If you spend any time with headphones — at all — you realize that there are several major weaknesses with the whole enterprise. One? Headphones are hell on your coiffure. Two? At some point, you’re gonna have a tragic accident with all the wire.
For me, #2 has killed two laptops. Fine, setting down extremely large cups of coffee next to my laptop is probably not the best idea, but given that getting anything done on the one is pretty much impossible without the other, I’m stuck. Which means I am not a fan of wire. Wires suck.
To date, however, there really hasn’t been a viable alternative — wireless solutions seem, at best, a work-in-progress.
But that said, the difference between wired and wireless … well, let’s just say that today is not 2010. We’ve come a long way. And if I were a betting man, I’d wager that this is one difference that will not have legs. Not long-term. Wireless is the future, Nostradamus, it’s getting time to get on board the crazy train of tech — because next stop is the Dyson Sphere of Eternal Sunshine! W00t! W00t!
Pendulumic is one of the very few brands working diligently in this space. Their Stance S1 ($198 on Amazon) has been out for a few years now and has earned wide praise for its sound quality and it’s comfort. An over-ear headphone built around a 40mm driver, the S1 is driven by a 30 hour battery (which you can optionally augment with AAA batteries), and provides Bluetooth 4.0 support as well as the aptX Bluetooth codec.
The new Tach T1 ($249), an on-ear version, also sports a 40mm driver, and supports a 25 hour battery life (which you can optionally augment with AAA batteries), and adds Bluetooth 4.2 support and low-latency aptX. Perhaps most interestingly, you can get your T1 with an optional transmitter, the BT1, so that you can share with another T1 user.
This is interesting — most Bluetooth headphones are point-to-point, that is, one user at a time. With the new transmitter (which bumps the cost to $289 when the headphone and transmitter are purchased together), both of my kids can go wire-free on the same iPod at the same time without a fight (well, at least not a fight over if they can listen — there’s still the opportunity to fight over what to listen to).
I mean, if I was buying them these. Which I’m not because they’re hell on gear because they’re 9 and they still have yet to unearth the last set of headphones that went into their “playroom”.