector. connect the cable and continue to enjoy the content. But such a privilege is available only to the owners of external headphones.
If you plan to use headphones also for conversations, then, of course, you need to pay attention to the models with the built-in microphone. In wired analogs, the microphone is located in a special block on the cable, here this element is located in the device body itself, which is why the microphone hole can be clogged with dust and it is difficult to clear, worsening the quality of the transmitted speech (fortunately, such a deficiency is rather an exception than the rule).
In the plugs and large closed headphones, the sound canal overlaps, significantly reducing the number of “sound garbage”, providing the ability to abstract from the environment without having to buy expensive headphones with the function of active noise reduction. The latest monitor the level of volume of external noise using microphones, as a result, inverted sound waves are created, eliminating the user from all the joys of the subway or the construction site.
However, despite the high price and the obvious convenience of this technology, the headphones with active noise cancellation have certain disadvantages like a significantly increased battery consumption when this function is turned on, and 5-7% of people from the work of the AS system begins to hurt head. Therefore, before making a final acquisition decision, take a short time with such headphones from someone from friends or colleagues, and if there is no such possibility, then at least a few minutes listen to the model in the store before buying.
Elements of nutrition and autonomy
In wireless headphones, both built-in batteries and removable AA batteries can be used, in both cases the most lively models work from one charge up to 28 hours in music playback mode, the middle autonomy of the Bluetooth headphones. 12-20 hours.
Loud external noise can spoil impressions from favorite songs or prevent an important phone conversation. To protect yourself from it, look at models with increased sound insulation.
Internal headphones, also known as vacuum, and external closed headphones are best blocked by environment sounds.
Some models are protected from noise not only at the expense of the design features, but also with the help of special functions. So, there are headphones with active noise reduction technology. They monitor the sounds of the environment through the microphone and automatically block the noise when it is necessary. But such a technology consumes battery charge and increases the cost of headphones.
Headphones with active noise cancellation function Sony MDR100ABNB
BLE technology for headsets
BLE (Bluetooth Low-Energy) was presented with Bluetooth 4, and its task is intuitively understood from the name. to provide devices with the ability to communicate with smaller energy costs. It matters if the device works from the battery, such as smartphone or wireless headphones.
Before the appearance of Bluetooth 5, BLE technology was used only in wearable devices, beacons and small devices belonging to the Internet of things. This meant that Bluetooth headsets were forced to be content with the usual, more energy-consuming Bluetooth by radio channel. For your smartphone, the difference will not be particularly noticeable, but it becomes critical when it comes to a device with a small battery, for example, about a pair of Bluetooth headphones. The more time they spend on charging, the less time you will try in our ears.
If you have Bluetooth 5, all audio devices are connected with BLE. And it can very much to affect the time of work, however, it does not always happen. Good example. this is Airpods from Apple. When they are connected to the iPhone, the Apple W1 chip can “serve as an intermediary” in the Bluetooth connection, measuring the intensity of the connection and carrying out some minor settings. And on the Android smartphone, everything is limited to the standard Bluetooth connection. That’s why Airpods longer “live” from one charge when used with iPhone.
The main types of wireless sets are their advantages and disadvantages
Before stopping your choice on wireless models, it is worth understanding than they are better or worse than their wired predecessors.
For obvious reasons, advantages are to:
- Lack of constant wiring. It is no secret that most of the owners of wired headphones are often encountered with this problem and it is strong enough, in this case, the wireless models will perform an excellent option.
- Convenient use. Fears that the wire can break or clogging and flying becomes not relevant, since the lack of wires excludes such problems.
- Stylish design. Such headphones look more like a beautiful accessory that complements the modern image.
- Mobile Phone Independence. If the smartphone is in charge in one room, the headset will be able to work in any other, the main thing is to take into account the signal supply range.
- Built-in battery, memory cards and player. Some manufacturers create such models to save the charge on a mobile device and the possibility of uninterrupted work regardless of the phone.
Undoubtedly, each equipment has a reverse side. disadvantages and bluetooth headsets have their own series of negative qualities:
- In terms of product quality, Bluetooth headsets are much inferior to wired counterparts. But technology does not stand still and in the near future manufacturers promise to improve the quality of products.
- Big weight, which is achieved, due to the built-in battery.
- Incompatibility with devices in which there is no Bluetooth function.
- The most high-quality models have the highest cost.
- Sudden discharge of devices.
- Larger size does not allow headphones to be the most compact.
Other nuances of the choice of Bluetooth headset for the phone
Ask how users speak about a particular model. As a rule, people write on thematic forums not as on the resources of online stores. Read reviews for products and medium price categories, and expensive. This information helps when choosing.
A little about additional features.
For rare exception manufacturers indicate the maximum range. Note that it is much reduced in real conditions. Sometimes half. After all, everywhere there are walls, doors, other obstacles.