Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are many different types of devices that emit sounds directly to the ear, ranging from the wired headphones often used by audiophiles —I presume— to the wireless earbuds often used by those who favor convenience and portability :

image of a wired headphone and a set of wireless earbuds

Is it possible for the quality of sound produced by wireless earbuds to match that produced by wired headphones?

In the current state of hardware-/-software-/-networking technology, are there any inherent limitations —e.g. physical size, data signals, "information transfer" protocols— to the sound quality a wireless earbud could produce?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Ivo Flipse Aug 8 '11 at 11:51

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
I don't know but I doubt it... everything is digital nowadays, it's not so lossy like analog. –  Mehrdad Aug 8 '11 at 7:22

2 Answers 2

Some wireless headphones (which is what I assume you're talking about, although many of your pictures are of headsets) use analog transmitters, which are very likely to suffer from audible signal degradatiion. Others use lossless digital transmission.

Digital standards like 'Kleer' allow for lossless transmission of audio to the headphones, so the audio quality should be just as good as ordinary wired headphones (of course, the headphones themselves could vary in quality).

Both types could suffer from interference issues, but for a lossless digital communication, either the sound will be received or not; there will be no actual loss of quality (just loss of signal). Interference for the analog headphones would be perceptible as noise.

share|improve this answer
    
no i'm not talking about headphones. either headsets, or those really tiny ones, the earpiece –  Pacerier Aug 8 '11 at 7:51
    
If you're talking about the ones sold at spyfield.com/en/product.asp, then those do appear to use analog transmitters (hence lossy). I don't know whether the quality of the driver is enough to expose flaws from the transmission; anyway, they're not really designed for music - it takes a lot less bandwidth for voice. –  user55325 Aug 8 '11 at 8:02

The earpieces you linked to are Bluetooth so they are virtually all lossy, but to be more specific, they are encoding audio for digital transport at less than 44.1 kHz/16 bit CD quality.

Continuously variable slope delta modulation (CVSD or CVSDM) is common in voice transfer for Bluetooth headsets. From Wikipedia: 64 kbit/s CVSD is one of the options to encode voice signals in telephony-related Bluetooth service profiles, e.g. between mobile phones and wireless headsets. The other options are PCM with logarithmic a-law or μ-law quantization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CVSD

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.