If you’re browsing headphones, you may get overwhelmed by the amount of variety that headphones have. There are a lot of things to consider like sound signature, design, headphone types, connectivity and other important factors. With all the tech jargon, sometimes it’s hard to find the right headphone that caters to your needs. To help you choose which pair of headphones best suits you, we’ve created this article that lists the things that you need to look out for in headphones when choosing which to buy.
Type of Headphones
If you’re looking to buy headphones, you first need to decide which type of headphones you want or need. The activities that you do in your everyday life are huge factors when choosing headphones type.
The smallest of the headphones. They are light, ultra-portable and affordable. You can fit them in the smallest pouches or in your pocket and bring them anywhere. In-ear headphones cover your ear canal, offering good sound isolation. Some in-ear headphones have wings that give better grip, perfect for workouts.
On-ear headphones are bigger than in-ear headphones, but smaller than full-size headphones. This type rests on top of your outer ear and it gives decent sound isolation. It’s also quite portable. Most of them can be folded into more compact shapes, and some have cases to go with them which is perfect if you like travelling as you can bring them easily.
Over-ear headphones offer the best sound quality of all the types, but they are also the most expensive. They fully cover your ears, giving unmatched sound isolation. Over-ear headphones aren’t portable at all, but some people use them as functional fashion accessories. They are also really comfortable, having large cushions for your ears when wearing them. Some over-ear headphones have microphones which are great for gaming.
There are also two types of over-ear headphones: open-back and closed back. Open-back headphones have more natural audio quality, blending the music with your surroundings which gives a larger sound stage. But because of this, it trades off some of its noise-cancellation. Closed-back headphones on the other hand, traps your ears and the music together. They offer more bass than open-back because of this.
Open-ear headphones are commonly known as bone conduction headphones. Its sound drivers rest on the user’s cheekbones. This makes sound vibrations travel through the cheekbone, into the inner ear where it is interpreted and further translated into actual sound by the brain. This type is perfect for cyclists who want to listen to music while still being aware of sounds in his/her surroundings. Open-ear headphones have no bass at all though.
Wired vs. Wireless Headphones
A lot of people argue about which one is better: wired or wireless. There really is no clear winner as these two have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Wireless headphones, as the name implies, are completely wireless and uses Bluetooth technology to connect to a media playback device. Being wireless, there is a bit of compromise on the audio quality. Wireless headphones are quite expensive compared to wired headphones, also one must consider its battery life and charging when buying one. Some examples of the best wireless headphones can be found in this article.
Wired headphones are very common. These headphones offer better sound quality than wireless headphones due to the fact that they are directly connected to the media playback device. Cheaper than its wireless counterpart, wired headphones offer a pretty straightforward experience without the limitation of battery life.
Features to look for in Headphones
Noise cancellation allows you to listen to music with minimal noise from your surroundings. There are two types of noise cancellation: traditional and active. Traditional noise cancellation comes from the closed nature of headphones. Active noise cancellation on the other hand, uses a mic to listen to your surroundings and the system produces a frequency to cancel out any noise it picks up.
Volume & Playback controls
A lot of headphones come with volume and playback controls, usually located on the line or on the side of the headphones. A helpful and convenient feature that you should look for.
Microphone has become a necessity to headphones, though it’s not really that important if you’re just looking to listen to music. But still, a microphone is a useful thing to have on a headphone.
After learning about everything listed above, you should now be able to pick the headphones that best suits you and your lifestyle. There are other small things to consider like comfort and style, but that all depends on your preference. Now all that’s left to do is buy one.