Why I don't recommend wireless headphones

When you buy bluetooth headphones, you basically buy three things in one. A DAC, an amp, and the headphones (well, the dynamic drivers, mostly) themselves. Cramming all this in headphones and selling it all as a package means you’ll never get good bluetooth headphones unless you pay the price of a good DAC, a good amp, and a good pair of headphones… in one shot. And you’ll also have to pay for the R&D that was required to cram all of this in one pair of wireless headphones too. So, even if you pay 500$ for bluetooth headphones, they definitely won’t sound like 500$ headphones. And you still won’t be able to use the DAC and the amp for anything else. And obviously, if you don’t like the DAC or the amp in your bluetooth headphones, you can’t change these (well… good luck lol).

My opinion? If you’re considering bluetooth headphones, you’re already losing cash. If you absolutely need to go wireless for portability, well, chances are, you already have decent headphones you like, and would take everywhere if you could, but you “can’t” because they’re not bluetooth. But you can: Just buy a portable, bluetooth DAC+amp like the FiiO BTR3 (75$?) or the EarStudio ES100 (100$?). But these little thingys with AptX HD/LDAC/etc., promising “hi-res audio wireless” or whatever, probably won’t even give you wireless CD-quality via bluetooth. Because, it depends on your source too. And bluetooth quality varies depending on where you are and how much interference there is. More info here:

The Topping D10 (DAC) is 100$USD (or less, even). JDS Labs Atom (amp) is 100$USD. Both are often recommended here when someone wants an “inexpensive but high quality” DAC and amp. That’s basically the minimum. 200$ for a good Dac/Amp combo with no options whatsoever (Topping D10 doesn’t even have an on/off switch). If you want that sound in a 200$ pair of bluetooth headphones… it won’t include the headphones. Chances are, you’ll get way better sound quality with the good equipment you already have, plus a 20$ Mpow bluetooth 4.2 adapter, than with 200$ bluetooth headphones. And if it’s not the case… a 20$ mistake is better than a 200$ mistake. And you won’t have to throw away the headphones you already have.


The lack of choice is also a problem. There’s probably 1000 times more wired headphones. I mean, wireless open-backs don’t even exist, as far as I know.

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ES100 quality with apt-X or LDAC sounds way above the CD quality.

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Love love love my Nuraphones!

I used wireless on my commutes and let me tell you just the prospe t of having a cable over not having a cable in those situations was the convenience I paid a premium for the headphones I used was a y50 bt and the k240 and while they didn’t bsound any better than a $60 headphone during my commute sound want really first priority it’s convenience and how much things got in the way and cables got in the way. I did eventually grab a tint3 and a fiio ubtr as my next audio solution during my commutes wile it did sound better the cable was annoying. I drive now though so I don’t use any of these solutions anymore.

I know, I know. DMS recently made a video about his Bose QC35 he uses, daily, for convenience, and convenience only. I bought Skullcandy wireless headphones for 30$, for convenience. No detail, no soundstage, no separation, etc. Wav files sound like 128kbps mp3s. Whatever. When I’m not at home, I love them. Convenience above all. One button to push, and it’s connected to my smartphone. One button to push, and I answer calls.

I wrote that because I think 99% who come here to ask about wireless headphones, want “hi-fi” wireless headphones. Nope: For convenience, you must sacrifice sound quality.

I mean the sony wh 1000 mk 2 really isn’t that bad pretty comparable to much cheaper midFI closed backs I have tried. obviously for the price I could get argons but the other features I gain the price gets a little but more justified.

with the thx 789 tech going into a lot of portable units the future of wirelss is looking brighter though. especially with more developments happenning with wirelss codecs and chipsets. its only a matter of time where they are comparable in performance.

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These promise to have THX and everything under the sun: https://drop.com/buy/drop-wireless-headphones/story?

I won’t hold my breath though.


massdrop has yet to prove themeselves in the whole making their own headphones thing. until now someone else has designed and tuned the headphones they sell.

I agree, there is a trade off in convenience for other attributes as it is an engineering problem. But I am not certain most people want HiFi Bluetooth headphones on par with the best wired per say. I would hazard a guess that most of the people here just want good enough or as good as possible with the wireless convenience.

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I agree because most of the time someone in the market for a wireless headphone already knows that they are trading quality for convince, and are not really concerned with the quality of sound too much, unless it’s horrendously bad, or they were grossly misinformed or misguided.

For someone who wants wireless and quality, this could be interesting, by the way.

The new model will talk AAC to iOS devices, LDAC to Android 8.0 Oreos and, optionally, aptX/HD to flagship Android smartphones that pony up for Qualcomm’s codec.
Pricing around the world will clock in at US$349, €379 and £330. Choose from black or a cream-beige that Sony is calling ‘Silver’.

Many audiophiles have a hard time with the idea of Bluetooth anything. Sony’s reality , as applied to noise-cancellation, could easily change their mind. No DAP required.

Ldac ldhc Bluetooth actually isn’t bad. It’s more then acceptable quality rather then aptx or sbc

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LDAC is definitely a good thing. The headphones themselves could probably be better, though.


aptx is great and when my main concern in life at the moment is to get out of a crowded bus safely and without losng my shit. bluetooth is great

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Whenever i see wireless or blutooth headphones i pass them by. i dont need convenience that much.

If you mean that a big bulky dac will sound better than any Bluetooth dac you are probably right. But it’s not like there’s a big difference between or a difference at all in sound quality in equivalents. I have the btr3 and have used it in both Bluetooth (LDAC) and wired dac mode. Both support 16 bit and they sound generally the same just as good as one an other.

If your point is simply that truly wireless earphones are not as good price or quality wise fine. If you are extending your statement to Bluetooth being considerably worse than wired you are pretty wrong.