Separate wireless (bluetooth) adapter for wired headphones?
Jul 24, 2009 at 11:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7


New Head-Fier
Jul 24, 2009
A few months back, I was looking for wireless headphones with the following requirements: decently priced, decent sounding, behind-the-neck, and closed. I could not find a decent wireless pair with those specifications, and I had read the wireless (bluetooth) headphones have notably worse sound quality, so I opted for a wired pair (the Sennheiser PMX 200's).

While I'm very happy with these headphones, I can not help but think about how convenient it would be to optionally use them wireless. Is there a portable (obviously) wired headphone adapter (or some general device that adapts 3.5mm audio cables) that could take an input audio stream (through male 3.5mm audio) and transmit that audio wirelessly (probably through bluetooth) to another device (which itself has a female 3.5mm port)?

If this is hard to picture, my ideal situation would be such that I could (1) attach one end to an MP3 player, (2) have this end transmit the audio signal wirelessly, (3) have the other end receive this audio signal and output the signal through something which headphones could attach to (of course, when I say "audio signal", it is actually in the bluetooth format).

So something like this:

MP3-Player ---3.5mm-wire---> wireless-audio-transmitter ~~~wireless-signal~~~> wireless-audio-receiver ---3.5mm-female-port---> headphones

To make this even more complicated, I would require that both ends of this device are rechargeable (I don't want to deal with constantly replacing batteries).

Perhaps this is too far fetched, but if anyone knows of anything (portable) that could accomplish this, please let me know in this thread.
Jul 26, 2009 at 2:45 PM Post #3 of 7
Thanks so much. I found the transmitter for $22 on ebay, but I'm still looking for a cheaper seller for the receiver.

EDIT: Just noticed that the transmitter actually takes batteries. I'll have to find a different solution for this, since I really don't want to deal with batteries.
Dec 13, 2009 at 8:13 PM Post #6 of 7
Sorry for not updating this thread earlier. I ended up buying the Xterasys transmitter/receiver.

It's not a bad device, but it degrades the sound quality--especially the bass (Though, I must admit I am a 320kbps addict). On the other hand, I have not tried any bluetooth headphones (so I can't tell you if the quality is comparable).

For inside use, it is also pretty limited. You generally want to have line-of-sight (perhaps only a few obstructions) for it to work well, and absolutely no movement. Sometimes, even with line-of-sight, it will just start randomly cutting out, and the orientation of the device can also greatly affect performance (I'm tempted to open it up and see what I can do to improve it). The frequency of these cut-outs (or, if they even occur at all) has a positive relationship to your distance from the device (as distance increases, frequency of cut-outs increases.

But it has many redeeming features:
- very impressive battery life
- USB and wall charger
- Both units can also be operated while charging
- Volume adjustment buttons, Mute button, and Play/Pause button (Play/Pause functionality works if your phone supports a certain, popular bluetooth protocol ... forget what the protocol called) on the receiver.
- standard bluetooth protocol allows it to interface with many devices. For instance:
- I used the receiver to hook up my brother's cellphone output to his car's sound-system
- The PS3 recognizes the receiver. I haven't tried the transmitter
- I am positive it interfaces with MANY other devices
- in general, it's just a neat tool to add to your odd-but-useful-in-unexpected-situations, modular electronics collection
For these reasons, I did not return it. I haven't actually tried to use it for jogging, though, as the sound-quality trade off is just not worth it (to me). While it is sensitive to movement at the typical range in which you'd use it inside (several meters), I am not sure if this is the case for the typical receiver-transmitter proximity one would expect in jogging.

If anyone wants me to test this for jogging, please (1) PM me AND (2) make a post in this thread, and I will get back to you (and this thread) as soon as I can.

EDIT: A downside to the device, in addition to the sound quality degredation, is that one must enable both devices manually on each use (starting one does not prompt the other one to turn on). I understand that such a feature would require a "lower-power" state so the device could listen for connection requests from the other device (in order to avoid draining the battery significantly), but the ramifications of its inclusion would make it a much more useful device.

The closest thing that one can do emulate such a feature is to keep both devices on and connected all of the time (and, knowing Li-Ion batteries, this will surely degrade their capacity over time). One might think that they can just keep one of the devices (transmitter or receiver) on all of the time, and connect the other when needed, but this is not the case: either device, when on and not connected to something, will encounter a time-out after 5 or so minutes and shut off even if that device is plugged into the wall-outlet/usb-charger.

Just thought I'd make known these details before anyone goes ahead and buys the device. It's still a great device, but--if there's one thing I've learned from this device--high-quality audio makes the hassle of wires seem insignificant (at least, from my point of view, that is).

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