Do Bluetooth Headphones Lower the Sound Quality?

Do Bluetooth Headphones Lower the Sound Quality?

Bluetooth device usage is common for many people due to its effective service. You may use them to receive calls and listen to audio. However, depending on the model, the performance varies. Therefore you may ask yourself if headphones lower sound quality.

Bluetooth devices lower sound quality due to differences in codecs and lack of enough charge. Additionally, the Bluetooth Compression feature also plays a role in disrupting the sound quality. These problems affect both the audio and call quality.

This article seeks to highlight the problems in depth and assist you in knowing what needs to happen. So keep reading the article to learn more interesting facts.

Reasons for Bad Sound Quality Sound

If cables are annoying, you may choose to use Bluetooth, which may still have audio issues. This bad quality ranges from low latency to low audio quality.

1. Incompatible Codec

Different types of Bluetooth comply with different codecs. Some codecs are better than others. Your device must be able to sync with the codec to avoid issues.

The codec gets data from the source and sends it to the other device. There are different types of codecs, such as LDAC, Aptx HD, AAC, and SBC. The codecs perform differently and contain different latencies. However, aptX is considered the best.

2. Bluetooth Compression and Audio Distortion

This compression is also another cause of low sound quality in Bluetooth devices. The inability of a codec to transmit data at higher rates makes the issue bigger.

Music production is pure, but before upload, it needs compression to reduce the amount of space it accumulates. This function is known as lossy audio compression.

Lossy audio compression is a complex problem, but it simply means that the audio file has discarded some parts of the music. You may wonder where Bluetooth fits in, and this is how it does. Bluetooth affects the audio by further compression due to the difference in codecs. Bluetooth isn’t ideal for data transmission in reality. This means that listening to audio with Bluetooth has an additional compression layer.

However, there are advancements in Bluetooth to make lossy audio compression obsolete. As stated earlier, Bluetooth headsets receive transmission over a narrow bandwidth, allowing compression to occur.

3. Multi-tasking the Bluetooth Device

Bluetooth isn’t ideal for running multiple functions. For example, the audio quality of the output is affected when using the Bluetooth device as an input and output source. When receiving a voice call, you may notice the sound quality lowers. As Bluetooth has various uses, each user has a transfer profile. Each transfer profile has its data transmission speed.

When streaming a song, Bluetooth, by default, moves to the profile for that activity. The streaming process uses an Advanced Audio Distribution profile. The profile transmits between 44100-48000 samples every second.

For instance, you receive a call when listening to music, and you still want to use the same Bluetooth device for the call. The device changes to the hands-free profile streaming 8000-16000 samples per second. Upon completion of the call, the device returns to the Advanced Audio Distribution.

This difference in samples shows that you are using different profiles in the Bluetooth device, leading to a decline in audio quality. Therefore, it isn’t advisable to use different audio devices for recording and listening to the audio.

4. Bluetooth Headphones Don’t fit

The fitting of the headphones is another thing that affects the sound quality. The main reason why people purchase Bluetooth is the amount of freedom they provide. As freedom makes them marketable, the problem kicks in size. Most headphone sizes are one-fit, making it hard for you to use them if they don’t fit.

However, manufacturers have taken a step and now consider customers by recommending ear sizes on the headphones.

5. Low Battery on the Bluetooth Device

This low battery is simply a matter of ignorance, and we remember to charge our phones, but mostly, we forget about doing the same for the headphones.

Headphones and speakers from Bluetooth produce lossy audio when they have low power. Apart from the battery, the headphones with the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature have poor audio. Poor audio results from the battery power used to produce anti-waves to block external noise.

You must know that the Bluetooth device maintains connectivity to the host’s device despite not being used. Unfortunately, this connection drains the headset’s battery, consequently leading to a decrease of 20% in sound quality.

There’s no doubt that Bluetooth headsets perform exceptionally compared to wired headphones. Despite a reduction in sound quality issues, most people can’t notice due to where they use the headphones. To resolve this, you need to consider buying Bluetooth 4.0 or the latest wireless audio gadgets, as they will carry out more functions with less energy.

6. Damage by Moisture

As with most electronics, headphones don’t function well in water. When water comes into contact with the electrical components of the headphones, the results are devastating. However, headphones may be water resistant, and the feature has been set up in many consumer products. Others have an IP rating, which shows sensitivity to dirt, dust, and moisture.

Despite the headphones being shown as water resistant, check how much moisture they can resist using the IP rating.

How Does Listening to Audio Using Wireless Headphones Affect Sound Quality?

Different people have different audio standards; some have high standards, while others move with the flow. Therefore, for high-quality audio lovers, you may want to know if headphones affect sound quality. Here are highlights of how this may occur:

Factors Affecting Sound Quality in the Sound System

To understand how sound quality works, you need to comprehend the components that affect it.

  • Environment

The environs you use your headphones dictate the ones ideal for you. For example, if you’re using Bluetooth headphones during commutes, exercising, or flying, you may encounter a lot of noise. Therefore, the environment we are in dictates the kind of sound quality that the headphones may produce.

This assists you in discerning that the problem isn’t other factors.

  • The File Format

A file format also affects the quality of sound. For instance, FLAC and WAV are way more advanced than MP3 and AAC. The two are better since they don’t lose data easily as their counterparts. However, most people have streamed music and encountered quality issues.

Therefore, this may be wrong to judge other factors if you’re only using MP3 for listening to audio.

  • Digital to Analog Converter

If you have a Digital to Analog Converter, be certain that your sound quality is hindered from reaching its peak. The Digital to analog converter shifts the audio from high quality so that it may be compatible with the analog device. If you’re using Bluetooth headphones, the quality may be low when you turn on the microphone on your devices. This problem may occur during a Co-screen, Zoom, and other communication systems.

The problem mainly occurs when you listen to music while attending a zoom meeting. As stated earlier, Bluetooth headsets aren’t good at multitasking due to their narrow bandwidth. The running of two activities simultaneously causes a drop in sound quality. However, there are ways in which you may avoid and solve it at the same time.

The solution to Improve Playback Quality when using Bluetooth Headphones

The sound quality is poor when using these headphones because the system may change the audio profile. This is because the headphones can use only one audio profile at a given time. Bluetooth headphones use the A2DP profile for audio and are ideal for high-quality audio. The disadvantage is that the profile changes when you switch to the microphone.

When used as the audio input during a zoom meeting, this microphone on the Bluetooth headset changes the profile to HSP or HFP. This profile is ideal for the microphone but degrades the sound quality.

  • Solution 1: Choosing another Audio Input

This choice is quite simple, as you may use the built-in laptop microphone rather than the headphones.

  • Solution 2: Restarting the Application

If choosing another audio input doesn’t work, you may need to restart the application you’re using for the call. The restart may be essential as the problem may be because of an issue on Chrome, where most meetings are held by many meeting apps.

Final thoughts

The headphones are ideal for usage, but you need to consider some of the things causing a decline in the sound quality. First, ensure the headphones fit you well and have enough power.

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