Categories: Smartphone

Theoretically, any headphone that has a mini-jack can be used with a smartphone. Theoretically. In real life, there are a few things to keep in mind:

London calling

Anyone listening to music or podcasts on their smartphones will hear incoming calls via a ring tone. If one wanted to accept the conversation, miserable fumbling is necessary, which was already sufficiently documented in various funny movies.

So, the first requirement for a smartphone headset is: you need a microphone and a phone control. In simpler models, this is a button that interrupts the music and accepts the conversation. Better models have that feature set integrated in a controller …

Skip

Pause, back and forth, turn the volume up and down. You do not want to grab your smartphone when you want to skip a track or change its volume, especially when doing sports. So please consider a headphone with a good remote control, offering buttons for music control, but also additional features such as activation of voice assistants like Siri or Alexa.

Universal

One smartphone headset for all your mobile phone models? Many manufacturers offer different versions for different devices! Again, you definitely should pay attention to it. As certain smartphone protocols vary, manufactures sometimes sell the same model but optimized for Apple iOS or Android, i.e. Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG and others.

Impedance

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind comes at the end. Smartphones supply their headphone jack output only with relatively little power. This means that a headphone needs to have a low impedance to work properly, typically around 20 to 80 ohms. Here at headphonecheck.com we measure the impedance and you can find this important spec in the sidebar of the respective review. The higher the impedance, the less volume a headphone have!

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Editor's recommendations: Smartphone Headphones

The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 are impressive. Even if the price of just under 400 euros seems high at first, the first True Wireless in-ears from the long-established English manufacturer are worth the money. The sound raises the bar for their competitors and revises (my) prejudice that TWS earphones are not good enough for pure music enjoyment. What was also pleasing was the option of audio streaming via USB as well as mini-jack cable. So the PI7s offer wireless listening from the TV and can be used as playback devices for on-board systems on planes and trains, and even media creators could get used to incorporating True Wireless headphones into their work process thanks to the USB streaming function. A convincing debut in the true-wireless market!

Ralf Willke
Ralf Willke 28. April 2021
Bowers & Wilkins PI7

Sennheiser chooses the approach of evolution instead of revolution: maintaining the overall concept, but introducing improvements in detail. The second generation offers the same high level of choice of materials, workmanship and sound. A clear recommendation to buy!

Ben Seemann
Ben Seemann 1. July 2016

The Valco are certainly not an ultra-bargain in terms of price, but they offer a perfect overall package of secure Bluetooth connection, very good battery performance, top ANC functionality and warm, well-tuned hi-fi sound. The noise-cancelling is super-snappy, making every journey a little more enjoyable, whether it’s on a rattling train or a chugging crab-catching boat on the fjord. The high-quality design catches the eye with its cool textile patch, and the lightweight construction gives you zero stress on your head. If you’re into organic hi-fi tuning, you can’t go wrong here, and you might even leave the Valco team an onomatopoeic “Hyvä ääni” (Finnish for: “Super Sound”) as a comment. It will be exciting to see what else is yet to emerge from their Nordic forge.

Jan Bruhnke
Jan Bruhnke 30. March 2021
Valco VMK20