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Bluetooth vs. wired headphones radiation – Safe or not?

Cell phone radiation and EMF are two buzzwords that have been in the news recently. With all of the new technology and popular devices such as the AirPods being used everywhere, it is hard to know what type of radiation you are being exposed to on a day-to-day basis. Wireless headphones emit RF or Radio Frequency Radiation, which has been shown to lead to cancer and other health risks when used over long periods. This article will compare Bluetooth vs. wired headphones’ radiation levels and help you decide which is safer for your health!

What is SAR (Specific Absorption Rate)?

The Specific Absorption Rate is part of what is being measured when we talk about EMF or RF radiation in headphones. SAR measures how much power per kilogram of body tissue you absorb from a device and is usually expressed as watts/kg. A higher number does not always mean that there will be more health risks. Still, anything over 0.04 W/Kg may have adverse effects on organs like the eyes or brain because they have an increased sensitivity to radio waves (EMR).

What are EMF and RF?

EMF stands for ElectroMagnetic Field, and RF stands for Radio Frequency. EMFs are near-field (not as strong) waves emitted from devices like the cell phone in your pocket or wireless headphones. They can be measured by a Gauss meter and its unit of measurement.

RFs, on the other hand, is an electromagnetic wave with a longer wavelength than microwave radiation. They commonly come from electronic devices such as TVs and microwaves, to name just two examples, but wireless headphones emit them.

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Bluetooth vs. Wired headphone radiation – Which one is safer to use?

Wireless headphones emit RF waves which can harm your health over LONG periods. This is because your brain absorbs RF radiation, which has been shown to lead to cancer in laboratory experiments.

Scientists have tried to find out if there are potentially cancer-causing agents, but no conclusive answer has been given. However, the long-term effects need more research, so it would be better to play it safe by sticking to wired headphones when possible or at least using them sparingly (especially for children).

Do wired headphones emit radiation?

Wired headphones do not emit any RF waves, so they are safer if you need a pair for long-term use. They still emit EMF radiation but on a tiny scale.

Remember that signals such as WiFi are available everywhere, and, unfortunately, EMFs are a part of our environment. The best way to reduce exposure is by limiting your time in areas with WiFi or Bluetooth signals and using wired headphones if possible. It’s important to mention here that the radiation emitted by a cellular phone is way higher than Bluetooth or wired headphones.

The average SAR limit for wireless Bluetooth devices is 0.0044 W/kg. The FCC regulates RF exposure limits as anything below their maximum allowable level of 0.0125W/kg with a power density that does not exceed 250 microwatts per square centimeter (µW/cm²). This means using your phone on speaker or over-the-ear earbuds should be safe without known health risks!

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In theory, using the speaker mode or Bluetooth headphones instead of answering your phone directly is safer than using a mobile phone antenna.

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Precautions when using headphones:

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk when using headphones:

  • Don’t use wireless headphones for long periods or sleep with them.
  • Reduce your cell phone usage and put it on airplane mode when not in use or on speaker mode to reduce EMF radiation exposure.
  • If you need a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones, make sure they are within the FCC limits.
  • When using wireless headphones, turn off Bluetooth when it is not in use. Don’t let them idle.

Ferrite beads to the rescue!

If you use wired headphones for prolonged hours or feel at risk, ensure the wire is wrapped with ferrite beads. A ferrite bead is a small, cylindrical object with different materials that filters out electromagnetic radiation. They are usually made of metal alloys or oxides to absorb the magnetic waves carrying RF and EMF frequencies from your wireless device. You’ve probably seen them before but didn’t know their name.

Bluetooth vs. wired headphones radiation – Wrap up

We still don’t have any definitive data to understand the potential risks, but we’ve come a long way with science and are constantly learning new things. A few precautions can go a long way in reducing radiation exposure from wireless devices, so it’s important to be mindful of that when using technology.