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Jason
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1 hour ago, Jason said:

 

You don't fly much, do you?

 

Once every 4-6 weeks. My headphones last 15+ hours on a single charge. They charge with a USB cord. I’m really not understanding what problem you guys seem to be having. What about flying with wireless headphones is bad?

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1 hour ago, sblfilms said:

Once every 4-6 weeks. My headphones last 15+ hours on a single charge. They charge with a USB cord. I’m really not understanding what problem you guys seem to be having. What about flying with wireless headphones is bad?

I actually like my airpods a lot, but if I had to venture a guess.

 

Quality wireless headsets probably are costlier than their wired counterparts (I don't have any proof for this, its just a guess)

Wireless can have latency when watching shows or movies for long periods of time

Some devices cannot use wireless (see Switch)

You don't have to worry about batteries or battery life. Its plug and play.

Depending on the connection to charge you could be carrying an extra cable anyways just to charge it.

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8 hours ago, sblfilms said:

 

The only headphones I have are wireless and I just leave them in the charger when not in use. What sucks about that?

 

There are enough things my life I have to keep track of charging. Headphones are the sort of thing I stick in my bag/back pocket and pull out when I need/want them. It's cool if your lifestyle affords always being around chargers, but not all of us live that way. I have a pair in my go bag, my suitcase, and car console. It's convenient.

 

It should always be an option to go wireless with headphones, not a requirement. And their crappy adapter that takes up the charging cord slot isn't the answer, either. All that does is create more wires and junk to carry around.

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You don’t have to “always be around chargers” when the devices have battery life that meets or exceeds the average number of waking hours for an adult in a day. Many wireless headphones have runtimes of over 30 hours. There also things like AirPods (which I still can’t bring myself to buy) that have 5 hours of battery life but have a tiny case that acts as the charger for them as well.

 

So I guess I’m even more confused now because I don’t know what kind of lifestyle one must live where it is cumbersome to put your devices on their chargers at night. But if you do, I suppose that could be inconvenient. 

 

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What I don't like about wireless headphones has nothing to do with charging them or audio quality or anything else. I love my Bose QC2 when I fly. They're great and being wireless an almost unequivocal good (especially when I can just plug them in).

 

What I don't like and worry about is that we're taking an audio standard that was universal and open and without restrictions and we're replacing it with a standard that is being built on with proprietary technologies and infused with new restrictions. Look at speakers. For a very long time speakers only had a universal jack(s) that accepted whatever you plugged into them. When they went wireless, first they were bluetooth and bluetooth kinda sucked, but early bluetooth was at least mostly universal. Still, even then there were questions of what bluetooth profiles a device supported and what kind of audio could be transmitted.

 

Then speakers became more and more locked down. With smart speakers you're increasingly being locked into specific services for music and for voice control. Audio playback that used to be entirely source agnostic has become service and ecosystem dependent. If you want the best experience with your Homepod, you better use Apple Music. If you want the best experience with your Echo, you better use Amazon music. If you want to control them, you better be comfortable with their respective voice assistants. Sure, most of these still have a universal bluetooth connection, and some even have a wired port, but it's not the best way to use those devices, and the open standard is always treated as a second class citizen.

 

Now we're seeing headphones go that direction, and if you don't expect them to, you're being naive. Now we're seeing Apple and Google and Samsung build their proprietary tech on top of bluetooth. Want the best experience with your headphones? You better hope your headphone vendor works with your phone vendor (or even better, is your phone vendor). In a few years when that W1 chip grows up and is running a custom version of iOS that allows those headphones to be more and more independent from your phone, you better be getting your music and your podcasts from Apple and you best not ever switch platforms. The best experiences are becoming more and more walled in, and if you like living in those walls it'll all be fine, in fact, the experience will be better than it ever has been, but you're still locked in. Even more, those devices that used to last effectively forever are having their lifespan determined by an ever evolving and depreciating set of proprietary standards.

 

Sorry for the rant. Also, screw Nintendo for not supporting Bluetooth on the switch.

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Good rant, no need to apologize. I do hope to see development of open standards that work mostly the same as the proprietary ones. In the cinema realm, I’ve been a big proponent of the studios adopting OpenMDA as the standard for immersive audio. OpenMDA tracks can be ported to Atmos automatically, while the reverse is not true. Anybody can make an OpenMDA encoder/decoder without licensing fees; not true for Atmos.

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So I'm still not sold on being stuck with wireless only, but I ordered something pretty cool last month that finally came yesterday (I had to order it on AliExpress so I had to wait for it to come from China). Shure makes the earpieces on their IEMs detachable so you can swap the cable if it starts to go bad. It turns out the connector is a standard one and that you can buy a Bluetooth-enabled cable for them. Only got to use it a bit last night so far but it seems to work fine. The only complaint so far is that they seem to have learned from Shure on making overly-long cables. But the way they have the battery and controls on opposite sides provides some nice counterbalance compared to how a lot of these have everything on just one side.

 

It's this (fourth option, that's just the cable). I didn't do a ton of research on brands or specific models but when looking at similar devices on Amazon I saw a couple of reviews saying to go with Tennmak.

 

Tennmak-MMCX-Bluetooth-4-1-Wireless-Detc

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While I 100% agree with your rant... I also recently got some AirPods and holy shit, they are a game changer.

 

Remove all of the friction from headphone listening. Moves it into a realm of convenience that makes a a way bigger difference than even I was expecting.

 

Anyway, the problem is if you wait around for universal standard to improve, you'll be waiting a long time. individual companies looking for a competitive edge will always drive technology way faster than people playing nice.

 

At least AirPods also work as standard Bluetooth headphones. The HomePod is more problematic to me. You can't connect any non-apple device to it. It's 100% locked down.

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