Bluetooth vs. Wired Headphones Radiation

Are wired headphones safer than wireless headphones? It is commonly asked since people are now more aware of the risk posed by radiation emitted by cellular devices. Many of us believe that wired headphones are safer than Bluetooth or wireless headsets since they emit no radiation. However, when it comes to scientific research, the facts are quite different.

Without considering the underlying fact about the power and transmission of radiation through wireless and wired headphones, we cannot decide which one is safer. So let’s delve into a guide based on the underlying facts about the radiation emitted by wireless and wired headphones and their potential risks.

Bluetooth (Wireless) vs. Wired Headphones Radiation


People believe that wired headphones are safer than wireless headphones because a corded line phone emits less radiation than a cellular phone. However, it is not the case with corded headphones. When we measure the risk posed by headphones, we consider two types of radiation; radiation emitted by headphones and radiation transmitted by headphones.

Bluetooth Headphones And Radiations

Any gadget with Bluetooth technology emits RF radiation. These are the same radiation used in microwave ovens to cook food. Radiation emitted by microwave ovens and Bluetooth gadgets share the same frequency, 2.4 GHz, but different wattage.

The EMF and RF radiation produced by Bluetooth devices are carcinogenic in nature. In scientific research and case studies, RF radiations are linked with the diseases like DNA damage, cancer, infertility, and male sterility. However, Bluetooth headsets and WiFi networks emit low-power non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation.

This radiation is harmful only when the exposure is highly prolonged, and the radiation is intense. Therefore the risk of cancer or DNA damage is not much greater, but the overuse of Bluetooth headphones can cause insomnia, headache, and upper limb pain.

Wired Headphones And Radiations

Wired headphones do not emit EMF or RF radiation. It makes them much safer than Bluetooth headphones. However, corded headphones can transmit a large amount of radiation to the body. Since corded headphones are in direct contact with your ears and electronic devices like cellular phones, they act as an antenna for the radiations emitted by your cell phone.

The metal inside the wires conducts intense radiation from the connected device. This radiation directly approaches your ear canal and then reaches the head. The head and ear are more sensitive than other body parts, and the risk of damage is higher.

What Is SAR?

Now we know that despite emitting zero radiations, wired headphones can transmit harmful radiation to your body from the electronic device they are connected to. To understand the effect of transmitted radiation by wired and Bluetooth headphones, we need to understand the SAR.

SAR refers to the Specific Absorption Rate. It is a term used to measure the amount of radiation our body absorbs from cellular devices. The SAR value depends upon many factors like sensitivity of body parts, distance from the cellular device, and conducting medium.

The SAR value of a cellular phone at a distance of 1 com is around 1.5W/kg which is reduced up to 400 times at a distance of 25 cm. So both wired and Bluetooth headphones reduce the SAR value since they increase the distance between our body and the electronic devices. Let’s find out how wired and Bluetooth headphones reduce the SAR value.

SAR and Wired Headphones

A wired headphone lowers SAR value by 8 to 20 times. The metallic wire inside the wires conducts the radiation directly to the ear canal and head. These parts are more sensitive and absorb a higher amount of radiation. Also, the risk of damage is higher for these body parts than the other. A small amount of radiation is dissipated through the metallic wires and is absorbed by other body parts.


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SAR and Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth headphones reduce the SAR value by up to 34 times. The reduction in SAR value is much more than corded headphones. This is because Bluetooth technology uses the radio signal as a transmission medium. Radio signals carry minuscule power compared to metallic wire and do not transmit intense radiations to the body.

How Can We Reduce The SAR value with Wired Headphones?

Although wired headphones do not emit radiation themselves, they are still dangerous because they can conduct intense radiation to the body emitted by cellular devices. Thankfully there is a solution known as ferrite beads through which we can reduce the risk posed by radiation conducted through wired headphones.

Ferrite Beads

Ferrite beads are cylindrical beads that are attached to the wires that come with electronic devices like mobile and laptop chargers. These beads are clipped with wires to regulate the electricity flow through the wires. They block the high-frequency surges that can damage the electronic circuit if not blocked.

Similarly, ferrite beads block the high-frequency radiation and prevent the wires from turning into a highly conducting antenna. They can significantly reduce the intensity and amount of radiation transmitted through the earphone’s wires.

Ferrite beads allow the radiation with a lower frequency but stop the higher frequency radiations harmful to the human body. So the wired headphones featuring ferrite beads can reduce the SAR value up to 70 times.

Bluetooth Vs. Wired Headphones, Which One To Buy?

We can safely conclude from the discussion above that wired headphones are safer than Bluetooth headphones, but they are not absolutely safe. On the other hand, Bluetooth headphones are shareable and convenient for traveling. Also, Bluetooth Headphones are safe when driving and are preferred in crowded areas and meetings.

However, Bluetooth headphones emit dangerous EMF and RF radiation. Chances of cancer development by Bluetooth headphones radiations are scarce, but their continuous and prolonged use can cause other health issues like insomnia, neck pain, and headache. Therefore it is recommended to use Bluetooth headphones only when needed.

You should avoid the regular and prolonged use of Bluetooth headphones to reduce the impact of RF and EMF radiation on your body. Corded headphones are safer than Bluetooth headphones when used with ferrite beads. Ferrite beads significantly block the harmful radiations coming from cellular devices, giving you a safe and healthy experience.


Do wired headphones give off radiation?

No wired headphones do not give off rendition by themselves. However, they can conduct radiation emitted by the electronic device they are connected to. Since they are directly connected to your body, they can transmit intense radiation emitted by cell phones and tablets to your ear canal and head.

Is radiation from Bluetooth headphones harmful?

Bluetooth headphones give off RF radiations having the same frequency as the radiations emitted by microwave ovens. However, the radiation has low wattage, low power, and is non-ionizing in nature. According to the Food and Drug Authority, these rays are not carcinogenic in nature. However, prolonged and continuous exposure to these radiations can cause headaches, insomnia, neck pain, and upper limb aches.

Are wired headphones bad for your brain?

Wired headphones act as a high-frequency antenna and conduct intense radiation emitted from the electronic devices they are connected to. These radiations are absorbed by our ear canal and head and can cause serious health issues like cancer and DNA damage.

However, advanced wired headphones use different technologies like Defender-Shield EMF-free, Kinden Airtube Earbuds, ferrite beads to block high-frequency radiations coming from electronic devices.

What are the safest headphones?

A wired headphone with ferrite earbuds is the safest earphone you can have. A wired headphone increases your distance from your phone and reduces the impact of radiation emitted by electronic devices. Plus, the ferrite beads block the harmful radiation that is conducted through the metallic wires.

Are headphones bad for your brain?

Headphones are not really bad for your brain since they keep the radiating electronic devices away from you. However, bad habits like listening to loud music and prolonged use of headphones can cause headaches and insomnia.

What are the disadvantages of Bluetooth headsets?

  • Bluetooth headphones emit RF radiation that can cause headaches, insomnia, and upper limb aches.
  • Their sound quality is not as good as wired headphones.
  • They are more expensive than wired headphones.
  • They need to be charged regularly.

Final Thoughts

Our discussion of “Bluetooth Vs. Wired Headphones radiation” reveals that none of the options are risk-free. However, you can make both these options safe in various ways. For example, radiations emitted by Bluetooth headphones are low-power and non-ionizing in nature.

They are harmful only when the exposure is long and continuous. It means we need to change our habits to protect ourselves. If we talk about wired headphones, they’re safer than Bluetooth headphones. We can make them even safer by clipping ferrite beads on the wires.

Headphone Savvy