TECH TRENDS: New headphones – Should I get Bluetooth?

Gail Eddy

Chris convinced me to get a new iPhone last week, so I upgraded to the iPhone 7.  I had heard that Apple had merged the charging jack with the headphone jack but hadn’t realized that would be an issue.  Well it is!  Of course Apple provides a dongle to convert the lightning jack to a jack for the headphones, which can be used as long as you’re not charging.  The problem most people will run into is that protective covers don’t have access to the lightning jack.

With my last iPhone, I was very happy with the protective qualities of the Mophie.  So when I got this new iPhone, I also purchased a Mophie case to protect it and provide additional battery backup. The only outward facing jack is the standard USB jack.  There’s no option here to plug in headphones or a headset.  How would I listen to my music?

New technology – aka Bluetooth Headphones – here we come!

The saleswoman at the AT&T store showed me two Bluetooth connected headphones, but both were very expensive. The one she particularly liked is made by Beats, but at almost $200, it was well out of my price range.  The one she used herself, she described as “okay”, which is not a resounding recommendation!  Those were priced a little over $100.  I was wondering if there aren’t good quality (and highly rated) Bluetooth over-the-ear headphones I could find for under $50?  No matter how much I searched online, the answer was “no”.

I ended up going to our local Best Buy store to see for myself what my options were.  Sometimes it’s just better to hold the box in your hands before deciding what to purchase.  The salesman agreed with my extensive online research; I wouldn’t be able to get a decent set of headphones for under $50.  He pointed me towards a couple of less expensive headphones that had received good reviews.  One, at $65, was reviewed well, but it had ear-buds and was not what I wanted.

Next, he showed me a pair of Sony headphones.  I’m partial to the Sony brand, so I was (as the Ferenghi say) “all ears”. I ended up purchasing the Sony MDR-ZX220BT.   At $80, these weren’t too far off from my budget.  The headphones are actually “ON” the ear and not “Over-The-Ear”, but I’m very happy with the sound quality.  They were easy to pair with my iPhone and laptop too.

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.