I had avoided going wireless with earbuds because, frankly, setting it up overwhelmed me. But between the plugged-in earbud cord regularly getting stuck on something I was working with or walking by and improvements in wireless options, I made the switch. I am happy I did.
My first pair of wireless earbuds were from Costco, and while they were a part of my journey and I still use them some, they are not my favorite. My best wireless earbuds are made by Coulax, and I got them through amazon.com. There are pros and cons to going wireless with your earbuds.
- Learning how to press all the buttons in the right order for initial set-up. I have now done this with a few different earbuds or other wireless devices, and in spite of supposedly simple instructions, I feel they all got connected accidentally. Still, I have been able to connect newer earbuds more quickly, so I must have at least learned something intuitively. I must conclude, therefore, that anyone who is willing to press the various (okay, three) button in enough different combinations of sequence and length of time held down will eventually get their wireless earbuds connected.
- Connecting and disconnecting wireless earbuds from the device. I learned that this usually needs to be done if I want to switch to using plug-in earbuds, which are what I use to listen to my bedtime stories. The first time my plug-in earbuds didn’t work, I wondered if the process of connecting wireless ones had messed up things, because I am technically challenged. Now, I have learned that the easiest thing to do is turn off the bluetooth on the device. As for reconnecting the wireless earbuds, once the bluetooth is turned back on, a quick touch to a certain earbud button usually does the trick…
- Liking to have more than once pair, so that there is a back up when one of them runs out of juice. I have not done careful study, but it seems like this might not end up being comparatively expensive. Without the length of cord always getting yanked on or stressed at plug-in points, the wireless ones seem to be lasting quite well.
- Needing to recharge wireless earbuds. But, as noted above, one additional pair helps deal with that. However, there is the added motion of needing to plug them in for charging and finding a convenient place to regularly do that.
- Needing to adjust which phone speaker-output to use if a phone call comes in while listening to something else. It still causes me a bit of stress when the phone rings and a menu of speaker options shows up at the same time. I am getting faster at making a good choice. Why the phone call can’t be automatically routed through the wireless earbuds like it is through the plugged in ones is beyond me.
- Finding a design that stays in or on the ear well, since if they fall out, they will not be stopped by the cord plugged into the device. Some of this is dealt with by choosing the best earbud piece (all the ones I have gotten come with a few sizes to choose from), plus making sure to position the extra little stabilizer. Most of the wireless earbuds I have seen have such a stabilizer, to catch lightly and comfortably inside the ear swirls. Still, my favorite when I am most active, including housework, gardening, or running, is the Coulax over the ear design. I got it for my husband, too, and it is working well for both of us.
- Not having to work around the cord connecting the earbuds to the device. Happily, things like catching the cord with my arms while running, having it loop on objects as I walk by in the house, or catching it on the shovel while gardening do NOT happen with wireless earbuds.
- Not needing to have the device on your person or even right next to you all the time. I can set my device, such as my phone or iPad, in a central location and move all around without adjusting anything. There are volume controls on my wireless earbuds, which can be helpful. Besides not dealing with the longer cord, it is nice no to have to worry about having the right pocket or having the discomfort of the device pushing against me somewhere.
- Having more free range of motion with my head. I was surprised by this result. I didn’t realize how much the attached, plugged-in earbuds were keeping me stiff in an effort to avoid the wrong motion.
It looks like the cons outweigh the pros, but in reality the pros have a much greater impact on my satisfaction. I still use the plugged in earbuds for times when I am sitting still and not using my arms much (I am wireless for sewing), but like some many useful technologies, I wonder how I ever put up with not having them “when I need them!”