How to Choose Bluetooth Headsets

Are you undecided which Bluetooth headset to buy? Here are the technical details to consider, as well as your intended use of course

When it comes to choosing a Bluetooth headset, you're spoilt for choice. There are models to suit all budgets, with basic and advanced features, in every shape and size, color and design, and for every type of use from simple music listening to online calls.

Bluetooth headsets are not a device exclusive to computers, but they happily fit all devices that support this standard, from smartphones to tablets, from MP3 players to gaming consoles, and even TVs. Before making a purchase, it is advisable to decide on your intended use. If, for example, your goal is to completely isolate yourself from everything around you, then, the type of "closed" pavilions is the best choice, which, however, is not good, if you use them to listen to your favorite music when you move around the city. Let's analyze, therefore, the details to evaluate before buying a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

Choosing Bluetooth headphones

There is a wide variety of Bluetooth headphones that you can divide into two categories: closed and open. Closed headphones, as you can easily imagine, are those that offer you the highest degree of sound isolation possible: they allow you to completely immerse yourself in what you are listening to and, at the same time, do not allow those who are close to you to even guess what you are hearing. These are headphones with large earcups that we could define as "watertight", perhaps a little clumsy, but the best for those who want to leave out, at least for a moment, the outside world. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are open models that provide good acoustics without, however, preventing you from keeping an eye on what's going on around you, at least acoustically. The earcups are more comfortable and lighter than super-insulating headphones. In both cases, there's an adjustable headband.

On-ear and around-ear models?

If closed and open-ear headphones - semi-open-ear headphones are a middle ground between the main types - we can consider them "macro" categories within which there are also "micro" categories that are just as important when making a choice: on-ear and around-ear models. The fundamental difference concerns the padding. In on-ear headphones, the padding is smaller and narrower, and rests directly over the earcups, "squashing" them. They offer great isolation, but wearing them for many hours is impossible. At some point, they begin to cause some pain in your ears and, often, your head. Around-ear headphones, on the other hand, are larger, and while they offer less isolation, the padding surrounds the earcup without squashing it, making them ideal for those who use them for most of the day. They're perfect for work-related use. Don't underestimate the weight, either: 300 or 400 grams may not seem like much, but if you're going to be wearing them all day long, at some point they're going to start to get annoying.

Choose the "channel" that's right for you

Another important detail to consider is the audio channels supported by Bluetooth headphones. There are basically five options. The stereo type has two speakers - one in each ear - and is mainly suitable for listening to music. Going up a level, especially if you're a movie and video game fan, you might consider buying a 5.1 or 7.1 model which, depending on the number of speakers used, are distinguished into real and virtual. Real 5.1 headphones have four speakers per ear, while virtual 5.1 headphones have two speakers - like stereo ones - but simulate the sound of 5.1 sound systems. The same goes for the 7.1 models where the real ones have 10 speakers. The virtual ones simulate the effect of 7.1 systems.

Bluetooth: excellent compromise

The limitations of wired headphones are obvious: freedom of movement is reduced. Bluetooth headphones, although they offer a limited range, can compress sound quality, have the undoubted advantage of versatility: they adapt to various devices - computers, smartphones, MP3 players - without the need for external receivers. Many models, moreover, allow you to control the audio playback of your computer or smartphone, and to answer phone calls if, of course, they are equipped with a microphone.

The eye also wants its part

The look, finally, always plays an important role in a purchase. But in the case of a Bluetooth headset, aesthetics and design must also come to terms with comfort, much like an item of clothing. If it's possible, before making a purchase, try out the headset, check that it's comfortable, that it's right for your head size, that it's adjustable. And don't forget to also check the battery life: how long it lasts, what kind of batteries are present (rechargeable or internal batteries). In short, check and evaluate all the important features, as well as the price of course, before buying a pair of Bluetooth headphones.