audio tips

Which Headphone is Best for you?

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Today we are talking about headphones, an inevitable product for each and every individual it today’s world and it has become an accessory to express your personal style and fact is that when headphone is on world is off.

Headphones are like sand at sea, in different shapes and techniques.  But not a single headphone is not suitable to serve every purpose.

Howdy SEA Fans, Welcome to another tiptuesday blog post and let shed more light into the type of headphones and how to choose the right one for you.

Different types of headphones are available in the market, including wired and wireless models, which serves different purposes, as a sound engineer you may want to consider more than one pair for different uses.

Thanks to smartphones, we not only have live internet connection with us all the time, but have access to almost every song through music streaming websites.

Accordingly, the demand for headphones has risen sharply in the past decade and the mobile music enjoyment is by no means an exclusive domain for music enthusiasts. For every purpose and hearing types, there are now numerous types of headphones in all colors and price range.

In the search for new headphones, the first question is the design of the new model.

Here you can distinguish between types without and with bracket. While the former, due to the compact design, is particularly advantageous in mobile phones. So, if you are looking for headphones that are supposed to be powered by your smartphone to stay outdoors, the question is:

In-Ear or Earbud headphones?

If you do not want to compromise on sound quality at affordable prices, you will be confronted with the entire range of closed, semi-open or open types.

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In this post at first we will be discussing about the different type of headphones and later on you can go through some tips you must consider before buying a headphone.

When thinking about headphone the first one that comes to our mind is the Wired Headphones, a commonly used one !!!

How many types of headphones are there? Here is the list of some of them :

In-ear Monitors (IEM) & Ear Buds

The majority of the currently sold headphones can easily be stowed in the pocket of the bag, making it a particularly good for jogging with the mobile phones. A glance at the pedestrian zones and trams reveals that In-Ears are at the forefront of the popularity scale, while Earbuds only have a niche.

While Earbud headphones are only hooked into the auricle, the In-Ears are inserted directly into the auditory canal and provide a full sound experience through a kind of pressure chamber effect.

IEM’s are headphones that fit inside each ear canal.

Majority of sports headphones fall into this category and it is a practical option for musicians and engineers at all levels. Most models come with foam or rubberized tips in different sizes and replacement tips in custom size can be purchased separately. IEMs’s are excellent for noise isolation and monitor engineers/sound engineers have recommended it better than wireless headphones.

Even though the IEM’s offers a good experience with the music and better than wedges, the disadvantage is that some users feel that there is a foreign body inside the ear and may find it disturbing.

In addition, the headphone shields the listener largely from the environment, which causes auditory perception and this can have devastating consequences especially with cyclists in road traffic.

In-Ears are very close to the eardrum and the sound cannot escape, loudness of the music can quickly damage the hearing and there are some misconceptions need to be managed and addressed with regard to the usage of In Ear Monitors.

Ear Buds

Earbuds fits perfectly well in the auricle.

In addition, earbuds sound far from convincing, especially with bass-heavy music missing the Wumms.

For that the listener gets quite a lot of the environment, as long as the volume is not heavily increased.

Earbuds usually deliver lesser fidelity and Isolation than others. Whoever wants to buy earbuds today is generally confronted with a manageable selection.

The important thing to consider when buying earbuds is the correct fit. In particular, people with smaller or larger auricles should pay attention, because nothing is more annoying than when the stoppers slip out of the ear with every head movement. Let’s check what is actually inside the earbud headphone which makes you hear the music you love. and find how to wear earbuds headphones in a more comfortable way.

In In-Ears, the problem does not occur, since the manufacturers generally deliver different size attachments when buying a more professional headphone. For an absolutely perfect fit, customized earpieces, so-called earmolds, are being used by hearing aid acousticians.

Over Ear
With Over-Ears the ear is completely enclosed by the earpiece of the headphone. It also promises the most comfortable wearing comfort since the ears are touched here. A distinction is made between closed, open and semi-open systems in the design of headband headphones.

Also known as “around ear” or “full size” headphones with cushioned ear caps that enclose the ears and it provides good isolation from outside noise (passive noise reduction)

On-ear
Similar in design to over-ear headphones, but the cushion sit on the outer ear rather than enclosing the ear. On-ear offers good sound quality with less bass response than over-ear.

On-ear have openings and are therefore not shielded from the environment. As a result, the sound can also escape to the outside, so they achieve a higher transparency and reproduce a more spatial sound image.

Especially lovers of jazz or classical music will get their money’s worth.

Moreover, the ambient noise is easier to perceive and the carrier is not completely isolated from the outside world. In addition, the open design promises better air circulation to counteract the heat during summer.

However, on-ear headphones are unsuitable for quiet environments such as offices or libraries. Since the sound is also uninhibited, it is relatively easy for outsiders to know what music is playing.

It is not recommended to hear bass-heavy music with these type of headphones.

More detailed advantage and disadvantages of using on-ear and over ear headphones can be found here. 

Wired Headphones
This is the most commonly used headphones and available free with the purchase of mobile phones. It can be connected to a music player, phone or other audio device using a wire and do not require batteries

Wireless Headphones
Used in sports and outdoor purposes and provides free movement for those who are using it. These type of headphones leverage Bluetooth technology which digitally encodes audio and transmits sound in a wireless mode at over a short distance.

As the headphone is a charged one and the notable disadvantage is running out of battery power moreover adequate care has to be taken to maintain wireless headphones in a proper condition.

Noise canceling and Sound Isolating Headphones

It uses one or more tiny microphones to capture ambient sounds. The sounds are electronically phase-reversed and reintroduced into the output. Sound isolating headphones use a material to create a barrier between the ear and sound around us.

There is a big confusion prevailing among headphone users to buy or use which type of headphone whether it is noise canceling or sound isolating.

What is the difference?

Volume Limiting Headphones
It keeps the volume at a safe level. Typically designed to keep the volume at 85 dB or less. It is useful for those who are concerned about the protection of their hearing sensation.

Surround Sound Headphones
It uses electronic processing to emulate the directional uses of surround sound with just 2 speakers. Surround sound headphones creates surround environment that not only gives the listener an enveloping sound but removes it from within listener’s head and places the sound field in the front and side space around the head, which is more like listening to a regular speaker-based surround sound system. Now you can experience the true personal surround sound with Dolby headphones, the technology brings in realistic surround sound through any pair of headphones.

Technical aspects to consider.

Stereo / Mono
Stereo consists of two channels: left channel & right channel. With stereo headphones, we can hear different audio channel in each ear. Stereo headphone give dimensions of sound. Mono is a single audio channel, in mono headphones, we can hear only identical sound in both the ears

Frequency response
Expressed in hertz (Hz). It represents the range of frequencies a pair of headphones can always reproduce.

Sensitivity
Expressed in decibels per milliwatt (DB/MW)
Sensitivity measures the relative amount of volume it can produce from a given amount of input power. Headphones with higher sensitivity (about 100 db or higher) are recommended for use with portable listening devices which have less powerful amplifiers than home audio components

Impedence
Expressed in ohms. It is a measure of electrical resistance and related the sensitivity spec. Most consumer level falls between 16 and 64 ohms and is designed to work with low – powered portable audio devices

Things to consider in general.,

  • The different headphone designs have an impact on the sound image and the area of use of the headphones
  • On the road, even though it obstruct outside noise, in-Ears are recommended, as they provide good sound quality.
  • The classic earbuds are now rare and not as convincing as the sound, but they do not shield the bearer from their environment like In-Ears.
  • Headphones are much bulkier and therefore they are used preferentially stationary, except the on-ear models
  • The design of the headphones can be differentiated between open, closed and semi-open models.
  • On-Ear headphones provide a very spatial and transparent sound but are not very strong in bass playback.
  • Closed headphones shield the wearer strongly from its environment, but the models also make a good figure in low-frequency ranges.
  • The question of the appropriate headphones also depends on a number of individual factors, which is why it is recommended to listen to pre-purchase recommendations before buying.

Related Video

Further Reading
How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Headphones
Tech 101: Things You Need to Know Before Buying Headphones

Thanks for going through the post and hope have got relevant yet useful information on the different type of headphones and on choosing the right one for.

Do share your perspective about the above-discussed content and we are also looking forward to any relevant information associated with the topic as well as comments below

Happy Sound Engineering

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