RF, IF, and Bluetooth Headphones: What’s the Difference?

Wireless headphones dominated the market since it launched. But, did you know that there are different types of wireless headphones? Find out below!

A cinema wireless headphone is a device that you can connect to your home theater system to fully immerses yourself in the movie. The sound it produces is crisper and clearer rather than wearing none. If you love watching action flicks, a cinema wireless headphone will certainly enhance your movie experience.

Though wired headphones are still available in the market, their wireless version became more popular over the years. Many prefer the convenience a wireless headphone offers. For instance, you no longer have to detangle wires, which often happen with the former.

Wireless headphones have three categories; radio frequency (RF), infrared frequency (IF), and Bluetooth. If you are looking for the best cinema headphones in the market today, one factor you need to consider is the type of wireless headphones.

What is a Radio-Frequency Headphone? 

Radio-frequency or RF headphones transmit sound using a stereo frequency modulation system. The sound comes from the audio source to the headphones. The electromagnetic signals range from 3k HZ to 300 GHz.

An RF headphone pretty much works like having a mini radio station, wherein the headphones can pick up the audio from the source.

This type of wireless headphone comes with an RF transmitter and requires an RCA audio cable, a 3.5 mm RCA adapter cable to connect with the cinema system.

RF Pros

  • RF headphones can be used in different rooms since the signal can’t be blocked by walls or objects
  • Allows you to use an unlimited number of headphones while using one transmitter
  • Has a signal range of 100 meters and above
  • Wider compatibility
  • Easy to set up
  • Perfect for silent disco and group audio experience

RF Cons

  • Interference may happen
  • RF headphones may produce statics
  • Has lower bass capabilities

What is an Infrared Headphone? 

Infrared headphones (IF) must be within the line of sight of the transmitter to work. It receives sounds from the cinema system through light-emitting diodes. The diodes utilize a focused beam of light, which connects the device to the sound source.

IF Pros

  • Zero interference
  • Has sound quality that resembles high-end wired headphones
  • It creates more privacy since it offers only a single connection

IF Cons

  • A clear line of sight is required
  • The headphone can’t connect or transmit signals through walls or any blockage
  • Has a shorter range (10 meters)

What is a Bluetooth Headphone?

Bluetooth headphone is the most popular open wireless technology. It is used not only in headphones but also in cellular devices, laptops, and many more.

Bluetooth utilizes a spread spectrum. It continuously transfers signals from a paired transmitter. The frequency range of BT headphones ranges from 2.402 to 2.480GHz. Likewise, it can randomly hop between frequencies to prevent interferences.

Bluetooth Pros

  • High level of connectivity and compatibility
  • Limited interference
  • Low power consumption
  • Secured frequency
  • Ease of connection

Bluetooth Cons

  • Latency problem
  • Limited range (10 meters)
  • Weak battery life

In terms of availability and accessibility, Bluetooth headphone tops the list. If your goal is efficiency, RF headphone works best.

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