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Wireless Headphones

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Wireless Headphones

Remember those wireless headphones of yesteryear? Big, bulky FM beasts that didn’t really sound that good? Forget them – the latest batch of wireless headphones use new wireless technologies that provide great-sound without the wire.

There are four main types of wireless headphones – Bluetooth, Infrared, RF, and UHF. They are all represented by major manufacturers and all provide decent sound. Your choice of interface depends mainly on how you want to use the headphones.

Bluetooth is good for portable devices that already use this wireless technology. You can use HP Bluetooth wireless headphones, for example, with the HP iPAQ Pocket PC to listen to music or watch videos. The headphones operate within a range of 30 feet from the iPAQ and the batteries hold a charge up to 8 hours.

Infrared headphones are a good choice if your audio device does not have built-in wireless capability. This type of headphone comes with a transmitter that attaches to the audio output and sends the audio signal to the phones. Infrared is not capable of carrying the full audio spectrum, however, so this type of headphone is better suited for TV than for music.

A better choice for music would be a set of UHF headphones. Major manufacturers like Sennheiser and Sony have several models to choose from. The range is usually up to 300 feet, and the frequency range is flat from 20Hz to 20kHz. These phones also use a transmitter, so can be used with any device that has an audio output.

The granddaddy of them all, however, is RF wireless headphones. These can cost up to ten times more than UHF phones, although there are still a few budget models available. If you are serious about your music these are the phones to get. The best models feature digital radio transmission, a range of up to 150 feet (even through walls and ceilings), and a sound quality that, in some cases, surpasses that of wired headphones.

RF wireless headphones are available from manufacturers like AKG, Sennheiser, Beyer, and Grado.

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