Buying Bluetooth headphones: the most important questions

What does sound quality mean?

A lot is written and discussed about sound . Nevertheless, one must be aware that it is an individual sensory perception . One listener likes a neutral sound (straight frequency response), another finds it sterile and boring. A classical music fan has different requirements for headphones than someone who likes tech house. The general rule is: high-quality headphones are particularly good at mastering all the different challenges and being a kind of all-round tool . Bad sounding headphones, on the other hand, can hardly be saved even with software equalizers via an app.

Why is the seat so important?

Headphones are something that you wear directly on your body ( “wearable” ). That means a good fit is crucial. In order to avoid expensive bad purchases and annoying returns, you should try out the desired model yourself beforehand – be it borrowed from a friend or in a shop (where, in fairness, you can buy the right item right away).

Replacement adapter for in-ear headphones from Comply Foam (Image: Comply)

In the case of in-ear models, it depends on the silicone adapters whether the fit in the ear canal is correct. Only good insulation ensures a rich sound: If the housing is too loose in the ears, the bass is lost. If they are too tight, this leads to an uncomfortable feeling of pressure and even pain within minutes. Adapters made of flexible memory foam are recommended. When handling in-ears, you should also pay attention to hygiene (clean hands) – after all, you put an object near your eardrum.


Are Bluetooth headphones harmful to your health?

When it comes to health, there are also isolated concerns about the radiation exposure caused by Bluetooth devices. The electromagnetic fields are clearly measurable, but not so easy to interpret, even for scientists. “According to current knowledge (…) the high-frequency radiation generated by Bluetooth networks is too weak to (…) trigger acute health effects,” says the fact sheet of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (PDF) . The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) generally recommends minimizing radiation exposure in order to keep possible but “previously unrecognized health risks” low ( information sheet as PDF ). 

Bluetooth Multipoint: Why is it important when using multiple players?

Multipoint wireless headphones stay connected to multiple paired devices at the same time. So you can easily switch between different players (e.g. smartphone, tablet) when playing music without having to pair again each time.

What about cell phone apps and what about data protection?

Anyone who buys modern Bluetooth headphones, in principle, not only pays for the headphones themselves (hardware), but also for the firmware and app that go with the operation (software). Some headphones can not be used to their full extent without a smartphone app – this comes into focus when you have to create a login to use the app , which in turn collects data and transfers it to the manufacturer. Anyone who attaches great importance to data protection should take this aspect into account and find out beforehand how the manufacturer has envisaged the use.

Noise Canceling (ANC) in headphones: what does the technology do?

The topic of noise-canceling has been penetrating more and more consumers for a number of years. The active lowering of outside noises by counter-sound can actually ensure a pleasant calm by mainly suppressing low-frequency and monotonous sources of interference (engine hum, air conditioning noise). But you should be aware that some of the manufacturer’s advertising promises are exaggerated. Even the best ANC headphones cannot achieve absolute silence like in an anechoic room, which is technically not (yet) feasible. But it becomes audibly more pleasant to enjoy music while traveling by plane or train. Occasionally, users also ask themselves whether noise canceling is harmful to health: the answer to this is no,as an ENT expert from the University of Dresden confirmed on request.



3rd Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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