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What are Wireless Earphones?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Wireless earphones allow the wearer to listen to music, computer or television without the use of speakers or wires connecting them to the output source. There are three different types of wireless earphones that are available to meet consumer demand. Wireless earphones require a transponder and a receiver in order to process the sound.

The most common method of transmitting the sound waves are radio, infra-red and Bluetooth®. All of these technologies perform the same basic function, converting the signal from the output device to anther format and transmitting it to a receiver, embedded in the headphones themselves. The received signal is translated into the sound the listener hears.

Radio wave-based wireless earphones are usually over the ear models with a large base that must be plugged into the source of the sound, using an audio plug. The wireless earphones are activated when they are put on over the crown of the head.

The signal is transmitted using radio channels. Interference from other wireless devices can interrupt the signal, causing static and crackling noises. These types of wireless earphones come with the option of changing between multiple channel options to allow users to switch as needed.

Infra-red wireless earphones receive the signal from a transponder. The distance of infrared is longer, but requires a clear line of sight to function. Any physical barrier between the transponder and the receiver interrupts the signal.

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A Bluetooth® connection requires a Bluetooth® headphone and a transmitting device, such as a Bluetooth® adapter plug in for the music device or computer. The two devices are paired together and then the signal can be transmitted and received.

Wireless headphones have a limited range of between 20 to 150 feet (6.1 to 45.7 meters), depending on the technology used. There are several different types of earphones available, including the standard headphones, ear clips and ear buds.

Keep in mind that all models require a receiver to process the sound. Ear buds and ear clips may have a receiver that they must be plugged into in order to process the sound, or they may be added on to the ear bud itself.

The quality of the sound received through wireless headphones has increased over time, as technology and manufacturing processes improve. Invest the time to read the specifications of the wireless headphone that you are interested in. The distance the signal can travel is important, but so is the amount of watts, impedance and frequency response.

Read the return policy on any ear buds or ear clip models before purchasing them. The comfort of these types of wireless headphones varies and it is important to find a comfortable, secure fit to really enjoy the benefits of wireless headphones.

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