Wired headphones in 2022? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. I started the new year by ordering the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter (for the iPhone) to go back in time and also do a reality check to see if I still missed wires. Agreed, you might run the risk of getting judged in an MS Teams meeting, and even the best ones end up a tangled mess. It’s also become increasingly difficult to find premium smartphones with a 3.5mm jack. And yet there’s more than one good reason why wired headsets are not completely redundant.

wired headsets

They’re eco-friendly: Planned obsolescence—that’s a term that gets used a lot when referring to Bluetooth earbuds. Battery life is a challenge even among the best TWS earbuds and it tends to take a significant hit from year two or year three. This means more frequent replacements and more e-waste. That makes a strong ‘green’ case for wired headphones.

Talk to the hand, not to the face: Many Gen Z users are switching to wires. Part of it is the whole non-conformist vibe and setting a fashion statement but it’s also the unapproachability that many Gen Z users want to convey.

Sound quality: Purists will argue that expensive wired headphones (those over-the-ear types with comfortable ear padding) have a slight edge over Bluetooth headphones, especially when you are super picky and don’t mind spending over Rs 25,000 for wired cans. Modernists might argue that Bluetooth connectivity is improving—Bluetooth 5 is a case in point. This is an argument that will continue well beyond 2022.

Convenient and cheap: The biggest plus is you don’t have to worry about charging your wired earphones. The challenge is finding compatible devices; you have to buy an adapter (USB-C or lighting depending on whether you’re on the Android or Apple side of the fence). Even premium wired earphones or cans are cheaper if you calculate the ownership costs over time.


Four Wired Headphones Worth Your Attention

For active lifestyles

Sony wired
Sony MDR-XB510AS Extra Bass: It is a great option for sporty lifestyles thanks to its IPX 5/7 rating. You can wash them after you work up a sweat at the gym or during your morning run. Sony’s trademark ‘Extra Bass’ adds some thump to your workouts. (Rs 2,790)


Everyday users

Apple EarPods
Apple EarPods: It’s not the AirPods and is many times cheaper. You can find both options—with a lighting connector and the 3.5mm headphone plug. Practical for everyday use, they also come with a built-in remote with volume controls and allow you to answer or end calls with a pinch of the cord. (Rs 1,900)



Razer BlackShark V2Razer BlackShark V2: Its custom-engineered driver delivers a clearer sound and thumping bass while the titanium-coated diaphragms add to the sharpness and clarity of the vocals. We also dig the detachable mic with enhanced speech pickup and noise cancellation. (Rs 11,999)



Sennheiser HD 599: If you take your music seriously, these wired cans deliver near-audiophile levels of sound quality minus the stiff price tag. The open-back HD 599 delivers natural spatial performance and are comfortable to wear thanks to its large ear caps and soft replaceable ear pads. (Rs 15,990)

What I learned after flitting between wired and wireless headphones is that a blended option worked best for me. I tended to lean on my TWS Bluetooth earbuds for calls and online meetings but enjoyed my premium wired, over-the-ear headset when I was listening to my playlists. The choice to go wireless or wired is clearly a personal decision based on your lifestyle but don’t discard those premium wired headphones you bought in 2017 just yet.