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Headphone technology seems to improve each and every day, and if you?re still reliant on your trusty old wired pair, now is as good a time as any for an upgrade to Bluetooth headphones. You may have some already ? if you?ve bought a new iPhone with all the bells and whistles, then the AirPods that come with higher-end models fall into this category. They?re also quite expensive, which some might say is unsurprising given the name behind them.
Whether or not they?re worth the money is a discussion for another date and time. For now, I?ll focus on the kind of person that has never owned a pair before, or at least has never intentionally purchased any! They do not need to break the bank, and while the same process as anything else follows, whereby the more you spend, the better the results will be, there?s a little more nuance to making the first purchasing decision. Read on to discover how to get the best from your first purchase, covering everything you need to consider before taking the plunge.
Consider How, Where and When You?ll Use Your Bluetooth Headphones
The first thing that any prospective Bluetooth headphone buyer needs to consider is how they expect to use their new purchase. Many of the factors are the same as with any other pair of headphones, Bluetooth or otherwise, and the first thing I advise to consider is where and when you intend to use them. Many people like to use their headphones at work, either to help them to concentrate or to avoid idle chit-chat. If that?s the case for you and you work in a relatively loud environment, you?ll want to consider noise-cancelling features, so that all you can hear is what comes through the speakers themselves.
If you mainly use your headphones while out and about, it can pay to get some extra features such as music controls on the units, and if you?ll solely be using them at home, you?re free to focus primarily on sound quality as I?ll assume that there?s nothing else to interrupt you.
Think About How Long You Need Them to Last
One advantage that wired headphones will always have over their Bluetooth counterparts, at least until there are massive leaps in battery technology, is that they never run out of power. Consider how long you?ll be away from a charging point for and base your purchasing decision on whether the headphones you have in mind will last. If you go with ones that are directly compatible with mobile phones, you can potentially make use of wireless charging from the phone in a pinch, but you?ll otherwise want to consider how long it takes for your headphones to charge and how long they?ll then last.
Choose the Right Sound Quality
Even some of the sound styles that you may consider obsolete are still available on even the newest Bluetooth headphones, so make sure that the ones you buy can output the kind of sound quality you desire. You should seek out stereo sound as standard, and you can then think about delving into high-definition audio and any other features that you feel would make sense.
Don?t Miss Out on Multi-Point Pairing if You can use It
Multi-point pairing enables a single pair of Bluetooth headphones to connect to multiple devices simultaneously. In practice, this generally means that you can connect your headset to more than one device at the same time, and seamlessly switch the audio output without further intervention. This is great for anyone that typically listens to music from their phone but watches videos on YouTube, although the functionality can be far more extensive.
Consider Paying a Little More for Voice Control
I mentioned considering headphones that allow you to control what?s happen on the units themselves, but you could potentially take things to the next level with voice control. Naturally, you won?t need any buttons at all, as you can simply say things and the headphones will respond accordingly. You should dig a little deeper into the specs if this influences your decision, as some cheaper models mention voice control, but that means little in practice. A good, reliable brand can make all the difference here.
Don?t Forget Comfort Levels on Bluetooth headphones
When it all comes down to it, it is you that has to wear these headphones, so it makes sense that you?d take the time to work out the best fit and comfort. Indeed, this can potentially mean that you don?t use online shopping for this, and take the time to head out and see what feels most comfortable in your ears. If you?ve had trouble with earbuds fitting in the past, then this is particularly crucial. Those that don?t fit aren?t just uncomfortable ? they risk falling out and that can be a costly loss to say the least.
Consider if You Need a Mic
I?m going from headphones to a headset in one fell swoop here, but it is important not to forget that you might need a microphone built-in, especially if you?ll mainly use your headphones in conjunction with your phone. If you?re already considering Bluetooth headphones with voice control, then a microphone will naturally be included as standard. If not, then think about whether you?re happy to interrupt whatever you?re listening to in order to make or take calls. In most cases, the cost difference is negligible and it can save a headache in the future.
Check the Range of the Headphones
One of the main reasons to consider going with Bluetooth in the first place is to be free of wires and the restrictions that come with them. You then need to think about what kind of user you?ll be. Do you typically keep your music source, like your phone, in your pocket at all times? Or do you like to roam around from a central source? In the case of the former, you?ll be fine with just about any kind of range, but if you?re a roamer, you need to think about how far you?re likely to go ? and pick up a pair of headphones that can meet expectations.
Set a Budget
There are plenty of features to work through when making your purchase decision, and there will come a point where you find Bluetooth headphones that are simply too expensive or just don?t feel like value for money for what you ultimately want from them. If you set a budget beforehand, you?ll know right away when you need to compromise on features, or when you can potentially spring for a better model.
Everything we?ve covered throughout this feature will have an impact on the budget, with some features tacking more onto the overall cost than others. Nevertheless, if you put the time into thinking about what you really need from the headphones and where you could potentially save some cash here or there, you stand every chance of finding the perfect Bluetooth headphones for your needs, and at the right price too.
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