Headphones: Wired or Wireless?

Walking around campus, you would be hard pressed not to see at least half the people you pass with a set of headphones on. Listening to music while traveling between classes is a popular way to pass the time and it can change your mood instantly. Feeling down? Put on an upbeat pop track. Did your last lecture get you really fired up and you want to take it down a notch? Put on your favorite chill playlist on Spotify. Going hard on your workout? Pump some iron to some motivational tunes.

So you may be asking yourself, what headphones are best for me? There is an abundance of options out there for you to pick from. It could seem a little overwhelming, but we at VIM are here to help. We’ll be comparing the pros and cons of wired headphones versus wireless headphones. We decided to compare the two on the basis of sound quality, price, mobility and compatibility with technology.

Let’s start with wired headphones. These have been around since the existence of headphones. They’re light, portable and very easy to find. Let’s see the benefits and drawbacks of picking this traditional choice.

In general, wired headphones can have great sound quality for a fairly affordable price. We love this pair by Panasonic. Their sound quality is very comparable to the wireless pair we’ve recommended. The best part is that you can almost always find them for under $15! Which brings us to our next point, price! Prices for wired headphones are in general cheaper than wireless. This is perfect for college students on a budget. But, of course, if you want to splurge then there are plenty of high end wired headphones available for you to purchase.

However, wired headphones still have their cons. Wired means that you’ll have a wire connected to your phone, tablet or computer. If you plan on working out, then they can severely limit your mobility. But, they generally won’t pose a problem for a casual stroll to and from class. Also, as technology advances some companies are removing the headphone jack altogether from their devices. If you plan on buying the latest and greatest, then you might not be able to get away with using wired headphones forever.

Wireless headphones’ biggest advantage is their ability to allow the user to move. No fussy cords to get in the way, stuck in things or tangled in backpacks. You can move freely without the constraints of wires, which makes them perfect for exercising and walking around campus. Another benefit of wireless is that they are compatible with basically any device using Bluetooth. As technology progresses and more headphone jacks disappear, wireless headphones will be compatible with these new devices. Our favorite wireless pick has to be these by Beats.

Wireless headphones are not without their faults. The biggest ones? Price and sound quality. That’s not to say you won’t be able to get headphones that sound good, there are good options out there! However, unless you’re willing to pay a bigger chunk of change, then you’ll be left with vastly inferior sound quality.  Our wireless recommendation and wired recommendation have similar levels of sound quality, but with an $175 difference.

So, wired or wireless? What’s your pick? Wireless is great for the average walker, worker and student. The wired connection offers good sound at an affordable price. But, constraints to the user’s mobility and compatibility need to be considered. Wireless offers the user great freedom in movement and compatibility with other devices. However the hefty price tag for better sound may be a deterrent for possible buyers.

What would you pick and why? Are there any other reasons to consider while making your headphone choice? Let us know!

Charlotte Beers

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