Health Effects and Concerns of Wireless Headphones
Wireless headphones are becoming a new standard for portable listening as more and more brands begin to innovate and iterate on existing technology. Wireless technology is not new by any means, but the adaptability of wireless technology has been increasing rapidly. Now, we can have high-fidelity wireless speakers mounted directly in our ears so we can listen on the go with no wires in the way. But is that truly the better option?
Health and Safety
Concerns have been raised over the general health safety of using wireless earbuds. These concerns echo past complaints about wireless technology through proven scientific fields going back to the inception of radios and the increased popularity of portable, cellular phones. Leading concerns regard the transmission of EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation and the close proximity these devices have with sensitive and crucial parts of the body. With new wireless earbuds, radiation is closer to our brain’s neural network than ever before, but these pertinent health concerns have not been discussed with the same intensity as early cell phones were. Perhaps this is because, as we have become accustomed to the convenience of Bluetooth headphones, we have fallen into an out-of-sight, out-of-mind thinking pattern, ignoring the dangers wireless headphones pose.
Here are some of the observable and proposed effects of using wireless headphones:
The main concern with any wireless electronic device is its EMF radiation output. No matter what, any electronic device generates a small amount of radiation that penetrates through solid objects. It’s the nature of electricity and a basic fact of how these devices function. Such radiation is usually in very controlled, minimal amounts, but there are factors that dictate just how much radiation a device can output.
Bluetooth is the primary form of wireless technology today. It’s the standard for simple, instant connectivity across a host of devices. To do this, it has to broadcast energy and data through the air which can also penetrate and go through solid objects. That’s the appeal, and potential danger, to wireless headphones. They are meant to connect to your phone or other wireless-enabled devices regardless of what is in the way, as long as it's within a set distance. Less distance means less power, but a farther potential range means it is broadcasting with more power and more radiation.
There are three classes of transmitters, each measured in milliwatts of power that it takes to stream the data from the source device to the speakers.
Class 1 is the highest mW usage at 100mW.
Class 2 only uses 2.5 mW of power
Class 3 uses only 1 mW.
The less the better, but less power also means less range. Apple's new AirPods fall into Class 1, with the highest transmission of milliwatts.
The main issue isn’t just the wattage. Just because a Class 1 device is far worse than a Class 3 device, doesn’t make a Class 3 device completely safe. The real problem lies in the placement. These transmitters are placed directly inside of the ear canal, right next to the brain. All that EMF radiation is passing through the brain as it broadcasts in a wide sphere to find the appropriate device, sending waves that hit everything in range and connect to the device once they find it.
The effects aren’t immediate, but a long-term cumulative exposure to EMF radiation adds up. The World Health Organization classifies EMF radiation as a Class 2B carcinogen - prolonged exposure has been shown to increase the chances of cancer in body parts related to the exposure. Since the brain is what’s being most exposed, the danger is obvious.
The best way to reduce exposure is to mitigate it by reducing the amount of time they are used, or doing away with wireless headphones altogether. If they must be used, investing in the best EMF protection technology on the market is the safest option to protect yourself against dangerous radiation. The Vita Chip is designed to alter this harmful radiation into bio-compatible frequencies that harmonize with your body’s electromagnetic field.