Today is Amazon Prime Day 2018. See our list of recommended deals on headphones. Notably the Sony WH-CH700N that has dropped by $100.
Updated

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 32% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency
Score distribution

Test results

Our tests

 

Bluetooth

What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 79% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • 0% PS4 Compatible
  • 0% Xbox One Compatible
Score distribution

 

 

Wired

What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Score distribution

 

Base/Dock

What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 4% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 4% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Score distribution

Wireless Range

What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Score distribution

Our wireless test measures the range of a headphones' wireless connection in direct-line-of-sight and when the Bluetooth source is obstructed. We also take into account the Bluetooth version supported by the headphones, the latency for the default SBC connection as well as additional codecs, like aptX and aptX (Low Latency). Lastly, we judge how easy it is to pair with regular and NFC-enabled mobile devices.

A wireless connection is more important for listeners that use their headphones with a Bluetooth source that's difficult to move, like a PC or a TV. It also makes cable management less of a hassle, as there are no cables to get tangled or restrict your movements. However, depending on your headphone choice this may not be a significant feature for you.

Learn more about this test

Latency

What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Score distribution

Our Latency test measures the delay caused by transmitting data over a wireless connection. For headphones, it's the time it takes for audio to play through the ear cups which might be out of sync when watching videos.

We measure the base latency for RF and Bluetooth headphones as well any latency improving codecs such as aptX or aptX (LL). Base latency for Bluetooth headphones refers to the default sub-band coding (SBC).

The higher the latency, the more delay there will be between the images you see and what you hear, which could significantly reduce your movie or gaming experience. However, depending on your choice of headphones and listening habit it may not be as big of an issue for you.

Learn more about this test

Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.

Email:

Questions & Answers

0 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
Questions Have a question?

Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.

Current estimated response time, based on # of pending questions: 4.2 business days.

:
:
A valid email is required. We answer most questions directly by email to prevent cluttering the site.