For many decades, those of us who like to be able to listen to our music and the sound on our TVs and DVDs without worrying about it disturbing others have become used to having to don a pair of headphones to really be able to get the most from the experience.
But there was always a price to be paid for that level of private aural enjoyment, and that came in the form of having to restrict where we could indulge in our pleasure.
Having to plug our headphones into the output device we were using meant it wasn’t possible to venture more than a few feet from it. This made indulging in our listening pleasures was an activity which often could not be combined with any other activity.
But things are so different now…
It was the birth of the telephone call centre which started the technological innovation impetus which eventually led to the invention of the wireless headset.
The need for the workers in these establishments to be able to multi-task, as well as the desire of many others to be able to have conversations while on the move, provided the clear impetus which has brought about their development.
The first means of transmitting sound wirelessly arrived in the early 1950s, its advent brought about by an acceptance of the need to help viewers clearly hear what was being said, or sung, on a stage, while they were sat in the furthest reaches of a theatre, as well as for the performer’s words to come across as clearly as possible.
Like many other modern inventions which have greatly changed the world, we have the aerospace industry, and ultimately, the NASA space programme to thank for the development of wireless headsets.
After one astronaut was forced to abandon his landing capsule in the middle of an ocean, the Plantronics company devised the first headset which went into space. And seven years later, Neil Armstrong wore a similar - but much refined - device through which he uttered his famous words after setting foot on the surface of the Moon.
You need Bluetooth
This is the name given to the now most widely available technology standard by which data (including sound) can be transmitted over short distances.
Now embraced by more than 19,000 technology companies worldwide, the technological standard was originally set by telecommunications company Ericsson and intended to help mobile phones communicate with computers.
It uses a range of short-wave radio frequencies, across which data is transmitted, to up to seven other devices simultaneously.
One of its main benefits is its comparatively low power use, but the distance over which communication is required partly dictates the amount of power which will be consumed.
This is why the most popular applications have included communication between a mobile phone and a hands-free headset, or for a wireless computer mouse.
Now, however, there are two other types of wireless headphones, which process sounds either via radio frequencies, or through infra-red technology. The former are preferable if you want to listen to sounds over a substantial range, while the latter can only operate if there are no physical obstructions between themselves and the base transmitter.
Why wireless headphones are so useful
Possibly the biggest selling point of these devices is that they can be used to hear sound from a huge variety of sources, and that they enable personalised listening of sounds without the encumberance of wires.
Some models of wireless headphones also incorporate on-board controls by which the user can regulate the sound they hear, and even, with mobile phones, act as an interface through which they can make or receive calls.
Ultimately, the features and capabilities of the wireless headphones you use can greatly depend on the use to which they will be put. You also shouldn’t expect to get the same high quality of sound reproduction with in-ear phones as you can from an on-ear or full size set.
Otherwise, once wireless phones have been set up, they can be used with the source device indefinitely. And one of their greatest benefits, which because of their relatively short history, has yet to be truly put to the test, is that because they don’t need a physical connection with the output device, it is likely that they will last much longer, as their operation won’t be affected by any accidental damage to the jack through which they are connected to the output device.
And once free of these wires and connections, you can more easily find an optimal position for listening to the sounds coming through your headset, which ultimately, can help make you more productive.
This blog has been contributed by http://www.businessdirect.bt.com/