Are AirPods and Other Bluetooth Headphones Safe?
Markham Heid
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These “experts” should first check on the parameters of the comparison, and then recall their college physics they might have forgotten. Bluetooth emission is about 50 times less powerful than the emission of the cell phone itself (just check the wireless standards). When I stick the phone to my ear I get X Watts of power into my head when I stick the AirPod in my ear I get 2% of that exposure (and the geometric configuration is the same — distance matters as 1/r² plus the absorbtion in my tissues is the same — same head). In the course of my stormy life I’ve learnt the hard way the hazards of worrying about the 2% while neglecting the 98%. Moreover, let me surprise you: sticking a wired earphone in your year is nearly as bad as sticking the phone directly to your ear. Based on what do I make us a non-intuitive claim? When I was in Harmonic, the company that I co-founded, we had fun in the lab one day, over the noon break, measuring the radiation from the headphone with a spectrum analyzer as well as measuring the radiation from the wired earphone, using a receive antenna tuned to the frequency range and bringing both sources to a few cm proximity — to our surprise, the levels from the earphone were just as strong to within a dB or two as those from the earphone. The explanation is that the wires act as a transmission line, very effectively channelling the RF frequency to the earphones at the extremity. For proper disclosure:

  1. I sold all Apple stock in Aug last year :)
  2. I have a PhD in Electrical Engineering. I am a EE professor at the Technion and I led hundreds of engineers in the high-tech industry, working on cable television and satellite transmission

So, I humbly add my argument here, at odds with that of the “experts” who may be experts in tissues, but i am not so sure about their electro-magnetics and about their physics common sense (the first thing they should have done is look up the respective radiation levels in Watts — and I dont buy the story about pulses — for reasons that I am out of time to discuss here — spread spectrum).