How to Buy Headphones: A Guide for Beginners

How to Buy Headphones: A Guide for Beginners

Are you someone who couldn’t possibly be more clueless when it comes to technology? Be it computers, mobiles phones, power banks or something as little as headphone—some of us just don’t know what to look for when we’ve to buy one.

Well, let’s change that shall we? We want you to make an informed decision and buy the headphones that are perfect for you!

Here’s everything you want to consider the next time you go headphones-shopping:

What Kind of Headphones Do You Want?

There are three basic types of headphones—In-ear headphones, on-ear headphones and Bluetooth headphones.

Like the name suggests, in-ear headphones refers to your regular earbuds that you stick into the ears. Whereas on-ear headphones are the ones that sit on top of your ears. They come with a band that you can place over your head or behind it. And then there are Bluetooth headphones that are wireless, and work when you link them to your phone via Bluetooth.

Each type has its own benefits. For example, in-ear headphones offer maximum portability but on-ear headphones generally offer the best sound quality.

Let’s look deeper into what each type has to offer:

In-Ear Headphones

These are the smallest, and most portable headphones out there. Also referred to as earbuds, these are the best kind for people who’ want to listen to music on-the-go.

Lightweight and small, they can be easily stashed into your side pocket or just leave them to dangle around your neck.

If you’re someone who’s into workout, and loves the adrenaline rush that comes with good music, then these ought to be your headphone of choice!

They’re by far the most convenient and comfortable headphones that have proven to be most popular among workout enthusiasts.

Sound Quality, however, isn’t the strongest suit of in-ear headphones. This is perhaps because of their small size, which means smaller drivers to produce quality sound.

Their wires also get tangled too easily, which can be quite annoying!

On-Ear and Over-Ear Headphones

As mentioned before, these sit on top of your outer ears. This means that the sound-producing drivers come right on top of your ears. Not to mention, their drivers are bigger in size too, which makes them a better option when it comes to sound quality.

Now, of course, you can’t stuff them into your pockets but, hey! That doesn’t mean they aren’t portable. You could just let them sit around your neck and use them whenever you like.

Some of them even come with hinges, so they can be folded to half their size! Not as portable as your regular earbuds, but they’re pretty damn portable too!

With bigger size come bigger batteries—these bad boys have a much longer battery life than earbuds. Imagine listening to your favorite music for several hours, without having to worry about your battery running out!

Bluetooth Headphones

Now let’s talk about the latest headphones technology that has been stealing the spotlight since it’s development in 2017—Bluetooth headphones.

Apple has been the trendsetter in this regard by being the first company to abandon the headphone jack altogether. Seeing the popularity of this style, Android phones also joined in on the new tech.

These amazing wireless headphones free you of the hassle of dealing with dangling and tangling wires.

Coming on to sound quality, the headphones technology has come a long way. Wires or no wires, you can enjoy amazing sound quality. But to make sure you get to hear the maximum sound quality, remember to check what kind of headphones would be compatible with your phone.

But with more convenience of the wireless feature comes the drawback of battery-operated headphones—smaller the headphones, shorter the battery life.

You might also face trouble of weak connection and signals. As long as the connection is good, you won’t have any problems. But, if they start to falter, then your Bluetooth headset will fail to provide consistent sound in the meanwhile.

Other Factors to Consider

There are lots of technical factors that you should ideally take into account when buying headphones. We’ll try to keep it as simple as possible so you don’t feel too lost.

  • Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to the sound range that a certain headphone is able to produce in Hertz (Hz). This range usually lies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Most products usually have this frequency range because that’s the natural frequency range of humans—anything below or beyond and you won’t be able to hear it!

However, if a product has a slightly wider range, then the sound quality ought to be a little better. But the difference isn’t exactly noticeable to most people.

What you want to look out for is the volume at which a headset produces sound. That’s because each headphone outputs frequency at a different volume, which will affect the music quality.

  • Noise Isolation and Active Noise Cancellation

Noise Isolation means how much the headphone blocks out external sound from interfering with your listening experience.

Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC, works differently but has the same end goal. Headsets with this attribute have tiny microphones that pick up external sound and produce opposite sound waves to cancel them out.

When buying headphones, look up product reviews to find out which of the two attributes does the product have and how effectively it works.

  • Soundstage

Soundstage typically means the ability of a headphone to trick your brain into thinking that a sound is coming from a particular direction.

Larger headphones are known to be better at this function because there’s more room for the sound to bounce around. Earbuds pump sound right into your ears, so there isn’t any space for the sound waves to move around.

  • Closed vs Open-Back Headphones

Closed-backed headphones refers to the ones that have their sound drivers installed inside the ear cups. This way the sound has nowhere else to go but your ears, and it also helps to keep outside noises from interfering.

Open-backed headphones, as is obvious, are the opposite. Their drivers are exposed, so naturally outside sound can pass into the earcups. They’re, however, good for use in a home setting or a studio setting.

  • Flat/Neutral Sound

You’ll often hear salesmen refer to headphones as having a flat/neutral sound. This means that the headphones reproduce a signal from a device with minimal deviation.

Normally, you’d think that’s a good quality but there’s good reason why most headphones don’t have this feature.

Flat sounds aren’t exactly exciting. So, most manufacturers give a boost to the frequencies to make your listening experience more appealing.

But if you want to use the headphones while producing audio, then flat sounding headphones will be a better choice. That’s because they’ll accentuate the sound of vocals.

  • Other Features

Collapsible Earcups is a feature that only applies to on-ear headphones. This can be a real fascination for many. If you’re one of them, then you might want to look out for it.

Water Resistance are particularly fancied by those who workout. Workout earbuds usually have this feature so that your headphones can withstand sweat.

Built-in Mic and Control Module are two great functions for anyone who isn’t a fan of pulling out their phones to speak on a call or control the sound. The feature allows you to do a number of things, thus enhancing your convenience.

Shop online for a variety of headphones at Daraz Store!

Usman Ghani

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