Published on March 22nd, 2017 | by AlexandreG.0
The headphone that’s right for you
Having a lot of options isn’t always a good thing and that fact becomes quite apparent while trying to find a new headphone every time. However, once you figure out what you will be using your headphones/earphones for listening to mostly, those options should become much less daunting. The key is to know what the benefits of each type are and how they affect your listening experience on a daily basis. In order to help the newbie out, here’s a list which explains each primary headphone type.
Often confused with in-ear headphones, they resemble actual cotton earbuds and typically do not have any foam or rubber tips on them. These were the first in the world of earphones that brought the concept of affordable and portable headsets to the market. Earbuds have almost been discarded by all manufacturers now as they do not fit well in ears, cannot block outside noise well enough and may become uncomfortable with prolonged use.
This is what the earbuds made way for; in-ear headphones offer the same light-weight portability and affordable price tags, but are great at noise isolation and they do not fall out. Mostly used as an accessory to smartphones nowadays, the premium ones can offer excellent sound quality that sometimes rivals even some of the on-ear or over the-ear headphones. What I like most about in-ear headphones is the comfort factor. You can customize the ear tips until you find the most comfortable one for your ears. Just the other day, I ordered some Beats by Dre replacement ear tips as I lost one of my older pairs and none of the remaining tips I had would fit as well and as comfortably into my ear canals as my last pair.
These are the largest of the lot which cover the entire ear and not just the ear canals. Although their size and weight can make them uncomfortable in the long run, they do not strain the cartilage in our ears as much as on-ear headphones. Professional grade over-the-ear headphones are used by music enthusiasts and professionals in studios all over the world.
They are usually cheaper than open back models and are great at cutting out all ambient noise and sound leakage due to the circumoral closed back design.
The backs of open back over-the-ear headphone cups are always open to allow for free movement of air. While that design may allow more ambient noise to seep in than a closed back headphone, the overall sound quality and the bass response is always more natural. This is why musicians always prefer open backs over closed backs.
This is the jack of all trades and master of none headphone type. They offer some of the portability of earphones and some of the quality of over-the-ear headphones, but sacrifice quite a bit on both ends. The closed back design allows on-ear headphones to provide good noise isolation but the bass is not good on most models. Personally, they also hurt my ears after a while.
These four are the only types you need to concern yourself with. All other kind of headphones that you will see being marketed are just variations of the four mentioned here and offer features that you only need to consider after you have made a choice within the four options mentioned here. However, it is worth mentioning that although wireless headphones are significantly more portable, less messy and easier to use, a wired headphone will almost always beat them in terms of quality.