Battle of the headphones

Wireless vs wired

With so many different headphones to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Read on for our tips on choosing the right ones for you.

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Wireless: to be or not to be?

You might be surprised that wired and wireless headphones start at similar prices these days. So how much you spend is less about wires and more about what else the headphones can do for you. We’ve looked at some of the options out there, to give you a head start.

So what is there to think about?

Get the headphones that fit your life

Working out which headphones are right for you comes down to what you want to use them for – and how long you need them to play for. Most headphones will let you take calls and control your music without touching your phone. But some wireless headphones will help you do a whole lot more. If you’re active, choose wireless headphones designed specifically for sports. If music’s your thing, go for a set that put a focus on sound quality. And if you’re always busy and juggling tasks, why not get headphones that let you talk to your personal assistant without even lifting a finger?

Get a move on

Take an important call when you’re out running. Switch your soundtrack when you’re pumping iron. Turn down the volume to really focus on your Downward Dog. If you want to use your phone while working out, wireless headphones will help you up the intensity. You can to do things like take calls and control your music without touching your phone. And most importantly, there are no distracting wires. Beats Powerbeats3 are resistant to sweat and water, so they’re ideal for your toughest workouts. They even have ear hooks to keep them in place, so you don’t need to worry about them falling out. And you can use RemoteTalk to skip songs, turn up the volume or activate Siri.

Take a load off

If you just want to kick back and relax with your phone or tablet, wired headphones could work as well as wireless. Watch a film on a plane without disturbing other passengers. Binge on box sets in the comfort of your own sofa. Take calls hands free if you’re sitting at your desk. And you don’t need to worry about battery – your wired headphones will keep going just as long as your device will. If you decide to go wired, the JBL T290 headphones have a flat cable so you don’t have to deal with tangling. And you can also take calls and control your music without touching your phone. So you can drift out of your morning commute and into the recording studio, with powerful JBL PureBass sound.

Get the power you need

Some wireless headphones have a longer battery life than others. So have a think about what you’ll use yours for. Want to turn a train journey from wasted hours to time well spent? Choose JBL Duet Mini headphones for up to eight hours of music and movies – and you’ll even get a handy carrying pouch to keep them safe. Need some tunes to keep you going on a long run? Get Beats Powerbeats3 for up to 12 hours’ power. Or if you want to make the most of your day, try Apple AirPods. You can ask Siri questions or make calls – the microphone even filters out background noise. Play or pause your music by popping them in or out of your ears. And the portable case holds 24 hours’ charge, so you won’t get caught out.

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Products featured in this article

Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones

Comfortable, sweat resistant and perfect for working out. Find out more about Beats Powerbeats3.

JBL T290 Headphones

Choose wired headphones with a flat cable, for no tangling. Find out more about the JBL T290 Headphones.

JBL Duet Mini Wireless In-ear Headphones

Get up to eight hours of battery life, plus a handy carrying pouch. Find out more about JBL Duet Mini headphones.

Apple AirPods

Make calls, listen to music and talk to Siri. Find out more about Apple AirPods.