Everyone needs a pair of good headphones, I’m sure you’d all agree. After all, how else could you get into beast mode while exercising, relax by listening to a podcast or an audiobook before sleeping or isolate yourself from all that crowd on the bus?
But how does one find a good pair? There’s a huge range of headphones for sale that come with all kinds of bells and whistles on them, so choosing a pair can be a daunting task. Worry not, you only need to consider the following factors to find exactly what you need.
The Different Types of Headphones
First of all, it’s of great importance to get to know the different types of headphones, so you can choose a pair that suits your needs and preferences.
As their name states, this type features closed ear cups to isolate and keep the sounds “inside your ears”, so you’re the only one that can hear the sounds they emit regardless of your surroundings. This means that no sound will be able to leak or escape away from your headphones, which makes them perfect for those who want a more private listening experience so they don’t disturb others or if you want to fully immerse in some good music.
Closed-back headphones are also used by musicians in recording settings, so they can fully focus on the instrumental without worrying that the loud headphone sounds will reach the microphone and ruin the entire track.
Open-back headphones are the opposite of closed ones, which means that they allow some of the sound to find its way outside the ear cups. But this doesn’t make open-back headphones of lesser quality than the closed-back ones, since the sound leaking feature is on purpose.
For instance, some people prefer open and airy sounds when listening to music, while some of them may find the pressure of “sealed” closed-back cups on their ears for a longer period extremely uncomfortable. Aside from that, they’re very purposeful when it comes to mixing in studio settings since unlike the closed-back ones, open-back headphones will avoid building up some frequencies and distorted, unclear blasts, but deliver perfectly flat sound.
On-ear headphones are the type that goes over your head and sits on top of your ears, featuring ear cups that are nearly the size of your ear. When it comes to the listening experience, they’re very similar to open-end ones, with the difference that they’re more lightweight, comfortable and won’t cause sweating. But since they’re smaller than the open-end ones, make sure you choose a pair that fits you well and won’t put a lot of pressure on your ears.
Over-head headphones are the opposite of on-ear ones – they fit on top of your head and go over your ears to cover their entire surface. This makes them very similar to closed-ear ones, with the only difference that they’re way bulkier, heavier and will put much more pressure on your ears. But on account of that, you get excellent sound isolation to shut off the world around you and get engulfed into listening to music or gaming.
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In-ear headphones are considered a mini version of headphones, which makes them very convenient, practical and portable without taking a lot of space in your backpack, purse and even pocket. What makes them different is that unlike the other types of headphones that sit on the ridge of your ears, in-ear ones will lay in your ear canal so they can bring the sounds directly inside your ear.
This makes them perfect for people who don’t like the feeling of having bulky accessories all over their head, as well as for travelling, hitting the gym or casually walking around the city.
High End Headphones Are Worth It
You’ve probably felt the frustration of your old headphones producing weird, poor-quality sounds or getting damaged after only a few months of use. To avoid this, invest in a pair of high end headphones and see how they change your entire listening experience.
If you’re wondering what makes them worth it, it’s their ability to reproduce any sound that the human’s ear can register (from 20 to 20.000 Hz). This means that if you focus on different instruments or sounds of the song you’re listening to, such as bass, guitars or pianos, you’ll be able to hear them separately without making any efforts to distinguish them. This is not the case with low end, cheap headphones that ruin and make every sound unpleasant.
Also, such hi-fi headphones will perform excellently regardless of the volume levels, without any deviations and distortions, which is not the case with low-end ones that tend to produce pitchy voices and unintelligible, distorted sounds once you play a song very loud.
Even though all these features may seem like a very expensive deal, you can rest assured that they’re a great investment in the long run. Not only will you not have to play around with low-end headphones until you find your perfect pair, but they’re also made of sturdier coils, higher-quality magnets and generally more durable materials to stand the test of time.
Wired or Wireless?
Choosing between a pair of wired or wireless headphones is more a matter of preference. However, both of them have their advantages and are suitable for different applications.
Wireless headphones are having huge popularity on the market these days. This is due to the freedom they provide, and the ability to listen to whatever you want without being tied to your desk or tethered to the closest plug while charging your phone.
But this doesn’t mean that wireless headphones don’t feature any wires. In fact, there’re two types of wireless headphones – the truly wireless ones that feature two earbuds without any wires, and the classic wireless ones that have cords connecting the two ear cups or buds, while still giving you the freedom to walk away from the device that’s playing the sounds.
However, unlike wireless ones, wired headphones tend to produce higher quality audios and better sounds, which is a very valuable feature for musicians, sound engineers and audio techs. Also, by having wired headphones you won’t have to bother about their battery and the Bluetooth connection draining it in a blink of an eye, which will save you from the frustration of having to end your music listening session while you’re still “in the mode”.
Do You Need Noise-Cancelation?
Many headphones today feature the ability to cancel the surrounding noises to deliver the best listening experience. In fact, they use an electronic process to analyse the ambience and the surrounding sounds and generate them, which results in less noise overall.
This can be a very useful feature, for example, if you’re having a remote job that requires attending online meetings while your kids are running around, or isolating the frustrating snoring or baby cries during a flight or while staying in a hotel. But at the same time, isolating yourself from the surroundings will significantly increase the cost, so make sure you choose wisely.