Today, cable headphones are becoming obsolete, with many users preferring to opt with the convenience of wireless headphones.
Although wireless headphones are convenient, some people worry about potential safety risks.
So what do the experts say? Are wireless earbuds safe, or can they cause harm to your body?
Keep reading for a guide that’ll help shed some light on one of the biggest tech questions.
What Are Wireless Headphones?
Wireless headphones are what they sound like: headphones that don’t require a cable or wire to play audio. Manufacturers created the first wireless headphone in the mid-2000s, and since then, these headphones have grown in popularity.
Wireless headphones use infrared or radio signals in order to transmit data from the headphone and the device it’s connected to. This transfer uses low power, which allows the device to pass the compressed digital audio signal to your phone. Most modern wireless headphones rely on Bluetooth technology.
Today, they are so popular that Apple no longer includes a headphone jack on many of their devices. This is because the company expects users to have their wireless headphones, Apple Airpods.
Aside from Apple, many other companies also offer wireless headphones. On sites such as Amazon, you can find a quality pair for less than $30. Some offer features such as noise cancellation, wireless charging cases, and resistance to water, sweat, and other liquids.
Sometimes, wireless headphones can have problems connecting. If you’re having issues, check out this guide to help you figure out why my AirPods are not connecting.
Why Are They Popular?
Now that you understand how wireless headphones work, you might be wondering why they’re so popular. What’s wrong with traditional headphones?
The biggest benefit of using wireless headphones is convenience. As they don’t require a cable or chord to play audio, you can do a number of tasks while using them.
If you enjoy working out, a pair of wireless headphones could be a great purchase. They won’t get in your way while on the treadmill. They can allow you to focus while lifting weights without needing to worry about the cable getting tangled.
Aside from playing music, they also let you hear all the audio on your phone. This means that if you have to make a phone call, you can do so hands-free. Cook, clean, or send an email, all without needing to worry about holding your phone up to your ear.
One group of people that may not be huge fans of wireless headphones are audiophiles. This has nothing to do with health and is instead on account of the lower audio quality that often goes along with wireless headphones. The difference may not be big enough for a casual user to notice, but a music junkie can tell.
Are Wireless Earbuds Safe?
Around 2016, more people began buying wireless headphones than their traditional wired counterparts. No one wants to think that the products they’re using are unsafe, but what does the science say?
Bluetooth relies on radiation. Although this can alarm some people, it’s in a low-emission form, so most people aren’t concerned with it. After all, most people have microwaves in their homes, ride airplanes, and get MRI scans and X-Rays when they need to.
Yet the concern is that wireless headphones transmit the radiation through your head. If you use headphones that you put inside your ear, the earbuds are next to your brain. Over-ear headphones are farther away, but they’re also on either side of your skull.
Although some people have experienced headaches and other mild symptoms after using wireless headphones, the data is inconclusive. However, experts understand that radio frequencies are carcinogenic to people.
Most experts don’t believe that manufacturers are harming customers. Instead, they argue that companies need to be more transparent about what their products could be doing. They also want to see stricter guidelines implemented by different federal agencies.
What Does the Data Mean?
So if wireless earbuds may have negative health effects but experts need to do more research, how should people respond?
It can be tempting to become fearful of all Bluetooth products. If they rely on electromagnetic waves, which are harmful, they must be bad. There are many companies that take advantage of these sentiments, selling products that claim to cleanse and heal your body from electromagnetic waves.
Yet these products are often useless, and the fear that goes along with Bluetooth is often overhyped. Many experts also don’t believe that wireless earbuds are that harmful. Bluetooth radiation is a form of non-ionized radiation, which means that it’s not powerful enough to cause tumors or alter your DNA.
One thing that’s for certain with any type of headphones is that you can damage your hearing when you listen to them too loudly. Today, teens suffer hearing damage at a rate 30% higher than 20 years ago. When you’re using earbuds, keep the sound levels low enough.
Instead of using any pair of headphones, wireless or otherwise, consider playing music off of a speaker. You can still damage your ears if you play audio too loudly, but it won’t be next to your ears.
Are Earbuds Safe? We Need More Research
Wireless headphones take convenience to the next level, but some believe that they can cause harm to people. As this guide explains, the question of “Are wireless earbuds safe?” requires more research to have a conclusive answer.
How would you respond if someone asked you how safe are wireless headphones? Let us know!
If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts for more tech-related guides and tips.