Bluetooth® earphones are designed for listening to music without a wire connection to the source of the music. Bluetooth® earphones should not be confused with Bluetooth® headsets, which allows users to make and receive telephone calls via their cell phone without the use of wires or holding the phone.
Bluetooth® is the brand name of a communications technology designed for short range use, connecting electronic devices without the use of wires or cables. This technology was created to act as an universally accepted platform for interconnection of wireless devices.
Each Bluetooth® device must meet very specific technical criteria to be allowed to use the name. Bluetooth® technology allows any device to connect to any other device, regardless of the product manufacture, or type of product.
There are two models of Bluetooth® earphones; earbuds or stereo headphones. In the earbud model, there is usually a Bluetooth® receiver with volume control and song selector. This additional device can be attached to the earbud via a short cable. Another option is to build the receiver into the earbuds themselves, so that a small, square device is just outside the ear.
In the stereo headphone model, the Bluetooth® technology is imbedded in the earpiece itself. Since the headphones are much larger than earbuds, there is more space to hide the Bluetooth® technology. A blue LED light is usually built in to indicate when the connection is active.
The Bluetooth® earphone receiver must work with a Bluetooth® transmitter, attached to the music device. Specific transmitters have been made for the more popular listening equipment, including the iPod from Apple, and are usually sold together with the Bluetooth® earphones.
Most Bluetooth® earphones provide a communication range of approximately 10 meters or 20 feet from the transmission device. Keep in mind that a physical body between the transmitter and the receiver will block the connection. Bluetooth® earphones must be charged using a UBS connection.
When selecting a Bluetooth® earphone, check the return policy first. The Bluetooth® functionality is the same with all manufactures, but the quality of the headphones, comfort and fit varies widely. If you are selecting earbuds, give some thought to how and where you plan to use them. Check how they attach to your ears and look for models with ear clips to provide additional security.
Bluetooth® itself is not one company, but an association of electronic manufactures who came together to create the technical specifications for a common communication method between devices, create and manage the brand and increase the utilization within consumer products.