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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 :

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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?

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

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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
up vote 1 down vote accepted

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.

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Will accept this as answer until a better one comes along. – Pacerier Oct 31 '14 at 21:12

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.

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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, 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

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