Want to upgrade to wireless earphones, need help.

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Jeffery Mewtamer, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Jeffery Mewtamer

    Jeffery Mewtamer

    Blind Bookworm Member
    For those that don't know, I'm blind and reliant on a screen reader to use a computer. As I spend most of my waking hours on the computer in one capacity or another and live in a trailer with walls thin enough that using a loud speaker would mean my housemates hear everything I do on the computer, I spend most of the day with earphones on my head.

    My work horse for several years was a pair of ear clip-style Panasonic earphones I got off Amazon:
    Which I could comfortably wear all day, could turn on earpiece to hang below my ear whenever I had need to listen to the earphones and a person speaking at the same time(e.g. for taking notes on my Raspberry Pi during a university lecture), and are a good balance between(small enough to be easy to store and big enough to be easily found if dropped). The only thing stopping me from just ordering another pair of these is that I'm tired of dealing with an easily tangled cord, and other issues with wires are the main reason I need a new pair(deliberately plugging/unplugging from my desktop's earphone jack coupled with frequent unintentional unpluggings due to the wire being not quite long enough lead to the wire fray and finally breaking where it attaches to the plug).

    I've been making due with a pair of retro, earmuff-style Casio headphones that are large enough to make taking them off and putting them back on easier than plugging/unplgging when I need to step away from the keyboard, and while they have an extra long, extra thick single wire that's pretty much tangle proof, it also has a bent plug that results in sound in only one ear unless the plug is rotated in the jack just right, and thanks to having big ears, prolonged wearing leaves my ear cartilage sore.

    In an ideal world, I'd just order a wireless version of the above linked ear-clips, but if such exists, I haven't been able to find it and have several other issues:

    1. I hate earbuds, and the ear-plug style in particular iritate my ear canals and leave me prone to ear infections, but as earbuds are the most widespread style of wireless earphones, finding any other form factor is like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

    2. Being blind and the tendency for online product listings to rely on photos for communicating form factor makes figuring out the form factor of non-earbud wireless earphones harder than it should be.

    3. Most wireless earphones on the market are pure-bluetooth, but I own devices that only have 3.5mm audio output(including my desktop computer). To make matters worse, pretty much every adaptor I've found is more expensive than just buying a new pair of wired ear-clips, would require a USB port I don't have to spare to power it, and even if I could afford to upgrade to a desktop with on-board Bluetooth, my attempts at getting my Raspberry Pi to use a Bluetooth speaker never bore fruit and since I'm using a similar flavor of Linux on my desktop, I wouldn't expect better results there.

    4. I'm on a rather tight budget. Sub-10 USD would be ideal, but being realistic, I think I'd be happy for something sub-30 USD and willing to consider anything sub-50 USD.

    So, can anyone suggest a wireless listening solution that's good for all day listening, works with 3.5 mm audio output and is rather inexpensive? I'm thinking the ideal would be something like the ear clips I linked above, but bluetooth compatible, at least 24-hour battery lifeand with a 3.5 mm dongle for use with devices that lack bluetooth that gets all its power from the 3.5mm audio jack and is stored in a dummy jack on one of the ear pieces, but I suspect something so convient either doesn't exist or would be rediculously expensive.

    Also, as I have housemates who like to play music at what I'm pretty sure are hearing damaging volumes(at least, their music gives me ear aches on occasion and that's staying as far from the source as possible, some sound insulating or noise canceling would be nice, but again, I suspect at lest the latter is out of my budget.