If you travel frequently, you need to focus while you work or just love music and audiobooks, headphones are a necessary gadget. From the article you will find out what are the different types of headphones, which parameters are important and which models to buy.
In the guide:
1. We will bring you different types of headphones
2. You will find out what their characteristics and parameters pay attention
3. We will tell you what type of handset you buy for your smartphone, computer and TV
4. You will find out what functions can be equipped
5. You will discover interesting headphones models
Types of headphones
Headphones can be divided into several types, depending on various factors.
The most common division is wireless and wired headphones. These will connect to devices that support the appropriate wireless standard. On the market are models based on radio and infrared signals, but now Bluetooth is the most popular solution. Provides a smaller range (about 9-10 meters) than a radio broadcast (up to 30 meters), but definitely sufficient for a smartphone you normally have in your pocket, within a few inches of your headset.
Wired headsets are equipped with a long cable that ends with a jack that you connect to the audio jack of the device. Good wired headphones guarantee excellent sound quality as it is not compressed, as with Bluetooth headphones. Still, they have a smaller “range” than the wireless ones – it limits the cable length.
Wired and wireless headsets also differ in terms of design. Here we can distinguish ear, ear, ear and intruder models.
As you can see, earbuds are the biggest because their ear muffs partially cover or completely cover their ears. Earphones are the ones that are inserted into your ear. Ears are usually placed on special hooks around the ears, so they stay well in place. Cabinet models are a type of earphones, equipped with special rubber or foam tips that better isolate noise from the outside. Usually placed in the ear canal, deeper than the earbuds.
On the market are also available closed, open and semi-open. This division relates to ear models. The closed tightly adjoins the ear, so that the sound is “stopped” between the earpiece and your ear. This means that you can not hear the sound from the outside and the environment – the music you are listening to. Such models typically feature very good high and low tonal reproduction.
Open earphones are the ones that are best suited to use at home and in quiet places, as you hear noises from outside as well. People around you will also hear the sounds coming from your headphones, especially if you are listening to loud music. Open models provide better ear ventilation. This makes them more comfortable, especially if you wear them for a long time. It is also a good choice if you are looking for a safe sports headset, for example for a runner. The hearing is complementary with the eyes. You often hear something first and only then do you notice. While running around the city, it’s better to know what’s going on around you.
For this purpose, you can also check out semi-open earphones that combine the best features of closed and open models. The most important of these are great sound quality and wide range of bass and treble. In addition, they isolate from unwanted noises from the outside, albeit to a lesser extent than closed constructions. They provide adequate ventilation for the ear.
If you are looking for headphones that are enclosed in ear cushions, choose the earbuds. Thanks to placement in the ear canal and the use of silicone gaskets, they usually separate you from the noise.
Important features and specifications of the headphones
Choosing the right headphones depends primarily on what they are for – to talk over the phone or Skype or to listen to music? A model with a microphone will usually work great in both cases. The only difference is that the easiest possible construction, for the Internet, is simply the compression of the sound. More important than the sound quality is the maximum available volume.
The model for a music lover should meet many more requirements. See what parameters to look for when you are looking for really good wired or wireless handsets.
The sound level is very important in the music headphones. In other words – tenderness. It is in decibels (dB). According to EU standards, the recommended maximum value is 85 dB, outside the EU it can sometimes be 96 dB. Most models available, however, have a higher maximum volume. But it also means higher pressure, which over time is felt. Longer listening to sounds above 80 db can be tiring. The pain threshold is 110-140 db, and after hearing these values is damaged hearing.
If at some point you feel your hearing is tiring, you are dropping the music or taking a break from listening. With good quality headphones this should not happen. Also remember that the final volume of the headphones also depends on the volume of the output device and the quality of the connection between it and the headphones, as well as the impedance.
In other words – resistance or resistance. Most portable devices support 16-64 ohms (Greek Ω-omega) values. The higher the resistance, the more energy you have to deliver to the headphones to reach the right volume. This means that when connected to the same low-power source (eg smartphone), the lower impedance will be louder. On the other hand, however, less resistance means greater susceptibility to noise.
Suitable headphones should provide the sound you like – either with more prominent bass or better-reproduced highs. Pay attention to the frequency response or frequency supported. For really good headphones, it should be between 16 and 20,000 Hz – just as much as the range of human audible tones. The lower bound means the lowest, bass sounds, the upper range – the highest, that is the sopranos and all the accents.
Remember, however, that manufacturers measure the frequency response in different ways because there are no uniform requirements, and this can be very important for your reception. If the headphones at lower frequencies are quiet, in practice you may not hear the lowest sound. Therefore frequencies are an important criterion, but not the most important.
An important feature that determines sound quality. Of course, in the earbuds the diaphragm is usually larger than the ear and the intrathecal. It is enough that the reproduced sound is less distorted and sounded better (especially low, bass tones).
The diaphragm of the headphones is made of different materials – artificial Mylar, paper, aluminum or titanium. Audiophile headphones with wider carrying straps can be fitted with a microfiber membrane for the best sound.
Adjustability and convenience
Comfort and ergonomics are also very important. Convenient handsets are virtually unnoticeable, so you can listen to music for hours. If you buy earbuds or earbuds, you usually get a set of earbuds and / or hooks in different sizes to fit your ear.
In the case of headphones, the range of adjustment of the headband is important, so that you can adjust them accordingly.
Which headphones to buy?
Before you choose a specific model of your headset, consider what device you want to connect to: your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, or TV. Which one will you use most often? Most models available on the market will work great in any case. However, it is worth to know what should be the characteristics of headphones intended for use with individual devices.
Headphones for smartphones
With a smartphone, you can use small earphones or earbuds that take up little space and easily fit them in your pocket. A good idea is also a headset with a leash or brace that stays in place when you are moving, fast or you run.
The type of headphones to your phone determines primarily whether or not you have a jack in it. If so, you can choose from a wide variety of wired headphones that deliver great sound quality. Wired connections are reliable, however, such handsets may get tangled up during storage. Manufacturers are striving to address this need and increasingly equip their models with a flat, rubberized, non-blocking cable.
If you use a smartphone with no jack (for example, iPhone 7), you can pick up headphones with a Lightning connector (like Apple Ear Pods) or wireless Bluetooth.
Headphones for TVs
It is far better for a TV to pick up a wireless headset – mainly because of the range. Wired would have a very long cable. If you are looking for headphones that you will only use at home with your TV, choose headphones. They provide better sound quality that you will appreciate by watching the movie and hearing clearly even the quietest issues.
For a TV with only a jack, you only need to connect a wired headset, but this requires a longer cable.
Headphones for computer and laptop
The wired and wireless headphones fit well. It will be better, however, for a longer cable model, especially if you have a central unit under your desk. Otherwise you can feel quite strong attachment to your computer …
The easiest way to have a monitor with a headphone output is to use a more standard cable length. It is also a good idea to use a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth adapter (USB to laptop and desktop adapter, network adapter to PC) or a Bluetooth module (such as ASUS BT400) that connects to a USB port on your computer and makes it paired with it. Much more comfortable wireless headphones.
Most laptops already have a built-in BT module, but if you do not – a USB adapter or a small USB adapter will let you enjoy a wireless connection.
Interesting headset functions
Manufacturers are differently developing this abbreviation: Active Noise Cancellation, Active Noise Control or Adaptive Noise Canceling. Sometimes it is also known as Noise Reduction. This is still the same feature – active noise reduction, which works on the basis of destructive interference. Headphones with built-in microphones control the ambient noise level and, on that basis, produce a sound at frequencies that suppresses unwanted noises. Adaptive Noise Canceling is an extended version of this technology. Even in the crowded bus you will hear your favorite music instead of chatting with fellow passengers. You can set the mode to “only ANC” or manually adjust the volume.
Passive Noise Reduction System that separates you from ambient sounds. It uses a headphone design that adheres perfectly to your ears and allows you to enjoy listening to music comfortably. Regardless of whether the neighbor is renovating or if they are cutting trees, they will hear your favorite pieces instead of the unwanted noise.
Echo Cancellation, which eliminates the reverb in the microphone. Reduces any additional noises except speech. With Creative headphones, this is a Clear Speech feature that both removes noise and digitally enhances the sound quality. Very handy when you are making phone calls and VoIP.
A feature that lets you connect one wireless headset to two devices at once. This makes it convenient for you to watch a movie on your tablet, and when it’s connected to your smartphone, you simply answer and talk to your headset.
Many models of the headset are equipped with a quick charge option. You connect it to the charger for 5 minutes and you can use it for 1-3 hours (depending on model). This solution is primarily used in Apple Beats headphones.
Beats Acoustic Engine
Also characteristic for Apple Beats. Original Beats software allows you to enjoy the best sound quality, consistent with what the music creator wants.
With this feature, you can conduct calls over the wireless headphones and operate the player using the built-in headset. You will also run Siri.
Text-To-Speech, or text-to-speech processing. It includes both voice on / off headphones, pairing with the device or low battery level, and the phone number / name of the contact you are calling. With Samsung Level headphones installed on the smartphone dedicated to Samsung Level, there is also the ability to read the content of reminders and messages.
Sound with Me
Very interesting feature of sharing music in real time via the Bluetooth connection that you find in the Samsung headphones. Thanks to it, you share your favorite songs with your friends. You can also find it in Creative headphones – Creative Share Me.
We hope you find this guide helpful in choosing the right handset. What is more important to you – their sound or appearance? Which of our proposals did you like most? Please let us know.