Guide to Headphones: Things To Consider When Shopping
Headphones were always important to those that consider themselves serious appreciators of fine music but since the advent of portable music players such as the iPod or other MP3 devices headphones have become an essential part of just about every music lovers equipment.
You may be surprised to find that they are our many different types and styles of headphones to choose from. Today headphones has become a very specialized item. They also vary widely not only in style but in price as well. You can get a pair of earbuds that cost anywhere from seven dollars all the way up to $200.
Besides earbuds there are also surround sound, noise canceling, closed back, open back, around the neck, on the ear and over the ear headphones. So as you can see there are many options to consider when it comes to picking up a new set of headphones.
Types of Headphones
- Full Size: These are large in size and sit around the ear. Some of the best headphones are full sized.
- In Ear: In ear headphones provide better isolation that most other types.
- Earpad: Earpad headphones are one of the most common headphone types.
- Closed: Closed headphones are comfortable and isolate you from outside noise; read our top choices.
- Headset: This is the type that you should ideally use when you want to listen as well as talk.
- Noise Cancelling: Best for travelers who can now cut out external noise with these fine headphones.
- Wireless For free-range listening, get rid of the tether.
- Balanced: The pinnacle of headphone listening.
Earbuds Earbuds are convenient and inexpensive, but sound okay.
- Behind the Neck: Make room for something else at the top of your head with these behind-the-neck headphones.
- Clip-On These ones clip to your ears.
There are two key factors that one must consider before making a purchase. First is what will be the typical use, for instance if you’re going to be primarily listening to music when you work out then and earbuds may be the best type to choose. If you’re listening is going to be primarily through a high-end stereo system then a over the ear type would probably be your best choice.
If you’re looking to buy a high-end headphones set then you are probably going to be investing in a headphone amplifier as well. This type of amplifier is specifically designed for use with headphones. It boosts the signal that goes to the speakers in the ear cups which causes the two and makes it possible to deliver a wider spectrum of sound.
It should be noted that if you’re listening device has a low quality soundcard as most computers do a headphone amp will also accentuate the poor sounding music as well is the good. To achieve the best quality listening experience is important that each piece of equipment in the sound chain is better than average standards.
Noise canceling headphones are probably the healthiest for your ears. This is because they block out outside noise allowing you to hear what you’re listening to at lower volumes. This of course is much better for your ears.
There are two types of noise canceling headphones the first type uses what’s known as a ‘passive noise cancellation’ and the second type incorporates a function called an ‘active noise cancellation’. Active noise cancellation requires the headphones to have an additional power source which is usually powered by batteries.
Active noise cancellation is achieved by using tiny microphones mounted on the headphones themselves that pick up outside noise and play it through the headphones in an anti-phase matters thus canceling the frequencies that are emanating from outside the ear cups.
Passive noise cancellation is simply achieved by incorporating a closed back earcup and a snug fit over the ears.
A high quality set of the best headphones can increase your listening enjoyment tenfold. Remember to keep in mind three important facts when buying any type of portable listening device, they are comfort, primary use and of course sound quality.