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Best Headphones Buying Guide

Are you in the market for buying a new set of headphones? If so, you are probably wondering what type of headphones are right for you. 

Today, headphones are used for a multitude of different reasons, with many individuals using them to listen to music privately on the go without disturbing anyone. However, there is also a significant number of people who use headphones for professional purposes in the workplace or at home with family and friends. 

Headphones Buying Guide

Whether you’re an audiophile or someone who just enjoys music casually, it’s imperative to choose the right pair of headphones that will suit your needs best. There are many options available, making it difficult to choose one that suits your needs. When it comes to headphones, there are many factors to consider, including fit, design, type of driver, and whether they are wireless or wired.

Therefore, I’ve created the best headphones buying guide to help make things easier for you, no matter if you’re a movie or music fanatic. We’ll discuss some of the most important factors to consider when choosing headphones, and recommend which types of headphones are best for you.

So, let’s get started without further ado!

What Should You Look For When Buying A Headphone?

Here are some factors to consider when buying a headphone that will help you choose one that suits your needs.

Types Of Headphones

There are various types of headphones with different shapes and sizes, as well as various types of connections. There are four primary types of headphones. These include:

In-Ear Headphones

In-Ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are headphones that fit inside the ear. These headphones are portable, lightweight, and easy to carry, which makes them a great choice. In-ear headphones are among the most popular options for smartphones and portable media players. Depending on their fit, in-ear headphones fall into two categories:

In-Ear Monitors (IEMs): These are custom-fitted headphones that fit inside the ear canal. A transducer is attached to its cable, which is usually right-angled to make it easier to wear and more comfortable.

Earbuds: These are headphones that don’t actually fit inside your ear canal as an in-ear monitor instead they rest on the outer ear. Earbuds are so light and portable.

On-Ear Headphones

On-Ear Headphones

While these types of headphones are similar to over-ear headphones, they rest on top of your outer ears. People often confuse them with in-ear models but they are not because of their size. They are most appropriate for casual use. 

Over-Ear Headphones

These types of headphones are bigger because they cover the entire ears. Over-Ear Headphones have a larger ear cup and driver for better sound quality and bass response. It has a driver inside its enclosure attached to its headband for better control over frequency response. 

Over-Ear Headphones

This type is also called full-size because it has a large size that fully covers your ears. Its ear cups also rotate to give you a better fit. The headphones are also equipped with extra padding for comfort and sound insulation. Over-Ear Headphones are ideal for traveling or outdoor use because of their small size and despite their lack of noise-canceling technology, they cancel noise well.

Open-Back Headphones: These headphones have tiny openings at the earcups so that users can hear their music naturally. In open-back headphones, air passes through their ear cups from the rear of the speaker driver. For better frequency response control, it is equipped with a driver inside its enclosure attached to its headband. With open-back headphones, you’ll get accurate sound, natural tonality, and a wide soundstage.

Closed-Back Headphones: Closed-back headphones have a completely sealed back, allowing sound to enter your ear only from the front. These headphones provide great noise isolation. If you are seeking headphones to isolate yourself from the outside world, we recommend closed-back headphones.

Wired or Wireless Headphones

Currently, the market offers a wide variety of headphones. Depending on whether they contain wires or not, headphones can be classified as wireless or wired. Typically, wireless headphones use rechargeable batteries, while wired headphones use AUX cables or batteries.

Wired Headphones: Almost all of us have used wired headphones at one time or another. Wired Headphones provide better sound quality due to their direct connection to the device. The good thing about this is that you can control the volume, play/pause songs, etc. However, it’s not advisable to use these when working out.

Wireless Headphones: These types of headphones are lightweight, so you can wear them for hours without feeling uncomfortable. Most wireless models connect to smartphones, laptops, and TVs via Bluetooth, which has a range of up to 30 feet. 

Wireless headphones provide more convenience since you don’t have to worry about wires getting tangled, but the batteries tend to drain faster and they are a little pricier than their wired counterparts. These are the most recommended for exercising.

Sound Quality

One of the main reasons people buy headphones is for the sound quality. Headphones with studio-quality sound are more expensive than ordinary ones, but if you want to appreciate music as it was recorded in the studio then it’s worth investing in good pair of headphones. In addition, it is important to you should look at all factors that affect the sound quality such as:

Driver Size: In headphones, the drivers turn electrical signals into sound pressure. Larger drivers usually produce better sound quality overall. To provide an enjoyable listening experience, drivers enhance the bass, mids, and treble. It’s important for DJs who need extended low frequencies and accurate playback to consider this factor as it may be a dealbreaker between two similar models.

Noise cancellation: Listening to music in a car, train, or airplane can be challenging due to the noise level in the background. By reducing external noises, noise-canceling headphones ensure a more comfortable listening experience. Noise-canceling headphones use microphones in their earcups to pick up ambient noise and then create an opposite signal to cancel out the sound.

Stereo Sound: Stereo sound-enhanced headphones make listening to music more immersive and enjoyable. Headphones with such capability can produce a more expansive and realistic soundstage (for example, if you are in the middle of an orchestra) or reproduce 3-D sound.

Surround Sound: Using multiple speakers in surround sound headphones allows you to enjoy your listening experience from multiple angles. With surround sound headphones, you can get a 360-degree sound experience, which is ideal for gaming and movies.

Frequency Responsiveness: Another important aspect of headphones is their Frequency response. Usually, it is the range of frequencies a headset can produce, with the lower limit known as bass and the highest limit as treble. Headphones normally range from 20 Hz – 20000 kHz (though some models go as high as 50 kHz) depending on their price tag and sound quality.

Sensitivity: You should check out the sensitivity of your headphones if you’re particularly concerned about volume levels. Basically, sensitivity refers to how loud headphones can get. Headphone sensitivity or efficiency is measured by decibels (dB). Headphones normally have a sensitivity of around 96–110 dB. If your headphones are below 85 dB, they are too soft and should be avoided. Over 110 dB headphones could potentially damage your hearing. 

Technical Features

Microphone Quality: If you plan on using your headphone with a mobile device such as an iPod or iPhone, then this is another important consideration. If you’re looking for headphones for remote working or gaming, we recommend headphones with built-in microphones. Different headphones have microphones installed in different places. Although some headphones have the microphone built-in, invisible to the naked eye, others have the microphone built into the wire. 

Durability: Before buying headphones, it is essential to consider their durability. Generally, headphones with metal and hard plastic parts are more durable than softer, fabric-coated ones. This factor is especially important for DJs who may need to travel a lot and don’t want their headphones to break while they’re packing them in their luggage.

Battery Life: The battery life of a headphone is the most important thing to consider when purchasing one. If you are using wired headphones then this is not an important factor, but if you are using wireless headphones this is crucial. Wireless earbuds typically last 5 to 8 hours, while Bluetooth headphones can last up to 25 hours. Whether you choose earphones or earbuds depends on your needs. For some, the need to change them frequently turns them off.

Voice Assistants: Nowadays, many headphones come with built-in voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. You can use voice assistants to initiate tasks, play music, ask questions, and much more. Using your voice, you can control the earbuds with the voice assistant. 

Comfort: Comfort is important if you plan on listening to your headphones for extended periods of time. The best headphones are usually the ones that feel most comfortable when worn. Make sure to try out different models and choose one that doesn’t cause any irritation after wearing them for a period of time. 

Over-ear headphones are usually the most comfortable, though even so, there are some things to be aware of. Ensure that the headband doesn’t dig into your head or cause you discomfort when you buy over-ear headphones. Also, make sure the headphones have an adjustable headband, and that the earpads are of high quality.

Connectivity: There are two ways to connect headphones to your device.

  • Bluetooth
  • Jack

Headphones that have 3.5 mm jacks will connect to your device that has a 3.5 mm input. If you are planning on using your headphones with your mobile device, then Bluetooth capability is important. This way you can answer calls and listen to your music without having to worry about wires getting in the way.

IPX Rating: When you plan on using your headphones outdoors or while you’re exercising, you should consider the IPX rating. An IPX rating indicates that the object is weather-resistant, water-resistant, or dust-resistant. 

You should consider waterproof headphones if you go swimming or live in an area where the weather is unpredictable. Waterproof headphones are rated IPX5, IPX6, IPX7, or IPX8. While water- and sweat-resistant headphones are most suitable for running and exercising. In terms of water resistance, there are four levels: IPX1, IPX2, IPX3, and IPX4.

Budget

People who are looking for headphones generally have a budget in mind before making a purchase. Wireless headphones are typically more expensive than wired ones. They offer great sound quality, stylish design, a powerful noise cancellation feature, and more. 

In most cases, the better the sound quality is, the higher the price of a headphone tends to be. If you are on a tight budget but still want a pair of headphones with superior sound then it’s important that you do some research online to see which models offer both great sound and value for money.

Conclusion

So, these are some important factors to consider when choosing headphones. Hopefully, you liked this guide and by following our guide, you should be able to find the perfect headphones for your lifestyle and budget. 

Headphones are a personal choice. Make sure you choose the right pair based on your needs. Using headphones to improve productivity, or just to provide peace and quiet, is one way to make the most of personal audio devices. 

As there are many different types of headphones available, it’s important to know what to look for before making a purchase. We’ve outlined the key factors to consider when purchasing a headphone, so use this information as a guide when shopping for your next pair. 

Please let us know if you have any other questions about the headphones in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.

Happy listing!

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