Headphone Battles: Wireless vs Wired

If you look at the headphone industry, you can split the entirety of it by talking about headphones that are wired, and the ones that are wireless. There is nothing wrong with choosing either of them but in the eyes of a traditionalist, if the pair you are buying is not wired, it is not worth it.

As far as wireless headphones are concerned, they are slowly catching up in terms of performance, as well as price. As a matter of fact, we recently took a look at the wireless headphones under $50. If that is not great value, we do not know what is.

However, we are here to create a detailed comparison between both wireless and wired headphones so that the potential buyers have an easier time deciding on what they should go with. There are going to be several factors involved in the case such as audio quality, battery life, portability, compatibility, as well as price. This is to make sure that the comparison is detailed and informative for the reader.

Audio Quality

First things first; when it comes to a pair of headphones, one of the most important aspects happens to be the audio quality of the headphones. Now, this is one of those places where you are going to find a lot of options. Without good audio quality, buying a pair of headphones would not make enough sense, since you are just putting in a lot of money and not even getting the proper results.

Keeping that in mind, when we look at the sound quality on wired headphones, it is inherently, and predominantly better than that of the wireless options. However, not by a long shot, You see, in the early days of wireless headphones, there was absolutely no comparison between both headphone types simply because the wired headphones would beat the wireless options and throw them out of the water without hesitation.

True, the wireless headphones are slowly catching up in terms of the sound quality, but when you are talking about the overall fidelity, the wired headphones are still able to produce a much better sound overall.

Winner: Wired Headphones.

Battery Life

One of the main reasons why I got my Sony WH-1000XM2 was the stellar battery life that took the headphones up to 24 hours without any issues whatsoever. Needless to say, battery life is becoming more and more important as time passes by.

Now when you are looking at the wired headphones, there is no concept of battery life in them. Which means that they can run as long as you have power in your device, and even if your device runs out of power, they can be used elsewhere without any issues.

Wireless headphones, on the other hand, work on the principle of battery life. Generally, the bigger, more expensive the headphone is, the better the battery life is going to be.

At the end of the day, I would still prefer a wired pair of headphones simply because I do not have to worry about my music or overall use stops because of one reason or the other.

Winner: Wired Headphones.


Whether you are talking about wireless headphones or wired headphones, one of the most important aspects is the portability. As a daily commuter, the one thing I cannot live without is my headphones. So, the headphones must be portable for me. Sure, I do have a separate pair of studio monitors at my home, but they serve an entirely different purpose.

The good thing is that whether you are buying a pair of wireless headphones or wired headphones if they are made for commuting, they are going to be portable regardless of the price. For the sake of comparison; my FiiO F9 Pro is just as portable as my Sony WH-1000XM2.

Yes, one is an in-ear monitor, and the other is an over-ear pair of headphones but even if you compare the portability of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x with the Sony WH-1000XM2, you will realize that both are just as portable, and easy to carry.

In conclusion, whether you are buying a wired or a wireless pair of headphones, you will not have to worry about the portability factor at all.

Winner: None.


Compatibility is another important factor that you should be looking at whenever you are in the market looking at the headphones and want to make the right buying choice. If you are wondering what compatibility means, it generally refers to just how many devices a headphone can easily connect to.

Now when it comes to compatibility, a wired pair of headphones with a 3.5mm plug will be compatible with pretty much every device that comes with a 3.5mm jack. However, considering how this is something that is being phased out, we are now relying more on the wireless headphones that can be connected to pretty much every device that has Bluetooth connection, which is not something rare.

Needless to say, as far as the compatibility is concerned, wireless headphones are inherently better in that regard as they can be used with pretty much every device that comes with support for Bluetooth.

Winner: Wireless Headphones.


No matter how good you make the headphones, if you are not good with the pricing, there is no point in going that route, at all. You see, regardless of a whole market that is just filled with enthusiasts who are willing to spend as much as they want on a pair of headphones, there is also a bracket of people who want to save money and not spend a lot on a pair of headphones.

As far as the pricing is concerned, there is no denying that you can easily buy a good pair of wired headphones that you can buy. For the sake of clarity, you can buy the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for $150, or even lower, and they would easily outperform most of the higher end, wireless headphones in the market

Wireless headphones, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive and if you are trying to save money, going for a cheaper wireless pair of headphones will not give you the same benefit.

So, there is no denying that as far as the price in general, and price to performance ratio is concerned, wired headphones are inherently better.

Winner: Wired Headphones.


Drawing a conclusion from such a situation is not really a difficult task. The comparison is in front of you and you can tell which one is the better pair of headphones from the two. As of now, wireless headphones are simply not able to catch up with the wired counterpart. However, that is not to say that it is going to be like that for a long time. The wireless technology is getting better and better, and perhaps one day will be able to catch up with wired headphones.

As for now, the winner is certainly the wired pair of headphones and for the reasons, we have already talked about in detail in the comparison.

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Bill Wilson
Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.