Going cord-free is all about convenience. With the mobile phone, it was about being able to remain contactable on the go. Wireless game console controllers all but removed the disaster of tripping over looped cables from our living rooms. When it comes to true wireless earphones however, opinions remain divided. On one hand, users adore not having to worry about sorting out tangled cables. Audiophiles, on the other, claim that audio fidelity pales in comparison to corded earphones. Myself? I worry about forgetting to charge them and ending up on the train alone with my thoughts.
If you’re the active sort who loves to listen to music while you train, then true wireless earphones would most likely be considered a godsend for you. I mean, who likes having their cables whip into their face while they run? For the average joes and janes though, is there anything tangible to be gained by “unplugging”?
Losing the cables allows manufacturers to experiment with some quirky designs. The Klipsch T5 comes packaged in a Zippo-inspired metal carrying/charging case. Instead of just being simple tools, earphones can also be used as a conversation starter or an act of self-expression.
This is perhaps where any cordless earphone falters. The amount of charge your average pair of wireless earphones can hold is nothing compared to running of your phone’s power supply. At most, you would probably have enough juice to last you for a two-way commute. Carrying cases that double as a charging dock are able to delay this eventuality to a fair extent.
True wireless earphone do not come cheap; at least the ones of quality that is. Aside from the Bluetooth receiver, these earphones tend to feature touch functionality as well. Squeezing that into a small form-factor like an earphone housing requires tiny electronics, which certainly costs a pretty penny.
Due to the number of moving parts in wireless earphones, they tend to be a lot more fragile than their corded counterparts. If you’re not careful, a drop from ear height can be enough to render your favourite earphones partially or fully inoperable.
As impressive as Bluetooth is, it is not an unassailable technology. When you’re out and about town, there are bound to be “hotspots” where your wireless signal inexplicably drops or stutters. There will also be instances where your headset refuses to connect with your smartphone, which is typically followed by a fair amount of trouble-shooting.
In the end, it really depends on the individual and his/her lifestyle to determine if the switch is worth it. What will you be using it for? Are you reckless with your belongings? Will compatibility with your phone’s technology be an issue? The last thing you want is for your earphone to become nothing more than an expensive (and frankly ineffectual) paperweight.