Buying a pair of headphones may be a daunting task for some, especially if you’re buying them online. You can only see their size, design, a feature or two, but can’t really put together an estimate of how they work in real life.
If you’re new to buying headphones, and, you need someone to explain the mechanism without getting into the nitty-gritty of specific details, this might just be the perfect buying guide for you.
Our ultimate audio tech headphone guide will help you understand how certain characteristics affect the quality, comfort, and overall performance of your headset and then springboard you onto the perfect fit for your needs.
Know about Type of Headphones
Before we get into the details, it is very important to understand how different kinds of headphones there are, and how they work. However, it is important to bear in mind that there are exceptions to each rule, therefore it is important to treat this guide as-is.
Also known as supra-aural, on-ear headphones are designed to rest on top of your outer ears, and not envelope or cover them completely. Consequently, the noise isolation feature is relatively poor in this kind, compared to the others. The over-ear design is pretty comfortable when worn for a while. However, it can cause strain over your ears after long listening sessions.
The design is relatively compact which makes it extremely easy to carry and travel. In short, the versatility this one brings makes it useful for most areas, but not masters in any.
They can also be called circumaural headphones as they fully encompass your ears. They are comparatively bigger than on-ear headphones which makes them less portable. However, the sound quality over the ears might just be better than any. The noise cancellation feature works best with the kind, so the user remains focused on the task they’re willing to do.
As they comfortably sit over your ears, they give a better fit and design perfect for long hours.
Commonly referred to as earbuds, in-ear headphones are the ones you can most commonly see. They are compact, lightweight, and easy to carry. Put them in your pockets, backpack, they’ll fit anywhere. Not to mention, due to this, they get tangled very easily. Of Course, that problem can be solved by getting a pair of wireless earbuds but then those are super easy to lose.
The portability factor greatly impacts the sound quality but if you’re just looking for a headphone for daily commuting, this is the best kind you’re going to find. You can find the top headphones in the Audio Tech category and select the best ear wireless earbuds. The in-class sound quality, comfort, convenience, and noise cancellation of a compact wireless design is something that you don’t want to miss out on.
Wired vs Wireless
Most of the people shopping for a new pair of headphones have been torn between these two options. Well, let’s compare the characteristics of both of them and find out which may be the best pick for you.
When it comes to the sound quality and overall performance, wired headphones have always had the upper hand. Audiophiles can swear by its quality since they receive an actual analog signal through a cord rather than Bluetooth, which can transfer much less data in time. However, this doesn’t mean that the Bluetooth technology isn’t catching up really fast. There are some good options with wireless headphones too, but they may not always be cheap. Though you can find some exceptions within brands like audio tech.
Wired headphones on the other hand can guarantee the good sound quality, even at a much less rate. Wired headphones do not need constant topping off of batteries like the wireless ones. But, then that allows you to enjoy the music or any sound for that matter, without being tethered to your phones by wires.
In headphones, the driver is the thing responsible for converting electrical signals into sound pressure. In simpler words, it produces the sound. It consists of many parts including a magnet, diaphragm, and a voice coil. In most cases, the larger the diameter of the driver, the greater the sound quality is.
Generally, the driver technologies are divided into two main types, balanced armature, and dynamic. The main difference between the two is that the balanced armature is tuned to sound good in a particular frequency range. While, on the other hand, dynamic drivers, such as those in audio tech headphones, have a superior bass and are cheaper and comparatively durable as well.
We are not going to get into the exact definition of impedance, but for the sake of your understanding, you can define it as the power required to make headphones work. Now, this differs from device to device and you need to be wary of that before buying yourself a pair.
The headphones requiring lower impedance, which is around 14-16 ohm and can be fulfilled by most of the mobile phones, can give out their maximum potential. But, some of them, such as studio headphones, require as much as 250 ohms in order to fully deliver their potential.
This might just be the simplest of all to understand. Sensitivity refers to how loud you can listen to your music. This may not be an area of concern for many people, but if you like listening to loud music, this is what you should focus on. Most headphones are at around 110 dB/mW, which is a fairly good average but anything under 85 dB/mW should be strictly avoided. So, search for the best audio tech headphones and choose the best ones.
Design and Comfort
Not just for headphones, but this rule applies to almost any and everything you come across. NOT EVERYTHING IS FOR YOU! Some designs that look extremely stylish or fancy may not be as comfortable to our ears. Most human ears are non-identical, so if something works for someone else, it won’t necessarily work out for you as well. Therefore, it is important to test and check which one suits you the best.
There are plenty of options out there in the market. Many of which are very well-liked, but may not be the best for you. So, in the end, it really comes down to your references and what feature you prioritize over the other. Make sure to check out audio tech categories of different brands and read reviews before placing your order.