Understanding the Technology Behind How True Wireless Earbuds Work
Whether you love listening to music, consuming content, or talking to people on your phone or other devices, you likely have used a pair of wireless earbuds. In recent years, we have seen technological and design advancements that have brought us true wireless earbuds. In this article, we will look at the technology that makes them possible.
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What Are True Wireless Earbuds?
Wireless earbuds and headphones are devices that connect to other devices without using wires and cables. Apart from the design aesthetics, these devices are convenient because you do not have to deal with wires.
True wireless earbuds do not have any wires connecting the left and right units. This is different from wireless headphones which typically have one cup acting as the receiver and then passing the audio signal to the other using a wire.
The three main ways of transmitting signals to true wireless earbuds are radio waves, infrared, and Bluetooth. Radio waves carry energy and cause magnetic and electric fields in their path to oscillate. The audio signal emitted has an amplitude that modulates the frequency of a carrier wave. Earbuds and headphones can receive the carrier wave that has been modulated in this way and retrieve an audio signal out of it.
Infrared transmissions also use electromagnetic waves that have a different frequency from radio waves. While they work similarly in their sound of transmission, the key difference is that infrared requires a clear line of sight with IR signals easily blocked by objects between the transmitter and receiver.
Bluetooth has become the default transmission option for earbuds as it solves many of the problems associated with radio waves and infrared.
Before we talk about how it works, it is important to understand that Bluetooth is being improved all the time which means there are different versions of it, all with different capabilities. At the moment, the best earbuds such as the AUKEY wireless earbud use Bluetooth 5, which is the minimum you should be aiming for in modern earbuds.
There are also different standards used for different things like mouse and keyboard dongles, but we will focus on how Bluetooth is used in audio transmission for wireless earbuds. Bluetooth works by pairing devices to form a transmission stream.
In most cases, this is a one-way transmission where the transmitting device controls the receiving device. However, there are cases where communication happens the other ways such as when you use earbuds to play the next song or pause the one you are listening to.
Bluetooth transmits digital signals using 79 frequencies between 2.40 and 2.485 GHZ. This frequency can change up to 1600 times per second to avoid interference with other nearby devices.
The Benefits of Bluetooth Audio
Bluetooth has several benefits that make it ubiquitous. First, its ability to switch which frequency it uses helps it avoid interference with other devices. Although it has a limited range, it is not blocked by objects as easily as infrared. Lastly, it can be upgraded to give devices more capabilities.
Wireless earbuds use a combination of design and technology that makes them as good as they are now. Apart from their physical parts, their connections are a marvel many people enjoy without realizing how they work.
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