Transmission types: infrared, Bluetooth and Radio-frequency (RF)
To find the type of transmitter you need, largely relies upon the mode of use and your location with respect to the position of your transmitter.
The transmitter can be a radio, TV, MP3 or even a Smartphone. Some folks find it convenient to use their wireless noise cancelling headphones directly in front of their transmitter devices eg. TV; while others do prefer to walk around the house with their headphones on and some like to listen to their audio in a different room from the room with a transmitter.
The core of infrared technology is based on light emitting diodes (LEDs). This technology involves the use of a focused beam of invisible pulsating light transmitted from the transmitter say radio to your headphones (receiver). Below are the pros and cons of infrared technology.
Pros of infrared technology
1.Does not experience interference with other wireless devices like phones, ipads or laptops
2.The quality of sound for higher end infrared wireless headphones matches the quality produced by wired headphones
Cons of infrared technology
1.Requires a clear line of sight from the headphones to the transmitter say radio, hence audio cannot be transmitted through walls
2.Most transmitters operate within 10 meters range.
This technology best suits home dwellers who actually wish to listen to their audio without disturbing other individuals in the room.
Bluetooth technology is based on spread spectrum with a unique frequency signal that limits interference caused by other wireless devices and hence produces an awesome sound quality of audio. Below are the pros and cons of Bluetooth technology.
Pros of bluetooth technology
1.Have limited interference (i.e. connects only to other Bluetooth enabled devices)
2.Have very secured frequency.
3.Of course they have relatively low power consumption
Cons of bluetooth technology
1.Most of the times this technology is used for cell phone devices.
2.Mostly operates within 10 meters range (most transmitters are class 2 Bluetooth)
This technology perfectly suits commuters and individuals who do not prefer cable headphones.
Radio frequency technology (RF)
Radio frequency technology makes use of stereo frequency modulation system. In this technology a transmitter say radio or TV acts like a mini radio station and the headphones are the only devices that can have access to pick up the audio signals. Below are the pros and cons of RF
Pros of radio frequency technology
1.Signals cannot be blocked by walls or objects
2.Multiple headphones can have access to a single transmitter
3.Most transmitters operate within 100meters range.
Cons of radio frequency technology
1.There is a possibility of interference when listening
2.Some modals in the market have been reported to experience poor bass sound.
This technology is good for freedom lovers.
It is advised to know specifically the place where you are planning to be using your headset. Some people want to listen when commuting and some like listening when home in front of their TV sets. By knowing specifically where you want to use your headset will help you make the right choice because different headsets have different operating range which makes them cost differently.
For instance, if you intend to use your headset in front of your television, then infrared headphones would be the right choice for you and will considerably save you some money.
On the other hand if you are looking for flexibility while listening to your audio, then you will need to consider buying radio frequency noise cancelling headphones because they are able to deliver signals through walls and at a large range.
Battery life reflects how long you can listen to your music from the time the battery is fully charged to the time your battery is completely empty. Battery life of headphones has cost implications; batteries with longer battery life make headphones expensive.
Most noise cancelling headphones come with rechargeable batteries with 20 hours battery life. Most people find 20 hours of battery life sufficient enough for a day because it is very hard to listen to your audio for 20 hours consecutively.
It is hard to know the quality of sound of headphones especially when you don’t have them around you to test and feel the sound. The only way for you to know how good the sound of your prospect headphones is, is through the experience of other users as they appear in the reviews.
But generally headphones with infrared technology experience no interference from other electronic devices around. On the other hand RF transmission headphones hardly experience interference from other electronic devices because they are configured to a unique frequency that does not interfere with electronic devices.
Active noise cancellation technology
Active noise cancellation (ANC) also known as active noise reduction is a technology used in reducing unwanted sound waves by introducing a second sound wave that cancels out the unwanted sound.
This feature helps headphones users to listen to their audio without any need to raise the volume excessively. Active noise cancelling headphones are provided with digital circuits that analyses the frequencies of background noise and produces sound waves of the same frequency but of opposite polarity that cancels out with the noise.
Most of the noise cancelling headphones are provided with the best active noise cancellation technology, however for you to confirm how good your prospect headphones performs you have to read customers’ reviews.
It’s common for most people to prefer cheaper headphones, but cheap can be expensive on the other hand. It’s much better to buy $300 piece of headset that will last for three years than to buy a $20 one that will last for two months.
Am not saying that you should not buy cheap headphones, but too cheap headphones are not good. Based on experience expensive headphones have longer battery life and have strong and stable signal emitters compared to cheaper ones.
On the other hand materials used in expensive headphones are much stronger and durable as compared to cheaper ones. It’s up to you to decide on what side to stand.