Finding the right headphones is like finding the infamous needle in a haystack. There are tons of offers and it is almost impossible to find the perfect headphones without buying advice. Many simply go to the nearest electronics store and buy a model where the product description sounds good and which meets the visual requirements – bad purchases cannot be ruled out. This article will help you find the Types of Headphones.
Advice: which headphones are right for me?
When looking for suitable headphones, you should answer a few questions before buying:
- How much money do you want to invest?
- Which optical requirements should the headphones meet?
- In which environment will you mainly use it?
- How important is good audio quality to you?
In addition to these questions, there are many other aspects to consider. It is therefore easy to get lost in the jungle of offers.
There is no such thing as the perfect headphones that meet all demands. The models and concepts of the providers are too different for that. However, it is possible to find headphones that suit you and your needs. This buying guide will help you to find the headphones that your favorite music deserves.
What are the Different Types of Headphones?
Headphones can be divided into different types, each with different advantages and disadvantages. The type of model is the most important aspect to consider when buying. In the following sections you will find out everything you need to know about it.
Closed (over-ears) headphones
Closed headphones are also called “over-ears” or circumaural headphones. Circumaural means that the outer part of the ear is covered. In this type, the earpiece of the over-ear headphones covers the entire ear. This means that no external noise can falsify the sound result. The covering headphone cup also has another interesting function: when the ear is completely covered, it provides an increased volume of air, which makes the bass sound more powerful. These headphones are particularly suitable for music with a lot of bass , such as American hip-hop .
- The sound is not distorted by the cover.
- There are no noises outside.
- The headphones are particularly suitable for bass-heavy music.
- Over-ears are very comfortable to wear if the earcups are adequately padded.
- The devices are relatively large and therefore not always easy to transport.
- Heat can build up through the closed ear cups.
Our top 3:
Half-open (on-ears) headphones
Half-open headphones are also called “on-ears” headphones. These combine the best of closed and open headphones: They are a bit smaller and easier to transport than closed headphones, but still shield a lot of noise. The pad rests on the ear. A perfect fit is required, otherwise the headphones will slip. With some on-ears, the noise escapes to the outside, which could annoy other people.
- The contact pressure is low and the on-ears can therefore be worn for a long time.
- The ears do not get warm because an exchange of heat can take place.
- Noise from outside is shielded by the ear cups; but not as good as with closed headphones. This means that outside noises can also be heard.
- The bass is not enhanced by the additional pressure, but it sounds more natural.
- The earpieces must fit well, otherwise the device could slip.
- Noises can penetrate the outside, which can strain the nerves of other people.
- They are lighter and more compact than closed headphones, but uncomplicated transport is not always possible.
Our top 3:
Open headphones do not have a seal. This means that the sound generated in the headphones also penetrates outside. This makes the sound particularly natural. Since this type is not shielded from the outside or the inside, noises from outside can influence the enjoyment of music. Noises can also penetrate outside. Therefore, open headphones are particularly suitable for listening to music at home.
- The sound sounds very natural.
- This type is very light and comfortable, which allows longer music enjoyment.
- S he is very easy to transport.
- People could feel annoyed by the music.
- Noises from outside can also be heard.
Our top 3:
- Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Open Studio Headphones
- Beyerdynamic DT 990 Edition 600 Ohm Over-Ear-Stereo Headphones
- AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back
In ear headphones
In-ears are small and are inserted directly into the ear. This allows external noises to be shielded. Since the headphones are very tight, they are often used for high-activity activities, e.g. B. when jogging . In-ears create additional pressure in the ear, which makes the bass appear stronger.
- In-ears are very tight and do not slip. This makes them particularly suitable for sports.
- The devices are small and therefore easy to transport.
- Ambient noises are – due to the passive noise suppression – inaudible.
- They are not as robust as over-ears.
- Long and loud listening to music is not advisable from a medical point of view, as the in-ears sit very close to the eardrum and the sound cannot escape.
- The devices need to be cleaned more frequently.
Our top 3:
Headphones with or without a cable?
There are three different models: with a cable, without a cable to the player and completely without a cable, also known as “True Wireless”
The difference between “wireless” and “true wireless” is always causing misunderstandings. “Wireless” means that there is no physical connection from the playback device to the headphones. However, the two individual headphones are connected to each other. The connection can be a bracket or a cable. The playback device connects to the device via Bluetooth.
“True Wireless” means that there is no physical connection to and between the headphones. The Bluetooth signal is picked up by one of the two headphones and then passed on to the other.
The next paragraphs in the guide will bring you closer to the advantages and disadvantages of the different variants.
Variant with cable
With headphones with a cable connection, you can rely on the sound quality. Since the electrical signals are transmitted through the cable, the sound quality is not lost . Therefore, only wired devices are used when mixing in music studios.
The cable also has disadvantages: these often break and the cable can break . Unraveling the notorious tangled cables can also cost time and nerves.
With “wireless” headphones, you do n’t have to worry about freedom of movement . No cable will annoy you or pull the headphones out of your ear when you have to take off an item of clothing. Untangling the tangled cables is a thing of the past. A bracket or cable between the individual components does not limit the possible uses.
The only major drawback: the sound quality . The signal is sent via Bluetooth and this transmission results in a loss, which reduces the quality of the music. You also have to pay attention to the battery life , as this could be improved on some devices.
Our top 3:
- TaoTronics Wireless Bluetooth
- Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) wireless
- Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 bluetooth
The Pros of “True Wireless” and “Wireless” headphones are very similar. But “True Wireless” is currently still in development, as it only came onto the market about two years ago . The customer has two options when making a purchase: Either they spend a lot of money on a well-engineered product or they have to reckon with small defects . In most cases, it is a loss of sound quality or the batteries run out extremely quickly .
In order not to prematurely conclude the purchase advice, it must be said that the headphones can be worthwhile . To do this, you have to dig deeper than usual into your wallet. Expensive devices have a sound quality similar to “wireless” headphones, they are comfortable to wear and they are an absolute eye-catcher .
Our top 3:
The audio quality of headphones
The next part of this guide deals with perhaps the most important quality feature – audio quality. This purchase advice has already shown you a few general facts about the quality of the sound. In the next few paragraphs, you will learn more about various characteristics of good audio quality.
The human ear can perceive frequencies from 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz . The deep bass is in the 20 to 40 Hertz range , the medium bass is in the 40 to 100 Hertz range and so this continues up to the so-called super high frequency, which is in the 10,000 to 20,000 Hertz range. When buying new headphones, it is important that they can reproduce the full spectrum of perceptible frequencies. This does not say anything about the sound quality, but the device is then able to meet all sound requirements.
Headphone drivers convert the electrical signal into sound . There are different driver models. The larger the driver, the easier it is to reproduce bass . Several drivers can be built into headphones. There are two types of drivers you should know about . Other drivers require either an external power supply or a special connector.
Dynamic drivers are built into most headphones because they are cheap to make. They can produce good bass.
If you attach great importance to detailed playback, then you should use balanced armature drivers for in-ears . You should make sure that either several BA drivers are installed or that this driver is combined with other drivers. Balanced armature drivers can reproduce selected frequency ranges particularly well.
The nominal impedance, or simply impedance, is difficult to understand for laypeople. In simplified terms, this indicates how much voltage is necessary for the headphones to play loudly . If you want to use the headphones on your cell phone , iPod or laptop, you should use low-impedance headphones that do not exceed 32 ohms. Headphones for hi-fi systems can have up to 600 ohms.
Sound pressure level
The sound pressure indicates how loud headphones can be . This value is given in decibels. 90 to 115 decibels are sufficient for everyday use . For comparison: in a disco, around 100 decibels are common.
What is Active Noise Canceling?
Active noise canceling, also known as anti-noise, is a function that is built into some headphones. It is used for active noise suppression . Small microphones are built into the device for this purpose. These pick up the noises from the environment and generate a counter-sound in the event of loud external noises. This means you can listen to music undisturbed. This technique works particularly well with monotonous frequencies, such as the rattling of the tram. The active noise filtering consumes a lot of electricity , which is usually provided by a battery.
Our top 3:
- Conambo CQ8 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
- TaoTronics Active Noise Canceling
- Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling
When looking for suitable headphones, you will learn many different techniques and functions. With this guide you will also know what is important in this area.
An inline microphone is a microphone built into the cable. This includes a control system that can be used to accept a call, regulate the volume and fast-forward to the next song. This saves you having to use your cell phone.
Additional sensors are built into some headphones. These can track head movements, sports activities or sleep and save them on the smartphone. Due to the proximity to the ear, the sensors can also determine your pulse.
The sensors could replace other devices or apps that were previously used to track certain activities. However, models with sensors are more expensive than models without sensors.
Some devices have a built-in assistant such as Siri, Alexa or Google Voice. This can be activated to ask for information. The wizard searches for the answer on the Internet and outputs it through the headphones. This function can be useful, for example if you do not know the opening times of a doctor and do not want to check your mobile phone first.
Talk through function
This function is particularly useful if you want to interact with your surroundings despite the headphones. For example, if you stand at a bus stop, listen to music and someone speaks to you, you will still be able to hear them. The headphones amplify the voices and regulate the volume of the music.
Tips: How to find the types of headphones
Hopefully this guide has already answered the most important questions for you. But one big question remains open: How exactly do you find suitable headphones?
It is important that you determine how much money you want to invest. Of course, you have to keep in mind that good quality has its price . However, not every inexpensive device is bad. Then you should consider where and how you want to use the device , because this limits the selection to fewer models.
Would you like to use the headphones on the train? Then it is not important that they are tight. However, they should reliably block outside noises or actively suppress the noises. Over-ears headphones with active noise canceling technology are suitable for this.
Do you particularly enjoy listening to music with a lot of bass? Then over-ears or in-ears could be suitable for you. You should also consider the size of the driver when buying.
If you know what you want to use the headphones for, you can rule out unsuitable models.
One last tip: keep the packaging and receipt in a safe place . A quick touch can give you a feel for whether the headphones fit. However, this does not say anything about long-term comfort. Some dealers therefore grant the customer a right of return. If you order your article from the Internet, the Distance Selling Act applies. This allows you to return the item within 14 days.
However, the item must not be damaged or show signs of use, otherwise the dealer does not have to reimburse you for the full value of the headphones. Caution is also required with in-ears: These are considered hygiene items and do not have to be taken back by the retailer once the packaging has been opened .
The introduction mentioned the notorious needle in a haystack. With this guide, you have hopefully been able to narrow down your selection a bit. Now that you know what types, concepts and functions there are, the search for suitable headphones will be easier for you. This makes listening to your music a lot of fun.