Headphones are a necessary accessory for many of today’s devices, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and portable media players. In some cases, headphones are the only way that you’ll be able to hear audio from a portable device. Here, we’ll examine the different types of headphones and what you need to consider when purchasing them.
As the name suggests, over-theear models are designed with comfortable ear pads that surround your outer ears, so the headphones don’t sit on your ear lobes. Also known as full-sized or circumaural, over-the-ear headphones create a natural seal by sitting against your head, which can help to reduce external noise that can be intrusive when you need to focus on the task at hand. Over-the-ear models are the largest style of headphones. The large size allows for manufacturers to incorporate larger, high-end speakers into the ear pads for a superior sound when compared to other types of over-ear headphones.
On the flip side, the large size makes over-the-ear headphones less desirable for a traveler who has limited space for headphones in his travel bag.
This style of headphones is similar to over-the-ear, except that the ear pads sit directly on your ear lobes. You’ll still enjoy the comfort of cushioned or foam ear pads, and the flat cups are typically smaller and less weighty than over-the-ear models. The on-ear design still allows for some ambient noise, which is perfect if you plan on wearing the headphones while walking (so you can hear traffic and others around you) or if you want to keep an ear out for a phone call.
A band running behind the ear pads or earbuds rests against your neck, which is perfect for people who wish to listen to music while exercising. As such, behind-the-neck headphones are ideal for runners, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
These headphones feature an attachment that slides over your ear, so it’s easy to take on and off. The lightweight, easy-to-put-on design makes them appealing for people who are on the go and want a portable set of headphones they can easily slip on and still be able to hear ambient noise around them.
These are one of the most popular headphone options because the ultra-portable design allows them to be taken anywhere. You wear earbuds by resting them inside your ear, which naturally helps to block out background noise that may be distracting when you need to concentrate or just want some time alone with your thoughts. Earbuds are handy for commuters, travelers, and anyone who wants small, pocketable headphones.
Consider the types of activities you perform while wearing headphones and invest in a style that best matches those tasks.
If it’s important that you only hear audio from your computer or other mobile device, look for headphones that feature sound-isolating or noisecancelling technology, which are two types of ways that headphones reduce the sound of ambient noise.
Wireless models that communicate via Bluetooth are convenient for people that use headsets with laptops, smartphones, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
OVER-THE-EAR MODELS are the largest style of headphones. The large size allows for manufacturers to incorporate larger, high-end speakers into the ear pads for a superior sound when compared to other types of over-ear headphones.