Featured image of post Wireless earphones are in the lead, have wired HIFI earphones been eliminated?

Wireless earphones are in the lead, have wired HIFI earphones been eliminated?

Confused about whether to buy wireless headphones or wired headphones? Are wired headphones obsolete? Do you understand the sound principle of headphones?

Wireless earphones in power

In recent years, with the continuous development of wireless technology, the earphones we use for listening to music have gradually changed from wired earphones to various wireless earphones.

Nowadays, it is rare to see handsome men and women on the street wearing wired headphones to listen to music. So, have the seemingly perfect wireless earbuds made traditional wired ones obsolete? To answer this question, we cannot judge from appearances alone. On the surface, wireless earphones have canceled the long earphone wires, avoiding the problem of inconvenient wearing, and at the same time can play moving music. Seems like a perfect replacement for a wired headset. But if you have a deep understanding of the inherent difference between wired headphones and wireless headphones, you will have a new understanding of HIFI headphones.

Sounding Principle of Wired Headphones

First of all, let’s start with the sounding principle of earphones and explain the advantages of wired earphones. The wired earphone consists of two miniature sounding units, two signal conducting lines, and an audio plug. These three are combined to form a complete traditional earphone. The analog audio signal of the HIFI player or mobile phone will be conducted upwards along the audio plug of the earphone until it reaches the two sounding units to drive it to sound.

At this point, the quality of the audio is mainly determined by two points. The first is whether the quality of the analog audio signal output by the HIFI player or mobile phone is good enough, which has nothing to do with the quality of the earphones. The second is whether the sound unit of the earphone is good enough to perfectly restore the analog signal to the original sound wave. This step is also called “electro-acoustic conversion”.

Sounding principle of wireless earphones

The above is the sounding principle of traditional earphones. Today’s wireless headphones are a little different. Let’s move on. In addition to the three-piece set mentioned above, the composition of wireless earphones has several more components, the most important of which is the “DAC chip”. The existence of this chip determines the final sound quality of the headset to a large extent, and it is also the main reason for the difference in sound quality between wired headsets and wireless headsets. In layman’s terms, the function of a “DAC chip” is to convert digital signals into analog signals, commonly known as “digital-to-analog conversion”. This process was originally completed inside the HIFI player or mobile phone, and has nothing to do with the headset. However, due to the technical particularity of wireless earphones, this “digital-to-analog conversion” process must be completed by the earphones themselves. We all know that any chip needs to “use electricity”, and the battery capacity of the wireless headset is usually relatively small. Therefore, most of the power of the wireless headset will be used to drive the sound unit, rather than for the “DAC chip”. The “DAC chips” integrated in wireless earphones are usually very power-saving. In other words, these “DAC chips” are generally relatively cheap products.

Shortcomings of wireless earphones

Therefore, the short board of wireless headphones naturally appeared. No matter how advanced your HIFI player is, or how advanced your DAC chip is built into your mobile phone. Once the wireless headphones are connected, all these high-end hardware will go to sleep collectively and will not play any practical role. The only time you can take advantage of the built-in audio circuitry of your premium player or high-end phone is if you connect wired headphones with an analog connector (usually a 3.5mm headphone jack, but there are others).

Some people will say that their requirements for sound quality are not very high. Using wireless headphones is mainly for the convenience of wearing, even if you sacrifice a little sound quality, it doesn’t matter. So, here is the second flaw of wireless headphones.

This defect can be said to be very obvious in perception, that is, the delay when the wireless headset plays sound is very serious. At present, the mainstream wireless headset products still use the Bluetooth transmission protocol. The advantages of the Bluetooth transmission protocol are low power consumption and relatively strong battery life, which means it is more suitable for wireless headsets. But the disadvantage is that the transmission delay is relatively high. Even with the advanced version of the Bluetooth protocol, the overall delay in transmitting audio signals is estimated to be about 1 second. What is the concept of a delay of about 1 second? That is, when you play games with your mobile phone, the sound is often 1 second slower before you hear it. I believe that many mobile game players are very reluctant to have such a thing happen when they play competitive games. Of course, if you just use wireless headphones to listen to music, then the delay disadvantage of wireless headphones is negligible.

Well, after the above detailed introduction of wireless headsets and wired headsets. Do you still think wired headphones are outdated? Post your comments in the comments section below! Welcome all HIFI enthusiasts to come and express your feelings.

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