While I agree that wireless is getting better, there will be the question of power to drive less efficient types of headphones, power to do noise canceling, power for any add-ons to come. Still, you can’t beat the convenience of dry-cell technology. Until we get wireless beamed electricity at reasonable ranges. When we do, maybe I’ll invest in a Faraday cage.
I have been doing a foray into the wireless world with Bluetooth IEM’s. I bought the Campfire Orion’s and have used them with a Bluetooth adapter, and also the RevoNext RN-QT2 with Bluetooth adapter. The audio quality is actually very good with APTX and AAC depending on platform. I am really impressed with where Bluetooth is as I had not so fond memories of it just a few years ago. One thing I can say with IEM’s is that the amplifiers used in these add on packages is not very good. Very high noise floor and a little grainy. This is unfortunate as it taints the sound. Maybe higher impedance IEM’s will fair better. All in all I have been very pleased with the Bluetooth add on as it increases portability and ease of use. Listening to music and answering phone calls without having to switch buds is great for working from home!
I have a pair of Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless. They sound pretty good to me. I was a high end audio dealer about 35 years ago and a Beyerdynamic dealer. I’m not an expert on headphone but think it gets as simple as find some you like at a price you can afford and enjoy. I can’t telll the difference between using these wired or wireless. This is suppose to be new Bluetooth technology so maybe they have made some progress in wireless. I am also 76 year old so my ears probably aren’t as good as many of you. Terry
perhaps it’s psychological but the music through wireless seems shallow and not as accurate. I’ve only tried low and mid-level units so that may be an unfair comparison. Interestingly enough, I do appreciate wireless when watching tv, but I think that’s old age more than anything.
Those look very nice - especially in brown. My ears on 64 years old, so I won’t comment on 76 year old ears. I was not aware of this option. It checks all of my boxes except for active nose reduction.
I never hd much faith in wireless. Then I bought the Bowers and Wilkins P7s and liked them, but I . did return thinking liked but not enough to keep them. After a couple weeks I was sorry I hadn’t kept them. They were quite smooth and balanced. Warm as I recall. They certainly much better than some wired I have heard
To be honest I would prefer wireless headphone Because I like workout I spend most time in the gym. Sometime the wire headphone may bring me some inconvenience.
I use Campfire Audio Comets with the Mee BTX1 bluetooth cable at the gym and find it to be a great lil combo, I was thinking of putting my Tin audio T2 on the cable and see how they worked also. Not sure if you are into IEMs though (I’m not the biggest fan but I’m being won over by the CA Andromedas/Comets, and now the T2).
Just to comment on a few I’ve seen mentioned:
I started with the B&W PX due to B&W’s reputation and while I don’t dislike them at all, I’m not pleased with the sound. Tunnel-like mids, lacking treble and overemphasized bass. Comfort is even worse.
Just purchased the Bose QC 35 II and I would encourage anyone that’s not listened to them to not discount them. Yes, they use digital EQ trickery. Yes they have large “marketing budgets” (and Sennheiser, Sony, B&W don’t?). No, they’re not the most exquisitely refined headphones on the market. But they sound good. Surprisingly good, in fact. Maybe a little “boring” but the tonal balance is brilliant. The sound is non-fatiguing. The detail, while not “fast,” is well represented. And they’re the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn.
All of this is coming from a guy with stacks of really good gear; expensive amps, DACs, high-end cables, etc. It’s just all about perspective and intended use. $350 for bluetooth headphones that are to be convenient and comfortable? Bose really nailed it. And I’m pretty well convinced that most people that trash them haven’t heard them for more than 30 seconds in a Best Buy (or at all).
I’ll put in my two cents regarding the Bose QC 35: I am very impressed with these headphones! Like most people I purchased these as a travel headphone. The noise cancellation itself is worth the price of admission. You’ll still be aware of the two-year-old, three rows back, but it’ll be oh so easy to tune him out - playlist selection here is the key. But over the past year or so, I find that even when I get to the hotel room I’m more often listening to the QC 35’s than the other “quality” cans and DAC I travel with. They are incredibly comfortable and the musicality is quite impressive. Are they the gear I grab when I’m sitting down at home to do “serious listening”? No, they’re not. But for my layovers between flights when I’m working (I’m a helicopter pilot) - the only thing I carry anymore are the QC-35’s.
Just a quick note on the noise cancellation - Bose has nailed it. They’ve been producing noise-cancelling headphones for aviation since the 1980’s. I bought my first pair around 2003 and I currently fly with the A20’s which has Bluetooth capability. Once I’m outside the airport environment, I pair them to my iPhone and let the music begin! If there is a radio call or my copilot speaks over the ICS, the music cuts out instantly and I’m able to do everything I need to do.
Do yourself a favor, put aside the “Bose bias” regarding their speakers and other products, and give the QC 35’s a serious listen. I think you’ll like what you hear.
I know that Bose can nail it on occasion. The original wave radio was one. I guess that I can try their headphones again. Back in the 80s, a year or two after they came out with their NC phones, I had plenty of time to listen, and didn’t like what I heard. If I can learn something in that time, maybe Bose can too. (wouldn’t ponder too long on that conditional)
The answer is yes. I love wireless headphones/earphones and I have a pair of Jabra Elite 65t. These earbuds are lightweight, portable, and unobtrusive. it has four-microphone array works well to keep your voice sounding crystal clear over phone calls.
I loved it.
I’m a nay, but I haven’t tried a wireless set yet so i can’t compare.
I hope phones bring back the headphone jack. Maybe they can market it as a special feature in the future
There’s a much bigger difference in SQ between particular headphones than between wired and the latest BT codecs. AptX, AAC, and LDAC all do a fantastic job transmitting audio with minimal loss of fidelity. The problem is that most mass market oriented BT headphones aren’t the greatest. The magic happens when you pair a great IEM with a BT cable with one of the better codecs.
Besides a bit of an increased noise floor, I have a hard time differentiating between the SE846 wired and paired with the Westone BT Cable. Once there’s music playing, the slight hiss is inaudible. The amount of convenience it adds is surprisingly big. Workouts, chores, and even eating can now be done without cable snags or fear of getting sauce dripping down your cable.
Truly wireless sets, like the E8, add a bit more convenience but sacrifice a lot of SQ. But they’re perfect for the gym. The first time you do a bench press without any wires to manage feels truly liberating.
Plugging in a BT headphone to recharge it takes no more effort than plugging in a wired headphone into a device. It’s just the timing that’s different. You plug it in to recharge after you get home instead of plugging in a headphone when you want to listen to music.
I’ve owned every high end set of BT ANC headphones, except the PXC. My current recommendations are the Sony 1000XM3 for frequent travelers who need ANC or the B&O H9i for people looking for the best sound out of a BT ANC headphone.
I wonder if anyone has tried the new Grado Wireless headphones. I like the Grado sound.
I’m hopping between a couple of shops and an audio show in Seoul this weekend. It’s what I like to do during my free time while on business trips. Much better for my health and marriage than boozing and whoring. If I come across a GW100, I’ll definitely report back. My point of view might be a little skewed because my favorite Grado is the RS1e, the least Grado sounding Grado.
As an intro to the topic, I travel quite a bit and have gotten my pack down pretty solid: Tom Bihn carry-on only - for those that don’t know, Tom Bihn carry-on means you literally carry them, no wheels! Over time I simply found that wheels & handles take up so much room, and add so much weight, I’m a much lighter traveller ditching them. I’ve tried every major brand (Osprey, TB2, TB, Red Oxx, MW, etc @ChaseReeves knows what I’m sayin).
I’m no one-bagger, I use 2: One larger bag like my TB Aeronaut 45 or Western Flyer, and one smaller like my TB S25 or Pilot. To be clear, I’m not a fan of the TB style, I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s a bit … bland yuppie for me. Nevertheless, after a LOT of travel, their bags are the best travel bags made so it’s substance over style for me.
Wireless headphones? Chargers? Easy.
I’ve got B&W P7Ws, Bose OEs, MEEs and they all travel with me (bose are better for phone calls, MEE are portable and for workouts, P7Ws are for flights). For the air, the P7s go into a Tom Bihn packing cube shoulder bag along with a small ditty bag, Anker 10mAh battery, and a few cables (I have a mix of micro and C devices). The assembled bag goes into the top of my underseat bag (or clips onto the outside) and when I sit down I just clip the flight-bag to the back of the seat rest. That’s enough power to get me through anything and the P7Ws have never needed recharging during a flight, even to Asia. Still I also carry the cable and they can charge while corded so no biggie.
Net-net, I ditched Bose QC35s because they just sounded like crap to me (as did the B&W PX) and I don’t appreciate the ANC so I replaced them with the high passive isolation of the B&W P7s which are great for movies and tunes. charging isn’t a problem as I carry plenty of power for both micro-USB and USB-c devices, including an Anker PD/QC charger for fast charging, but I’ve rarely used that. I’ve tried Aukey, rav, all of them, Anker is 100% the best for me (super reliable, great customer service; not so with the others IME). I use Anker powerline+ cables as well. I also carry a secure mini wi-fi hub that I plug into ethernet in the hotel for my own internet. All of that, plus a 10 port USB hub fits into a small tom bihn snake charmer.
So, yeah, wireless has its place, but not for hi-fi listening IMO.
For an audiophile portable upgrade, I’m considering the Campfire Atlas + iFi xDSD + Sony wh1000xMk3 - i’ll wear the Atlas cabled or bluetooth to the xDSD and then the Sony’s over my ear to block noise passively and, if it works, with the ANC on. I have no idea if that would work though, otherwise I’ll just use the P7Ws for passive isolation and the Atlas for sound.
Here’s what i’m talking about for travel:
P7s, battery, and ditty bag goes in here (which then fits into that bag under the seat):
Here’s my TB A45 and S25 (backpack) in Seattle getting ready for 2 weeks in Europe last Nov - the seat bag is in the S25:
Once we get to the hotel, the S25 goes to the desk area to set up the charging station and converts to a day pack:
Ha, yeah that hotel was great! Park Hyatt in Vienna, kind of an Art Deco style - it was a special trip so we splurged. It was right across from a Christmas Market, so it was really fun, and a great location overall.
All of the bar stools in the Christmas Markt were covered with fur - fancy!
I had never been to Vienna and now it’s my fav, great city with tons of history. Seemed like around every corner there was some scene that could’ve been the 1500s.
Anyway, back on topic, for no apparent reason, here’s some non-wireless headphones:
Quality post. This is a great read and very informative too.