In this article we will help you about How To Choose Best Headphones.
There are so many choices on the market that it is easy to get confused. However, you can consult our buying guide to help you choose the Best Headphone For Gaming, Music And Phone Calls.
There are so many options available in terms of type, brand and price can be overwhelming when you’re looking for the perfect pair of headphones. There are many factors to consider when choosing a headphone.
There are many audio brands on the market, including some well-known ones that have made a mark in the industry. However, there are also many newer ones that are rising in popularity due to their affordability and quality. A few of the most well-known names in the audio market include Sony, Jabra and AKG by Harman Audio. Sennheiser, Bose Audio Technica, Skullcandy and Bang & Olufsen are just a few. Some affordable brands and new audio brands include Noise and Boat, Mi Audio and OnePlus.
Type Of Headphones To Choose
After determining your budget, the first thing to do is to choose your preferred headphones. There are three main styles of headphones: in-ear, on the-ear and over the ear.
- in-ear headphone
In-ear headphones, also known as earphones in common words or earbuds, are the most portable of all three types. They are inserted into the ear canal. You can find disposable in-ear headphones that you can take on planes, as well as earphones that smartphone manufacturers include with their products. High-end buds are made to compare to full-size models. For a more secure and tailored fit, some models, especially sport ones, are equipped with wings or fins.
Pros And Cons
- + Lightweight and compact
- + Excellent noise isolation
- + Designed for active lifestyles
- Tangle easily
- It is easy to lose
- Size can affect sound quality.
- on ear headphone
On-ear headphones rest on top your outer ears, but don’t completely cover or enclose you ear. These headphones have a headphone band that goes behind or above your head. These headphones are usually smaller and lighter than the over-ear ones and can be purchased in both open-back or closed-back versions. Over-ears are more able to let ambient noise through on-ears than they do with over-ears.
- Relatively compact
- Produce lesser heat on the ears than over-ear headphones
- Comfortable to listen music for long hours.
- Very poor noise isolation
- May cause discomfort (too many pressure or pinches on the ears).
- Leaks sound
- Bass is less powerful than in-ears
- over ear headphone
Over-ear headphones are also known as circumaural headphones. They fully cover your ears. These headphones are the largest and come in both closed-back and open back versions. The most comfortable headphones of all three types are the over-ear ones. They also provide great natural acoustic isolation.
- Very comfortable + Excellent sound quality
- Larger soundstage
- Excellent isolation
- Maximum potential for loudness and bass
- The least portable
- Heat the ears
Closed-back or Open-Back
- Closed-back or Open-Back Headphones
Closed-back headphones have an outer shell that has no holes or vents. This traps sound inside the cups while keeping out external noises. Although they can make your music sound a little less natural than open-back headphones due to the echos in the bass notes, these headphones provide a much more punchy bass output. They are still a better option for listening to music while you commute or in public places like airports, offices, and even in public. They are ideal for audio mixing and recording, as they provide isolation that is crucial for these tasks.
Open-back headphones have a more transparent acoustic and permit the user to hear the outside sound. They allow air to flow through the ear cups, and prevent pressure buildup. Open-back headphones are a common feature in premium, high-end headphones. This allows them to sound natural. These headphones are not ideal if there isn’t complete silence. These headphones let in a lot of noise, which can distract you from listening. If you are in public, anyone sitting near you can hear the music and you can listen to them also. These headphones are slightly less durable than closed-back headphones because moisture can easily get inside and cause damage to the electronics.
The bottom line is that while open-back headphones can sound more natural, closed-back headphones are better for listening outside to music.
Wired vs. Wireless
- wired vs wireless headphones
Wireless headphones have become extremely popular in the last few years due to cost effectiveness and now dominate the market. Since the launch of the AirPods by Apple in 2016, true-wireless earphones are a rage and many audio companies have decided to enter this lucrative market. Let’s take a look at both the wired and wireless types.
Over-ears, in-ears, and on-ears all have wired versions that are often regarded as more reliable. Because wired headphones can receive more data than Bluetooth, audiophiles often swear by their sound quality. Wireless headphones can play lossless formats like FLAC, WAV and ALAC better than wired headphones. Bluetooth technology is rapidly catching up in audio.
wired headsets do not suffer from lag and don’t require constant top-ups like wireless headphones. To address the lack of a 3.5mm jack in smartphones, many are available in lightning and USB-C versions. The cable can be a problem as some cables can tangle or break easily.
Wireless headphones are gradually but surely becoming the preferred listening device for consumers. This is due to the removal of the 3.5mm audio connector on smartphones. This eliminates all cables except for the headband, which connects the two earbuds/ear cups. It allows for greater mobility.
Wireless headphones also come with improved Bluetooth codecs like AAC, AptX and AptX HD. These codes improve listening experience and address latency issues. Another problem is that wireless headphones are more expensive than wired ones also we have to charge them on daily basis.. Wireless headphones have a battery life that lasts between 15-30 hours and wireless earphones can last up to 6-18 hours.
True wireless headphones are the newest segment of audio products. These in-ear headphones are kept in a case that doubles as a charging station. These headphones are extremely portable and can be used for any activity. These earbuds have a long battery life. They can last for around 5-8 hours with the case, and then charge up to 2-3 times with the charger. They are small and easy to lose.
It is essential to match the impedance between the headphones and the device (source), you will use it with. We won’t get into the technical definition of impedance. Low impedance headphones (16 to 32 ohms), require less power to drive high levels of audio. Low impedance headphones work well with smartphones and other devices that have weak amplification capabilities, such as portable music players or smartphones. High impedance headphones require more power to provide acceptable audio levels. Studio headphones such as the Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro with an impedance of 250 ohms will need a dedicated source (such as amplifiers), to drive them. This is why you need to do extensive research. Low impedance headphones can also be susceptible to ‘blowouts’ when used with powerful amplifiers so be cautious.
You should consider the sensitivity of your headphones if you are very picky about volume levels. Sensitivity is the measurement of how loud headphones can be. Most headphones have a sensitivity between 96 and 110 dB. Avoid headphones below 85 dB. Headphones above 110 dB can potentially cause hearing loss.
- headphone Drivers
Headphone drivers are responsible for converting electrical signals into sound pressure. The driver’s size is a major factor in determining the quality of the headphones. To make it enjoyable to listen to, drivers increase the bass, mids and treble. There are two main types of driver technology: dynamic and balanced armature. The balanced armature driver is tuned to produce a particular frequency range. Because they do not have a vent inside, they provide greater isolation. However, dynamic drivers have superior bass quality. Balanced armature drivers are more expensive and last longer than dynamic drivers.
Comfort and Fit
You want to choose headphones that provide hours of comfort. Over-ear headphones are most comfortable. However, there are some things you should be aware of. If you are looking for over-ear headphones, make sure the headband does not dig into your head or cause discomfort. Headbands with memory foam, regular foam layers or both will help you feel more comfortable. Make sure that your ear cups are comfortable and plush. Because they mold to your unique shape, memory foam ear cups work best. Most memory foam cups will have a mesh or leather covering. While leather is very comfortable, it can become hot over time. For long listening hours, mesh is a better choice.
But mesh can negatively impact isolation and sound leakage. In-ears are best if you use memory foam tips. They conform to your ear canal, and offer better isolation and bass output. Regular rubber tips are also effective, provided you choose the right fit. 1MORE, an audio manufacturer, offers a variety of eartips in a range of sizes and shapes. This allows users to customize their earpieces, which can improve comfort and enhance the listening experience. You should also look for in-ears that have angled nozzles (the tips of the buds). These are more ergonomic and provide a better fit.
- Source: audioreputation.com
Look at the sound you like most and choose headphones that fit that description. There are three main sound types: bright, neutral, and warm. Audiophiles often seek out neutral to hear the best audio. Neutral is the holy grail for high-end audio. Neutral headphones are rare and extremely difficult to find, as they must reproduce all frequencies of sound equally.
Many headphones have a voicing, and headphones that claim to be neutral are often not neutral in reality. You would be best to look for headphones that have a balance sound and a hint of warmth or brightness. Warm-sounding headphones are more inclined to be oriented towards the bass frequencies, making vocals and bass louder. These headphones have a mass-appeal sound signature and are ‘comfortable’. Warm headphones can be very thumpy or bass heavy, so you should avoid them. They compromise the sound integrity. Brighter headphones reproduce the high-pitched trebles better than duller ones. These headphones can pick up imperfections and hisses in recordings so they are not recommended for casual use. Over time, headphones that are too bright can make it difficult to hear the music.
Active Noise Cancellation Vs Passive Noise Isolation
High-end audio products now include ANC (Active Noise Cancellation). Some people find ANC appealing even in-ears. This allows them to immerse themselves in a sound cocoon. The headphones use microphones to analyze ambient noise to produce a ‘opposite sound wave’ to cancel it out. Some people find the ANC experience jarring as they can cause damage to their ears and headaches. Wireless models also use more battery than headphones that have passive noise cancellation. ANC headphones are useful if you travel frequently in noisy environments, or if you hear the AC hum and airplane drone.
If you are looking for this level of isolation, then ANC headphones might be right for you. You can also purchase regular (passive isolation) headphones. Passive isolation headphones are more affordable and can limit external sounds.
Main points to think about when buying a headphone.
1. Frequency Response
This specification tells you how loud the headphones can produce sound. This is usually measured in Hertz (Hz), and the frequency range of most headphones is between 20Hz-202,000Hz. Why? This is why products are aimed at this range. To lure customers, audio companies routinely exaggerate frequency-response values. This isn’t a problem if the numbers are slightly out of the hearing range. A slightly wider frequency response (say 15 Hz – 25,000 Hz) can allow the sound at the extreme ends to breathe. It is a marketing trick. However, frequency response numbers are not something you should be concerned about. Without bat ears, you won’t be able hear the difference between a normal and wider range.
You should not think about this when purchasing headphones. Over-the-top designs can lead to compromises. Bose NC 700, for example, has a unique design. The headphones have a tapered headband which makes them look futuristic and stylish. The headband cannot be folded due to its design. Users will have to carry the heavier than normal carrying case that comes with the headphones. If they do not compromise any of the essential features, comfort, or sound quality of your headphones, then aesthetics should be considered.