Bluetooth headphones or adapter and wired headphones?
Aug 13, 2019 at 11:26 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Aug 10, 2019
New York, NY
Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I’ve been out of the quality audio game for a while and I’m wondering what folks think is the best route to take. (Remember Super Audio CDs? That’s the last time I bought nice equipment)

Budget: $250 (+\-)
Source: iPhone 8 streaming (the lack of a 3.5mm output is making my choice more complicated).
Music: rock, industrial, some pop, stuff like Siouxsie and the Banshees
Location: at home, on the noisy commute, and at work

I’m wondering if I should be looking into a Bluetooth headphone to get more bang for my buck or if I should be looking at a lightning connector DAC or Bluetooth adapter and a wired headphone. Don’t necessarily need ANC, I like some ambient noise so I can be aware of my surroundings, but closed is important. I can’t hear a thing from my Grado sr60s on the subway (also the Apple lightning adapter I’m sure lowers the quality). I have those awful Cowin E7s and I can at least listen to podcasts on the train with those (ANC turned off). I lose earbud type headphones so those are out.

Bluetooth Headphones under consideration: Beoplay H4, Sennheiser Momentum 2, ATH-M50xBT

Not really a fan of Beats, and don’t think I need the ANC on the Sony 1000x or the Bose QuietComfort.

If I go wired headphone and adapter my budget is still $250 And I’ve seen the FiiO i1, but don’t really know if that paired with a $200 headphone would be good, or if I should just commit to Bluetooth since that is the way technology is going at this point. I’m unlikely to switch to another phone and don’t want to buy a DAP.

What are your thoughts, are there any other models or paths I should consider?

Aug 14, 2019 at 3:28 AM Post #2 of 2
If you're likely to be sticking with phones as your portable player in the long term, I would go down the bluetooth/wireless route.
The convenience of not having any cables or adapters to worry about will give you the best user-experience which translates directly as being the 'best bang for buck' in most cases.
Something like the FiiO i1 + wired headphone will definitely result in a more cumbersome user experience.
Bluetooth codecs have reached a point where most people can't tell the difference between a wireless/bluetooth sound, and a wired one - the headphone you chose makes a much bigger difference in the end.

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