One of the toughest things to shop for is headphones because there are so many different styles, designs, brands and features that they have. And some people actually get confused among them and end up buying the unsuitable ones for themselves. Today well go over all of the different types, designs brands etc. of headphones and help you figure out which one’s best for you.
So let’s start with different types of headphones there are basically only two types which further get divided into 2 more different types each.
Starting off with the smaller one’s first to the largest and least portable ones at the last we have here in total 5 different kinds of headphones.
Before we start off I want to let you know the three things to consider when you’re buying headphones. First one is the Sound quality because how they sound is the most important thing for you. Secondly comfort because you’re probably going to be wearing these for a long period of time. And then number three is the design because let’s be honest style matters.
Beginners Guide to Headphones
Well wait if you are someone lazy like me and don’t want to read the long detailed stuff below, I have an info-graphic for you people.
Also Known as: In-ear Headphones.
These are the ones which are mostly provided free with portable players or smartphones. They are the most commonly seen ones in the bunch. They directly go inside your ear-canal and provide a good amount of noise cancelation even in the cheap variants. However, the functional part of the earbuds remains out of the ear. They are popular because of the high sound quality that they provide in such a compact form factor. But if you need a high precision audio response you may not want these I would suggest the ones below. Some of them come with a clip for a more tailored and secure fit.
Below are the pros and cons of In-ear headphones
Can provide decent noise cancelation at a low price tag
Also Known as: Supra-Aural Headphones
These are designed to rest on top of your ears and cover your ear canals instead of covering your entire ear. They range from inexpensive portables to high-end home models. These may not be the best kind of noise isolating headphones but these benefit for use in places like offices as one needs to be aware of the surroundings as well. They do not provide a proper seal so they are not the best in sound quality but it is far better than the previous in-ear ones. On-ear headphones are in fact lighter and cause less strain on your ears and neck. Some models also offer foldable designs which are convenient if want to take you On-ear headphones on the go.
Coming to the pros and cons
Comfortable for outdoor and home use
Less heating on ears
Folding models offer more portability
Also known as: over-the-ear or earcup headphones
Any headphones that have earcups that fully enclose your ears fall into this category. They are very large as compared to other types of headphones. They are considered to be better than all other types and also mainly for home use because of their size and acoustic isolation. They lack in portability but they are super comfortable to wear for a prolonged period of time as the diaphragm stays away from the ear canal. They come in 2 types closed back and open back.
Closed back headphones the back of these headphones is closed providing less sound leakage outside and good ambient noise blocking.
Open back headphones have an open back which lets the outside noise in. you would be thinking that why do they even exist the reason is the provide exceptional sound quality and bass response and a much more life-like sound. No other headphones are able to produce a quality similar to them.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons
Best noise isolation
Best in class sound quality
Simply the headphones which do not have wires are known as wireless headphones. There are 3 audio transmission techniques Bluetooth, infrared and radio-frequency headphones. Mainly Bluetooth is used for transmission these days. They are suitable for people who do not want to disturb their neighbors by the loud bookshelf speakers or home audio systems or for those who want to listen to music on the go or while working out. Do keep in mind that you will sacrifice the audio quality a bit because of the compression process. A new codec has been made to reduce this loss named aptX.
Let’s head over to the pros and cons of these headphones.
Life is easier without wires
Ideal for workout and portable use
What to look for while buying a Headphone?
I explained a whole lot of features, functions etc. above but this question would be popping up in your mind. So below are the most important things or factors while buying a pair of headphones for yourself.
Even if you buy the best headphones on the planet you will never ever feel the bass like you do in loudspeakers, but you definitely hear it. Bass is a very important aspect of any headphones; I am not saying that they should shake you then only they would be good.
But the music feels lifeless without bass so keep in mind that your headphones should have good bass. In the small in-ear type headphones except the high end ones, you won’t get even close to the bass what full size headphones give. Sony and Skull candy are the brands which provide the best bass response.
Sealed vs Open Back:
Whichever they maybe the noise isolating in-ears or the full size over the ear models the sealed headphones do not leak the inside sound out and vice versa.
They completely isolate you from your surroundings which is ideal for home and studio use. Whereas the open back headphones keep you aware of your surroundings.
Even your neighbors can hear what you are listening to and you get the outside sound in too.
This is ideal for outdoor use like jogging etc. which require you to be aware of your surroundings.
The open back ones make a much more open and better sound as compared to the sealed ones.
The choice is yours here weather you want to ignore stupid people around or want to stay updated of your surroundings.
Comfort and Weight:
Sound quality apart, the headphones have to be comfortable too. You are not going to listen to a single song and put your headphones off, right? The ear pads in most headphones get uncomfortably hot after 10-15 minutes which becomes irritating. Some exert too much pressure on our ears. Some are really bulky and feel uncomfortable and feel like they are about to fall off. Headphones with lighter headbands are also available which are much more comfortable than the bulky ones. If not, at least they are easy to carry around.
In this era of frequently changing technology headphones are no strangers. The headphones now a days have a lifetime ranging from 6months to a year none lasts longer than that even if you take care of them a lot. If you are spending $$+ on your headphones you should definitely look for a good build quality to make them last at least for a year or two.
You can find most of the people in amazon reviews complaining that one of the earbuds stopped working or the remote/mic stopped working etc. Before buying definitely test the build quality of the headphones. In the case of full size headphones, the most common problem is wearing out of the ear pads or if they are foldable the hinges may fall apart.
Cable Quality and Length:
The quality of the cable keeps on decreasing as you lower the price. Some earbuds have cables as thin as a thread which are super delicate. There are 2 types of cables available, the tangle free ones and the normal ones. The normal ones are the common cables available in all the headphones. The tangle free ones are mostly flat cables with a serrated design (yes they work).
In large headphones there are 2 types of arrangements some have cables connected to both monitors (the Y shape one) and some have a single cable attached to only a single monitor. I would recommend the Y shape one because there is no connection going through your headband which might be a trouble if there is some problem in it. In the Y shape one you can easily get the cable replaced.
Best Headphones Compared
First things first. I have a comparison table for you the 5 best headphone handpicked and tested by me. These are the best headphones available in the market. You can easily pick one with the help of the table below. If you can decide even by the table, I have a short review of each of the five below the table.
( 4.7 / 5 )
( 4.6 / 5 )
( 4.4 / 5 )
( 4.5 / 5 )
( 4.0 / 5 )
( 4.0 / 5 )
Top 5 Best Headphones Review
These are the cheapest and top tier headphones you can buy presently. They are the kind of headphones owning which you can look down at the beats fan boys why spent twice as much to get a similar product.
These are the best out of the bunch if you want class apart sound and build quality in a budget. They offer the kind of sound quality that high end headphones do. They come with 3 interchangeable set of chords depending upon you comfort. No compromise in comfort as well. The only downside is the lack of a microphone.
No jokes; These are the best of the best earphones you can buy in the market right now except their price if you can afford them. These are absolutely flawless in every possible way. Stellar sound, super low frequency bass, ultra-customizable, loaded with toms of accessories. Well you can expect that from a pair of earbuds at this price point.
I will recommend this if you are a professional in the audio business (like a musician, vocalist, etc.) or if you are a serious audiophile craving for the best. These are not at all your everyday headphones that you carry with everywhere yet they are the best hands down.
If you are looking for the best noise cancelation and battery life in your wireless headphones don’t take a second thought and go for them. You can find a comparable sound quality as of the audio technica ath-m50x and a much better noise isolation. Of course they are wireless which is a plus point and don’t worry about the battery here it lasts up to 20 hours of playback.
They use Bluetooth for connectivity. You can also connect them through a detachable 3.5mm jack cable which is provided inside the box. The downside here is that the battery isn’t user replaceable.
Sony made these as a rival to the above bose ones. And yes sony has made a tough competitor here. They are the best wireless headphones offered by sony. They are comfortable, fell premium, provide a really good sound quality and the bass from sony is always good and these are no exception.
Active noise cancelation is also good and it adapts pretty well with the surroundings. Bluetooth connectivity is also fine. If your battery runs out they can also be powered externally with the help of a chord provided. The extra feature here is NFC connectivity. The downside is that they fold up but they don’t fold up flat.
Best medium priced in-ear headphones for every kind of work you need to do. MEE has done a very good job on these you will get many of the high end features in these. The sound is crystal clear and quality is awesome. Instrument separation is also good.
You get 2 cables with them and a bunch of ear-tips. The aesthetics are close to the Shure SE846. The build quality is amazing and with 2 cables provided you don’t need to worry much about them. I would recommend them to the people looking for the best possible headphones in the lowest possible price.