Wireless TV headphones: Transmission Technologies and Common Transmission Issues
Choosing a wireless TV headphone can be a difficult task. With so many choices, it’s difficult to know what the right headphone for you is. However, with a little education, those choices become much easier to make.
We’ve assembled critical information you need to understand your options for wireless TV headphones. First, you’ll see how different technologies work, followed by a brief look at some frequent transmission issues, so you can decide which headphones will be the best for you.
Transmission Technologies of Wireless TV Headphones
Radio frequency wireless headphones are the most popular wireless headphones out there, since they’re generally very affordable and work over great distances. Radio waves around 900 MHz are used to transmit to the headphones. Using this frequency gives these products a fairly long battery life. Most reviewers notice that while there is great audio fidelity, bass response is often compromised and the signal can be clouded by static from outside sources.
If you’re familiar with Bluetooth, you’ve probably heard of KLEER technology as well. They are both wireless streaming technologies but KLEER was developed to overcome fidelity deficiencies present in Bluetooth devices. KLEER devices transmit at a frequency of 2.4 GHz and convey full CD quality (44.1 KHz at 16 bits). This is a dramatic increase in fidelity over Bluetooth, but that’s not the only area where KLEER excels. These devices typically have longer battery life and are far more resistant to interference.
Infrared wireless headphones use LEDs to transmit the signal from transmitter to headphone. Though you can’t see the light, your headphone can. In fact, without a direct line of sight, the headphone doesn’t work at all. Infrared wireless receives almost no interference but is limited by lines of sight. While they are the cheapest wireless headphones on the market, they also have low fidelity and their usage is limited.
Bluetooth is one of the most famous wireless technologies, frequently employed within cellular phones and tablets. It is perfectly suited for that purpose, though there are fewer suitable Bluetooth wireless television headphones. The technology can create amazing fidelity at close ranges, but this capability is mostly reserved for the most expensive Bluetooth headphones.
Common Transmission Issues
Wireless television headphones transmit in one of two frequency ranges: 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz. 900 MHz is a radio frequency and is better suited to passing through barriers. This gives it a great range, and you should be able to pick up your 900 MHz frequency very well at 50-100 feet away. The downside is that there are many wireless devices sharing this frequency range. The potential for picking up interfering signals is very high.
2.4 GHz experiences similar crowding since this range is home to many wireless devices. Routers and Bluetooth both live in this frequency range. Since higher wavelengths don’t propagate as well, the range of these devices is much lower, decreasing the potential of having your signal interrupted. A higher frequency means greater bandwidth, so these devices have the potential for greater audio fidelity.
For any of these transmission types except infrared, there are several ways to decrease interference. The first is to give transmitters and receivers of any signal plenty of room. Each transmitter should have at least 10 feet of space so that they aren’t overloaded with other signals. Transmitters with several frequencies between which you can switch (either manually or through an automatic tuner function) will also help reduce transmission issues. Finally, fresh batteries or a full charge in your headphones will help them reach their peak performance.
When weighing the various options, it’s important to consider your potential for outside interference, your fidelity requirements, the range you plan on using your headphones at and the structural interference you’ll encounter in your standard listening environment. From these different technologies and transmission frequencies, there is a headphone suited for your individual needs.