Windows Headset vs Headphones: What is the Difference?

Here is a comparison of headsets and headphones

Reading time icon 4 min. read

Readers help support Windows Report. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help Windows Report effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more

Key notes

  • A major difference between headsets and headphones is that headsets offer a microphone for speaking purposes.
  • The sound quality is typically superior on headphones than on headsets. Even some lower-end headphones offer better audio quality.
  • Wireless uses the internet to connect two devices whereas Bluetooth does not need WiFi.

People often use the terms headset and headphones interchangeably, but they are quite different pieces of equipment. Here’s our comparison of Bluetooth headsets vs headphones and which is best for Windows 11.

If you have a PC, chances are you also have a pair of headphones, earbuds, or a headset. Whether you use your Windows 11 for gaming, business, or music, a good audio device is necessary.

Keep reading to discover the difference between Bluetooth headsets and headphones and which you should use for your Windows 11.

What’s the difference between a headset and headphones?

Headphones are a term typically used universally to describe a device that has a driver for each ear and is connected by a headband. There are two types of headphones: over-ear and on-ear. Wireless earbuds operate similarly but the two drivers are not connected and are generally more portable.

bluetooth headset vs headphones.

Headsets, on the other hand, are basically headphones with a built-in microphone. Users can use headsets to listen to music, but they are more commonly for video conferencing, gaming, and anything that may require the use of a microphone.

If you are having problems with your computer not using the mic on your headset, then we offer solutions for that as well.

Bluetooth headset VS headphones: which should I buy?

Sound Quality

The quality of sound on a pair of headphones is generally going to be far better than that of a headset. Headphones are designed specifically for listening to music, it’s going to have more of a focus on audio performance and bass levels.

Most Bluetooth headphones are noise-canceling to block out any background noise for a fully immersive experience. Some high-end headphones offer 360 Reality Audio for optimized and heightened audio.

headphones audio quality.

The purpose of headsets is not solely for music, so the audio quality is not on par with headphones. Most headsets are still noise-canceling and offer a decent audio experience. However, the sound quality for headsets is not as good as even low-end to mid-range headphones.


When it comes to features, then a Bluetooth headset takes the cake. All headsets have a microphone, some are detachable and adjusted for comfort. Having a detachable microphone on your headset makes it easy to remove it when on the go.

The main difference between headsets and headphones is that headsets include a microphone used for voice chat and calls. Headsets offer hands-free calls and video conferencing for those who spend time on the phone or streaming.

detachable mic on bluetooth headset for windows 11.

Headphones on the other hand are convenient for listening to audio, however, if you need a microphone, then you need a separate device. If there is a possibility of needing a microphone, then headphones are not the most convenient.


As stated previously, there are some low-end to mid-range headphones that offer superior audio quality over a headset of the same price. However, users would need to purchase a separate microphone since some headphones do not have them built in, so that’s an added cost to consider.

Price between bluetooth headset and headphones.

A headset with excellent audio quality and a detachable microphone can be an investment, but there are affordable options that have lower sound quality but are perfect for gaming or meetings.

Is wireless the same as Bluetooth?

No, wireless is not the same as Bluetooth. Not all wireless devices use Bluetooth, but all Bluetooth devices are wireless. Some wireless devices connect to another device via the internet using WiFi.

However, Bluetooth only connects devices to one another without the need for internet and Bluetooth can be used without WiFi. If you’re having issues with Windows 10 or 11 not detecting your headphones, we have a guide for that.

Bluetooth not the same as wireless.


Bluetooth headsets and headphones are two different devices that offer different features and functions. So at the end of the day, it depends on what you need for your Windows 11.

If you take a lot of video or phone calls or stream games with others and need to have a microphone on your headphones, then a headset is the choice for you.

However, if you’re primary purpose for your Windows 11 is to listen to or create music and audio, then a quality set of headphones is best for you.

We hope you enjoyed this comparison between Bluetooth headsets vs headphones for Windows. Hopefully, this guide helped you decide which is best for Windows 11. Let us know in the comments below which device you prefer to use.