The Different Types of Headphones

Headphones come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Different headphones are designed for different purposes. This is why shopping for style simply doesn’t cut it with headphones. Larger headphones often provide better sound, but are heavier. In-ears are very convenient, but might not have as good a sound. This article will be an overview of the different types of headphones on the market, and what they’re best suited for.

Circumaural Headphones

Circumaural, sometimes called over-ear or full size, are large headphones that cover the entire ears. Because these headphones surround the entire ears, they are often used as noise isolating headphones. The full size headphones are heavier than most of the other types, thus, they aren’t ideal on the go. Most of the time, though, the headband is designed to reduce the discomfort of the weight. This is often done with generous padding.

Circumaural headphones are the right choice for people who aren’t planning to travel with them. They are often used in studios, at home, at the office or while gaming.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Provide a good and clean sound.
  • Are often quality headphones.
  • Can reduce unwanted noise by isolation.

Cons

  • Are heavy.
  • Are large, thus not very portable.

Supra-aural Headphones

The supra-aural headphones have smaller cups than the circumaurals do. They are sometimes called on-ear, because they press against the ear, rather than around them. These are smaller and lighter than the full sized ones, making them more ideal for the travelling person. Because they are smaller, the won’t be able to reduce as much noise as the circumaural. The pressing against the ears can grow uncomfortable, so when choosing a pair of supra-aural headphones, make sure they have quality pads.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Provide a good sound.
  • Are lightweight.
  • Are small, thus portable.

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable to wear.
  • Won’t have as full a sound as the circumaural headphones.

Earbuds

These are a lot smaller than the previous two. They are very common, and are extraordinarily portable. The earbud goes directly in to the outer ear. Because they are sort of a midway point between supra-aural and in-ear headphones, they tend to fall out of the ear. Some users complain about earbuds being uncomfortable. Earbuds don’t provide much noise isolation, resulting in users listening to music at high volumes. This can be damaging to the ears.

This type of headphones won’t produce as good a sound as some of the others. The main reason for choosing the earbud is their small size, making them prefect to carry around.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Are lightweight.
  • Are very easy to carry around.

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable.
  • Don’t produce very good sound.
  • Tend to fall out of the ears.
  • Users have a tendency to listen at too high volumes.

In-Ear Headphones

These headphones provide the same portability as the earbuds do. The in-ear headphones tend to be better quality headphones than the earbuds. They go directly into the ear canal itself. This results in a better noise isolation, and listening to music at a lower volume will be sufficient. They also have less of a tendency to fall out of the ears.

In-ear headphones are often used by audio engineers, musicians, and sports people. Most quality in-ear headphones come with several different buds, letting the users choose that which fits them best.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Produce good sound.
  • Are lightweight.
  • Are very easy to carry around.
  • Provide same portability as earbuds, and are better quality.

Cons

  • Some users find it uncomfortable to have them located in the ear canal.
  • Listening at a high volume can be damaging to the ears.

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