Want to escape
the routine noises and enjoy some solitary time with your favorite music? You
simply have to grab a pair of quality headphones and settle in your favorite
corner for a nice, relaxing experience. The next question – Do you choose your
headphones after careful research and exploration of all the options available
or do you simply grab the nearest one available and settle down? If you answer
positive to this question, you are missing out on something big.
There are hundreds
of brands of headphones available which makes the task of choosing the right
one for your listening needs extremely challenging.
buying guide aims to take the pain out of the headphone buying process by
providing valuable information about the types of headphones, their features,
aesthetics, and USPs. Of course, the appearance is also an important factor to
consider but should generally figure lower down on the list of priorities,
unless you are a style freak. So here goes:
On-Ear, Over-the-Ear? Which One Resounds To Your Needs
If you are
looking for a pair that can be easily carried and even bunched into a roll and
stuffed into your pocket for some on the move music, then the in-ear ones can
be the right choice. They are popular for their portability and can rest
comfortably in your ear. Some models are even designed to rest deeper in the
ear canal for a more enhanced sound experience.
There are some
minuses as well. Portability is good but these pieces can do some amount of
damage to the ear cartilage if you are using it for extended periods of time.
headphones offer a higher level of comfort than those in-ear types. They have
paddings that rest on the outer ear. Most models are of the same shape as they
do not allow much scope for experimentation in styles. Some can be folded which
can be good news for those looking for portability in on-ear headphones. As
this model offers more room for placing larger drivers, they tend to provide
better sound quality too.
Go for it if you
want a pair of headphones that can sound great and is easy to take around even
of the size does not strictly conform to the conventional definition of
portable. Where can you use them? Workouts for sure and also while you want to
simply relax with some great sounding music.
If you want
nothing less than the best in headphones, the best buy is undoubtedly those
pretty and stylish, over-ear headphones. They not only offer great comfort but
also produce excellent sound quality. They are not exactly portable and hence
may not be the best thing to have over your ears if you love to enjoy music on
the go. Over-Ear headphones can be the perfect ones for use at home.
Over-Ear means exactly that – they don’t touch your
ears. That’s because of the paddings that cover your ears as a protective
shield to enable you to enjoy your music for as long as you want, without
feeling any discomfiture. The headphones offer enough space for big or
different types of drivers.
Wired – What Is Your Choice?
When you are
looking for headphones, obviously the quality of the sound that the device
delivers will play a key role in what you choose. However, for many users
convenience is also a deciding factor and might take precedence over sound
quality, in some instances. For such individuals, the choice would be wireless
headphone is also the right choice for those who are not into hi-fi music and
can do with a slight dip in sound quality.
Wireless headphones can be used within a radius of 10 meters but that is likely to change dramatically with Bluetooth rolling out latest advanced versions that can carry sound wirelessly over many times that distance.
It is important
to mention here that within the wireless category itself there are a few
varieties. You can choose from over-the-ear headphones and on-ear headphones.
Then there are ear-bud variations from Apple that are truly wireless in every
sense. They are not only independent of the music system but independent of
each other as well. There are further developments and updates happening on
There is one
critical factor to consider while buying wireless headphones and that is the
battery of the headphone. The battery life of wireless headphones varies based
on the type of headphone. Battery life of four hours plus is considered very
good for continuous playback on true wireless headphones. Other types of
wireless headphones have varying levels of battery life.
or Open Back – Which Design Appeals to You?
When it comes to
headphones, there are two types of designs to choose from – closed back and
open back. The most commonly used variety is closed back but the few open back
brands are acknowledged for the enormous difference they make to the quality of
for headphones, you are most likely to come across the closed back variety more
as they are commonly used. This type of headphone is designed to block outside
noise to the best possible level and keeps the music within the headphone –
quite some technology but there are pluses and minuses to this as well.
headphones are for those who love to enjoy their music on the go, and even for those
who want to enjoy music with others in the room. A drawback is that closed back
headphone offers sound quality that sounds a little less natural but the
difference will not be very apparent unless you are a connoisseur of quality
sound and music.
It is plain
commonsense that open back headphones are designed to do precisely the opposite
of what close back headphones do. They create sounds that are as close to
natural as can be. Yes, sound can escape your open back headphones, and that’s
why those tiny echoes that are so typical of closed back headphones are not
audible in this system.
There are a few
downsides to open back headphones. making them really only suitable for home
listening. We mentioned that sound inside the headphones can get out. And the
reverse can happen too – outside sound can also very easily get in. You will be
able to hear all the sounds around you, even if you are in an environment where
the noise level is moderate. With no physical barrier protecting the
electronics inside the headphone, there is the likelihood of moisture getting
into the system and causing some amount of damage. That’s why open back
headphones are best for listening in a quiet homely environment.
Yes, there is
this in-between type of headphone too, the semi-open design. It is not a
popular type as the disadvantages are many and the benefits are a few. The
They cover a large
percentage of outside space with just a little gap for air movement
Outside noise can be
heard over the headphone
The risk of damage of the electronic components because of
moisture is real and high
headphones too have drivers to vibrate the air and create the right sound.
There are many types of drivers:
Driver: They are the most common type and found in
a majority of headphones. They are low-cost but that should not be viewed as
low in performance. Dynamic Driver can create an impressive response with bass
but can get distorted with an increase in volume.
armature drivers: They are a part of most in-ear
headphones and can be tuned to specific frequencies. Generally, two sets of these drivers are tuned to different
frequencies for a better sound response.
drivers: They are different than other drivers
because of their ability to produce a sound
that is undistorted and natural. Cost of these drivers is on the higher side.
Besides, you would need a headphone amplifier to go with them.
reproduce sound at various frequencies. Most of them offer a frequency range of
20Hz to 20kHz but to a common man the numbers do not make much sense but it is
important to know a bit about frequency range before buying a headphone.
instruments operate in lower frequencies while others sound well in higher
frequencies. Of course, there are some such as the guitar and drums that
operate somewhere between the two extreme ends. Using headphones that have a
frequency response of less than the above-mentioned range is not advisable.
To Consider While Buying Headphones:
Impedance: Buy a headphone with low impedance that can be easily powered
using your PC or even a smartphone.
Sensitivity: Measured in decibels, sensitivity is a measure of the loudness of
your headphone based on the power input. The ideal sensitivity should be around
90 decibels and 120 decibels per megawatt.
Cancellation: This is a technology that’s evolving
and developing. The core of the technology involves detecting the unwanted
noises happening around you and playing a reverse version of those noises so
that they cancel out each other. In some cases, it can affect the audio
quality, albeit in a minor way.
Convenience: Look for headphones that come with
controls placed on the ear cup or on the cable within a remote. You will be
able to control your music better with this user-friendly feature.
for a pair that has nearly everything that you are looking for but also find
the right design o go with your style. Of course, pricing is another crucial
aspect to consider while buying a headphone.
Kanika Khanna is the lead news and review writer at WAT A GADGET. Her passion is helping people in all aspect of online marking industry. In addition, Kanika is also associated with one of the leading Los Angeles based marketing firms Coalition Technologies.