Headphones have been around ever since home sound entertainment systems have been around. There is great enjoyment when listening to your favorite LP records with your headphones. Talk about immersing yourself in an auditory fantasy land. Every note seems more vivid. Every beat seems more urgent and real. People have been losing themselves in the great escape provided by great music for decades now. What’s changed over the decades? Well, music is recorded digitally now. You no longer have to hassle with the hisses and pops that used to accompany vinyl records played on turntables. Your music player only needs to read the digital signals of the MP3 or other audio file you’re listening to, and it feels like you’re in the studio listening to a live recording. Music distribution has changed, too. Instead of buying albums at your local corner record store, you only need to download specific tracks online. Instead of paying lots of money for a whole album which contains only one song you’d like to listen to, you can buy that single song online instead. Thanks to the Walkman portable music player and its successors like the iPod, and now, the iPhone, you can enjoy your music while jogging around your block or walking at a mall or the beach. With all these changes, one thing hasn’t changed-you still need high quality headphones to truly enjoy the very best your favorite music tracks can deliver. Keep the consideration below in mind when looking for the right set of headphones.
When looking for headphones, be aware that there are different types of headphones. Understand that different headphone types have different advantages and disadvantages. Once you’ve picked a particular type, consider different models and brands that offer that type of headphone based on key features listed below.
Choosing the right type of headphones
There are many different types of headphones on the market. There is such a wide selection of types because they serve different needs. You have to ask yourself how you will be using the headphones. Ask yourself under what circumstances will you be using your headphones. If you are going to be using headphones while working out or jogging, you’ll need headphones that won’t pop out or would tune you out from possible dangers. If you are going to be using your headphones while enjoying your classical music collection on your couch or den, you would need sound-immersive headphones. Setting and usage should dictate your choice of headphone type. The most common types of headphones are: ear buds, in-ear, on ear headphones, full-size headphones, wireless headphones, and noise-canceling headphones.
Ear buds and in-ear
As you can tell by the name, ear bud and in-ear headphones plug directly into your ears. These types of headphones deliver sound directly and efficiently into your ears from your music player. They are very light and some have very snug designs that allow them to stay plugged into your ears even when you’re running or moving a lot. As you can probably tell, ear buds are ideal for workout headphones. The downside to this type of headphone is that they can block out outside sounds. This can be very hazardous especially if you’re out jogging and you don’t hear the sound of alarms or honking cars. You might want to make sure you keep your music volume turned low when using ear buds-your physical safety depends on it.
Over ear headphones are composed of speaker units that go over your ears and are covered by a foamy insulator. These normally don’t block out outside sound. They are also quite light. Many music lovers use over ear headphones when walking around or even working out. They help you enjoy music while still allowing you to hear outside sounds. The downside to this type of headphone is that they can fall off if you move too fast or move too hard.
As the name of this type of headphone indicates, full-sized headphones are full-sized-they can be quite big. They speaker units wrap around your ears and the middle band can hug the top of your heard. Ideal for indoor listening, full-sized headphones deliver a full sound immersion. Obviously, you can’t use these types of headphones when you’re out and about or engaged in lots of physical activity.
Most headphones have cabling. This cabling can really cramp your style if you’re moving around. Fix that problem by using wireless headphones. These are essentially full-sized headphones that don’t require wires or cables. Again, don’t use these when you’re moving around quite a bit.
Definitely intended for indoor use only, noise canceling headphones cancel out external noise. Think of this type of headphone as full-sized headphones on steroids. They deliver a full rich sound without external noises and distractions.
Headphone features to consider
Now that you have selected the type of headphone you’d like to buy, the next step is to weigh your options based on their features. All headphones have the same set of features. They just vary based on the design, range, or quality of these features. Pay attention to the following common headphone features: bass level, treble, sealed versus open design, durability, and plug design.
Bass and Treble
Depending on the type of music you you listen to, you need to make sure the particular headphone model you’re considering has a wide and powerful bass or treble range. It is a good idea to pick a model that has a wide range of both bass and treble since you might switch among different types of music. You don’t want to paint yourself into a corner with a low bass, high treble unit, for example.
Sealed versus open design
Some headphone units are designed to block as much external noise as possible. Consider your probable usage of the headphone unit and consider your risks when picking between sealed versus open design.
While headphones have been getting cheaper and cheaper over the years, you don’t want to pick a unit that completely falls apart shortly after you buy it. When it comes to durability, pick a model that can handle the amount of wear and tear and usage volume you see for the unit.
This factor is very big for people using ear buds. The shape and direction of your cabling might be a hassle depending on your music player. Check out your music player and determine the most optimal plug design of your headphones’ cable.
Picking out the right headphones is not as easy as buying a certain brand. By paying close attention to the type of headphones you’d like and its features, you can go a long way in making a truly informed decision. This can have a big impact in your enjoyment of your music.