True Wireless Earbuds vs. Wired Earbuds vs. Over-the-Ear Headphones

There are just some situations where it’s not acceptable or polite to blast your music, or maybe you prefer the more intimate experience that headphones offer. Whatever the case, you’ll spend some time perusing various retailers and electronic stores to find that perfect pair.

There are situations where one type of headphone is better than the other. Wired over-the-ear headphones are excellent when you need clear, crisp audio that is accurate and encompassing. When you’re working in a studio or listening in during radio chatter, you need a separate audio feed to hear what’s going on. As podcasts have grown in popularity, so have professional-grade over-the-ear headphones.

But the one thing that wired headphones cannot provide — in any capacity — is freedom. Consider even old school earbuds that connect to a phone or media player via 3.5mm. They are tethered by a cord, which is generally not long. It’s not so bad if you’re sitting around, relaxing. But once you get up and get moving those wires really get in the way.

Nothing beats true wireless earbuds when it comes to freedom.

What Are True Wireless Earbuds and What’s the Difference?

As the name implies, true wireless earbuds are truly, unequivocally without wires. They sync up with a media device or smartphone via Bluetooth and are restricted only by the strength of that wireless signal.

That means, you can leave your phone or player in your pocket, or even sitting somewhere nearby. If you’re mowing the lawn, for example, you can leave your phone resting on a shelf in your garage all while listening to uninterrupted music.

The reason there’s a distinction between “true wireless” and simply wireless is that there are wireless headphones that still incorporate a cable or wire. It sounds strange, but when you see them up close it makes more sense. Some wireless headphones, for instance, still include a single cable that connects the two headphones and generally rests behind the head or on the back of your neck.

True wireless earbuds on the other hand — Apple’s Airpods being the prime example — are small bud-like drivers that rest just inside your ear canal. They do protrude a little so it’s easy to see you’re wearing earbuds, but there are no wires, no cables, and no limitations in regards to movement.

True Wireless Earbuds Are Full-Featured

Beyond the obvious features like clear audio, dynamic and innovative noise cancellation support and decent drivers for bass, wireless earbuds often include a bevy of additional features. What they can do depends on the brand and model. Ideaing features a huge list of unique, capable wireless earbuds — some we’ll even discuss here.

Almost always they come bundled with a carrying case which doubles as a portable power pack. That means if you can’t get to an outlet or forgot your charger you can plug them into the case for an additional battery boost. This might allow them to last for another 2 to 3 hours of playback, or much longer, it really depends on the brand.

The Headphone by Bragi, on the other hand, includes Alexa built-in — yes, Amazon’s Alexa. Samsung’s Gear IconX earbuds include an integrated fitness tracking with real-time voice guidance, sort of like a workout coach.

Bose even has a pair of wireless earbuds — Noise-Making Sleepbuds — which play soothing sounds at night to help you sleep and relax.

You can gather at this point that they are often bolstered with unique features that offer different uses depending on the type and brand of the headphones.

Only True Wireless Earbuds Offer True Freedom

Again, one of the best aspects of true wireless earbuds is that they offer true, complete freedom from wires, tangled messes and all the limitations they bring. You also get to take advantage of several unique, unprecedented features such as a built-in fitness coach, active noise cancellation while still being aware of your surroundings, or even a portable charging case.

There really is no other option, unless you absolutely need the power and clarity that professional-grade wired headphones can offer. Even then, you’re sacrificing freedom of movement and, let’s be honest, style too. True wireless earbuds just look a hell of a lot cooler.

If you have any questions, please ask below!