A good pair of headphones is like a best friend. Even if the cord gets tangled sometimes, they’re always there for you when you need it most. Headphones for most people today are basically glued to the ears. Whether you listen to podcasts when you walk your dog or you can’t face the walk to work without your favorite Spotify playlist, good headphones aren’t optional.
What happens if you’ve grown tired of your old and faithful earbuds? When is it time to put away your old headphones and bring out the big guns with a new pair? In this day and age, headphones are more than just speakers you wear on your ears. They come with features you didn’t even know you needed until now. Are you ready to take your headphone game to the next level? Here’s everything you need to know about headphones in 2018.
Types of Headphones
Headphones might seem like simple gadgets. I mean, they either go in your ears or over your ears, right? Wrong. There’s a lot more to types of headphones than meets the eye! It’s important to understand different types of headphones if you want to really refine your search for the best pair to suit your needs.
In-ear headphones are basically what they sound like. The technical term for in-ear headphones is IEMs or In-Ear Monitors. These are generally the smallest and most portable of the headphone varieties, but they do come in different sizes. They use small drivers to power the speaker that fits in your ear canal. These can come in little buds which you wear in your ear or with a grip hanging over your ear.
The technical term for these headphones is supra-aural headphones. These literally sit on your ears, and they’re larger than in-ear headphones. There’s a headband that keeps these headphones in place on your ear. These usually can be folded away for easy storage when not in use.
The largest type of headphones is over-ear headphones also known as around-ears or circum-aural headphones. Most people find this type of headphone to be the most comfortable, especially for long periods of use. They have large driver casings and headbands like on-ear headphones, but instead of resting on your ears, they rest over your ear. These are the loudest and most-accurate sounding headphones.
Now that you know the three main types of headphones, it’s time to discuss specialty headphones. Odds are you’ve heard of some of these already, but you might not know what they really do. Here are the most common specialty headphones you’ll find on the market.
Unlike regular headphones, gaming headphones are designed to be worn when playing video games on a variety of devices. These are designed to enhance video game music and sound effects, and they make a surround-sound experience come to life. You’re probably wondering why you need gaming headphones rather than a good pair of regular headphones? Well when you’re playing a game, these headphones can really make a difference in your sound identification and direction understanding.
They also can come with powerful built-in microphones which can make it easier to play with others. If you don’t use a built-in microphone, you’ll need a separate USB microphone attached to your gaming device. Check this USB microphone buying guide for more information.
Everyone needs some peace and quiet from time to time. With so many noisy distractions facing everyone on a daily basis, noise-canceling headphones are becoming a major must-have. These types of headphones are designed to drown out any droning sounds. That makes them perfect for things like airplanes, machinery, and other uniform sounds. People like to believe they can also cancel unexpected sounds like the wailing of a crying baby, but this isn’t the case. Unfortunately!
Finally, the last kind of specialty headphones is wireless. These are exactly as they sound, headphones without cables. If you’re like the majority of the population and you suffer from extreme cord tangling, wireless might be the best way to go. These have come a long way in recent years with the advancement of Bluetooth and radio technology. Today, wireless headphones can work over a large distance!
Which Headphones are Right for You?
The first step in finding the right pair of headphones is understanding your options. If you know what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it. When choosing headphones, think of it as an investment. These are devices that take a beating whether they travel with you long distances or you use them every day. Choose them wisely depending on how you plan to use them!
When searching for headphones, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Will you be using them for any special activities like working out or playing video games?
- Do they require batteries or regular charging?
- If they’re over or on the ear headphones, do they have an opened or a closed back? This can affect both comfort and sound quality!
- What is the suggested method for cleaning your headphones regularly?
As always, read the reviews to ensure you’re getting a pair that will last you years to come! If you want to step up your headphone game, it’s as simple as choosing the best quality pair for your needs. While there are complex headphone terms like drivers and responders which might feel like something you need to consider, the best thing you can do is try the pair for yourself.
The things above are the most important things to be aware of when searching for headphones. Be wary of choosing a brand over specifications! Just because a brand is well-known or attractive doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your needs. Look for features you’ll actually use, and don’t bother with useless add-ons that don’t matter to you if you want to get the best price. Are you ready to start your headphone search? Listen with confidence by using the guide above!