The first question you’ll hear a salesperson asking after you’d expressed your desire to buy headphones is: “What kind of headphones are you looking for? It’s important to decide what categories you want even before heading into a store—best a relative term. The best thing isn’t always the best option for everyone. This article made it easy for you to get to know about different headphones. And how to identify the best one. I also added some reviews of top-seller brands. Let’s dive in.
How to Identify the Best Headphone?
What kind of Headphones do you want?
Tons of headphones in the market are divided into a few categories. There are different headphones based on connection and design. Headphone based on the connection are:
- Best for exercise
- No broken, tangled up wire
- Compatible with modern electronics
- They look chic
- Requires charging
- Can get lost(In-ear)
- Over-ear one can break
- Hard to repair
- Medium sound quality
- You can’t connect it right away
- Won’t connect everywhere
Wired headphones: Everyone has experienced wired headphones. But should you be choosing it again? Let’s break it down:
- Wired ones can provide the best sound quality.
- Noise cancellation is better in wired headphones.
- Cheaper than wired ones but depends on the brand.
- Easy to repair than wired ones.
- They won’t need charging.
- No need to pair them
- Connects everywhere possible
- Fragile wire
- Restricts movement
- Wires are a mess to handle
Headphones based on their design:
Over-ear headphones: These are those big headphones that most professionals like musicians, singers, and gamers use. Big U-shaped band that clings to the head has two large cups for each ear. Those cups cover the whole ear, reason why they are called over-ear headphones.
- Acoustic audio and great sound performance
- Has the ability to provide maximum noise cancellation but depends on whether it’s wired or not
- Traps sound inside cups, ensuring a wide range of audio
- Noise doesn’t leak from cups
- Cups distribute music in-ear equally, so it doesn’t create pressure on the eardrums
- Professionals use wired over-head headphones
- No chance of losing them even if they are wireless
- Won’t reach your ear debris
- They weigh more than in-ear
- Cups may be comfortable but unfit for work out and summer as they can get sweaty
- Fragile bands, if not collapsible
- It will make your ears hurt as it pulls down your ears
- Hard to carry and store
- A bit pricier than other types. Even more if wireless
- Leather pads will fall off at some point. But they don’t come with extra replaceable pads.
On-ear headphones: They’re almost like over-ear but with a compact design. They don’t cover around the ears—only the ears of parts of it.
- Easy to carry than over-ear headphones
- Less pricey compared to over-ear but depends on brands
- Less dense pads which make sweat less than over-ear
- It will hurt your ears less than over-ear headphones
- Sound performance is not as good as over-ear headphones
- Noise cancellation won’t be satisfying
- Longer usage can cause headaches too
- Overall low manufacturing quality, so it won’t last long
In-ear headphones: In-ears are the most common type of all. The ones that have earbuds that get inside of your ear. Both wired and wireless are available.
- They are the lightest
- Won’t put pressure on ear lobes
- Best at portability
- Easy to control
- Best for working out
- Won’t sweat
- Easy charging if wireless
- Comes with replaceable earbuds
- You can lose them quickly if they are wireless
- Wires are often thin and fragile
- Hard to repair
- Not the best sound quality
- Low-quality noise cancellation
- Isn’t long-lasting
Read more about In-Ear vs. On-Ear vs Over-Ear Headphones
Features of good headphones
There are a few ways of figuring out if the headphone is yay or nay. Look for these key features while you head to the store:
- Warranty, guarantee, price: Best headphones will be worth their price. Will have free service feature, convenient warranty, and guarantee.
- Driver: The bigger the headphone diameter, the better the sound performance. Because drivers are what convert signals into audio, better driver quality means precise audio. Read more on Headphones Driver Diameter
- Sensitivity of sound: Sound sensitivity is important to understand how properly the signals will convert into audio. Sound sensitivity allows detecting even the smallest wave of signals. You can understand how loud the headphones can get by looking at the sound pressure. The best quality headphones will maintain a healthy sound level for your ears.
- Response of frequency: Look at the frequency curve as your sound quality depends on it. Look for headphones that support low frequencies as well. Low-frequency headphones perform better at noise cancellation.
- Electrical resistance: Best quality headphones have higher electrical resistance, like 300ohms.
- Noise cancellation: All the prominent brands claim about noise cancellation. Look for this feature and don’t forget to test it.
- Noise isolation: It enables you to shut all the external sounds so that you can focus on headphone audio. Another key feature of good headphones.
- Good quality wire: Wires of good quality headphones won’t tangle and wouldn’t be fragile either.
What’s best for you depends entirely on your personal preferences. Some are comfortable with wired ones, and some prefer wireless more. So you need to know what the best one among your preferred types is as we discussed, there more divisions than based on connection. Comfort depends on headphones styles, so whether in-ear, on-ear, or over-ear will affect your flexibility. Cons here are not to discourage you but to make you aware of different negative possibilities that a seller would avoid telling you about.
The best of the best headphones may not be the best choice for you if you are unable to afford them or uncomfortable in size and shape. But some key features are discussed here to judge easily if the headphones are of the best quality or not. Not always pricey ones are of the best quality. The best way to identify the best headphones is to try around different brands.