There is a lot of information on the internet about headphones. It can be very overwhelming. However, there are different criteria when it comes to selecting the types of headphones that will suit your needs. The features and construction of different headphones make a big difference in how they are used. Let's get to it.
- Why Are There Different Types of Headphones?
- Types Of Headphones
- How To Make Your Headphones Last Longer
- Factors To Consider Before Purchasing Headphones
- The Bottom Line
Why Are There Different Types of Headphones?
Headphones were made specifically for communication from a distance. The first pair of headphones were made with leather and copper wire. Since then, they have advanced and are used for different purposes. The primary use of headphones is to listen to detailed sound without any background noise.
As we have mentioned, there are different types of headphones with different uses, as we will discuss in the next sections. However, some types of headphones can be used for mixing audio. Others are used to cancel any ambient noise. A headphone generally produces excellent sound quality or keeps unwanted noise out.
If you have headphones, chances are you use them every day to listen to music as most people do. However, there are also other needs and requirements that some people require for their own uses, including listening to music or even music production. Here are the types of headphones and their services.
Types Of Headphones
1) On-ear Headphones
On-ear headphones rest on top of your ears. Of course, they also go over your head. They are smaller than their counterparts because they don't cover your whole ear. They merely rest on top of the ear. This is also why they are called supra-aural headphones. The design of on-ear headphones allows sound leakage.
When you wear headphones, especially the on-ear type, they allow some sound leak to the environment. They also allow ambient sound into the headphones. When you buy new headphones, ensure they sit on your ears well. This ensures they don't put additional pressure on your ear and ear canal.
On the upside, these headphones are lightly constructed, so they don't hurt your ears. They also offer good stability in case of physical activity. Furthermore, they are smaller than other headphones and are very easy to carry around. So portability is not an issue with these headphones. However, if they are not well-padded, they hurt the ears.
2) Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones use very advanced sound-proofing technology. Have you heard of the term sound isolation? Well, these earphones are experts at cancelling outside noise. How do they do that? The in-ear monitors measure the frequencies in the surrounding environment and create an equal but opposite frequency to balance all the external noise.
These active noise-cancelling headphones are the perfect companion in noisy environments. The active noise cancellation gives you accurate sound while transmitting sound. Additionally, you will be able to listen to audio without the disturbance or distraction in your environment. You can also answer calls without the fear of miscommunication with these headphones.
However, we do not recommend wearing these headphones in areas where your safety could be compromised. For example, they should not be worn when driving, crossing busy streets, or walking by yourself at night. Other than that, these noise-cancelling headphones are a great pair of headphones, and they are very comfortable.
3) In-ear Headphones
Due to their easy portability and ease of use, in-ear headphones are the best headphones to use if you aren't a music professional. Other than that, they are also low-cost earbuds that fit well in ears and produce sound fairly well. In addition, these very small headphones have noise isolation, and they also keep ambient noise out.
Furthermore, they fit well in your ear canals and are super comfortable as well. They make high-quality headphones, especially because of the awesome sound quality and portability. They are also widely used due to their ease of use. You can shove them in your pocket at any time. They don't really need a lot in the way of storage.
Additionally, they also have good sound volume so that the sound quality is always at its best. In-ear headphones allow for better sound quality from smaller devices with a headphone jack. Wireless headphones such as Airpods are also considered in-ear headphones.
With these headphones, there is a chance of hearing damage if you play your music on maximum volume all the time. However, your ear canal should be okay if you don't blast your music too loud or use a headphone amplifier. You should also note that wearing these headphones for an extended time can give you an ear infection.
4) Over-ear Headphones
Also known as circumaural headphones, these over-ear headphones completely surround the entire outer ear. Therefore, they are the perfect noise-canceling headphones. Apart from that, they also minimize sound leakage. In addition, these over-ear headphones have ear cups that keep the sound contained to the user's ears.
Over-ear headphones are also the biggest headphones around. They are lined with pads that cover the entire ear. This makes them very comfortable, and they deliver clear and good sound quality. In addition, any peripheral noise is immediately blocked out with over-ear headphones. As a result, there will be less ambient sound from your environment seeping into your headphones.
We like the fact that these over-ear headphones produce realistic sound while covering your whole ear, including the ear tips. In addition, these earphones have balanced armature drivers that are not placed too close to the ear. In return, this produces a wider soundstage, and when you listen, you get a bigger sound.
5) Closed-back Headphones
Due to their super-ability to effectively block out more ambient sounds. If you require a private and silent listening experience, then closed-back headphones are for you. On the other hand, if you are one of the people who likes to hear every detail on every track you listen to, then these headphones will suit you well.
Closed-back headphones are also perfect for musicians, sound engineers, and record producers, among others. They are also perfect for DJs. The headphones are also a good addition to anyone who plays an instrument due to their ability to block out external audio signal. In addition, closed-back headphones are large headphones and produce excellent sound quality.
Aside from the amazing sound quality these closed-back headphones produce, they are also very comfortable. We also loved that they have multiple numbers of applications and uses. However, before you purchase closed-back headphones, you should know that they are bulky and large.
6) Bone Conduction Headphones
Bone conduction headphones allow you to listen to music or audio through your cheekbones. Yes, it sounds a little creepy. But let us explain. These very modern headphones reject the use of air conduction to listen to music. Instead, using bone conduction headphones ensures your outer ear remains free of sound.
Bone conduction headphones can also help people with hearing aids. They focus on delivering sound directly into the ear canal. They are also comfortable and stable. They stay in place even when doing physical activity. Since the headphones don't have ear cups, they don't block your awareness; hence it is easier to use them even in a crowded city.
If you don't like the feeling of having your whole ear covered, then these are the perfect fit for you. However, bone conduction headphones can still cause hearing damage if blasted on maximum volume.
7) Open Back Headphones
Open-back headphones are headphones that have open ear cups. This is to allow some sound out on purpose. They give you a speaker-like sound quality. It might not be everyone's cup of tea. However, open-back headphones are good for mixing music audio. It is preferred by audio engineers as well.
Additionally, if you require a flat sound with little to no enhancements, then these headphones are the best for you. If you are also looking for headphones that won't tire you out, then these are the ones. They relieve pressure on the ear, and you can wear them for an extended period. Open-back headphones will let someone near you listen to what you are listening to.
If you don't mind that, then you should probably buy them. Additionally, open-back headphones are also worn over-ear, and you can easily navigate headphone volume without the risk of potential ear infections.
8) Bluetooth Headphones
Bluetooth headphones use Bluetooth technology to transmit audio data. Bluetooth technology employs the use of radio waves to communicate with other devices that have Bluetooth. Bluetooth headphones eliminate the need for wires. They are essentially wireless headphones. Wireless Bluetooth headphones are easily portable.
The benefits of using wireless headphones are few but great. First, you don't have to worry about cords tangling for one. You also don't need to worry yourself over wires getting in the way of physical activity. Paired with your device, you can also avoid using your phone if you are required to be hands-on.
Furthermore, you don't lose any sound quality with wireless headphones. Having wireless headphones just gets the wires out of the way. You also avoid messes with wireless headphones. With all the gadgets we own, wires are inevitable. If you can get at least one wireless device, then that's a win.
9) Wired Headphones
Wired headphones might not be very popular with the general public. The reason for that is because wires are troublesome. They depend on a wire to transmit sound waves from your device to your ear canal. While they are being phased out in the general public, they are still very popular with audio engineers or audiophiles.
The sound quality that wired headphones produce is amazing. That's one of the only reasons to get wired headphones. They are also priced very cheaply. A wired headphone is going to be significantly cheaper than wireless headphones. However, they are not as portable as their counterparts.
Since wireless headphones require all compatible devices to have a headphone jack, they are not compatible with many phones. This is because the headphone dongle is being phased out, and very few phones or music devices accommodate a headphone dongle.
How To Make Your Headphones Last Longer
There is no point in buying headphones and having them give out after a few months. So here are some ways you can make your headphones last longer.
i) Avoid Moisture
One thing we all know is that electronics and water or moisture do not mix. This applies to sweat. If you wear your headphones for physical activities, then you have to be very careful. Wearing a headband as you workout can be a huge help. However, if your headphones do not mention that they are okay to work out with, then you shouldn't work out with them.
Additionally, your audio quality will be safe if you keep your headphones away from moisture. Headphones with moisture damage have the audio quality affected. You also shouldn't use your headphones in the rain or in the shower. Immediately it starts to rain, ensure to take them off and keep them in a dry area.
ii) Don't Use Them On Maximum Volume
Using your headphones on maximum volume is okay. But it's not okay if you do it frequently. Playing music produces vibrations. Keep in mind that the parts of a headphone are usually very delicate. Therefore, it is important to keep the volume mid-range. The vibrations produced from the sound can easily break the components.
Over time, the more you use your headphones on maximum volume, the more the sound will start to degrade. Furthermore, if you continue to use the headphones, then you will start to hear irritating noises in the earpiece.
iii) Don't Sleep With Headphones On
Not only does sleeping with headphones on pose a threat to your hearing, but it is also bad for the headphones. Hearing damage is quite common in people who over-use earpieces. If you go to bed with headphones on, then you are more at risk of hearing damage. Additionally, headphones are not made to take weight.
As you toss and turn in bed, the chances are that you will lay on your headphones. Not only can this break the headphones, but it will also be very uncomfortable for you. Headphones are bulky things.
iv) Invest In A Protective Case
Protective cases for headphones are especially important. When traveling or going on trips, they come in handy. Not only do cases make the headphones more portable, but they also protect them from accidents like accidental spills. For example, you might remove your headphones for a minute or two and end up spilling liquids on them.
Protective cases come with multiple features. You can even find waterproof cases, which make for a great investment.
v) Avoid Dropping Headphones
As we have mentioned above, headphones have very delicate parts. Therefore, dropping them is not something you should take lightly. While they are also made to be hardy, they can take one or two falls. Anything more than that, and your headphones might start to break. Also, in some instances, there will be degraded sound.
Furthermore, if you happen to drop your headphones, which happens to everyone, ensure the exterior is not damaged. If you see cracks, then chances are your headphones might give out in the next weeks.
vi) Don't Mistreat The Cord
This is for the people who own wired headphones. The cord is usually pretty cumbersome to deal with. Therefore, there are a few things you should know not to do to the cord. Firstly, you don't want to let the cord just hang. This will affect sound quality. Secondly, don't fold the cord into knots. Tangles happen. But try your best to undo the knots.
Next, you don't want to step on the wire. Headphone wires are usually very long. Therefore, try as much as possible not to step on the cord or get the cable trapped under furniture. If your cable gets stuck between two surfaces, don't tug or pull on it.
vii) Invest In Quality
By investing in quality, we mean don't purchase cheap headphones if you expect them to last. Furthermore, cheap is expensive. If you purchase a cheap pair of headphones, then they spoil, you will have to buy another pair. On the other hand, a quality pair of headphones will probably set you back a decent amount, but it will last you years.
Factors To Consider Before Purchasing Headphones
With all the headphone types we have mentioned in the above section, there are points to consider when you want to purchase headphones. Depending on your needs and requirements, your choice will not always be someone else's choice. Therefore, here are a few things to consider when you buy headphones.
a) Sound Quality
If the likes of bass and treble are important to you, then you might be very happy with noise isolation headphones. They allow you to listen to every small detail. Additionally, even over-ear headphones might serve you better. Some high-end headphones might also give you the opportunity to adjust the sound settings yourself.
You can easily tune your music and customize your headphones to play the exact kind of music you like and how you like it. Some earbuds, even wireless earbuds and wired earbuds, also allow you to customize the sound.
When it comes to headphones, different brands make different types. It all comes down to technology and functionality. You might be loyal to one brand, which is okay. However, there are multiple brands with a good pair of headphones that will last you a while. Before you purchase headphones, read the customer reviews from other brands.
The best thing about different brands is that you have different headphones to choose from. Additionally, you can easily compare and select the one that suits your needs and requirements best.
c) Wired Vs. Wireless
The preference, of course, comes down to you. Some people prefer wireless earbuds over wired earbuds for a variety of reasons. However, having one over the other doesn't inform the performance of both. Both headsets are perfectly fine in terms of functionality. Some people prefer wireless because it offers convenience.
With wireless headphones, there is no tangling, no accidents, and the wire doesn't get in your way. On the other hand, wired headphones are cheaper and still have good audio quality.
Headphones and earbuds can be very uncomfortable. Especially when worn for long. That's why there are options such as on-ear headphones, which cover the whole ear and also reduce background noise. On the other hand, wired earbuds and wireless earbuds can also tire out the ears, not to mention give you an earache.
Before you select a pair of headphones or earbuds, ensure they are well padded to ensure comfort. If your headphones rest on top of your ears, then they have to be very well-padded. If not, using them will be uncomfortable.
As with everything else, there are cheaper headphone models, and there are high-end models that are expensive. But, of course, the more sophisticated features a pair of headphones has, the more expensive it will be. So, for example, wireless headphones with noise cancellation and an integrated microphone will be more expensive.
Therefore, your choice comes down to your own personal preference and the features you would like on your headphones. Of course, your budget is the biggest step of all. However, we should mention that a solid pair of headphones does not have to break the bank.
The Bottom Line
Keeping an open mind when you need a new pair of headphones is key. It might be a lot of information to go over, but it will be helpful in the long run. With the lifestyles we lead, a good pair of headphones is essential to everyone. Be it for working out, working, or learning. We hope you found this article helpful.