Most people invest a lot of money on phones, tablets, laptops and home theaters then scrimp on the headphones. What they don't know is that the headphones are an equally important part in their listening experience. What's the use of a high-tech home cinema when the headphones deliver mediocre sound?
There are different types of headphones in the market - earbuds, earphones, headphones, noise-cancelling headphones and wireless headphones. It can be confusing to choose just one for your daily use. Here is a quick guide on how to choose the right one.
Earbuds are very popular especially among phone users because they are cheap but they are not really ideal for listening to music. They don't enter your canal ear so they really don't create a true seal. They are usually placed at an odd angle resulting to a destruction of balance of the audio mix. You also don't get a solid bass response with earbuds.
Earphones sit further in the ear canal thus creating a seal. They are more comfortable to wear than earbuds because they tend to stay in place.
Earphones don't deliver a great music experience but at least you can listen to your booming bass, hip-hop and electronic music on a budget. There are good quality earphones that start at $40. If you want earphones that fit better and sound better, you have to go to the $50-$150 range. They also come in different tips to ensure a good ear seal. Good brands are Ultimate Ears, Shure and Sennheiser. Find a pair that is well matched on both the left and right earphones.
Headphones don't rely on an in-ear seal as you wear them over your ears. Some people find headphones more comfortable to wear than earphones. They are easier to put on and take off. Brands that standout in this category are Senneheiser, Yamaha and Grado. Among teenagers, Beats and Skullcandy rule. Depending on the brand, headphones deliver high quality sound with good detail.
Noise-cancelling headphones actually don't cancel noise but reduce noise. These are good options to protect your ear from hearing problems as you don't have to crank up the volume when you are in a noisy environment. These are great for commuting. Don't use noise-cancelling headphones at home as they tend sound different in quieter environments. Sound quality depends on the brand. Some good brands to consider are Bose, AKGK and Phiaton. Beats also have noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones are generally more expensive than regular ones so expect to shell out at least $100 depending on the brand.
Wireless headphones have less sound quality than the other types of headphones but at least they are better now than several years ago. Wireless headphones are great for people on the go who can't be bothered by wires. They're great for the gym or in the office. Brands to check out are Plantronics BackBeat, Sennheiser and Outdoor Technology DJ Slims. These cost $70 and up.
This article was published on behalf of Mr. Ian G, a tech blogger obsessed with gadgets. I have several websites and one of them is all about sound control and acoustic insulation.