How do wireless headphones for cell phones work?

How do wireless headphones for cell phones work

by Alex Gustman

Updated: January 14, 2022

With wireless headphones, the signal is transmitted by radio waves, which obviates the need for a wired connection to the phone. This article describes in detail how wireless headphones work, as well as provides the list of available features.

How do wireless headphones work

Wireless headphones are equipped with a Bluetooth wireless connection module which, once paired with the main device, provides signal transmission in both directions. The primary device usually is a cell phone, smartphone, tablet, computer, laptop, or TV.

Once the devices are paired, the sound from the primary device is compressed and transmitted through the established communication channel to the wireless headphones. The headphones process the signal and then broadcast the sound through the speakers. If the wireless headphones are equipped with a microphone, then the transmission of the signal is performed in reverse order.

Wireless headphones are designed for simultaneous signal reception and sending. In receive mode, the headphones stream sound – notifications, music, or the caller’s voice during a call. In transmit mode, the headphones transfer the sound received through the microphone and commands to control the player. Wireless headphones usually have control buttons that allow you to switch audio tracks, pause and stop, switch and rewind the tracks, and, on some models, change the equalizer presets.

wireless headphones

Wireless headphones require power to operate, so all models are equipped with a built-in rechargeable battery. To save the battery power, wireless headphones switch to standby mode after a certain amount of idle time. As soon as a media file starts on your phone or an incoming call comes in, your mobile device sends a signal to search for and reconnect to the wireless headphones.

headphone charging port

Wireless adapters for headphones

Wireless adapters (receivers) are also available on the market. They are a wireless headphone receiver in a housing, but without headphones itself. The headphones themselves are connected with a 3.5mm TRS jack. If using wired headphones with decent sound quality, the receiver will allow you to save some money due to the plug-in headphones. And having a 3.5mm jack will make it easy to swap out defective headphones or for a model with better sound.

Wireless headphones functions

Wireless headphones perform two functions:

  1. Providing communication. Talking over the cellular network or within messengers.
  2. Playing multimedia files. Listening to music, sound from videos or audiobooks and podcasts with control.

These days, most models that appear on the market come with two separate earbuds (TWS – truly Wireless Stereo technology). Each earpiece works individually and comes in a case with an extra battery for recharging when both headsets are not in use. Manufacturers often implement a split function for user convenience. One earbud removed from the case works as a headset for cellular communication, and both earbuds work as a stereo headset for listening to music.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to charge wireless headphones?

The device is charged using a MicroUSB connector (sometimes Type C or other). Some devices can be charged using wireless charging technology. TWS headphones are charged in a specialized case by the built-in battery, which in turn is charged by connecting to the power outlet.

How to connect wireless headphones to my iPhone?

Turn on Bluetooth. When connecting for the first time, hold down the connection button for 3-4 seconds to pair, then connect to the headphones from the list of devices found. The next time you do not need to perform pairing, just turn on the headphones and Bluetooth, the connection will be established automatically.

How to connect two wireless headphones to my device?

Perform pairing and activate each headset in turn, but not all smartphones support this function. For TWS headphones, it is enough to remove both headphones from the case


This article describes in detail how wireless headphones for mobile phones work. Thanks to the Bluetooth connection, such headphones do not need a wired connection, which provides the user with a comfortable and convenient use of the mobile device. Wireless adapters allow you to save on the headphone part and use your existing wired headphones.

If you still have questions about this topic, leave messages in the comments below the article.

More about this

About the author 

Alex Gustman

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}