Types of Headphones

Panasonic EarbudsEarbud headphones

Usually very affordable but the sound quality doesn’t tend to be great and it’s not great for blocking out sound either.

Earbud headphones are pretty much the same as in-ear headphones, but in-ear headphones has a tip which goes slightly inside your ear for better sound quality and noise isolation whereas earbud headphones sits on the centre of your outer ear at the entrance of your ear canal.

Advantages:

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Can easily fit inside your pocket.
  • Usually fairly cheap and affordable.

Disadvantages:

  • Sound quality not as good as in-ear headphones.
  • Very little or no noise isolation.
  • It can hurt your ears if you have them in for too long.
  • Wire gets tangled easily when you put it in your pocket or bag.
  • Doesn’t tend to last very long due to cheap quality.

 

In-Ear headphonesRHA MA600i Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphone

The in-ear headphones are lightweight and portable. It is important you select the right tip to fit inside your ear otherwise this can impact the sound and quality. These headphones offer good noise isolation and some come with a built-in mic and remote control.  See our Top 10 Best In-Ear Headphones.

As part of the in-ear earphones family, you also have Bluetooth running earphones as well as the completely wireless earbuds.

Advantages:

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Can easily fit inside your pocket.
  • Good noise isolation providing you choose the right fit.
  • Higher end models can have really good sound quality on par with some larger headphones.

Disadvantages:

  • Base quality generally not as good as on-ear or over-ear headphones.
  • Wire gets tangled easily when you put it in your pocket or bag.

 

On-ear headphones (Supra-aural)Bose SoundLink

The on-ear headphones uses cups which sit on your ears, although these are much bigger than in-ear headphones, some models fold up making it more compact and portable.

Depending on the shape and size of your ears, certain models may feel uncomfortable, so it’s important you choose a pair which is fits properly. If the cups doesn’t sit properly on your ears you will lose sound quality.

Advantages:

  • Some models fold up, making it compact and portable.
  • Usually more comfortable than earbud and in-ear headphones.
  • Good sound quality.

Disadvantages:

  • If you wear glasses this may interfere with the headphones.
  • Not as portable as in-ear headphones, it won’t fit in your pocket either.

 

Over-ear headphones (Circumaural)

Over-ear headphones have padded cups which fits around your ears, making it more comfortable especially for Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Over-Ear Headphonesprolonged usage. Although a lot larger in size over-ear headphones generally don’t compromise on sound quality.

Noise isolation will vary, if the over-ear has a closed cup design then you can expect good noise isolation. The open-backed design will offer little noise isolation but in return will offer better sound quality than the closed up design.

Advantages:

  • Very comfortable even for prolonged use.
  • Excellent sound quality with good bass response.

Disadvantages:

  • If you wear glasses this may interfere with the headphones.
  • Big and bulky, making it less practical to carry around.

 

Wireless headphonesThomson WHP3001BK Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones usually uses Bluetooth technology to connect to Bluetooth enabled devices such as: Smartphone, television, laptop, computer, gaming console, etc.

This technology eliminates the use of wires and operates on rechargeable batteries. Some models will allow standard AAA batteries to be used which can be very convenient if the rechargeable ones run out of power.

Some models come with the option of using a 3.5mm audio jack which allows you to continue using the headphones if it’s ran out of power, or connect to devices which don’t have Bluetooth technology enabled.

There’s not a particular type of headphones which wireless technology is limited to, as all of the types of headphones listed above is capable of wireless technology.  See our Top 10 Best Wireless Headphones.

Advantages:

  • Move more freely without being obstructed by headphone wires.
  • The range allows you to be further away from your device so you’re not as restricted.

Disadvantages:

  • Operates on rechargeable batteries so you have to keep remembering to charge.

 

Noise cancelling headphonesBose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

Noise cancelling headphones uses active noise control to reduce unwanted sounds. This way you haven’t got to increase the volume to try to eliminate those unwanted sounds.

Noise cancelling headphones are available in the form of in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones. More power is required for these headphones, usually 1 x AAA battery or 1 x lithium ion battery, however if the batteries run out of power the headphones will still function just without the noise cancelling feature.  See our Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Advantages:

  • Noise cancelling function blocks out ambient sounds, therefore no need to increase the volume to do this and potentially damage your hearing.
  • Can use the headphones without listening to music, just to sleep or relax.

Disadvantages:

  • The sound quality may be slightly affected due to the noise cancelling algorithm being a priority.
  • Consumes more power than standard headphones.

 

Gaming headsetsHyperX Cloud Gaming Headset

Gaming headsets are designed for online gaming, some headsets are designed for specific consoles whereas some can be used for consoles, PC and mobile phones.

The concept is to enhance your gaming experience so it feels more realistic, some headsets will have high quality audio which even lets you hear enemies footsteps a lot clearer for games such as Call of Duty.

The features will vary depending on what model you buy, the noise cancelling microphone feature will also enhance gameplay as your instructions to your teammates will be a lot clearer, as background noise will be blocked out.  See our Top 10 Best Gaming Headsets.

Advantages:

  • Most gaming headsets has a 3.5mm audio jack so can therefore be used as standard headphones to listen to music, watch videos, etc.
  • The microphone is detachable for some headsets so can therefore be used away from your home as standard headphones to listen to music.

Disadvantages:

  • Some gaming headset designs doesn’t look neutral enough so if you wore it in public it would look too much like a gaming headset.