• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Are Bluetooth headphones as good as wired?

HMHB

Distinguished Member
The reason I'm asking is because I want an iPad Pro but annoyingly for me there's no headphone socket on this device.

I've seen reviews on the Apple store for the usb-c to headphone converter and it gets very poor reviews so far so I've ruled out using one of those for now. So that leaves me with one option, to get a new pair of headphones that can do wireless as well as wired.

My requirements are for full sized over ear headphones that I can use with the iPad Pro and I must be able to turn off noise cancelling - mainly because I have zero use for it.

So as per the title.. are the wireless headphones as good as good quality (up to £250) wired headphones? Also do you get lag with the sound with the bluetooth connection? I'd hate to be watching a film or something on Youtube with the headphones on and get lip sync problems.

I've ripped my music to Apple Lossless format so will be putting that on the new device should I get one so I do want a good pair of headphones to listen to it. The iPads that do have a proper headphone socket don't have a big enough hard drive for my music in this format!
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
In pure sound terms wireless is not yet strictly there, and that is before getting into the boringness of competing Bluetooth codecs, but for many "it is good enough" and modern sets from Sony and the rest are an enjoyable listen. Wireless is partly about the modern and convenience. Wireless can even be complimentary to wired headphones and that is how one ends up with a headphone collection :D
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
In pure sound terms wireless is not yet strictly there, and that is before getting into the boringness of competing Bluetooth codecs, but for many "it is good enough" and modern sets from Sony and the rest are an enjoyable listen. Wireless is partly about the modern and convenience. Wireless can even be complimentary to wired headphones and that is how one ends up with a headphone collection :D

Cheers for that :) I suspect I might be better off batch converting my music to MP3 320 quality and getting an iPad with a headphone socket in that case. What I lose in quality with the MP3 files I will gain in using a proper wired set of headphones. Using MP3 320 Kbps it will easily fit onto a 256GB capacity device.
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Cheers for that :) I suspect I might be better off batch converting my music to MP3 320 quality and getting an iPad with a headphone socket in that case. What I lose in quality with the MP3 files I will gain in using a proper wired set of headphones. Using MP3 320 Kbps it will easily fit onto a 256GB capacity device.

Interesting logic but it’s massively flawed in my opinion. Your £250 budget is decent and you might be able to pick up a pair of B&W PX for that kind of money. The build quality is superb and the sound is superb too when used with Tidal. You have the option to go wired too (with most high end BT cans you have this option). I should also add that the USB-C to headphone jack is most likely a DAC which is probably where the quality is being compromised too. Something like a dragon fly black or red would negate this issue. But then at this point you have one of the most incredible computing devices with a ton of dongles and wires hanging out! A huge compromise and shame in my opinion. Honestly with the right pair of BT headphones the quality of the audio playback can be great.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Thanks. Do you know if the noise cancelling can be turned off on the PX headphones?
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Thanks. Do you know if the noise cancelling can be turned off on the PX headphones?

Yes it can be turned off. There are three levels of NC as far as I can remember. Office, Street or Flight mode.
 

dannnielll

Prominent Member
As with everything, there are alternatives. The medium quality digital music player s say the Sony nwa45 or equivalent, can store and play flac and hi res. And with a 200 GB memory chip, that is a hell of a lot of music. .. I have 8000 items on a 128 Gb chip They will happily drive any good head phones to good volumes... I routinely use the Sony MDR1 the Sennhessier Momentum on hears and in ears and noisei cancelling Sony in ears buds NW 750 . The major advantage,is better sound ..at least comparable to a Samsung S7 with the Cyrus Soundkey dac amplifier ,and assurance that the phone battery will not got dead.
 

MusicWorks

Novice Member
In my opinion: No. And they never will be.

An audio signal is a voltage, analog and continuous to the source. With cabled headphones this voltage is sent directly to the drivers, in Bluetooth it needs to be coded and emitted -which of course implies going through an A/D converter (analog to digital) and losing quality.

If we are talking about streaming a purely digital signal, then it might have a slight advantage over regular phones -if having the digital signal transmitted to your phones seems like a good idea.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom