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What To Look For When Buying Headphones


What To Look For When Buying Headphones

Aside from listening to music, headphones can now be worn and used to improve your smartphone experience. A good pair of headphones or earbuds is a must-have audio accessory these days. However, numerous types, shapes, and sizes of headphones are available in the market, which can be extremely confusing.

If you’re new to purchasing headphones, it can take time to understand all the specifications and learn the significance of certain software features over others. Here’s a simple headphone-buying guide to help you figure out what to look for in your next pair.

Type Of Headphone

The first thing you need when purchasing a headphone is clarity about the type that best suits your needs. Some people buy different types for different purposes, such as working out, relaxing at home, or participating in a video conference. Here are some of the different types of headphones that you could choose from.

Over-ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones are the largest of the main headphone types and are the most comfortable to wear for extended periods. This type of headphone provides excellent sound quality; however, they could be more portable because they are larger and heavier.

On-ear Headphones

This type, instead of over-ears, sits directly on your ears, allowing more airflow around them. While over-ear and on-ear headphones have the same overall structure, the latter is usually smaller and foldable. This feature of on-ear makes them a better option for those who dislike the in-ear type but want to bring that light and small to fit on their purse.

Headphones that are on-ear have more space for larger drivers, resulting in better sound quality. This style is perfect for those looking for high-quality headphones to carry while doing business. The good thing about on-ear headphones is you can use them when working out, but ensure they have a firm clamp to avoid falling from your head.


The great thing about earbuds is that you can easily slip them into your pocket, roll them into your purse, and go about your business. Some earbuds are designed to sit in the bowl of the ear and provide excellent sound quality. Other insert-style models plug up the ear canal, forming a tighter seal to help block out outside sound. This also allows them to stay in place during sports or other vigorous activities. 

Wired versus Wireless Headphones

When it comes to wired or wireless headphones, there is no “better” or “worse” option, only trade-offs. Here are some distinctions between wired and wireless headphones.

Wired Headphones

Wired headphones enable an external amplifier, producing a better listening experience. What’s great about wired headphones is that they provide stable, lag-free connectivity. However, handling wire can be difficult because it is easily tangled.

Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones do not have a cord or cable connecting the earpieces. Because wireless earphones use Bluetooth as their connection to the music source, you can freely groove to the beats of your favorite tunes without any restrictions. The portability of wireless headphones sets them apart, but the batteries may be an issue.

Audio Quality

Every headphone user’s audio standard is subjective because some prefer low-end tones while others don’t. These factors are listed below to help you understand how your headphones work.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a headset indicates the range of sound it can reproduce, and the accepted range of human hearing is 20Hz-20kHz. Most headphones claim a frequency response of 20-20,000Hz, corresponding to human hearing.

The numbers are not a good indicator of sound quality, but they can help you choose the right music headphones for a specific genre. If you prefer more bass, look for something with a wider frequency response range than usual.


Drivers contain the components that cause the diaphragm to vibrate, producing sound waves that your ears interpret as sound. When it comes to bass, the bigger the driver, the better the sound.


Impedance is your headphones’ resistance to the flow of current from your headphone amplifier. In general, selecting an earphone with a lower impedance of 25 Ohms is preferable.


Sensitivity describes how loud your headphones can get, which is what you should look for in the specifications of your headphones if you enjoy loud music. In general, sensitivity is measured per 1mW (milliwatt), and a sensitivity of 90dB to 120dB / 1mW is suitable for use.

Noise Cancellation

Active noise cancellation detects noise around you with a microphone and then plays back an opposite version of that sound, effectively canceling it out to your ears. ANC headphones can be beneficial if you travel frequently or are constantly in a noisy environment.


Avoid using a rubber-coated cord when purchasing wired headphones because it tangles easily and wears out quickly. The cable should be long enough to comfortably reach a music player or sound plug connection without becoming entangled in excess wire.

Battery Life

To be specific, battery life is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wireless accessory. Bluetooth headphones, on average, have a longer battery life than wireless earbuds. You should select a product with long battery life, quick charging, and high-performance levels.


Because most human ears are not identical, and only some devices will suit you, it is best to try out the headphones before purchasing. The headphones will feel like pinching your head if the headband is too tight. Take advantage of any retailer that allows customers to test-drive headphones in-store.

Shop For Headphones Today

Hopefully, this buying guide has answered your questions and taught you more about how they work. Always remember that what works for one person may not work for another, so make sure your purchase meets your needs. Inquire about and try out various types until you find the one that is right for you.

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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