Headphones: Pros and Cons

Headphones: Pros and Cons

Depending on how often you listen to music, the genres you listen to, what you want to here, and personal standards, there are many different types of headphones you can choose from. However, with so many different styles available, this can be a difficult decision.

The two basic types of headphones are on-ear and in-ear headphones. Within these categories are more specific types:

On-Ear Headphones

Circumaural (Full Sized Headphones)- These headphones generally have circular ear-pads that completely surround your ear. Since they surround your ear, they block out most outside noise. However, they are bulky and less portable than other headphones and slightly more expensive. If you’re willing to dish out a few extra dollars, then these are the headphones for you. They are generally used in recording studious and my music enthusiasts. Pros: Sealed, good sound isolation; high quality bass. Cons: Large and cumbersome; can over-heat ears; can interfere with glasses/earrings, etc

Supra-aural- These headphones are much lighter-weight than the circumaural headphones. Rather than surrounding your ear, they instead rest on top of them. Depending on the brand, they can either be extremely high quality or pretty bad. Pros:Lighter weight than the circumaural, but still high quality; don’t over-heat; comfortable; portable Cons: Not sealed; not as good bass as in circumaural phones.

Ear-buds- Unlike the above headphones, these headphones are completely portable, and can even fit into your pocket. These headphones rest directly outside your ear canal. They are much cheaper than any other type of headphones, and much more convenient. However, since they cannot isolate sound, the volume of your device has to be turned way up to deliver a good sound, potentially causing ear damage. They also have a very low quality bass. Pros: Small, lightweight, portable; many different colors and styles; cheap. Cons: Not durable; poor bass; no sound isolation; may cause hearing loss.

In-Ear Headphones

Canalphones (in ear canal headphones)- These are the only type of in ear headphones. They look similar in appearance to ear-buds, but instead of resting on your ear, they have foam, rubber, or silicon tips that are inserted directly into your ear canal. This provides excellent sound isolation. They are also very portable and compact, while still delivering an excellent sound. Depending on how much money you are willing to pay, there are two types of canalphones: Universal and Custom. Universal phones generally come with 2-3 different sized tips that will generally fit in your ear pretty well. Custom phones are specially designed to fit your ear perfectly to best deliver the sound to you. They are more expensive than universal phones. Pros: Compact and small; excellent sound isolation; comfortable; okay bass. Cons: expensive; not always durable; may be uncomfortable.

Hopefully with this information you will be able to find a set of headphones that are right for you. Keep in mind that different brands will have slight differences in their products, and that this will affect your listening experience. For brief summaries of brands that make headphones, go here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/audio-video/headphones/headphone-buying-advice/headphone-brands/headphones-brands.htm

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Goldrush2000, posted this comment on Aug 24th, 2009

its amazing how much you know about headphones :D

Buma, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

I have an in-ear headphones and they work so well and add definition to sound. THanks for the article.

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