An ultimate guide on choosing the best car headphones

Updated Dec 18, 2019 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

Everything you need to know about car headphones; determining what in-car headphones are and the different types of car headphones, and how to find the right in-car headphone for you.

But aside from stereo head units, amplifiers, and speakers, there is also another entertainment device that you can take advantage of. The piece we’re talking about is the headphones.

These are almost never used in day to day trips for errands. This is why people hardly pay attention to them. But if you’re one of the few people who like to use what they have, then you’re in luck.

in-car entertainment

Today, we have access to top-quality in-car audio equipment and other accessories

Today, we’re going through everything you need to know about car headphones. If you think you know your in-car headphones well enough, let’s put your knowledge to the test.

Do you know the different types of in-car headphones? What are they for? What makes them different from each other? How do they stand out from the rest? How should you choose the right headphones? Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers, we got them all right in this article from

1. In-car headphones

The use of in-car headphones is technically not allowed for the driver. This is an element that could veer his attention and focus away from the road. Devices like these could contribute to the probability of getting into an accident. But if we’re talking about car headphones for passengers, then go right ahead.

Aside from working like regular headphones, in-car units also provide you with other benefits. For instance, you can plug it into your vehicle's multimedia system to enjoy tunes privately.

If you’re a car enthusiast, you may have already noticed that most vehicles these days are equipped with high-end multimedia components. These units also support the use of headphones for the user’s enjoyment. So, if you’re riding as a passenger for the trip, don’t worry about watching that K-drama no one else wants to watch.

headphones inside the car

The use of in-car headphones is technically not allowed for the driver

A pair of good-quality headphones will make sure your trip in comfort without bothering anyone else. If your driver likes to maneuver the wheel in peace and quiet, he will appreciate this gesture.

There are also multimedia units that can let multiple people plug their headphones in. Some even let multiple users listen to their preferred multimedia files. While the passengers are busy, the driver can be left alone in peace and quiet or with his own tunes.

Now, all that may seem amazing but in-car headphones aren’t one-size-fits-all. If you’ve tried a couple of car headphones before, you’ll know that some technologies aren’t versatile. That means you will most likely stumble upon car headphones that don’t 100% work. If you have a couple of car headphones that work just fine, then, good for you!

>>> Check out: Best in-car entertainment ideas to fight boredom while in a long drive

2. Types of car headphones

Here are different types of car headphones that you can find in the market:

  • IR headphones
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Wired headphones
  • RF headphones

Wired car headphones?

Wired car headphones are the simplest types of headphones in your vehicle. These are very identical to the regular headphones that you use to plug into other devices. Wired headphones can be over-ear headphones, earbuds or on-ear headphones.

These are typically made with 3.5mm plugs that are the same with most phones and other gadgets. These also don’t require batteries. One benefit of wired headphones is that you may already own at least one of these.

The drawback is that there are in-car multimedia components that can’t support more than one of these headphones. There are units that are built with more than one audio jack. But you can also find vehicles that are built with multiple audio jacks for multiple passengers. The latter, however, is usually present in late model cars.

Your wired headphones can also work well with compatible DVD players and displays. Some units include more than one display screen and DVD player. If your vehicle has one just like this, then your already-owned headphones will be just fine.

Wired car headphones

Wired car headphones are the simplest types of headphones in your vehicle

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IR Car Headphones

These second type of headphones are wireless. They receive the audio signals using an infrared spectrum. This is just like how your TV remote changes the channel or turn the volume down. IR car headphones only connect with systems that transmit via precise IR frequency. But there are also units that are able to receive signals on more than one channel.

IR car headphones require batteries to work. These also require a good and clear line of sight with the transmitter. It works just like TV remotes that don’t work if there’s an obstruction in front of the TV. If you don’t have a good line of sight, you may not be getting the best sound quality.

ir car headphone

IR Car headphones receive audio signals using an infrared spectrum

RF Car Headphones

Just like IR headphones, RF headphones work wirelessly. The difference is that they work on radiofrequency. These are also compatible with systems that transmit signals via a particular frequency. This can let one passenger watch a DVD file while another is enjoying music.

These also require batteries to work. But unlike the IR headphones, these don’t need a clear line of sight.

>>> Tips for you: 8 essential tips when buying car accessories online

Bluetooth Headphones

This is probably one of the most favorite choices today. Ever since Bluetooth started, it became the go-to choice for wireless music playing. This tech works a little differently from the two other wireless devices we discussed earlier.

These headphones are paired with head units that are also Bluetooth-enabled. Some of these also support hands-free calls asides from music-streaming

Bluetooth headphones

Bluetooth headphones are paired with head units that are also Bluetooth-enabled

3. How to find the right in-car headphones

Before buying headphones, you need to know which type is supported by your multimedia system. Once you know what type it is, check if the individual units are compatible. There are factory systems out there that support IR car headphones. But this doesn’t mean it will be completely compatible with your entertainment unit.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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