How to Buy the Right Headphones

How to Buy the Right Headphones

Guiding to Buying a Right Headphone

If you commute to work or work from home, you cannot imagine your life without earphones. So we are here to help you on how to buy the right headphones made for your needs. Here you can find complete buyers guide to help get you on your way to choosing the best one.

What Type of Headphone Do You Need?

Simple! Not really, as you want to optimize your sound from using your smartphone to a laptop. Furthermore, you want a long battery life with a lightweight design and a great price. So you want everything available in one package, right! Here is where things become complicated as there are three things you need to consider the quality of sound, portability, and affordability.

So if you want sound, you need an audiophile headphone like the Focal or Audeze and priced like a Mercedes. Now, if you do not have the money to spend, you will have to compromise sound and opt for wired models instead of the Bluetooth connection. So this is where priority comes into play.

You need to decide what you can live with and live without. During this time you can decide on your spending limit as well.

Now you need to learn all the basics about headphones!

How to Buy the Right Headphones

You get differently designed earphones from open to closed-back models. With the open-back design, you get little insulation from the outside world, and both you and the people near you can hear the music.

Now the closed-back design isolates you from the rest of the world, preventing ambient noise from entering your music world. These types of headphones are popular, and Beats is one of the brands that fall into this category.

However, open-backs are just as popular as these headphones provide you with the best sound quality. So do you want earphones to listen to music at home without disturbing others? Or do you need one that is portable to use in specific scenarios offering you versatility?

If you answered not disturbing others, then the closed pair is excellent, while the open design is ideal for different situations.

Time to choose the mode of wear!

You can distinguish headphones on how they look, the size, and the way you wear them.

  • Over-ear Headphones, also known as the circumaural design, fits around the ear and is enormous. For sound, these headphones are the best. However, when it comes to portability, they usually do not have a collapsible design, but you can find some available. On the other hand, you get loads of comfort, and the Sennheiser HD 800 S comes to mind.
  • On-ear Headphones or supra-aural sacrifices on sound and noise-isolation when it comes to closed-back designs. You do not get much comfort or portability, and only a few models like the Beyerdynamic or T5li is worth looking at.
  • In-ear earphones are the same as over-ear headphones and pocket-friendly than your on-ear models. However, these types of headsets are not always comfortable, but for the best model, we recommend the Etymotic ER4XR for the best sound.

Define your use!

Now that you know the different types of headphones available and have the budget set, you need to decide how you plan to use the earphones.

  • Do you need a pair of headphones for office use? Then you need over-ear headphones with excellent active noise canceling with a wireless design like the Sony 1000X. You get the comfort that will not distract you, and you can tune out the noise around you.
  • Now, do you need earphones for traveling? The requirements are nearly the same as the office, and both wired and wireless headphones work well. Here the Sony 1000X remains a good option if you prefer wireless, but if you do not mind using wire, the Bose brand offers you the best noise-cancellation available.
  • Now, if you do gaming, then you need a unique pair of gaming headphones for the best sound. You need imaging with clarity and precision to hear approaching footsteps and gunfire. Furthermore, you need the bass to make your game more fun and recommend the Turtle Beach Elite Pro. You get a pleasant sound with comfort and great for gaming hours.
  • Maybe you work out at the gym or run; then, you need a durable headphone that can withstand sweat, handle drops, wireless, and sounds excellent. Here you can look for a neckband or in-ear design. We recommend the Jaybird X3 or Meizu EP51 as unique options.
  • However, if you are an audiophile, then brand counts. You need high-end headphones from Grado, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, or Beyerdynamic.

Time to read and listen to what others have to say!

How to Buy the Right Headphones

You have filtered down your list, and focusing on what you need, make sure to read the reviews from customers who have bought the headphones. Furthermore, try the earphones out before buying as reading feedback is the simple part, but listening to them is another story.

Go to a store and try your pair of headphones before buying it to see if they are comfortable to wear and provides the sound you are looking for.

When you fit the headphones on, you can consider the following:

  • With on and over-ear headphones, the leather used in the ear pads may feel luxurious but do not provide breathability and can get hot during summer.
  • Another thing that leather pads can do is affect the sound quality. The fabric can seal better and contributes to more bass response. Therefore, dissimilar materials sound different when used.
  • Feel how comfortable the headband fits on your head when choosing on or over-ear models. The band needs to have the weight distributed well and not sit too tight.
  • If you decide on a wireless model, look for one that offers you an extended battery use before you need to charge it again.
  • On the other hand, if you do decide to buy wired headphones, choose the expensive one you can afford as they provide you with fantastic sound.

Technical Jargon Buying Headphones

While the above information helps you to know how to buy the right headphones, it helps to know the technical jargon as well. Here we have some standard terms to understand when it comes to looking for the best audio in earphones.

The Frequency Response!

With the spec, you can tell at what range the product produces a sound and measured in Hz (Hertz.) The number can range from 20Hz to 20,000Hz. The first number indicates the lowest frequency, while the second one states the highest. These numbers vary from one brand to another.

Therefore, if you want a pair of earphones, you can look for a model in this range, as frequencies below or above are useless to buy. You can find some headphones with a frequency range between 15Hz to 25,000Hz, but all it does is give more room to breathe when it comes to sound.

No headphone sounds the same as each set emphasizes notes over others. One pair of earphones will make the sound less clear while others boost instrument sounds or songs.

Active Noise Cancellation or Noise Isolation

In most cases, these two sound the same but do mean different things. ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) works differently to noise isolation. However, the results are the same.

When you have noise isolation, the headphone sits between the ear and blocks out ambient noise from entering your ear. With ANC headphones, you have a small microphone that picks up background sounds.

The sound move through the microphones produces an opposite sound wave to cancel out unwanted noise actively.

Check out Amazing Features Of Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Soundstage

When a person whispers in your right ear, you know you need to look right, and this is what soundstage is. Therefore, the headphones reproduce three-dimensional cues and trick your brain in thinking you hear different sounds from a specific direction.

The soundstage varies from one headphone to another, but over-ear earphones achieve this better than your in-ears. The reason is that the sounds changed and bounces around in the ear before it reaches the eardrum.

For pumping sound, the earbuds work well as it has room for the noise to move around.

Closed or Open Back Design

How to Buy the Right Headphones

While we have already touched on this subject, it is still worth mentioning again. The most familiar headphone is the closed-back design. You find the drivers placed in the ear cup and excellent if you do not want ambient noise entering the ears. Furthermore, it is ideal for preventing people close to you to hear the music you are listening to.

Therefore, it is suitable for commuting and using in public settings. Now the open-back headphone does not have enclosed drivers and exposed for outside noise to pass through. For commuting, this is not always the best to use, but great for studio settings and home use give you a better soundstage.

What is neutral or flat sound?

Sometimes you hear someone say the earphones have a flat or neutral sound. All it means is that the earphones reproduce the signal it’s receiving from the device with little nonconformity as possible. The other thing is that a neutral sound is not exciting; therefore, many brands have a slight boost in notes to make it come over more appealing.

Here is where the sound preference varies for some people as one person may like more bass while others want more vocals. In most cases, a neutral pair of headphones is used in mixing audio.


We hope that the information provided helps you to find a great pair of headphones. If noise cancellation is for you, there are some excellent options available. While these earphones do not remove the sound magically, it does remove some ambient noise.

If you do decide to buy Bluetooth earphones, make sure to check the battery life with active noise canceling present. Furthermore, for traveling a pair of collapsible ear cups helps make moving around more comfortable. You can find the function in on and over-ear designs.

Now, if you are active, pick one with a water-resistant design, especially with workout earbuds. The majority of active buds can withstand sweat but double-check. For ease of use on the go, it helps to have a control module with a built-in microphone as well. The function enables you to receive calls, and some even have voice commands for Google Now, SIRI, and more.

Once you have made your decision on what type of earphones to choose, never look back in anger. Never doubt yourself once you do make a choice. Stop by making comparisons in the head. A fact is there is no perfect pair of headphones as each one comes with its downsides.

Pick wisely according to the guide and find one that fits you comfortably, has a durable design, and fits in with your daily needs.

You might also interested in Do Bluetooth Headphones Cause Brain Damage?

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