Wired vs Wireless Headphone: Which Are Better?

by Scarlett Martin

With the invention of wireless headphones, many people have wondered if they should switch to a wire-free option. Wired headphones are much cheaper than their wireless counterparts and offer a lot more options for sound quality. Wired headphones also don't require charging as often as wireless ones do. However, there are some clear benefits to going with a truly wireless pair of headphones too. In addition, here is a quick answer.

Both Wired and Wireless headphones have their own uses. Competitive gamers and professional musicians prefer wired headphones for better sound quality and minimum audio latency. Whereas, athletes, gym lovers, and frequent travelers prefer wireless headphones because of their freedom of movement.

If you want to have a clear and more brief answer, keep on reading.

What are Wired Headphones?

What are Wired Headphones?
What are Wired Headphones?

Wired headphones are those that connect to a device via a cord. Wired headphones have cords ranging in lengths from about one foot up to ten feet or so. Wired headphone prices depend on their sound quality, but generally speaking, they don't cost much compared with wireless models.

Pros of Using Wired Headphones

A Picture Of Wired Headphones
A Picture Of Wired Headphones

Wired headphones are generally cheaper than their wireless counterparts. Wired headphones also don't require charging, which is a major bonus for those who'd rather not bother charging their headphone.

Back in the day, most people used wired headphones because they were cheap, and there was no need to worry about charging them. But now it's 2023, and wireless Bluetooth headsets are all the rage. So why should you use wired headphones? There are many advantages of using a pair of wired headphones that you may not have considered before.

Better Sound Quality

Wired headphones generally offer better sound quality than wireless ones. Wired headphones with cords longer than three feet will also be able to provide high-quality, immersive sounds depending on the material of their cord and how it's put together.

Wired headphones use analog signals to transmit sound. Of course, wired headphones can also use digital signals, but analog is most common and offers the best quality overall. Also, wired headphone cords are easy to replace if they're damaged or lost too.

Unlimited Playtime

Wired headphones are much better at providing an infinite amount of playtime. In addition, wired models don't require charging to work, so you can use them as long as their battery holds its charge. Wired headphone batteries do wear out over time, though, and need replacing eventually, too.

However, there is some wired Active Noise-Cancelling headphone that requires batteries for ANC to work. You can find the best ANC gaming headsets here.


Wired headphones are plug-n-play, meaning that they're ready to use right out of the box. Wired headphones don't need syncing like wireless ones and can be used with anything as long as it has a headphone jack or external audio port (including smartphones).

Find the Best Headsets for CS: GO here.

Less Pricey

Wired headphones are generally cheaper than wireless ones because the manufacturers don't have to spend on wireless technology used in headphones.

Moreover, wired headphones generally cost less to repair. In addition, most wired headphones offer removable cables, microphones, and earpads, making them more durable.

Cons of Using Wired Headphones

Like any other thing on the planet, there are a few drawbacks to wired headphones.

A Picture Of A Handsfree With Tangled Wires
A Picture Of A Handsfree With Tangled Wires

Restrictive Movement

Wired headphones can be limited in movement because you're attached to your device via a cord. Wired headphones also aren't ideal for activities like working out, so some people prefer wireless ones for this purpose.

Damaging Wires

Wired headphones can be damaging to their cord if they're not handled properly. Cords are also susceptible to tangles and knots, making them difficult or annoying to use in some cases.

The cords that come with wired headphones will eventually stop working overtime because of the repeated plugging-in and unplugging process they have to go through. In addition, wired headphones aren't as convenient to use and often require a wire management system (using cable ties) to be used without hassle like this.


Wired headphones can only be used with devices that have a headphone jack or an external audio port. Wired headphones also need to connect directly to the device they're paired with, which means no Bluetooth pairing capabilities either.

Moreover, there are different types of headphones jacks as well. The 3.5mm jack is the universal standard for audio devices. However, there are few other types of headphone jacks as well. For example, on PC sometimes require two separate headphone jacks; one for audio and one for the mic. This could become an issue for laptops that support only one jack. However, you can purchase a headset splitter.

What are Wireless Headphones?

Wireless headphones use radio frequencies to connect wirelessly between the headphone and your music source. To do this, they must be paired to the device each time you want them to work.

There are three technologies that wireless headphones use to achieve this:

  1. Bluetooth
  2. Infrared Frequency (IF)
  3. Radio Frequency (RF)

Pros of Wireless Headphones

There are many advantages to using wireless headphones. First, they don't have a cord that can get in your way. Second, you don't need batteries for them as you do with wired headphones (which can be a pain when it comes time to replace them). Third, there is no risk of getting tangled up in an earbud cable or headphone wire while exercising or doing other activities where you might move around a lot.

A Picture Of A Wireless Headphone On A MacBook
A Picture Of A Wireless Headphone On A MacBook

Wireless headphones offer a lot of benefits and conveniences that wired models don't.

Freedom of Movement

Wireless headphones allow you to move around without feeling restrained by a cord. This makes them ideal for activities like sports and working out, which is why they're preferred by some people today. However, many wireless headphones have a limited distance range within which they can be used.

Find the Best Over-Ear Headphones for Working Out here.

You can use wireless headphones to work out, do chores around the house and even drive without having to worry about getting tangled up in headphone cords. You also don't risk electrical wires or earbud cables interfering with other things such as gym equipment or a lawnmower. Wireless headphones are perfect for people who love listening to music while working out at the gym because they provide freedom of movement, so you'll never miss a step through your exercise routine again. No more worrying that your headphone cord will get caught on something during an intense session; slip on these wireless Bluetooth running headphones and enjoy yourself.

No Wire Knots or Tangling

Because you aren't tied to a wire, wireless headphones are less likely to get tangled up in knots like wired models. This makes them easy to store and use when not listening to music or watching movies.

Wireless Bluetooth running headphones are perfect for any person who loves listening to music while exercising because they provide freedom of movement, so you'll never miss a step through your regular workout routine again. No more worrying that your headphone cord will get caught on something during an intense session; slip these on and enjoy yourself.

They are Portable and Travel Friendly

Wireless headphones are more portable than wired models because you don't have to worry about the cord. They're also easier to take when traveling for business or pleasure and can be used in most places that accept music players like smartphones and tablets. In addition, they usually have a compact design that's easy to carry around.

Wireless headphones are very easy to carry around. You can fit them easily into your bag or backpack, and they won't take up much space at all. In addition, they make great workout companions because you can put them in your pocket or attach a cord to store the headphones earbuds on yourself while working out so that they don't get lost.


Wireless headphones can be used with most modern devices, especially smartphones and tablets. This makes them perfect for listening to music or watching movies on your phone while you're out and about. However, wireless models may not always offer this feature unless specifically designed for the device in question.

Cons of Wireless Headphones

Although wireless headphones have a lot going for them, they also come with some disadvantages that may be deal-breakers depending on what you're looking for.

A Picture Of An AirPod Charging
A Picture Of An AirPod Charging

Wireless headphones are the new trend in the headphone industry. They offer convenience and freedom, but they also come with many disadvantages that can be hard to deal with. There are many reasons why you should reconsider using wireless headphones, especially if you're a busy person who doesn't have time to deal with complications. If you need help deciding whether or not this is for you, read on.

Technologies May Fail or Interfere with Other Devices

If your wireless headphone signal is interrupted due to too much interference from other devices like cordless phones and Bluetooth speakers, it could become annoying quickly. This can often happen if the device isn't paired correctly to begin with, which requires time and effort during setup. Additionally, certain materials like metal might interfere with the signals altogether because of their conductive properties.

Wireless headphones are prone to interference because they use radio frequencies (RF) to communicate with the base station/smartphone. They can quickly be interrupted by other devices that operate on the same frequency, like wireless WiFi routers and microwaves. The resulting noise can cause a lot of inconvenience for you as well as those around you. It's best if your headphone doesn't have this problem. Still, unfortunately, some models do suffer from RF reception problems during certain weather conditions or geographical locations due to their design limitations.

Sometimes it even happens when no one else in your vicinity uses a similar device, which means these problems cannot be resolved via software updates. In such cases, it's best to look for a replacement model compatible with your wireless headphone system.

Wireless headphones are not meant to be used everywhere, especially if you want the freedom of moving around while listening to music or watching videos on your smartphone/MP player. The signal can only reach up to 30ft away from the transmitting devices in most cases.

They Require Charging

Wireless headphones require charging. You can't use them until they charge, and if you forget to plug them in before going out of town, there goes your music. Also, they will never be as reliable as wired ones, which don't need any more effort than just plugging it into the headphone jack on your smartphone or MP player.

Moreover, wireless headphones require frequent charging. You need to charge them every day, which means that you have to carry a charger with you at all times just in case your headphones go dead. This can be highly inconvenient and annoying when traveling light for business or vacation purposes, especially if the battery is low on the last leg of your trip.

Carrying around an extra accessory while traveling starts feeling like a burden after a while, even though it's so tiny and compactable. You might forget about it altogether until it's too late! There are also some wireless headphone models whose batteries take hours to recharge from 0% entirely. That makes their use impractical during long trips because they will die out quickly before reaching home/office again due to a lack of recharging.

Connectivity Issues

In addition, wireless headphones are prone to connectivity problems. They only work when the device they're connected with is within range of their signal unless you have a unique headphone/base station combo that operates on Bluetooth technology (like some models from Beats by Dre). If there's no direct line of sight between your music player and headphone, then the chances are high that it will start frequently disconnecting, which can be annoying!

Other times it might happen in crowded places like public transport where multiple devices operate on different frequencies. You won't know if another person will walk into the room or car while listening to music because these cases aren't predictable beforehand. This makes them unsuitable for use during sports activities since anything can happen anytime when you're outdoors.

  • Audio Codecs: Some wireless headphones work with proprietary codecs like AAC, aptX, and SBC, which are incompatible with some devices. Suppose your music player doesn't support these kinds of audio formats ( Apple Music or iTunes, for example). In that case, you will get reduced sound quality when using them wirelessly unless they have an option to switch back to the standard MP codec that almost each music player supports.
  • Bluetooth Versions: There are different versions of Bluetooths now. The newer versions are more reliable for data transfer and connectivity. However, not every device supports the latest Bluetooth Versions.

More Expensive

Last but not least, wireless headphones are more expensive than their wired counterparts. You have to pay a premium for the convenience of going cordless with your device, and in some cases, they might cost twice as much. Some models even offer fewer features compared to similar products at a lower price point which is why you must do proper research before buying one.

Of course, the benefits of wireless headphones outweigh their disadvantages since they give you almost the same listening experience as wired ones without any restrictions on movement. It's just that some people might not be able to afford them or don't want to spend so much money on a pair of earphones, irrespective of how useful it is in certain situations.

Wired vs. Wireless Headphones: Which One is Better?

An Illustration Of Wired Vs Wireless Headphones
An Illustration Of Wired Vs Wireless Headphones

Both wireless and wired headphones are good in their ways.

  • Wired Headphones: You don't need to charge them or keep changing their batteries with wired headphones. On the downside, they limit your freedom of movement and can be cumbersome if they're long. Also, suppose you want a model that offers top-notch sound performance. In that case, these might not be suitable for you since many people complain about how short the wire is on most models with this kind of design, resulting in poor audio quality and frequent interruptions while listening to music. Also, some people say that having wires dangling around makes it easier for someone else to steal your device when walking down crowded streets, so beware.
  • Wireless Headphones: Wireless headphones are easy to carry around because there's no wire to attach or detach. You can use them for sports activities, walking around the house, and even jogging outdoors because they are usually compact so you won't feel weighed down by heavy earpieces. They also give you an increased amount of freedom compared to other models, which is why people who like listening to music while doing things that require movement love this kind of design.

Who are Wired Headphones For?

Wired headphones are best for people who don't like carrying their devices around. They're also good if you want to listen to music in the bedroom or at home while doing chores. They will be more than enough since wireless models can efficiently run out of battery after just a couple of hours, which is why they're not suitable for them long listening sessions.

People like gamers, musicians, and office workers prefer using wired headphones because they don't have to worry about battery life and listen to music uninterrupted. Moreover, they get an exceptional audio quality (due to the physical connection) under a budget.

Who are Wireless Headphones For?

Wireless headphones are for people who want to enjoy music on the go. They're better if you frequently switch between wired and wireless connections or have a pair of devices you use at home and outdoors since changing the batteries can be annoying every time, even though most modern models don't need it often. People also find them useful in situations where they have to move around frequently, like walking, jogging, running, etc., which is why these designs are gaining popularity fast.

Moreover, athletes or travelers prefer wireless headphones because they don't have to worry about cables getting tangled up or being ripped off if they are pulled too hard.

Conclusion: A Complete Brief

Headphones have become a necessity for most people because they don't want to disturb others around them. It's just that wireless headphones are better in certain situations than wired ones, so you should buy the one that suits your lifestyle and taste as well as budget best. Also, make sure that whatever model you buy offers excellent sound quality along with comfort, so it doesn't hurt your ears after prolonged use. Moreover, there are many brands to choose from. Therefore, you must know the best headphone brands.

The benefits of using wireless headphones outweigh their disadvantages since they give you almost the same listening experience as wired ones without any restrictions on movement. It's just that some people might not be able to afford them or don't want to spend so much money on a pair of earphones, irrespective of how useful they can be.

Similarly, wired headphones are also good in their ways because they don't need recharging and provide you with better audio quality at all times under a budget. You can find more details on How to Choose the right headphone here.

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About Scarlett Martin

Scarlett Martin is an MSc Degree holder in Digital Audio Engineering. She has worked for well-reputed audio giants. In addition, she has been an audiophile all her life, making her a valuable addition to our staff. Her knowledge of headphones, audio, and other shoulder niches will help us and our audience.

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