Wireless headphones more popular than wired ones
OPINION: Wired headphones have been part of our music and digital life for nearly 75 years but their dominance is coming to an end.
Sales of wireless headphones this year overtook their wired rivals, according to research by NDP.
It’s a landmark moment for music lovers at they finally adopt new technology to listen to their favourite artists.
Wireless headphones mainly use Bluetooth technology to connect headphones to a music device such as a smartphone or portable stereo.
While they’ve been around for a while, it’s only recently that they’ve become good enough to replace wired units.
The reason for the shift is based on better and more affordable technology, as well as some enticing marketing.
Bluetooth technology has improved significantly in the nearly 20 years it’s been around. It now has a longer range, the ability to carry large amounts of data and uses less power.
All these factors, plus increased demand, has pushed down the price of wireless headphones.
The NDP research shows 30 per cent of Bluetooth headphones sold in the first half of 2016 cost $80 or less, compared with 16 per cent in the first half of 2015.
Their popularity is going to increase as more manufacturers push people to wireless tech. If a manufacturer drops the traditional 3.5mm plug from its smartphone then it can fit more advanced tech into the device.
For most people, wireless headphones are the better buy. It’s so much better moving around without worrying about getting tangled in a cable. They’re also great to use when watching TV as there’s no cord to restrict you.
Also, Bluetooth devices can now be used on all Air NZ flights including during takeoff and landing. And for fitness fans, wireless earbuds are also getting more affordable.
The only group who may not like them are audiophiles. The quality of sound is diminished when using wireless devices, but the average user isn’t likely to notice.
However, most Bluetooth headphones come with a cable, though I reckon most people discard it quickly once they experience the convenience of wireless.