Of course for professional audio BT isn’t going to work. The primary focus of BT are people that just listen to music while going around, walking, working, cooking, etc. It’s nice not to have to be attached to a cable (or any adapters/ports), and the sound quality doesn’t matter very much.
Actually for professional audio a phone is not going to work. I’m not talking about professional audio (a different topic entirely). I referring to accurate audio for those that want to hear what was actually recorded without artifacts, veiling, or colorizing. When I’m working-out I want to hear good audio, I go wired. You can do what ever pleases you, no problem. I suppose for some BT is OK. But for people that want better…it’s available. We have choices. I do uses BT noise cancelling headphones when I’m flying, that’s it, and for me in this application, with noise cancelling, they are great.
What youre saying is all correct, but the crowd demanding such quality is nothing more than a niche. Youre a niche. Its really the same way many devices dont have Gigabit LAN ports anymore, because WiFi is good for the vast majority of users.
Quality also depends a lot on the DAC itself. If you use an analog headphone, then the quality will depend on the device youre playing it from. Meanwhile, with BT/Lightning/USB-C, you can get a DAC thats independent from the device. You like iOS? No problem. You like BlackBerry? No problem. From my experience, I hear no difference between my iPhone 6S and Logitech BT Adapter attached to the same speaker. I also tried the audio experience on the last-gen Honda Civic and Ford Focus, they support wired and BT. No difference.
Keep in mind that BT quality has improved quite significantly over the last few years. One notable improvement is aptX, which gives CD quality, near-lossless listening experience. You need both ends of the device to support it (the phone and the headset) though. It wont beat expensive wired audio experience anytime soon, but for the vast majority of people, its already more than good enough.
You know, this is where you’re wrong it all depends on what DAC/amp you use, and trust me, if you use the wrong one it can sound worse than 20 years old magnetic tape recording stored in bad conditions. I mean really, tis is the part that makes the sound quality. Of course, including them inside does not ensure better quality, but it at least prevents people from buying crap and then complaining. And also the manufacturer has full control over the output quality, except of course the headphones that people use. Also I find it stupid that they claim it “saves space” because it doesn’t. The DAC+amp is still there for the built-in speakers, and the jack itself is replaced by a plastic spacer, lol…
TL;DR the audio quality can be anywhere from 10x worse to 10x better than typical smartphone audio.
What you say suggest to me you need your hearing checked, seriously. Perhaps a loss of highs due to excessive volume. Many listeners are not able to detect subtleties, you might be one of them. In blind listening tests conducted by the AES, a little less than half have problems detecting good audio from lossy audio with a direct connection. Wireless exposes 75% that CAN tell a difference using the exact same source. I’m blessed with acute hearing that allows me to make judgements in the recording studio that you might have problems with. No problem, you are not an Audio Engineer. All of the equipment you site is low budget audio I would not consider for use, and that’s OK. You kind of get what you pay for. Like comparing an Eve computer to a Chuwi. My DAC by itself cost $1000 which is moderate. My BT speaker cost $600 and it is pure crap when compared to any of my wired speakers. A CD has 10 times less quality than an old fashioned record (look it up). 44Khz 16bit (CD) is crap. High quality digital recordings are much better and available for sale from several websites.
If you want to be an audiophile you have a lot of homework to do. Even cheap wired phones plugged directly into a BT speaker by wire will sound better than ANY aptX hocus pocus, wireless connection. A wire does circles around anything wireless, like your router. My wired router connection is 5 times faster that my wireless connection. Wireless is a convenience for those who cannot run wires or chose not to. That’s it, simple.
One thing I have learned in my long career is if somebody likes what they hear, it is difficult to suggest to them that there is something that sounds better. They are happy with what they have, so why should they spend more on what they will fail to appreciate.
As for being lumped into a niche thanks, the niche is growing, more LP’s are being sold. High quality DAC’s in some phones with wired outputs, an awareness of just how crappy MP3’s and CD’s are. High quality digital audio downloads can exceed CD quality by a factor of 5. And more to come. Exciting times for audio.
Do you really believe comparing car audio in a Focus and Honda is valid to this conversation? Really?
I’m done with this topic…next?
The notch and i would’ve added a extra physical button.
I personally liked the X when I got the chance to experience it. It is nice hardware and implementation. The durability though is a concern. I can see how most of these will end up being in some ugly cases, so perhaps manufacturers could take this into account and release phones that can be used without a case. Otherwise what is the point of making them nice and slick. Also can someone please enlighten me on how wireless charging is more convenient then plugging in a wire? You have to put a phone on cradle and leave it there for a bit, with wire you make a tiny effort to plug the wire in, but then you can continue using you phone more or less. Of course if it could charge in your pocket say when you enter your home it would be whole other story.
You can validate your niche any way you want, but fact is, iPhone has ditched the headphone jack for 2 years now, and they didn’t lose any sales from it. Same is true for HTC and Moto. As you mentioned
Wireless is a convenience for those who cannot run wires or chose not to. That’s it, simple.
And fact is, again, more and more people choose not to. I guess that niche can either a) buy a phone with headphone jack or b) use the adapter, while everyone else has moved on from the relic of wired headset. It was the same transition as WiFi, either find a device made for your niche, or use an adapter. No big deal.
I’m an audio engineer/designer too, and I think bluetooth audio has its place. Even among audio enthusiasts.
That is quite true, even with Bluetooth technology. Disregarding AAC over bluetooth for iPhones (iphones bluetooth is soso), Android phones are actually quite cutting edge now in terms of Bluetooth technology. Apt-X, Apt-X HD (although not many phones support it), and also LDAC - Sony’s bluetooth codec which is supposedly launching with Android Oreo - offers almost triple the bandwidth of Apt-X. And with Bluetooth 4.2, there is a more reliable connection now too.
While I prefer wired (I have many custom IEM’s and headphones to use on the go), I find myself longing for a wireless set (or more realistically, get a bluetooth adapter for my CIEM) for going to work, getting groceries, doing chores, etc. For me, there is a time and place to be critical of what I’m hearing, but with traffic noise and dancing through streets of people, it is not that time. I prefer convenience and if Bluetooth sounds fine then I’ll take it.
Relic? Really? That is late breaking news. You might want to let Shure, Sony, Beyer, AKG, Sennheiser, Koss, and dozens of others know. Not to mention all of the serious listeners that are plugged in and jammin’. I be jammin’ now.
Actually Apple sales dipped as a result of the lack of a headphone jack. Google. I know a couple of guys that switched phones myself. Audio guys.
Enjoy that adapter attached to your phone?!? An add-on to make it work like it used to?
There is a new headphone jack coming out that expands when you plug in, keeping the phone thin. My guess is that Apple use it because of all the complaints about the LACK of a headphone jack. We’ll see.
Man you are missing the point. No one is taking away that it sounds better wired jeez. There are serious listeners and they will get a phone with a dedicated jack and not an adapter but that amount is rapidly diminishing.
to be honest im ok with bluetooth, as a matter of fact many people are and at the rate technology and bluetooth is moving very few people can tell the difference and are not willing to sacrifice commodity for a wire.
Some people still prefer the jack which is why there are tons of phones with it.
I dont know why you bring apple sales into this because it sold the iphone X at an amazing rate. Knowing well ahead that it wasnt going to have the jack.
Ultimately the convenience will take over, as it happens again and again in every aspect of life. BT is finally at this stage of being good enough and painless to the point that once people try it it’s hard to go back. Yes, wired might continue to sound better for some time, but ultimately even many diehards might end up converting. I used to fancy a nice hi-fi setup… till someone gifted me one of those BT setups where you can keep tethering more speakers as needed. Which are so convenient, take way less space and sound just good enough to be able to replace hi-fi setup in daily use.
I don’t see this as something that Apple will implement (except maybe on MacBooks), unless somebody else does it first. If it proves to be a feature that people will actually like, then Apple will “invent it” and spend 10 minutes at their keynote explaining how revolutionary it is.
It is not a niche. And @SoundMix has posted some numbers to back that up. Believe it or not, most people do feel the difference. They just need it to be shown to them, because they’re used to the crap they have and don’t realize it can be better.
They all already know, probably long before I do, and definitely before you do (if ever)
Bluetooth headphones saw double-digit growth with a 42 percent year-over-year increase
With more and more manufacturers removing the headphone jack, dont expect this trendline to change anytime soon.
So I googled, and the results opposes your claim. The iPhone 7 did set a record sales, all without a headphone jack. Of course there are people, like those you mentioned, who ditched the iPhone/HTC/Moto just because they no longer have headphone jacks, but those are just a niche I was talking about. It is obviously a niche as those group, worldwide, dont make even a tiny dent in the sales figures.
Except I, and many of us, actually have. Either we dont hear the difference, or we do, but its just not worth it dealing with the cables. In most cases its the former. As I mentioned earlier, I have tried both BT and wired mode on various sound systems. I dont know if those are something youd call “crap”, but I cant afford anything better than that anyway. To put things into perspective, the vast majority of people dont mind the sound quality of the headset that comes with the device. I think that speaks a lot about how small the niche is.
As @Alexandr_Smirnov mentioned
Ultimately the convenience will take over, as it happens again and again in every aspect of life.
For most people: Who cares if wired sounds 10% better, if I could get 90% of the quality without the cables. That was the same logic behind WiFi, wireless charging, wireless keyboard/mice, and even automatic transmission in cars.
Of course, thats not to say those will completely disappear. As evident today, you can still go out and buy a laptop with Gigabit LAN, a wired keyboard/mice, or a car with manual transmission, but it is obvious that their popularity is on a downward slope. Especially compared to their more convenient counterparts.
This is actually a good point. MacBooks are designed for professional and people who use it for working in professional environment, hence they keep the 3.5mm headphone jack for those applications. Thats simply not the case with the iPhone.
Very good examples
WiFi for example is still slower and less reliable than a wired connection - but it is good enough and super convenient
Automatic transmissions - a great example how convenience drove innovation to the point where once lagging technology is now superior in every aspect including convenience, performance, fuel efficiency and reliability.
I agree that these are the two main reasons, but I would argue that the latter is a more common reason for people to choose Bluetooth. As you said, it’s about convenience.
How are BT earphones/headphones that need to be charged, more convenient than traditional devices that are cheaper, better sounding and don’t require charging?
I’m talking from the smartphone perspective, this isn’t about using BT speakers.
The time required to be plugged in:
BT: 5 minutes every 3 days
Wired headset: Approximately 6 hours a day.
Not to mention wired headset requires you to wrestle with the cables for 5 minutes before you actually start using them. In the grand scheme of things, youll waste more time untangling the cables of a wired pair than it is to charge a wireless one.
For me personally, the biggest issue is that every movement on your body may or may not cause the earpiece to fall off your ear, because the cable might get in the way, plus the phone itself is not as “free” as it is when there is no wire attached.
I charge my BT headphones about once a week, I don’t have to deal with tangling cord of the regular headphones and most importantly when I go to the gym or running or just walking I’m no longer risking pulling out and damaging my phone by accidentally having headphones wire get into moving parts of the body. The last one caused me dropping my phones way too many times…