eli5: How does wireless headphones connect?



How does bluetooth work? Does the phone and headphone connect to a satellite or something or does one or both of them send signals to each other?

In: Technology

They send signals directly to each other and pair, they then use handshakes to connect.

I recommend reading this if you really want to know more.


Its just zeroes and ones over a wireless radio wave. We’re just able to transmit a lot of them per second now.

Bluetooth is just a specific range of radio frequencies, basically the headphones send out a signal that says “I’m ready to connect on frequency X” and your phone finds it by scanning the whole range that bluetooth works in until it finds a device then it just looks at the frequency the headphones are on. Then your phone sends a signal back so the headphones know that they are paired

Cheap headphones: Radio in one ear connects to your phone, receives signal, transfers sound over cable to the other ear.

Less cheap: Radio in one ear connects to your phone, receives signal, transmits by radio to other ear.

Expensive: Each ear connects to the phone individually, they work out which is which as a pair, and control for latency issues (might be slightly different for each ear, which could cause music to be off between the ears if not corrected).