Bluetooth Vs. Wired Headphones EMF Radiation

Bluetooth Vs. Wired Headphones EMF Radiation

Wireless devices are the latest technological advancements because we’ve had enough with tangling wires. Bluetooth wireless headphones work just as fine as wired headphones. But they use 2.4GHz frequency like most wireless devices these days. So, the risk of EMF emission still remains. Most normal wired headphones aren’t that safe either.

When it comes to Bluetooth vs. wired headphones, wired headphones are the clear winners. They emit less EMF radiation than Bluetooth headphones. You can further lower the emission by using ferrite beads or air tube headphones. There are no such options for Bluetooth headphones.

In this article, we will discuss Bluetooth vs. wired headphones radiation to clarify why we declared wired headphones winners upfront. We will also talk about how you can lower your body’s exposure to EMF while using headphones. Also, there will be a brief section where we explain air tube headphones. Let’s get started!

Do Bluetooth Headphones Emit EMF?

Bluetooth headphones do the same job as wired headphones giving the user a hassle-free experience. We all have experienced tangling of earphone wires and know how irritating it can be. Thanks to the progress in technology, Bluetooth headphones perform just as good as their wired counterparts with nearly zero latency.

But there is one big worry. We are living in a world of EMF radiation. Anything that is powered by electricity emits EMF, and Bluetooth headphones are no different. Whether battery powered or directly from the power source, whether wired or wireless, everything electrical emits EMF. Although the level of radiation is negligible, we are constantly exposed, and that’s a matter of concern.

Bluetooth headphones do, indeed, emit a good chunk of EMF radiation, and that is not to be taken lightly. Like most other wireless devices, Bluetooth headphones work with the radio wave of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is similar to Wi-Fi routers, cell phones, and other smart devices.

Bluetooth headphones emit both EMF radiation and RF radiation. RF radiation is the radio frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. EMF radiation is the radiation resulting from an electric current running through a circuit. We can easily tell that the level of radiation is much higher in Bluetooth headphones.

Bluetooth headphones constantly emit EMF radiation when powered on, whether connected to a device or not. Many people often think that Bluetooth headphones are safer than cell phones or other larger wireless devices. This is not true. It all depends on the frequency of the radiation, which is the same.

Exposure to Bluetooth headphone radiation can cause depression. Some researchers claim that Bluetooth headphones can be the potential reason behind cancer. Prolonged and constant exposure to Bluetooth headphones can make you depressed. It all depends on the volume level, period of usage, and distance from the source device.

To learn more about Bluetooth EMF radiation check on IS BLUETOOTH RADIATION SAFE OR DANGEROUS?

Do Wired Headphones Emit EMF?

Wired headphones are the first in the line of headphones. They are the oldest form of headphones, although they are still going on pretty well. Wired headphones can be analog or digital. Analog headphones are connected via a 3.5mm jack, and the digital ones are connected by a USB port. As electricity runs through them, wired headphones give off EMF radiation.

You have to understand the difference here. Wired headphones emit only EMF radiation due to the electrical circuitry. They do not give off any RF radiation as there are wireless components present in this device. Whether wired or wireless, we use headphones closer to our body than any other wireless device, which is the most significant risk. It’s about the proximity, not the level of radiation.

When we use wired headphones, both ears, ear canal, and brain are exposed to the EMF radiation of the headphone. Electricity is running through the cables through both ear cups in a circuit. Our entire head is exposed to EMF radiation from all angles.

Wired headsets also pose the risks of many conditions caused by EMF. You can be subjected to insomnia, sleep disturbance, headache, and others. As we can see, both wired and wireless Bluetooth headphones emit EMF radiation, though the level is quite different. The risks are there nonetheless.

Should You be Concerned About EMF Radiation from Headphones?

As we can see from the above discussion, both wired and Bluetooth headphones emit EMF radiation. Although the amount is negligible, the problem is that we use headphones for more extended periods and closer to our body than any other device. So, there are quite a few risks of EMF radiation that we should be worried about:

  • Headache

Headache is the most common symptom you might face due to using headphones at a stretch. We use headphones closest to our heads. Unlike talking on a cellphone, both our ears are exposed to EMF radiation when using headphones. This increases the risk.

This study shows that the intensity of headaches was significantly higher when using cellular phones and Wi-Fi. But corded land phones didn’t have much effect. This proves that EMF radiation and headache are directly related. Numerous other studies demonstrate the correlation between headache and EMF exposure.

  • Sleep Disturbance

 Sleep is a complex biological process that directly influences our health and way of life. Good sleep increases our work efficiency. Any disturbance in sleep can affect our next day. Prolonged disruption in sleep contributes to chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, etc.

This 2012 study illustrates the relation between sleep and EMF radiation. Intermittent EMF exposure can disrupt sleep. It also shows that EMF at night has more effects than EMF in the daytime. We mainly use headphones to listen to songs or play video games during the night, which is alarming.

This study further proves that reducing work hours in industries where workers are exposed to EMF can improve the quality of sleep.

  • Carcinoma

Radiation is directly related to cancer. Ionizing radiation disrupts the DNA structure of cells and facilitates cancer development. But EMF is non-ionizing radiation that poses almost no threat of cancer compared to high radiations. However, the risks cannot be completely brushed aside, according to this study.

EMF radiation can promote tumor growth that can turn to cancer later. The study showed that there was an increased risk of leukemia among electrical workers. Although the results are not conclusive, we should stay vigilant.

How to Mitigate the Risks of EMF Radiation by Headphones?

It’s okay to be worried about the risks of EMF exposure because they are not pleasant. Here I am going to talk about some of the ways that you can resort to lower EMF radiation by headphones:

  • Use Wired Headphones

As we have already discussed above, wired headphones are much safer than Bluetooth headphones. Wired headphones only emit low levels of EMF radiation, whereas Bluetooth ones give off both EMF and RF radiation. Headphones are necessary for our day-to-day life. So, to lower the risks, try using wired headphones.

You can also use an air tube headset, which we will get into later.

  • Use Ferrite Beads

All of you have seen ferrite beads without even knowing. Any electrical apparatus that comes with a plug has a cylindrical-shaped bead at the end of the cord, just before the plug. That bead is the ferrite bead. Inside the bead, a coil of wire runs between layers of ferrite.

The ferrite bead is used to protect the electrical apparatus from sudden surges or spikes of electricity. It also reduces EMF significantly. While no wired headphone comes with preinstalled ferrite beads, you can purchase them separately and install them in your headphone.

  • Use Speaker

When talking to a friend or listening to your favorite music, try using speakers. Yes, headphones feel more comfortable, give you privacy, and don’t annoy others; use speakers for more prolonged periods because you already know the harms of EMF radiation depending on how long you are exposed to it.

  • Don’t Use Headphones for Longer Periods.

This is another crucial step you can take to lower the risks. Do not use headphones for 3 or 4 hours at a stretch. It doesn’t matter if you are using wired or Bluetooth headphones, taking a break reduces exposure to EMF radiation. Thus, lowers the risk of EMF-induced complications.

  • Keep the Audio Source Away

Keeping the audio source away weakens the signal by a more significant margin. This is something that you can only avail of when using Bluetooth headphones. Wireless Bluetooth headphones these days work flawlessly from 20 to 30 feet away. You can mitigate the EMF risks without compromising the sound quality.

What is an Air Tube Headphone?

Air tube headphone is one of the latest inventions to tackle EMF threats. Traditional wired headphones work by transmitting electrical signals. The 3.5mm jack receives the electrical signal from the audio device and sends it to both the earpiece. The earpiece then converts the electrical signal to an audio signal, and you can listen to the audio.

In an air tube headphone, a hollow air tube replaces some part of the electrical wire. An electrical wire comes from the jack to the hollow air tube. Then the tube transmits the audio to the earpiece. The sound travels through the tube to the earpiece. By using air tube headphones, you get high-quality sound without exposing yourself to EMF radiation.

When using traditional wired headphones, you can put yourself at a distance from the audio source provided the cord is long enough. This reduces exposure. On top of that, when you use an air tube headset, the exposure is reduced even more. There are many air tube headphones available in the market.

But the one we prefer is the DefenderShield air tube headset. We have personally tested this headset with many others, and nothing comes close to it. It has a built-in microphone with an on/off switch. The sound quality is impeccable. And last but not least, the DefenderShield air tube headset provides 100% protection from EMF radiation.

If you want to learn about some more anti-EMF earphones, I’d advise you to check out our article, “Best Air Tube Headsets”. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do Bluetooth headphones and wired headphones give off the same radiation?

Bluetooth and wired headphones do not emit the same type of radiation. Wire headphones emit only EMF radiation, whereas Bluetooth headphones give off both EMF and RF radiation.

  • Are Bluetooth headphones safer than wired headphones?

No, it’s quite the opposite. Wired headphones are much safer than Bluetooth headphones in terms of radiation.

  • Are Bluetooth headphones radiation the same as Wi-Fi?

Bluetooth headphones and Wi-Fi routers both work using 2.4GHz frequency. But Bluetooth headphones are more harmful because we use them closer to our heads.

  • Which is better: Wired or wireless?

Wired headphones are safer than wireless headphones because they give off less radiation.

  • Do wired headphones give off radiation?

Yes, wired headphones give off radiation, too, although they are less severe than Bluetooth headphones.

  • How to lower EMF emission of wired headphones?

You can use ferrite beads to lower the EMF emission of wired headphones.

  • How to lower EMF emission of wired headphones?

You can lower the exposure to EMF radiation by working at a distance from the sound source.

  • Do air tube headphones work?

Air tube headphones work like a charm to lower the EMF emission.

  • How is the sound quality of air tube headphones?

Air tube headphones have top-notch sound quality. You won’t be able to tell the difference from a typically wired headphone.

  • Do ferrite beads work?

Ferrite beads show excellent performance in lowering the EMF emission from an electrical device.

  • How loud is too loud?

You should always keep your volume level below 70 dB.

  • How long should I use headphones?

Do not use headphones for more than 1 hour at a stretch.


The idea of EMF radiation is relatively recent. Various approaches to tackle this phenomenon are also being quickly discovered. Air tube headphones, ferrite beads are some inventions to name. If you stay vigilant, there’s nothing much to worry about EMF.

I explicitly described the nature of EMF radiation from wired and Bluetooth headphones. Besides talking about its risks and how you can save yourself, I also added some frequently asked questions at the end. I believe that this article will give you a clear idea about Bluetooth vs. wired headphones radiation and help you decide the right one.