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riffin
Dec 18, 2013

How does audio quality of bluetooth headphones compare to headphones using analog jack?

I want to give a pair of good sounding headphones as a gift, and am trying to decide between headphones that use the standard 3.5mm analog audio jack and bluetooth headphones. Is there a noticeable difference in audio quality between the two, all other things being equal?

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BarringtonMorris
04/24/2014

I agree with Becker, in terms of sound quality, some Bluetooth headphones can’t be compared to wired headphones. However it not happens in every case, just like the one I bought from Abcotechbrand produces great sound as compared to wired headphones. Sometimes analog cables pick up RF interference more frequently and generate a very loud sound without any disturbance and at that time they produce far more superior sound then Bluetooth headphones. However, this is pretty rare, so choose according to the specifications you want. 

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Lea Borlaza
04/15/2014

I agree that some bluetooth headphones doesn't compare to wired headphones in terms of  audio quality. But the best bluetooth headsets out there would difinitely blow your mind. 

jimlynch
12/18/2013
This thread might be of use, it appears there is a significant difference, and analog is better.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20121012221349AADi9c2
becker
12/18/2013
There isn’t an easy answer to this question, beyond “it depends.” Analog cables sometimes can pick up RF interference, which will turn a nice sounding set of headphones into the equivalent of a pair of tomato cans on a string….almost. This is pretty rare, but I have experienced it. On the other hand Bluetooth audio is lossy, so you do have some degradation of sound. Also, there are different codecs, and the difference in sound between them can be significant. I think it is easier to get a good pair of analog headphones, but a lot of people don’t seem to notice the difference between good and poor quality audio playback to be perfectly honest.
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Christopher Nerney
12/18/2013

The Audiophiliac says Bluetooth doesn't compare to wired headphones in terms of sound quality:

 

"...the processing sounds awful -- gritty harsh, limits bass oomph, and has unpleasant treble -- compared with just running a wire to the device."

 

"...even when it's used in higher-end gear like the $699 NAD Viso 1 iPod speaker, BT doesn't sound as good as a direct connection."

 

"...if you care more about sound quality than convenience, use wired connections."

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