Best Wireless Headphones With Wired Option in 2021

by Jarrett Ziemer on October 4th, 2021 in Best Picks

In the recent past choosing a quality pair of headphones meant dealing with the dreaded weak point, the cable. And even a durable cabled headphone came with drawbacks, the main one being it was just in the way.

With the advent of Bluetooth and now even better quality Bluetooth 5, for a lot of people, cables have become a thing of the past. As a result, audiophiles now have the choice of quality feature-ridden headphones sans the dreaded cord.

But what about the person who wants it all? The person who knows the benefits being gained and lost. The person who wants to want for nothing, who wants to hold all the aces, who wants to have their cake and eat it too. What about the person who wants a cord and doesn’t?

A true audiophile and even most casual headphone users probably know the basic benefit of a corded setup. The sound quality with a cord, with the technology we have today, is just unbeatable. But what happens when you want to take those headphones on the go. Through the subway, to workout, or maybe you just want to set the cell phone down.

If you’re looking for it all, whether you’re on a budget or want the best audio experience money can buy, I’m here to happily tell you that when it comes to wireless headphones with wired options, there are choices galore.

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The V-MODA Crossfade 2's are the first and last stop on the road to premium wireless headphones with a wired option. Featuring award-winning sounds in both wired and wireless Bluetooth mode and unparalleled durability and comfort, these are headphones you won't want to or ever need to take off.

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The Crossfade 2 from V- Moda offers award-winning enhanced sound, absolute comfort, and wired and wireless capabilities, all encased in premium crafted lightweight materials.

Sound and durability are at the forefront of these premium headphones.

These things integrate powerful 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers with CCAW voice coils. That means you’ll get a clean sound, deep bass, upfront mids, and a wide 3d soundstage.

That all comes in a package that looks great and is made to use. The Crossfade 2’s feature a flexible metal-core headband and memory foam ear cushions in a build that puts quality first. These things are built like a tank.

Keep in mind when purchasing these headphones that the build quality is premium, but the sound quality may barely miss the mark for true audiophiles. Although the sound quality is “award winning,” the codecs in these are a bit outdated, and the latency is only acceptable.

What We Like
Looks - These things look sharp and come in a host of colors and materials to choose from.
Durability - V-Moda has strict testing guidelines for durability. These headphones are built like a tank.
Battery Life - When unplugged, these headphones will give you 14+ hours of continuous music playback.
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Tech - These have award-winning sounds but outdated codecs from 2016. True, up-to-date audiophiles may want to look for headphones with the newest technology, though that won't be found with a wireless option.
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Shure offers the best in premium removable cable headphones with the SE535-V. These things have fantastic balanced sound, excellent noise isolation, are as comfortable as over-the-ear headphones, and offer the portability you're looking for.

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Whether you’re a casual listener, a musician, or a true audiophiles audiophile, the SE535-V has something for you.

The detachable cable system gives you the ease of use and multiple upgrade/connection options, the three high-definition drivers ensure the best audio quality possible in such a small package, and the incredible sound isolation will have you focusing on nothing but the tunes.

We think you’ll also love the secure, over-the-ear fit. Knowing your earphones are in place and always comfortable with so many connection options will be a breath of fresh air.

Make sure you pick up the Bluetooth communication cable with these if looking to use them wirelessly. Unfortunately, the cable is sold separately.

What We Like
Battery Life - The 10-hour wireless battery life should have you cruising through the day and not running to a charger.
Bluetooth - Bluetooth 5.0 will give you the best quality sound you can get when going wireless.
Drivers - The three high-definition drivers should have you feeling like you're front row at the concert.
Sound Isolation - The sound isolating sleeves on these bad boys will block up to 37 dB of ambient noise.
Know Before Buying
Sound Quality - These things will sound absolutely amazing! But they aren't over-the-ear headphones. Audiophiles should carry reasonable in-ear expectations.
Bluetooth - Unfortunately, Shure sells the Bluetooth cable for these separately. Make sure you pick it up at checkout if you're looking forward to the wireless experience.
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Back Bay has a uniquely designed affordable pair of 2 in 1 headphones. By combining an IPX5 rating and athletic fit with the wired and unwired options, they have created a do-it-all headphone.

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If you’re looking for the most affordable pair of wired/wireless 2 in 1 headphones, look no further. Back Bay’s headphones let you experience the freedom of wireless buds while still having the ability to plug in when you need it.

With an IPX5 rating, these headphones can be used to work out or in inclement weather, and thanks to 5 equalizer sound choices, whatever the setting, these things will have you rocking just the way you like it.

Because these headphones are always Bluetooth wired, whether plugged in or not, you’ll be able to enjoy hands-free communication and music selection thanks to built-in wireless calls and controls on the Bluetooth cord.

Keep in mind when purchasing these headphones that a value price may come with value internals. So these things will sound good… but won’t compare to more expensive competitors.

What We Like
Cables - These headphones come with a fixed wired Bluetooth cable that attaches to a wired 3.5mm plug
IPX5 Rating - These puppies will withstand all the sweat and rain you throw at them.
Battery Life - These have a battery life of 6.5 hours without the cable installed.
Know Before Buying
Wires - Unlike true wireless headphones, at a minimum, these will always have a wire connecting each ear. If you're prone to losing earbuds, that's a positive.
Sound Quality - These headphones may not sound as good as more expensive competitors.
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Audio-Technica hits another home run with these affordable professional headphones. By stuffing 45 mm large-aperture drivers and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils into a robust detachable cable with Bluetooth construction, they're able to deliver the durability and audio quality you're looking for at an affordable price.

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The ATH-M50xBT are the professional quality wired and wireless headphones you’re looking for. With all the bells and whistles you’d expect from one of the biggest names in the audio game and a fantastic sound quality, these ones are real winners.

Audio-Technica did you a solid by giving these headphones excellent sound isolation, turning them with an extended frequency range, and giving them an incredible frequency response. As a result, you’ll be able to hear all of the sounds, including a deep, accurate bass coming through with these.

With 40 hours of continuous playback and a professional-grade headband and ear pads, these things will give you worry-free listening for as long as you need.

What We Like
Bluetooth - Bluetooth 5.0 should give you worry-free connectivity.
Sound Quality - Audio- Technica knows sound and the proprietary large-aperture drivers should deliver.
Battery Life - 40 hours of continuous playback will have these headphones lasting literally days.
Know Before Buying
Build Quality - The build quality on these may be worse than you'd get from a more expensive pair of over-the-ear headphones.
Comfort - These headphones weren't made for warm environments or working out.
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As the kids would say, these things are stupid. Stupid like, amazing. Stupid like, incredible. If you're looking for the absolute best, the cream of the crop, the beyond premium earbud choice, these are for you.

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The Shure SE846-CLs are professional sound isolating earphones with a three-way, low mid, and high system configuration, four high definition micro drivers, and subwoofers in each earbud.

The sound isolation on these headphones blocks up to 37 dB of noise, meaning you’ll get all of that fantastic sound quality distraction-free. And with four high-def drivers delivering a full range of sound with high-end clarity and low-end performance, the quality truly is amazing.

Thanks to memory wire and three size options, you’ll have these fitting perfectly.

What We Like
Sound - You'll be hard-pressed to find better sounding earbuds.
Sound Isolating Tech - Enjoy your own audio space with up to 37 dB of noise elimination.
Reinforced Cable - The reinforced detachable cable comes with a gold-plated 360-degree spinning lock/snap mechanism.
Warranty - These headphones come with a FREE 2-year warranty.
Know Before Buying
Price - This one should go without saying. Save your pennies if you're planning on getting these babies.
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Why Keep the Cord

In a time when Bluetooth runs supreme, and Bluetooth 5.0 has connectivity issues of the past nearly nonexistent, the simple question is, why even keep the cord as an option? The benefits of Bluetooth are obvious, but unless you’re an audiophile, i.e., nerdy sound nerd, you may not know the real intricacies behind the headphone tether.

The big and the small of why you should keep the cord is the sound, but what does that mean?

Well, think of each headphone like a mini home sound system. Like a home sound system, with a cord, the audio quality is provided by analog signals. The beauty of these analog signals is in the processing or lack thereof.

Now, even the most advanced wireless-only headphone will need to compress the audio quality being sent. If you’re out and about, that might not make a huge difference, but listening in your den and you may hear it. And a worst-case scenario when the Bluetooth signal is sent can involve audio interference. You just won’t get that through a good-quality cable.

Choosing the best Wired Headphone with Wireless Options

When you’re ready to pull the trigger on a pair of wireless detachable cable headphones, there are a few things you’ll want to think about.

Needs

Wired headphones with wireless options fall into a broad range. For example, you can get in-ear wireless detachable cable headphones over the ear and on the ear. And beyond these simple categories, you’ll find premium studio-quality headphones, budget headphones, and even ones that are best for working out.

Take a second and think about what you’ll need from your headphones besides portability. Spending a few extra bucks could mean the difference between a noise-canceling or noise-isolating pair of headphones and a pair that lets all the subway noise or water from washing dishes in. If you’re looking for a gaming headset, you’ll need broad connectivity and a good mic.

At the end of the day, the beauty of wired headphones with wireless capabilities is the fact that you’ll be able to do multiple things with them. So think realistically about those things and purchase accordingly.

Durability

Durability should be one of the first things you consider when purchasing any pair of headphones. And the nature of the detachable cord means you’ll be using these things in a variety of settings, so it’s something you’ll want to pay particular attention to with these.

When selecting your pair of wired headphones with wireless options, look first for quality materials. If you’re choosing over the ear or on the ear headphones, remember that a metal band will always hold up longer than a plastic one. And a good quality material like leather will often outlast a synthetic counterpart. And for the actual cushions, memory foam is the way to go.

If you’re looking for headphones or earbuds to detach for a workout, try finding something with an IPX4 or above rating. That’ll mean they’re sweat and water-resistant. And with those earbuds, remember, although foam in-ear tips provide better sound transference, silicone will last a lot longer.

Cable quality

Whether high-end cables or balanced and unbalanced cables make a difference in sound quality is up for debate, but a high-end cable undoubtedly affects durability. Considering you’ll be pulling the cable in and out repeatedly, durability and long life are something to look for. To keep it simple, look for a robust, flexible cable with sturdy plugs on both sides.

And for heaven’s sake, when you do pull the plug to go wireless, actually pull the plug and not the cord. And don’t wind the cable into knots if you want it to last.

Battery Life

It’s a pretty obvious move to opt for headphones with the most extended battery life possible. When you’re on the run and away from the cord, it will be nice to have worry-free listening.

Over-the-ear headphones generally have a longer battery life, some even lasting days, so if battery life is a concern, opt for a broad, over-the-ear choice. When it comes to batteries, bigger means more room for a large battery and is usually better.

If looking for a smaller headphone or earbud-style removable cable headphone, look for a battery life that will last about a traditional working day or around 8 hours. Even with battery degradation over time, 8 hours, give or take a couple, will provide you with a ton of charge-free listening time for your day. It’s also a solid standard to judge the overall quality of the headphones.

Wireless with Wired Option VS Detachable

This list is all about wireless headphones with a wired option. If that’s what you’re looking for, be careful when searching for detachable cable headphones. Many affordable detachable earbuds and headphones are detachable but only for durability or upgrading connectivity purposes. So. double-check your purchase and make sure it has Bluetooth. If you want to be sure sure, check out some options in the list below.

Conclusion

Achieving the most desirable sound quality used to mean sitting inside your acoustically deadened den and plugging your boombox sized over the ear Sennheisers directly into your Mini Cooper sized home stereo system. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but what about those times when you need that sound quality on the go?

If you’re someone looking to have your cake and eat it too, looking for quality and portability, look no further. Wireless headphones with wired options offer it all. Whether you’re looking for premium sound or premium portability, or both, a removable cable is now the way to go.