There are many types of headphones available in the market such as in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones, open-back and closed-back headphones and many more. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. This article mainly focuses on the in-ear and over-ear headphones.
Below are some main features of both types of headphones that you should take into consideration while choosing the perfect piece for yourself.
While choosing a headphone, the comfort level should never be neglected. In-ear headphones are comparatively less comfortable than over-ear headphones. This is due to the fact that, as their name suggests, are placed inside your ear canal. For a short period of time, they are ok, but for longer time durations, in-ear headphones can cause discomfort to the user. In general, over-ear headphones are considered the most comfortable among the available types of headphones due to the fact that they are placed around the ears of the user, without applying any pressure to the ears themselves.
This feature depends on how you intend to use your headphones. If you only want a headset for listening purposes, the availability of a microphone is not really necessary. However, if you want to use your headphones for attending calls or chatting purposes, then a high-quality microphone should be included in the headset. Alternatively, the microphone of the connected device can be used, which in many cases is not desirable as it might be located in a remote place (i.e. mobile phone in a pocket).
Cord Length (if any)
The length of the cord (extension cable) is part of the comfort level that the headphones offer. The length of the cord should be chosen in accordance with the purpose of the headset use. For example, if you want to buy a headphone for your computer, then a cable with a minimum length of 2 meters is usually more convenient. On the other hand, if you intend to use the headphones with an Mp3 player or a mobile phone, then a cable with a shorter length might be more desirable, so that it does not get tangled to the clothes of the user or interrupt his/her movements. Nowadays, the vast majority of headphones are equipped with a Bluetooth module for wireless connection with the device. In many cases, a cable socket for wired connection is not even available.
The Impedance of headphones affects its sound quality. A headphone having a higher impedance will provide you with better sound quality, but this will also require more energy. Thus, the resistance of a headphone must be optimal to be used with devices for longer use. For in-ear headphones, the resistance should be within 16 Ohm while for over-ear headphones the impedance is extended to 32 Ohm or even higher.
This feature gives an advantage to the in-ear headphones as they are smaller and lighter compared to the over-ear ones. In-ear headphones usually come with a nice storage box which also acts as a charging station to charge them while not in use. Due to their small size, the small battery of in-ear headphones is depleted much quicker compared to over-ear ones.
The sensitivity of headphones indicates how loud the output sound can reach when a specific electrical power is supplied. Headphones with higher sensitivity can provide stronger sound (higher gain) at the expense of more power consumption. Headphones with 100 dB sensitivity is usually a good balance.
As already suggested, in-ear headphones are limited when it comes to duration of operation. In the best-case scenario, in-ear headphones can last maximum 3 to 4 hours before their battery gets discharged. Then, they have to be placed back to their charging station for a few minutes before they can be reused. In the contrary, on-ear headphones offer much longer time of operation as they are generally bigger and consequently, they can accommodate a larger battery.
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