When you go out to buy a new pair of headphones in the market, you may be overwhelmed by seeing the diverse options of headphones available.
I’ve been an audiophile from a long time and researched and used some of the best headphones in the market. Initially, I committed many mistakes while choosing headphones.
This post is a result of my 3 years of my experience being an audiophile. I tried and tested dozens of headphones and earbuds available in the market, and I have every category of headphones lying in my home. I’ll provide the tips that most of the headphone buyers miss while choosing the perfect headphones for their use.
This post will be a go-to guide for you while purchasing any new headphones. Just bookmark this guide, so that after reading this post, next time if you struggle with picking up the best headphone pair for you, this post will help you.
In-ear headphones or earbuds or earphones are the headphones that have ear tips, that fit in directly to your ears. They are designed for extreme portability, and suitable for smartphone users.
Many of the times while commuting, running, working out, you may want lightweight earbuds. Nobody would like to run wearing large over-ear headphones around their ears. But the downside of these earbuds that they are less comfortable than that of over ear headphones. You can’t wear these earbuds for very long time, as you may find it uncomfortable for long hours. These earbuds don’t have excellent noise isolation technology, and as they do not completely cover your ear surroundings.
The next one is over-ear headphones. They are preferred by gamers, audiophiles, audio mixers, movie watchers, etc. They are preferably used connected to PC. For the best experience, these are often used provided with high power.
As they are bulky and big, they are often difficult to carry, although some of them come with swivel design. If you badly need headphones and travel a lot, I would strongly suggest you go for headphones that have swivel design and can be easily folded to fit in your backpack.
They cover your entire ears, with the help of their earcups. They are designed carefully so that it will keep away all the external noise from the playback. When you don’t hear external noises and completely isolated from the surroundings, you’ll have a better bass experience. Added with this, headphones have big drivers that’s capable of producing sounds in varying frequency levels including deep bass.
If you are an audiophile like me and want the best quality of sound possible with your gadget, then go for over-ear headphones, you’ll never regret.
I suggest HeadphonesBuzz readers that, you need to go for wireless headphones as long as you are comfortable with it. Because, although most of the wireless Bluetooth headphones are advanced in technology, wired headphones have an edge over the wireless ones in terms of clarity of the music.
If you are looking for headphones for working out, running, or swimming, you badly need wireless headphones. In those cases, you need to choose a wireless headphone that has AptX technology enabled. Traditional wireless headphone came with lossy compression technology, that compressed the sound waves while travelling via Bluetooth, and in turn deteriorates the quality of the sound. But newer wireless headphones are featured with aptX encoding technology.This is an encoding technology that enables sound waves to losslessly travel via Bluetooth as the medium. With the advent of this new technology, the wireless headphones are also offering the sound quality almost equal to that of wired headphones, but again it comes with a cost.
Nevertheless, if you are a Basshead, you need to go for some of the best bass headphones that are wired. Because wireless headphones offer less bass compared to that of wired bass headphones which have high power.
I would like to conclude that unless you badly need a wireless headphone go for wired headphones. Because wired ones come with less cost than that of wireless ones and also offer good sound quality for the price.
These are the two terms that most of the people interchange or confuse. Let me go one by one.
Noise isolating headphones are designed in such a way that they seal your ears and prevent external ambient noises from entering your ears. If you want to get good noise isolation in case of earbuds, you may want to the buds that perfectly fit into your ears. You may also consider fitting in different ear tips and use the one that is comfortable to you.
Noise cancelling headphones come with a dedicated noise-cancelling mic. This mic listens to the external noise or ambient sounds and creates an inverse wave to that of the noises. These inverse waves are then fed to the output speakers in the headphones. They cancel out the ambient sounds, and now you can hear your main playback crystal clear.
Noise cancelling technology works effectively for low-frequency constant sounds like fan sound, aeroplane engine, etc. They do not work quite well in case if the external noises are of varying frequencies and loud.
I personally like noise cancelling headphones as they enable me to fully immerse in the playback without listening to external noise. As per my experience, Bose QuietComfort 25 is the good noise cancelling headphone.
This is the feature that many people miss. They preassume that every headphone comes with an inline mic. That’s not true. If you are planning to use the headphones other than music listening, like VoiP calls, game chats or answering the phone calls, headphones with microphone seem great.
Especially if you are willing to buy earbuds for hearing music on your mobile phones, don’t assume that all earbuds have an in-line mic. This is the most common mistake that people do while purchasing a pair of headphones online.
All the over-ear headphones, although they have the typical 3.5mm jack are not compatible with portable devices. If you are planning to use the headphone also for portable devices like mobile phones and mp3 players, it’s essential for you to take a look whether the selected headphone is compatible with low powered devices.
Technically speaking, this can be determined looking at the impedance of the headphone you are planning to buy. Impedance refers to the electrical resistance offered by the headphone. More the impedance, more power is required to run the headphones. Most of the headphones that are perfectly compatible with portable devices have the impedance range of 16 to 64 ohms. Many of the high-end audiophile headphones, impedance ranging from 64 – 600 ohms are not compatible with portable devices and require amplifiers.
If you do not want to worry any these technical stuff, just take a look at the online comments and determine whether the headphones are compatible with low power devices.
Sensitivity refers to the volume of the audio that the headphones can produce for the input power. If a headphone has high sensitivity, it typically needs less power for it to play the audio in decent volume.
If you are planning to use the headphones with mobile devices or mp3 players, consider going for headphones that have a sensitivity of 100 decibels or higher. This is particularly important. Because many of the people I know have accidentally chosen headphones that have very low volume when connected to their mobile devices.
Typically earbuds that come with mobile devices have high sensitivity, hence they sound too loud when connected PC.
Beware! When you choose headphones of high sensitivity, don’t ever connect it to high power amplifiers as they blow off.
For studio mixing purposes, I recommend choosing headphones with mid-low sensitivity for connecting to powerful amplifiers.
If you are buying an expensive set of headphones, it’s more of like a one-time investment. In that case, you need to have a durable long lasting headphone.
The thing is, as you’ve shelled good amount of money, you need to make sure that the headphones come with a warranty from the manufacturer. Most of the headphones from good manufacturers come with a warranty of one or two years, consider this factor.
If you are planning to use the headphones for working out and exercising consider buying sweat proof headphones preferably with IPX ratings. Because, if you sweat a lot, the ordinary earbuds like Apple earbuds can easily stop working. Based on the purposes you are using the headphones, pick up the best pair that suits your needs.
These are some of the things that you need to keep in mind while choosing a pair of headphones.