Can Bluetooth headset be used to listen music?

Bluetooth headsets are wireless devices that use Bluetooth technology to connect to mobile phones and other devices for hands-free calling and listening to audio. They allow users to have phone conversations and listen to music or other audio wirelessly, without being tethered to the device. Bluetooth headsets generally consist of an earpiece that fits over or in the ear, a microphone, and buttons for controlling calls and volume.

Bluetooth headsets first gained popularity in the early 2000s as phone manufacturers like Nokia started removing wired headsets from device packaging. Early versions connected only to phones and were focused primarily on voice calls. As Bluetooth advanced to support stereo audio, headsets evolved to also support listening to music, podcasts and other audio. Today, the majority of mobile headsets sold are Bluetooth enabled.

Bluetooth headset usage continues to grow thanks to wider compatibility, better designs, increasing phone use while driving in many areas, and the removal of the headphone jack from many modern smartphones. While early headsets were bulky one-ear designs, various form factors emerged like small earbuds and neckband or behind-the-head bands for stability during physical activity. Voice-enabled virtual assistants like Siri have also boosted Bluetooth headset adoption to enable convenient hands-free access.

Bluetooth Basics

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology standard that allows devices to exchange data over short distances using radio transmissions in the 2.4 GHz band. It was originally developed by Ericsson in 1994. The name Bluetooth comes from Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson, a 10th century king in Denmark and Norway who united dissonant tribes into a single kingdom.

Bluetooth operates on a master-slave system, where one device acts as the “master” and others act as “slaves”. The master device controls the communication between devices. For example, when pairing a phone to a wireless headset, the phone acts as the master and the headset acts as the slave.

To transfer audio over Bluetooth, a special profile called A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) is used. This profile allows high quality audio to be streamed from one device to another. Newer versions of A2DP support advanced audio codecs like aptX and LDAC that can improve audio quality and reduce latency.




Can You Listen to Music?

Yes, Bluetooth headsets can absolutely be used for listening to music. Many Bluetooth headsets today support advanced audio streaming profiles that enable high quality music playback.

The main Bluetooth profiles that support music listening are A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) and AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile). A2DP handles the wireless transmission of stereo audio, while AVRCP allows remote control functionality like play, pause, skip track, etc. Most modern headsets support both profiles to provide a full wireless listening experience.

According to Bluetooth audio experts at TechRadar, Bluetooth audio quality has improved dramatically in recent years, making wireless headsets a viable option for music listeners looking for convenience and mobility without sacrificing sound quality.

Pairing With Audio Devices

To listen to music, you first need to pair your Bluetooth headset with your audio device, whether that’s a smartphone, computer, or other Bluetooth-enabled device. Here are the basic steps to pair a Bluetooth headset:

On your headset, enter pairing mode, usually by holding down a button like the power button until the LED light flashes. Consult your headset manual for exact instructions.

On your phone, tablet, or computer, open the Bluetooth settings and make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Then select “Search” or “Scan” to detect nearby Bluetooth devices.

When your headset appears in the list of available devices, select it to initiate pairing. You may need to confirm pairing on both devices.

Some devices have specific Bluetooth profiles for audio like A2DP that must be enabled. Consult your device’s user manual for details on enabling audio profiles for optimal music playback.

Once successfully paired, you will be able to listen to audio and music from your device through the Bluetooth headset.

For step-by-step instructions, see this guide on pairing Bluetooth headphones.

Audio Quality Considerations

Bluetooth audio quality used to be significantly lower than wired listening, but advancements in Bluetooth technology have improved sound quality substantially in recent years. Bluetooth audio is transmitted digitally in a compressed format, while wired connections provide uncompressed analog audio. This compression historically resulted in lower fidelity and dynamics.

However, new Bluetooth codecs like aptX and LDAC have enabled improved audio quality that comes closer to matching wired sound. aptX supports up to 352 kbps bitrate while LDAC can handle up to 990 kbps. High resolution codecs can transmit more complete audio data over Bluetooth, reducing the compressive effects. Though wired still has the edge, modern Bluetooth is capable of very good sound with the right supporting gear.

To experience the best possible Bluetooth audio quality for music, use headphones with aptX or LDAC and pair them with a smartphone that also supports those advanced codecs. The headphones and phone must both have the same codec enabled to take advantage of the higher bitrates. Enabling developer options on Android can provide more control over activating high resolution codecs.

Headset Controls

Most Bluetooth headsets have built-in controls that allow you to control music playback and volume without having to touch your phone. Typical controls include:

  • Play/Pause button – Press to play or pause music.
  • Volume up/down buttons – Press to increase or decrease volume.
  • Next/Previous track buttons – Skip to the next or previous song.

Some headsets also support voice commands using built-in microphones and assistant integrations. For example, Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones allow you to activate Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa with your voice to control music, get information, or activate other smart features.

Battery Life

Listening to music can significantly impact the battery life of Bluetooth headsets. Streaming audio over Bluetooth is power intensive, so playback time when listening to music is often much lower than standby time. For example, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 headphones are rated for 60 hours of standby time but only 40 hours of continuous playback.

There are several tips for preserving battery life when listening to music with Bluetooth headsets:

  • Avoid playing music at max volume, which draws more power. Keep volume at moderate levels.
  • Turn off any extra features like active noise cancellation or transparency mode when not needed.
  • Use a wired connection instead of Bluetooth when possible to avoid battery drain.
  • Store headphones properly when not in use rather than letting them sit activated and connected.
  • Disable auto-power on and auto-connect features which can drain battery in standby.
  • Fully charge the headphones between uses and avoid letting them sit dead for extended periods.

Following these tips will help maximize playback time when listening to music wirelessly with Bluetooth headsets.

Recommended Headsets

When choosing a Bluetooth headset for listening to music, some top options to consider are the Beyerdynamic Free Byrd, Sony WH-1000XM4, and Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless.

The Beyerdynamic Free Byrd offers excellent audio quality with rich bass and clear mids and highs. It has a long 20 hour battery life and is very comfortable to wear for extended listening. The touch controls on the earcups also make it easy to control music playback and volume.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is one of the top overall wireless headphones with great noise canceling technology to block ambient sounds. The audio quality is superb with punchy bass and crisp detail. Battery life is an impressive 30 hours. The Sony headphones connect easily to Android and iOS devices.

For premium sound, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless is a top choice. It delivers clear and balanced audio across the frequency range. The leather earpads are very comfortable for long listening sessions. Battery life is around 17 hours and there are onboard controls for music and calls.

When choosing among these models, look at battery life requirements, comfort, and whether you want extra features like noise cancellation. Any of these headsets will provide an excellent listening experience with your music library.


While Bluetooth headsets provide the convenience of wireless listening, they do come with some drawbacks compared to wired headphones. Some key disadvantages include:

Interference and connectivity issues are common complaints with Bluetooth. The wireless signal can cut out if there is too much interference from other devices, walls/objects, or long distances from the audio source. This can interrupt music playback. According to a Quora discussion, the headset may struggle to play music smoothly if over 33 feet away from the connected device.1

Bluetooth audio is also limited in terms of sound quality and volume compared to wired options. The Bluetooth data compression can degrade audio quality. Playback volume may also be lower than ideal for certain listening scenarios. According to SoundGuys, wired headphones generally provide superior audio performance versus Bluetooth.2

Frequent charging is required due to battery life constraints. Bluetooth headsets may only last 5-30 hours depending on usage. The battery will need recharging regularly, which can be inconvenient compared to passive wired headphones.


In summary, Bluetooth headsets can absolutely be used for listening to music. While Bluetooth audio quality may not match wired headphones, modern Bluetooth codecs like aptX provide decent sound quality that is suitable for casual music listening. Just make sure to choose a headset model that supports high quality codecs.

When using a Bluetooth headset for music, battery life becomes an important consideration. Opt for a model that offers at least 5-6 hours of playback time before needing to be recharged. Some headsets also offer convenient controls for playback, volume, and call management that comes in handy when listening to music.

With the right headset that supports high quality Bluetooth codecs, has good battery life, and easy controls, you can enjoy listening to music wirelessly. Just pair your headset to your smartphone or audio device to get started. While Bluetooth headsets may not replace high-end headphones, they provide a convenient way to listen to music on the go without any cables getting in the way.

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