We all sometimes listen to our favorite music whether we are on the go or at home using headphones. What do you normally look for when buying headphones? Of course it’s the quality of sound. We all have our different considerations when purchasing earphones. While some people prefer going for open headphones, others go for big bass models. Other factors people look for when buying headphones include comfort, portability, fit and isolation.
In some cases we choose headphones while considering how we’ll use them. You’ll find that some people buy headphones for casual listening their portable players while others buy them for studio recording purposes.
Whatever reasons you are buying your headphones for, it is important to know that with the right type of headphones, you can experience and listen to music on a whole new level. Do not invest on low quality pair of headphones if you want to enjoy your favorite music.
Before we look at what to consider when buying a headphone, let’s first cover the different types of headphones.
- Open Air: these headphones are also known as open-back headphones. These headphones have the back of each earpiece open so as to allow free sound escape on both directions. These headphones are non-isolating which therefore makes them unsuitable for studio recording. They are however suitable for general listening only.
- Circumaural: Can be open-backed or closed. It has the name circumaural because it cups the ear when being used. Soe people also call them ‘over the ear type of headphones’. They are not only comfortable but also create some isolation from sound produced by external sources. This isolation also prevents the headphones from leaking. They are suitable for studio recording and also DJs.
- Supra Aural: These headphones are almost similar to Circumaural in design. While Circumaural headphones encircle the ear, these headphones rest on the ears instead. They are comfortable and portable since they are usually light. Their sound isolation is not better than Circumaural.
- Semi–Open: compared to open-back design, Semi open headphones do not leak out much sound. They have low distortion, low frequency response and a realistic stereo field. They can be used in recordings applications where there are no open microphones.
- Portable Headphones: Mostly used with portable players. They are lightweight, open air and come with form ear-pads. They are ideal for active users since they are ideal.
- Sealed or Closed: For greatest isolation of sound, look no further than Sealed or closed headphones. Their earpiece backs are closed completely which as a result prevents leaking of sound. These headphones are good for use when monitoring in loud environments. Since they are good in preventing leakage of sound, they are the best in sound recording. When used for extended periods, these headphones can lead to ear fatigue.
- DJ Headphones: There are many different types of headphones intended for DJs. The best headphones for DJs are closed-back types that do not leak sound or allow external sound. In normal cases, DJ headphones are loud enough to allow hearing of sound over high ambient levels. For replacement and comfort, many DJ headphones have rotating earphones.
What to look for when buying Headphones
Sound Isolation Quality: Sound isolation quality refers to how well the headphones block external sound and keep music in. It’s annoying the moment you find yourself without an option but to turn up the volume of your headphones to drown out external sound.
A good headphone should also be able to ensure that people around you don’t listen to what you hear. Before buying headphones you need to confirm whether they are closed-back or open-backed. Compared to closed headphones, open headphones tend to produce more natural sound. Closed headphones on the other hand isolate sound and produce booming bass sound.
Durability: Everyone wants long lasting headphones. When buying headphones you should go for durable type. However it is important to be careful with your headphones and put them in their protective case when not in use.
You should always consider the comfort when buying headphones. When headphones are worn for long periods they make us uncomfortable. Taste the comfort of your headphones for about 20 minutes before making a decision.
The best closed-back headphones should have large ear cups. Headphones that rest on the ears should be light and small.
Comfortable headphones should be light. If you are this kind of a user who listens to music for long, it’s advisable to go for superlight headphones that are easily portable. The headphones should also have foam pads.
Another part of headphones that affects comfort is the headband. Whatever the headphone you go for, it should have an adjustable headband. With a headphone which has adjustable headband, you can always adjust it such that it does not affect your comfort.
The cable of your headphone should be long enough for your comfort. Avoid going for headphones with extremely long cables as this can affect the quality of sound produced. If the headphones have short cables than what suits you, you can always go for an extension to add the length.
You should also decide whether you need headphones with double-sided or single-sided cable. Single sided cables are designed to have their internal circuitry that carries signals to the earpieces. Most people prefer single sided types because they do not easily become tangled.
Headphones that are light and comfortable are easily portable. Active users who are always on the go and do not want to leave headphones behind should go for portable and comfortable headphones.
For studio and recording applications, it’s advisable to stick to stick to heavy and closed-back headphones. If your recording headphones have to travel from one place to another maybe for on-location recording, it is advisable to always keep them in their case.
Like many products, you always get what you pay for when buying headphones. You should first know why you need headphones and how you’ll use them. Hopefully you’ll find comfortable, durable and headphones that suit you.