What type of headphones should you Purchase?
There are many kinds of headphones out there and most of them fit into a handful of categories. Here’s a quick summary of what each one means, so you know where to start with.
In-ear Headphones: Also known as earphones, this is the usual option as in-ears don’t take up much space. They’re not for everyone as some don’t like the feel of the tips in their ear canals, and most don’t sound quite as good as a full-sized pair (Reason mentioned further in this article). Also, They sit closer to the ear drum, so can deliver excellent sound quality, and they also fill the entrance to the ear, so are effective at sealing out external noise.
On-ear Headphones: These are the most popular kind of portable headphones but unlike in-ear headphones, they direct sound straight down the ear canal, but don’t seal out external noises, and may also leak noise to those around you e.g. When sitting in a library or in car. They do sound better than in-ears, and they can be more of a style statement. They don’t dig into your ears either, but the trade-off is that tighter fitting sets can get uncomfortable, especially for those who wear glasses.
Over-ear Headphones: The biggest and most conspicuous of the lot, but they are the most comfortable because they sit around your ear and also offer decent noise isolation, and better sound than on-ears and in-ear. Open-back versions have perforated ear cups and sound more spacious, but you’ll want to avoid those for use outside the home as these things can get sweaty as they encase the entire ear and heavy. These Offer the best quality sound acoustics and sound tones hence used by recording studios and artists for production.
Noise-canceling Headphones: are an acoustical technology that detects ambient sounds outside of your headphones or earbuds, then reverses the phase of the sound waves, which cancels them out. This technology works best on steady, low-frequency background noise. Here Microphones are used to monitor ambient noise, an inverse wave of which is then piped-out by the headphone, negating the din. Great for blocking out plane engine sounds, or just the office air conditioning but also cost a lot more than others. This technology is available in both high-end In-ear and Over-ear headphones.
In-ear and Over-ear headphones both have their pros and cons, and the best device for delivering your music depends on the circumstances you’ll be in and your preferences and comfort.
Let’s consider Over-ear headphones first.
Over-ear Headphones rest on your outer ears. Supra-aural models cover your entire ear surfaces but don’t entirely seal them. Over-the-ear models, or circumoral, fully enclose each ear (think of the ear coverings worn by those who work on airstrips, or inside noisy factories). The biggest advantage with headphones is that they deliver superior sound quality, especially when it comes to bass tones or acoustics. They’re also great at blocking out ambient noise background noise that’s always present, such as traffic on a street. But headphones aren’t perfect. They’re bulky and not too portable, which is why you don’t see runners wearing them, or people strolling around town with a pair snugged onto their heads. If you wear headphones for a while, they can get all hot and sweaty, too, especially if you’re exercising. And the bigger the headphones, the more they’ll swoosh your hair while running or workouts sessions. They can also interfere with glasses and earrings. Best for Gaming, sound/studio recording, DJ’s, radio jockeys, for listening acoustic music and bass tones which in-ear cant output that well.
In-ear can also rest on your outer ear, but most are meant to be inserted into your ear canal. In-ear is typically less expensive than headphones, much lighter and far less bulky. This means they’re quite portable, which is why you probably see people with wires hanging out of their ears every day in buses, gyms and at work. Because earbuds only sit in your ear canals, they don’t affect your hairstyle or the wearing of glasses and earrings. Unfortunately, In-ear headphones deliver inferior sound quality, especially when it comes to bass tones and acoustics. They also don’t filter out external noise very well, so earbud-wearers tend to crank up the volume on their tunes, which can wreck their eardrums. Some people find In-ear headphones hurt their ear canals, too, while others simply can’t wear them because they always slip out of their ears. Best for running, workout and traveling as handy to carry
Final decision: If you want to enjoy high-quality sound and really, all the sounds in a piece of music Over-ear headphones are your best bet. They’re also great for enjoying tunes in your home. But if you’re working out at the gym or commuting, earbuds are probably better, due to their light weight and portability.
But there’s one more thing to consider before making any purchase. Both headphones and earbuds are typical “noise isolating” devices, meaning they block some of the noise around you, much like when you place your fingers in your ears or put earmuffs on. But some folks prefer to have Over-ear or In-ear Headphones that are noise canceling, and that’s a different thing.
Still not sure which is best for you? Many people purchase both headphones and earbuds, swapping them out depending on their circumstances. That way, you’re ensured of always getting the sweetest sound of your choice.
So, what about major cons?
It is the question each of us has asked ourselves at least once: earbuds vs. headphones? While most of us believe this debate is focused solely on the merits of sound quality, there’s a much more important health-related issue you need to address: hearing loss. The real question is: Which of the two is more likely to hurt your ears?
Short answer: earbuds are more likely to cause harm as they are inserted into the canal, through headphones can also do you wrong if you hear with very high-volume level.