How to make your wired headphones wireless and Bluetooth-capable
Want to turn your old wireless headphones into wireless Bluetooth receivers? Put down the scissors — there’s a better way.
Updated February 2017: Added new Bluetooth receivers and removed comments about iPhone 7 launch.
Own a top-of-the-line set of wired over-ear headphones you want to use with your iPhone 7? Want the wireless and fancy-free life without having to pay an arm and a leg for new headphones? There are a number of options to convert your precious wired cans into Bluetooth beauties that’ll work with your iPhone 7 and any other Bluetooth-enabled device!
Note: You won’t get exactly the same quality when changing from a wired sound to a Bluetooth connection. Because of how Bluetooth works, you’ll likely see a significant cut to the way your headphones sound — an inevitable trade-off in the name of convenience.
Apple’s Lightning to 3.5mm adapter
Okay, so this adapter isn’t exactly a wireless option, but if you’re looking for the easiest and simplest way to convert your wired headphones into iPhone 7-compatible ones, Apple’s Lightning to 3.5mm adapter provides the best pass-through with little to no reduction in sound quality.
This adapter is so lightweight, you’ll hardly notice it hanging out at the end of of your headphone cord. It’s also thin enough that it doesn’t get stuck in your pocket. (Oscar Raymundo, Macworld)
For around $10, you get a 3.5mm adapter for that works effortlessly with your new iPhone — and you get to keep your old headphones. The best part? It’s lightweight and barely adds any bulk to your current cans.
VOXOA BTunes VXB (2.5mm and 3.5mm)
Featuring sleek and stylish design and multiple compatibility options for whichever brand of headphones you prefer, the BTunes are an outstanding option for adding Bluetooth functionality to your wired headphones — that said, it only works with higher-end over-ear headphones with a removable AUX cable.
BTunes packs tons of functionality in such a small package. There’s an NFC chip for easy pairing with your phone, built-in microphone for accepting calls or using Siri, and gold plated jack plug for superior audio fidelity. Rechargable via Micro-USB with battery life up to 10 hours, you’ll be set for a day full of connecting your favorite headphones to your new favorite phone wirelessly while also connecting the BTunes to a second Bluetooth-connected device. That means you can watch your favorite media on your tablet or TV while still being free to talk to Siri and receiving audio notifications.
Before you buy, you’ll want to check the BTunes’ website to ensure your model of headphones are compatible. They’ve also got some models specifically designed to work best with popular headphones such as the Bose QC25, Audio-Technica Ath-M40x. Also, we’ve linked the 3.5mm BTunes adapter below, but if you’re headphones require a 2.5mm plug, VOXOA BTunes has you covered there as well. While stylish and well-functioning, these are also by far the most expensive option on the list, so if these are simply out of your price range, keep reading.
Jumbl Bluetooth 4.0 A2DP Audio Streaming Adapter
The Jumbl Bluetooth 4.0 adapter works with any pair of headphones or earbuds with a 3.5mm cable. Simply plug your headphones into the 3.5mm jack, pair your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device to the Jumbl and you’re good to go. The Jumbl features a built-in microphone with noise-cancelling capabilities, multipoint technology to allow for simultaneous connections to multiple devices, and big buttons for controlling playback, volume, and accepting calls. There’s a small clip on the back for attaching to your shirt, otherwise the Jumbl will fit quite nicely in your pocket.
Yes, this option still leaves you with a length of wire to contend with, but given how it will work with any pair of headphones with a 3.5mm plug, and the easy-to-use controls, it’s a great option for untethering your wired headphones from your phone at a very reasonable price.
Mpow Steamboat Mini Bluetooth 4.0 Music Receiver
The Mpow Steamboat Mini is a fantastically versatile Bluetooth adapter for giving any wired headphones the power of Bluetooth 4.0. It comes with a double-sided 3.5mm adapter which is perfect for the AUX jack in your car stereo or for headphones with a removable AUX cable — as long as you don’t mind the awkward look of a box hanging off the end of one side of your headphones. It looks like your headphones have their own Bluetooth headset.
Don’t like that look? Remove the adapter and you’ve got a 3.5mm jack on a Bluetooth receiver that’ll work with pretty much any standard pair of headphones or earbuds. You’ll be able to connect your Mpow up to two devices at the same time, with a range of up to 30 feet in open spaces. The built-in battery provides up to 10 hours of play and talk time, with 120 hours of standby time. When it’s time to recharge, simply plug in a Micro-USB cable and you’re fully charged in 90 minutes.
Making this accessory all the better is the price; Available at under $20, you really can’t go wrong with trying out the Mpow Bluetooth Adapter.
How will you be going wireless?
Have you taken the plunge to turn your current headphones wireless? Use any of these (or other) adapters that we should know about? Let us know in the comments!