Well, these days buying a headphone can really be a tedious and confusing task as the market is flooded with a wide range of options to choose from. No wonder so many choices leave you all the more baffled especially when you have no clue about which type of headphone is really good as per your need and in terms of your budget too. Then, with the different styles of headphones (in-ear, on-ear and around ear) it is a big dilemma whether to go for a wireless headphone or a wired one. Doesn’t it sound like a headphone maze?
It is really a big achievement to get a good headphone to fit your need and within your budget! All you need is right information on headphones with pros and cons to narrow down your choice and then finally take your pick to your satisfaction.
Here is some useful information that will hopefully help you get the best buy to suit your taste and budget:
Different styles and forms of headphones
There are different types of headphones available in the market so before you choose the form and style you want to buy you must be clear of how you intend to use your headphone ( for home theatre, gaming or music) and at which place you plan to do your listening (at home or outside). This will help you narrow down your choices.
1. Earbud Headphones
Also known as in-ear headphones, these headphones are available in several models like the disposable models that you are given to passengers on an airplane, the one which you get with your smartphones and the high-performance earbuds models. Their small earpieces are inserted into the ear canal or rest on the outer ear. Some models have sports buds which contain wings or fins to offer you a better fit.
Pros: They are light in weight and ultra-compact. Majority of the models come with a microphone and track navigation controls built into the wire. They intend to give moderate to perfect isolation from external noise. These earphones cause very little to no intervention with glasses, hairstyles or earrings.
Cons: The quality of sound and bass response is not so great in comparison to full-size models. When you use them over a period of time, they might cause some discomfort. Some reference models may not be that great for office use as they are difficult to insert and remove. With dual cable and design comes the problem of tangled wires.
Additional Features: Range of ear tip sizes and materials (silicone, foam, rubber), five- button remote to control volume, balanced-armature drivers with crossover and over-ear guides.
2. On-ear headphones
These headphones are also called open-backed headphones, closed-back headphones, supra-aural headphones, semi-open headphones and earpad headphones.
They are available in various forms starting from high-end home models to cheap portable ones. They easily rest on the outer ears. Some of them are fully sealed circumaural models with increased sound isolation and they don’t leak sound to your surrounding or neighbour. They are a good option for an office environment.
Pros: Fairly compact, less susceptible to overheating ears than full-size headphones, easy to carry as some models are foldable.
Cons: Noise isolation feature is not very effective and the bass is also less powerful in comparison to in-ear or full – size models.
Additional Features: extra earpad included in the set, folding design, carrying case, coiled and straight cord and microphone and track navigation controls on the wire.
3. Full-size headphones
These headphones are also known as over-the-ear headphones, Circumaural headphones, earcup headphones and closed-back headphones.
These headphones come with earcups that cover your ears fully. They are perfect for home use because of their full-size and sound isolation feature.
Pros: Offers excellent potential for loudness and bass levels, large sound stage is created by earcups. They block outside noise effectively.
Cons: Not ideal for portable use, some full-size models cause heat on the ears; wide headband can often meddle with glasses, hairstyles, and earrings.
Additional features: extra 3.5mm plug for daisy-chain sessions with multiple listeners, track navigation and volume controls on the wire, Folding design, replaceable pads, detachable cord, and microphone.
4. Wireless headphones
These headphones are also known as transmitter headphones or Bluetooth headphones.
Bluetooth is the most desirable format for transmitting wireless music but for this, you will have to sacrifice on sound quality because of the file compression process. To avoid this compromising on audio quality, some models come with the aptX Bluetooth codec offering improved sound quality. Home-theatre headphones with RF connectivity and Wi-Fi headphones are available in the market.
Pros: The headphone and audio device are connected without a wire. The facility of streaming audio from up to 33 feet (10 m) away from the headphone and at times farther.
Cons: As soon as your battery dies, your music stops. Compression of audio files may lead to less dynamic sound.
Additional Features: replaceable earpads, travel case, active noise cancellation, cable for a hardwired connection and 3.5mm port.
5.Completely Wireless Headphone
These completely wireless earphones come with very limited features such as Alpha Audio’sSkybuds and AirPods.
They are simple and are in demand in the market. High-end models with smart features are also available in this category.
Pros: Completely wireless
Cons: A little expensive than standard wireless headphones. Batter life is not so great. High-end models have great performance.
Additional Features: Charging case, on-ear touch navigation, built-in heart-rate sensor, advanced noise filtering.
6. Noise-cancelling headphones
The major highlight of this headphone is that they eliminate the surrounding noise by creating anti-noise that prevents the outside noise from entering your ear. They are available in different forms starting from full-size to ear buds.
Pros: Noise cancelling technology, reduced ear fatigue, ideal for morning commutes and airplane rides.
Cons: Alters the quality of music. Some users experience an underwater nausea effect due to the noise-cancelling hum.
Additional features: travel case, rechargeable batteries, wireless connection, on-ear navigation and volume controls.
7. Sports Headphones
These are quite famous headphones and wireless. They are waterproof and sweat-resistant. You can wear them to gym and even for biking and running. Some of them come with open or semi-open design to allow some sound in for your safety (so that you can hear traffic noise etc.,). Some models also come with noise-isolating design.
Pros: Great for use during athletic and sports activities, waterproof, sweat-resistant.
Cons: The models with open design are not ideal for noisy environments.
Additional features: carrying case, heart-rate sensor.
So decide the purpose for which you need a headphone and take your pick that best suits you!