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Headphones are Friends for Life’

Howdy SEA Fans, welcome to another tipTuesday blog post, a regular Tuesday blog series in which we share tips related to various aspects of Sound Engineering like Music Production, Live Sound Reinforcement, Broadcast Sound and Audio for Film.

Today we are inviting your attention to a rather common question on choosing the right headphone for listening to Music.

There are several factors to consider while choosing the right headphone to quench your thirst for quality music listening experience and today we are discussing those things to consider.

At first glance, this does not make the selection easier, but diversity has also something positive and thus the choice is no pain, we have put together the following guide for you, which should be a little help to you, or maybe even the right one in finding the headphone that meet your individual needs in listening to Music.

Actually, earphones have been more and more in vogue for several years, with the result that a now huge and hard-to-view offer does not make it easy to choose the right model.

In addition to constantly new manufacturers, which shoot up almost like mushrooms, there are different product categories and designs (over-ear, on-ear, in-ear) of headphones, between which one must decide.

Furthermore categorized headphones in open, half-open and closed, which means the sound insulation of external ambient noise as well as the insulation of the headphone signal to the outside.

First of all, which form of over-, on- and in-ear headphones you choose is primarily determined by individual preferences.

Nowadays everyone has a free extra equipment while buying a new smartphone, sometimes perhaps of questionable quality.

But also high-quality and audiophile in-ear headphones are available and are growing in importance in artist monitoring and of course in music consumption.

It has been noticed that many people are uncomfortable with the pressure of ear cushions, while others have no problem with it at all.

Over-ear headphones with their encircling ear cushions are probably the most popular design, but how the individual feels, wearing comfort, there are no regularities.
Other parameters of headphones are more likely hints and tendencies to select a model and these depend mostly on the specific application of the headphones.

What exactly do you need headphones for?

This question should be asked first of all, because if one knows in which situations the headphone should be used, this is already an important indication, which type comes into consideration.

If your answer is to “Just listening to Music“, then read on

Unfortunately, this answer does not really help, because it’s also crucial where you want to hear music, at home or on the road, e.g. in the subway, in the city or while chilling in the park.

If you want to listen to music on the go, then you should definitely use a closed headphone or in-ear headphones.

Closed means that the ear cups are so far insulated that firstly little environmental noise reaches the ear, which could disturb the enjoyment of music and secondly you do not annoy your neighbor in the bus, because he knows nothing or at least only a little of your music due to the insulation to the outside.

For this purpose, there is a broad market segment of mobile headsets, which are often provided with other useful features or features.

Typical / Common Features of Mobile Headphones

  • Closed design = Good Insulation
  • Possibly In-ear
  • Short Cable
  • Low impedance for enough volume on mobile players
  • Compact Design
  • Partially Supraaural Earpads
  • Handsfree for Smartphones
  • Partial Bluetooth Support
  • Partial active noise cancellation

If you want to listen to music in your own home, you often opt for the opposite design, namely an open headphone.

Open headphones have no or no significant insulation, which can be easily recognized in many cases by the perforated cover of the earcups, but care: Even semi-open headphones, often have the same characteristics.

The open design has several advantages, starting with the comfort.

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In contrast to closed models, the air can circulate to the ear, which feels more comfortable and significantly less sweaty.

In addition, open headphones usually have a lower contact pressure, which is necessary in the closed design for various reasons.

Also sound open headphones tend to be in the lead, which refers above all to the naturalness of the spatial imaging and depth graduation, here this design benefits from the fact that the left and right auricle are not completely isolated from each other.

Hard-paced signals sound a bit less unnatural and claustrophobic (like hearing it inside a room).

We would like to say once again that such models do not have any appreciable insulation to the outside either.

If you are in a room with other people, you can really get on your nerves because of the hypocrisy.

Typical / common features of “stationary” hi-fi headphones.

  • Open design = Virtually no insulation
  • Longer Cable
  • Low to High Impedance
  • Ear enclosing earpads

We hope that the above discussed topic has helped you in re-thinking about the headphone you are currently using.
What do you think? Write us in the comments!

Happy Sound Engineering !!!

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