If you’re purely interested in my top picks of bluetooth headphones for 2016 – you can find them on our home page. If however, you’re looking for an explanation of how I came up with my recommendations for workout bluetooth gear – then keep reading.
Table of Contents
What are They? — An Overview
Bluetooth headphones are surround sound or cordless stereo earphones, designed to operate with Bluetooth compatible equipment and devices. The Bluetooth wireless networking technology connects electronics, by generating a PAN (Personal Area Network). Within the PAN, devices can function without being physically linked to each other.
Bluetooth headsets can be used with various devices, such as computers, gaming stations, PDAs (personal digital assistants), cell phones, iPods, iPhones, multimedia or digital music players, home entertainment receivers, portable stereos, car entertainment centers or radios, and TVs. The connected device just needs to have Bluetooth capability, either through a Bluetooth adapter or internally. The device has to support a compatible Bluetooth version as well.
It is possible for Bluetooth RF waves to travel through and around objects, such as purses, clothing, backpacks and laptop bags. Consequently, Bluetooth head phones are useful for connecting to digital music players, cell phones and other similar devices. Also, these ear phones are used in cars that have entertainment centers. This allows children to wirelessly listen to movies or play games, without the signal being temporarily blocked.
Bluetooth headphones intended to be used with personal gadgets employ RF (radio frequency) waves, which are meant for close quarter operation of up to ten meters (thirty foot). The range is rather restricted, because this type of Bluetooth (which has a Class two specification) uses less power, to ensure the compatibility of battery driven electronics. Consequently, there is a weaker signal.
There are several kinds of Bluetooth headsets on the market. These range from active or sports models, which utilize in ear speakers linked via a neckband, to full size cups with overhead bands. Some headphones come with optional cables, which can be used by all devices with headphone jacks. This means that the wireless head set can be used like regular headphones.
Buying a Bluetooth headset can be a daunting task to undertake. You have to make sure that you won’t be wasting your money on something that might be useless for you in the long run.
Here are some easy to follow buying tips for Bluetooth headphones:
You have to define first why you need a Bluetooth device. Is it for sports, work or leisure. Do you need it to keep your hands free while driving or at work where you need to be in constant communication with your boss? It all depends on how you want to use the Bluetooth device.
There are numerous designs to choose from for your device ranging from the discreet/compact earpiece type to the earmuff/DJ type of design depending on how comfortable you may want it to be.
Bluetooth devices nowadays have multiple features that are programmed for the device, which is a far cry from the first generation.
4. Battery life
Most battery life can last to about 12 hours in a single charge. If you know that you will be going around a lot, make sure that you choose a headset that has a long battery life.
5. Noise Cancellation
As it suggests, Bluetooth devices can have noise cancellation features for maximum audio performance.
6. Dual Reception
There are some Bluetooth devices that have this feature wherein you can also listen to your radio or MP3 when you are not using your phone
Since there are a number of generations from old Bluetooth devices it is also very important that you should know what version you have from your Bluetooth device and your phone. They have to match otherwise it won’t work.
This all depends on your budget on how sophisticated or simple your device you might want to have. The more features equals more expensive.
How To Choose The Best For You
Advancements in technology have made people’s lives so much easier and more convenient. One of the best inventions in the past decade is the invention of the Bluetooth headphone. This allows you to talk on your mobile phone without the hassle of using your hands or even using a wired headset. With Bluetooth technology you can now communicate with your colleagues, family and friends even when you are walking or commuting to work, while doing some grocery shopping or even while doing household chores. The use of Bluetooth headphones has taken the concept of multi-tasking to a whole new level.
If you are currently in the market to buy one, there are several things that you should consider in choosing the best Bluetooth headphones for you.
1. Consider the call quality
Listening to static noise on your phone can be very irritating. This is why when you choose your headphone make sure that it gives you clear and sharp voice quality. Some of the best products for call quality include the Plantronics Voyager Legend and the Bose Bluetooth Headset Series.
2. Noise Cancellation Function
This is a very important factor to consider especially if you know that you will need to conduct important conversations while you are on the go. Some high quality Bluetooth headphones have great noise cancellation functions that delivers your voice clearly even if you are on a bus, in a crowded room or when you are walking to work. Headsets that are built with two or three microphones usually work the best and one of the top brands to look out for is the Jawbone Era headset.
3. Length of Battery Life
If you are the type of person who is always out and about then make sure to go for a Bluetooth headset that has a long battery life. The general rule is that bigger headphones are usually the ones that last longer. So if you are willing to sacrifice comfort for the convenience of a longer battery life then you should do so. Check out the Plantronics M55 which is a bit bulky but can actually last for up to 10 hours a day without charging.
4. Comfort and Style
Before buying a Bluetooth headphone make sure that you fit it well and spend a few minutes with it in your ear. Make sure that you feel comfortable with it before deciding to purchase. If you are interested in both form and function go for headphones that have sleek and elegant designs. One of the most popular Bluetooth headphones that offer both aesthetic qualities and powerful Bluetooth capabilities is the Plantronics Marque 2.
The following are some of the other bluetooth wireless headphones we reviewed that didn’t quite make our top 5 lists – but were great performers none the less and worth an honorary mention:
This mono headset is excellent for answering calls while on the run. Everything you listen to through these are very clear and they are compatible with tons of different devices! Also come with 30 days of free tech support should you need some assistance.
If you are looking for an excellent stereo headset for your iPad, iPhone or similar device, I really like this one. They come with a handy set of simple controls right on the headset itself so when it’s not possible to hold your device, you can still control the music you are listening to – nice feature! Good for phone calls too!
If you are looking for a more traditional set of over the ear headphones, these are the best around. Extremely comfortable, compatible with tons of different devices and they support practically every function under the sun!
Using Bluetooth headphones for working out
Most people work out alone with music as their only company. It helps in getting them focused and psyched for the physical challenge. For instance, high octane beats are perfect for short speed sessions while slower tunes are a good match for long weekend runs. Aside from getting the choice of songs right, people must also get the right gear. This usually means having a clip-on music player or one that fits inside an armband. A good set of headphones completes the mini audio setup and fitness buffs have plenty to choose from.
The Downside of Conventional Earphones
Most headphones come with long wires, the end of which is meant to be plugged into the music source. This system works fairly well for those who are simply sitting on a chair while trying to relax but it fails miserably when used in a more dynamic setting. Runners often find their arms getting caught up in the wires with every swing. This can be very distracting. It prevents them from concentrating on each stride and keeping an even pace. Gym members have the problem. A lot of exercises require vigorous movements and wires just get in the way. This can be annoying and sometimes dangerous when dealing with weights.
Cutting the Wires
Bluetooth technology enables music to be streamed wirelessly from a compatible device to a small headphone. The latter is independently powered by a battery which typically lasts for many hours at a charge. Small and lightweight, this type of headphone is ideal for use when working out. Designs focus on ear grip, comfort and stability so they will not fall off or cause irritation. The absence of wires allows users to move freely without constantly worrying about getting tangled. Work outs and music can finally mix in harmony.
If you are wondering what the different styles of bluetooth head phones are, maybe this will help you. There are many different headset types. There is the professional type, compact type, and stereo type.
The professional type of headset is targeted at those who are corporate travelers. These earphones can be used to conduct business calls or leisurely calls on the road or from home. This type of device has a long battery life, good audio sound, and a nice fit to make it through a work day without feeling any pain.
The compact type is small and goes almost unnoticed. It is easy to make discreet calls when you are in town. As a result of this though, the battery life, audio quality, and other features are usually a backseat to it letting you use it while you are on the go.
Stereo bluetooth headset parallel smartphones as they feature microphones. They let you enjoy audio from video or music without having to deal with wires. They also let you answer the phone quickly and easily. Stereo types though are not as high in quality as they are in audio performance.
So of the key features that you should consider are HD audio, multipoint pairing, voice prompts and commands, customizable it, and near field communication. HD audio should have a clean and clear sound. Multipoint pairing is something to consider when you want to connect two phones at once and make calls from either of the them. Voice prompts and commands is something to consider if you want to answer phone calls by simply speaking. The fit of the headset is something that you need to look into. Some headsets rest outside the ear canal and others are built to slide inside. As for near field communication is for using your settings menus.
So as you can see, there are many different styles to choose from. The one that you choose should be something that will work with your life and fit you perfectly.
How To Tell If Your Device Supports Bluetooth
Even though mobile devices do not have traditional ports for connecting external peripherals like USB, they can still be connected to other devices via Bluetooth. The process of connecting a Bluetooth device to a smartphone is called pairing. Regardless of the type of device you are pairing with your smartphone, the process is basically the same. If you would like to know how to tell if your device supports Bluetooth, follow the smart steps below (the steps apply to iPhones, iPads and iPods):
Step 1: Place the Devices Close to Each Other
Make sure that your smartphone and Bluetooth device are close to each other. Bluetooth signals cannot extend beyond 25 meters, so if the devices are very far from each other, they cannot pair. They don’t have to be too close to each other, but they should be at least be in the same area or room.
Step 2: Put the Devices in Discoverable Mode
Tap the settings app on your smartphone’s home screen and then set Bluetooth on. This allows the device to be in discoverable mode so that it can be able to see and to connect to the Bluetooth device you want to connect it to. Making a device discoverable differs from one device to the other. For some devices, it’s easy while for some, it requires more work.
Step 3: Pair the Devices
If the device you want to connect to appears on your smartphone, tap it. To pair your smartphone with some devices, you may be required to enter a password. If password is need, be sure to enter the same digit or digits on the pairing devices.
If you have followed the above steps on how to tell if your device supports Bluetooth and your device is able to pair with any Bluetooth-enabled device, then it has Bluetooth capability. If it isn’t connecting, it doesn’t support Bluetooth.