In today’s modern and technology-dependent world, gadgets and devices play a vital role. Laptops, computers, tablets, etc. are all secondary. What is primary then? For me, it is the headphones. We nowadays need headphones for various reasons. Some need them for better sound quality while on the other hand, some people use them to disconnect from the surrounding people. In this article, we will talk about the features of headphones, the benefits of headphones, and some things to consider in headphones. All in all, we will give a basic headphone buying guide that is very easily comprehensible for everybody.
What are headphones? – Introduction to Headphones Buying Guide
Headphones are a pair of earphones attached to a band that one wears behind the head for support. Firstly, to make it clear, there is a slight difference between earphones and headphones. The ones that you wear inside the ears are earphones. Similarly, the ones that you wear on the ears are headphones. Both the devices serve the same purpose of listening to audio tracks, but it depends on what people prefer. The easy portability and small size of earphones, some times makes me wonder that should I buy headphones or not. But on the other hand, my comfort for headphones makes me want to buy them. Though it sometimes becomes difficult to carry them, the better sound quality and preferable shelf-life have forced people to go and buy headphones.
Features of Headphones – Important aspect in Headphones Buying Guide
In this section of the headphones buying guide, we will be talking about some basic and necessary features of headphones. These features all make your listening more useful, pleasurable, and convenient. As and when we will introduce you to the features, you will also get an idea about what are the things to consider in headphones. Let us start with the first one, and look at each of the features, one after the other.
Bluetooth is one of the best features of headphones. Enabling wireless transmission, it is very common in devices like mobiles, tablets, and specially headset headphones. With Bluetooth, comes a very decent and fair sound quality, and also it makes the headphones quite noise-free. The latest Bluetooth update provides better performance of digital transmission than the previous ones.
There are certain headphones that come with an in-built mic. These headphones provide you with two functions. The first one is listening to the audio, and the second one is that you can answer your phone calls and your voice will clearly reach the opposite person. This in-built system reduces your need to use two separate devices for these different tasks mentioned above. This feature acts as one of the best benefits of headphones.
This is the feature that particularly I look for before buying headphones. This amazing feature helps us prevent unwanted, ambient noise from the surroundings. Noise cancellation headphones use electronic processes to identify these unwelcomed noises and then create an ‘opposite’ sound to cancel or minimize the effect of that noise.
Types of headphones
In this very honest headphones buying guide, we will first talk about some widely used types of headphones. The types are very famous among the public. Apart from discussing these types, we will also talk about the pros and cons of each type. So, without any further ado, here are the types of headphones.
These were the initially introduced headphones. They have a considerably small size. These are often referred to as in-ear or earbuds and the headphones that come with your mobile phones, generally fall in this category. Talking about the benefits of these headphones, one of the most preferred advantages is its easy portability.
Benefits and Disadvantages of in-ear headphones
Here are some things to consider as advantages and disadvantages of these headphones.
Firstly, as mentioned above, earbuds are very portable due to their size and weight. Having said this, it is also possible to put them in your pockets when not using them. If not in pockets, at least you can put it around your neck. Secondly, in-ears have an amazing feature as they are one of the best noise-cancellation headphones. Later in this headphones buying guide, we will be talking more about this feature.
Talking about the disadvantages, its size and weight also become a problem as they are the reasons for these headphones being lost very often. Another con is that the wires easily get tangled and sometimes it is time-consuming to untangle them. In addition, the biggest disadvantage is that if you buy this, you have to compromise with the sound quality. On the contrary, large headphones provide better sound quality.
On-hear headphones are next in size, a little bigger than earbuds. There is also a difference in how one should wear them. As the name suggests, you have to wear these on top of your outer ears, and not actually in the ear like earbuds. The headphone band can be put on the head, but the drive should be strictly put on the ears.
Benefits and disadvantages of on-ear headphones
To start with something good about the device, I will first discuss the benefits of these headphones. Firstly, they are also portable, but not as much as earbuds. Apart from this, there is an opportunity for using them for a longer time as bigger space allows a battery with greater capacity. Additionally, the major advantage is that larger drivers provide better sound quality when compared to in-ear headphones.
In this paragraph of our headphones buying guide, here are some things to consider as cons in these headphones. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to carry them and keep them handy. It is easy to just stuff them in bags but it becomes very difficult to put them in your pockets due to their little bulky appearance. Another problem that arises, is that there is not enough noise cancellation. As you wear them on the ears, it is natural that some outside noise will have entered along with your audio.
Over-ear headphones are generally the ones that people prefer widely among all the other types. These are even bigger in size than the on-ear headphones. Ideally, they are the biggest of all types of headphones. They enclose your entire ears within the earcups in their drivers. This gives you a lot of comforts and it doesn’t even cause any pain to your ears.
Benefits and disadvantages of over-ear headphones
In this paragraph, we will deal with the benefits of these headphones. They are way too bulky when compared to all the other types of headphones. This is an advantage as bulkier the device, the larger the driver; and larger the driver, the better the sound quality. Again, the big size plays a good role as it involves the installation of a bigger battery with greater capacity. Most importantly, the enclosure of your ears in the earcups provide a great amount of comfort, as stated above.
In this paragraph, we will talk about the negative things to be considered in these headphones. There are two big disadvantages to these headphones. The first one is that they are the most difficult to carry. You can often use them at homes or offices but not while traveling. Here, unlike in the previous paragraph, bulkiness acts as a disadvantage for the device. The other problem that arises with this device is the high cost. As the size and sound quality are better, the price increases as well.
Things to consider in headphones
In this guide before buying headphones, the following are certain things that you must consider with the technical aspect. Whenever you buy headphones, these terms are often thrown to you. So, here are these technical things to consider in headphones.
What is the sound stage? It is nothing but knowing how your headphones can confuse your brain to think that certain sounds are coming from a particular direction. In an easy language, when someone says anything in your right ear, you look towards your right. This somewhere tells what sound stage is to an extent.
This effect works best with over-ear headphones as there are chances that the sound will travel around through your ears before reaching the eardrums. But, talking about earbuds and on-ear headphones, there is not much opportunity for the same. Hence, they don’t have this sound stage feature.
Open back vs Closed back
Open-back headphones are the ones in which there is no enclosure of drivers within the earcups. These headphones leave the drivers open, easily allowing the outside noise to reach your ears. This is a problem for you if you want to use them outdoors.
On the other hand, closed-back headphones are exactly opposite to the open-back headphones. Here, the drivers are enclosed within the earcups. Closed-back headphones often fall in the over-ear headphones category. The sound travels through your ears, but it has nowhere to go other than the eardrums. This makes it easier to use them even outdoors. This is one of the biggest benefits of these types of headphones.
When you buy any types of headphones, and you look on its box, you find a specifications sheet or specifications able. In that section, you find a topic written as ‘Frequency Response’. And besides this on most of the boxes, the range given is 20Hz – 20,000Hz. This is the ideal range of sound humans can hear. 20Hz is the lowest limit and 20,000Hz being the highest.
Benefits of headphones
In this section of the headphones buying guide, we will talk about the benefits of headphones. The availability of these devices reduces the need to use your mobile. There are various other benefits, and thus without any delay, we are now starting to talk about them.
A study conducted by H.B. Maynard & Co., Inc. and Plantronics, states that there are many health benefits of using headphones. Some of these benefits include shoulder, upper back, neck, and most importantly, your head. When you wear a headphone connected to your mobile, it relieves you to constantly pick up the phone and put it on your ears. Putting the phone to your ears brings in a lot of tension and stress which is avoided by using headphones.
Increase in productivity
When you use your headphones instead of your mobile or telephone while on a call, your hands are free to move. A study reveals that usage of headphones for attending a call increases your productivity by 43 percent. When you wear a pair of headphones, you can simultaneously write quicker, type faster and read more and more content.
Should I buy headphones?
Having said everything in this headphones buying guide, I think that there are still some mixed feelings within people about buying headphones. Apart from all the features of headphones and the benefits of headphones mentioned in this article, there is another advantage. It is that people can use them to watch shows and films on OTT Platforms. These are some of the things why people should buy headphones. Having spoken about OTT platforms, are you confused about which platform do you want to choose, Netflix or Amazon Prime? Click here to find the answer.
on Headphones Buying Guide
In our opinion, we would prefer buying headphones after reading this headphones buying guide. This will bring in a lot of advantages. It might be helpful for people doing office work or for children who have to do their assignments. We prefer headphones over earphones, despite the same function, because of the better sound quality headphones provide. In addition, there are types of headphones that don’t cause pain to your ears. Hence, we think that buying headphones is a great choice.
FAQ’s Regarding Headphones Buying Guide – Everything you need to know
Noise isolation is a simple term which means that your product is acting as a wall between outside noises and your ears. Hence, it simply stops outside noise from entering your ears. Active noise cancellation, on the other hand, is something different despite the same results. Any product having this feature has in-built tiny microphones that collect the outside noises. The device then produces an equal and opposite sound wave to actively cancel that noise.
Flat sound is also called Neutral sound. It means that the headphones reproduce the signal wave coming from the source, with the least possible changes. Headphone manufacturers prefer this to boost certain signals in order to make them sound more appealing.
Impedance is basically the amount of power the headphones require to work. Low impedance headphones require less power input and can easily be used with small amplification devices like smartphones and media players. Headphones with high impedance require more power and can be used with high amplification devices.
Editors Note | Headphones Buying Guide
Amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as people prefer to stay inside their homes, there is not much that they can do. Hence, at such times, they increase their usage of devices such as speakers and headphones for their entertainment. So, the sales of headphones have increased a lot. Additionally, as people are staying indoors, they want more privacy thus, using more headphones.