True Wireless Headphones – What Are They?

what are True Wireless Headphones

With the launch of the second gen Apple Airpods in March 2019 and the increasing number of affordable alternatives in the market, true wireless headphones looks set to stay. But what exactly is true wireless? And how is it an improvement on wireless? Read on to explore how this tech works…

True Wireless: A Short History

When Apple Airpods launched in December 2016, there was uproar. Now we can’t imagine a time without true wireless, but as arguably the first mainstream example of this tech Airpod headphones were a game changer. Albeit one subject to contant memes (I’d definitely already lost them before buying them…)

The debate centered around the utter lack of wires involved. Wireless headphones have been around for a long time; since 1958, when Koss brought out the stereophone SP/3 series (which we would love to get our hands on) headphones have been evolving towards wireless tech.

By the 1980s this had become reality. Overear headphones using wireless transmitters meant that a lucky few could go ‘wireless’, and some even had radio’s built in!

Overear headphones
1976 [Sears] Wishbook Page Headphone Radios by Todd Franklin,

It wasn’t until the invention of Bluetooth in 1994 that wireless headphones became day-to-day wear. This allowed people to cut the cord between their device and the headphones, making tasks such as listening to music whilst exercising that little bit easier. But the lack of connection to a media device doesn’t mean that the headphones had no wires. Indeed, they were often connected between the airbuds.

Then, in 2015, a Japanese company named Onkyo demonstrated the first example of ‘true wireless’.

Listening In Mono – Why You Should Make The Change With True Wireless

So, What Exactly Is True Wireless?

True Wireless is exactly as it sounds – there are no wires connecting your headphones and media device, and also no wires between the earbuds. However, it isn’t always that simple; some non-wired earbuds aren’t considered ‘true’ wireless, because of the tech in them.

The more advanced tech inside the earbuds than regular wireless headphones includes biometric monitoring and active noise cancellation technology. Some even automatically stop music playing when you remove the earbud! All of this is connected to the advancement of the Internet of Things and making people’s lives smarter – but that’s a topic for another day…

At TaoTronics we are ahead of the true wireless game – check out our amazing range of wireless and true wireless headphones here!

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Rebecca Lee has a penchant for writing about all things audio-related for TaoTronics. Her editorial endeavors include testing out the latest headphones to write in-depth product reviews that benefit our readers.

5 Replies to “True Wireless Headphones – What Are They?

  1. It is really a great and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. My wife and I have very different hearing and our TV is brilliant but we could not get a sound setting that suited us both.

    So I bought a TaoTronics TT BA09 Pro and fitted it as a Transmitter to my TV.

    I purchased two small BT 5.0 receivers and while the iPhone earphones give a great sound the sound is not in Synch with the tv programme. After reading I learned that my TT BA09 is perfect my receivers tho BT 5 did not have the codecs to lip synch or to kill background sounds.

    I like the look of the Apple ear pods but as a 77 year old the price seems crazy. So I am looking for the right EarPods from You. I like the look of your EarPods – I will need 2 and we would like to be able to use them for iPhone calls and music? Any suggestion.


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