The Rapid increase in technological advancement has brought about the growth in popularity of Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth headphones are an extraordinary innovation that is utilized by a large number of individuals consistently for work and play. Bluetooth earphones are famous particularly with gamers since it liberates you to move around without agonizing over a cord.
Individuals exercising at the gym or in front of their TV in the living room love the freedom of these headphones. They are likewise an ideal choice for people who want to watch late-night television without disturbing others. Moreover, Bluetooth headphones are a superb gadget numerous drivers like to have since it encourages them to focus on the road while on a call.
Products like Bluetooth headphones have a tiny computer chip inside that contains the Bluetooth radio, and software that eases connectivity between devices. So when Bluetooth-enabled products, for example, when mobile phones and headphones are in nearness to one another, they connect, or pair. This empowers you to talk on the phone or tune in to music without wires.
Purchasing Bluetooth headphones can be somehow confusing for many. From understanding the versions to sound quality to how they work. There’s a ton to comprehend, yet we have made it simple and clear, so we should begin.
Understanding Bluetooth Headphones
When shopping for a Bluetooth headphone specifications are written on the pack. These specifications consist of technical jargon that is not understood by many who purchase Bluetooth headphones and they include versions of Bluetooth, profile, and codecs.
- Bluetooth 1.0: The basic Bluetooth version with no extra/optional profiles or codecs. This adaptation of Bluetooth is out of date and is rarely found on cell phones because of its restricted speed of 1mbs and trouble paring.
- Bluetooth 2.0: The most well-known version of Bluetooth, especially in the earlier days when phones were not as advanced as it is now. It supports enhanced data rates (EDR) up to 3 Mbps, and the V2.1 iteration significantly simplified the pairing procedure making it a more practical and easy to use.
- Bluetooth 3.0: The speed limitations of version 2.1 are improved in this Bluetooth 3.0, with the optional High-Speed feature (HS), which allows the Bluetooth module to transmit over an adjacent radio (802.11). The limitation of Bluetooth 3.0 is that it consumes a lot more power than Bluetooth 2.x.
- Bluetooth 4.0: The high-speed capability of Bluetooth 3.0 is the same with this Bluetooth 4.0 but also comes with a Low Energy feature to collect data from the sensors of low rate devices. When connected with devices like wearable smartwatches, heart monitors, mobile phones, and smart headphones, this feature allows the Bluetooth module to reduce power consumption.
- Bluetooth 5.0: The latest version of Bluetooth better suited for any device and Internet of Things (IoT). It speculated to cover twice the bandwidth of Bluetooth 4.0 and four times the range. An additional feature of the Bluetooth 5.0 is Slot Availability Masking (SAM) which can detect and prevent interference on neighboring bands for a more efficient use of broadcasting channels.
Types of Bluetooth Headphones
Different kinds of Bluetooth headphones are available out there. Some come with so much functionality that eases usage while some are just basic. Depending on what you want or can afford here is a quick rundown of the different kinds of the various types of Bluetooth headphones available today.
- HSP – Headset Profile: This has the Basic headphone functionality. This profile allows for a microphone input and 64 kbps mono audio.
- HFP – Handsfree Profile: This type of Bluetooth headphone has advanced headphone functionality. It adds more controls to the HSP profile like voice dialing, redialing, and better mono audio quality.
- A2DP- Advanced Audio Distribution Profile: This type of headphone comes with Stereo audio transmission. This is the most important profile for Bluetooth headphones as mono audio is not suited for listening to music.
- AVRCP – Audio/Video Remote Control Profile: This comes with a lot of functionality that makes and. It adds control for media playback such as skipping tracks, play/pause, and volume control. The latest version of this profile gives you direct control over the volume of your device instead of just the headphones.
When connectivity is successfully achieved between, let’s say, your computer and your Bluetooth headphone, the Bluetooth chip in the headphone doesn’t just stream your file to your headphones. It compresses the audio and sends it over; then your headphone decodes the song before playing it in your ears.
This is achievable due to the presence of codec technology in the Bluetooth headphone. Different headphones support different codecs for this compression. The type of codec is what determines the audio quality of the Bluetooth headphone. Here is a list of popular codecs found in modern Bluetooth headphones.
- SBC (Subband coding): This is the basic codec for all stereo Bluetooth headphones and has the lowest audio quality. Don’t worry, it isn’t as terrible, however, the sound quality can vary from device to device. Being the lowest, SBC sometimes sounds noticeably not as good as the others.
- AAC: The AAC codec is very proficient and provides better quality than SBC. It’s the only non-SBC codec that is accepted by iPhones and iPads. On the headphones, AAC is available on Apple’s own AirPods and Beats headphones, and is now even available for non-Apple headphones as well.
- aptX, aptX HD and aptX LL: These codecs are available in many Android devices, it is owned by Qualcomm. The powerful compression of these codecs makes them more efficient in providing higher quality sound than SBC.
In Bluetooth headphones, these formats are labeled aptX LL; the “LL” is an acronym that stands for “Low Latency”. Lower latency reduces audio delay that can cause lip sync problems when you’re watching videos and playing games.
- LDAC: This codec provides the highest audio quality compared to other Bluetooth codecs, it is developed by Sony. LDAC allows for multiple audio qualities and it comes built into Android 8.0 Oreo, which means it’s appearing on lots of new Android phones. It is very commonly found in Sony Bluetooth headphones.
On a final note, Bluetooth headphones are easy to use and compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices; buying one will depend on what you want to use it for. If you’re only using your Bluetooth headphone to listen to audio, you don’t need so much just look one that has a good sound quality. But if you use your headphone a lot for games, videos, online classes, video calls then having all the necessary profiles will be important.