Video and Audio Center Blog



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So Many Headphones, Only Two Ears!



Listening to music can be an intensely personal experience: thats why no two peoples collection of music is the same. But one thing in common is the desire to listen to music without being interrupted or bothered by the outside world. Its for that reason that headphones are so useful. At their core, headphones are two speakers, one each for each ear, providing audio up close and personal. Today the audio doesnt have to come through a cable from the headphones that is connected to the audio source: thats where technologies like Bluetooth come into play as they enable the music to stream wirelessly. But it can get confusing with so many choices of how to listen to music, lets concentrate on something that definitely affects how it is being heard: the shape of the headphones themselves.

Over the Ear
These are the headphones that date back to antiquity in that weve all seen people wearing what looks like cups placed over the ears. Obviously they are comfortable because they dont pinch against the flesh and they provide a strong seal against outside noise. Their large size also allows for large drivers (i.e., speakers) to be installed in the chassis for greater sound depth and clarity.  This type of headphones traditionally has a high quality of sound reproduction.

On The Ear
These headphones take a more compact route because the ear cups dont have to be so large. Thats because the headphones are placed against the ears, rather than having them going over them. Theres room in the cups for all kinds of technologies as well as fairly large speakers too. And the lesser weight of these type of headphones means wearing them for longer periods of time becomes possible. Prices for these type of headphones vary, depending on what the brand makes available in them.

In The Ear
These are the type of headphones that the digital age has made us used to: they are often called earbuds because they fit inside the ear canal and so theres no outer seal between the listener and the world as there is with a pair of over- or on-the-ear headphones. There are many advantages to using these type of headphones; the most obvious being they are the least obtrusive to the eye. These type of headphones often come with varying types of interchangeable ear-tips that make for a better fit, since not each persons ears are the same as the next. Often used with smartphones (and tablets too), in-line tabs for controlling the music being played, along with taking/answering phone calls through a built-in microphone, can be found attached to the cord. Or accessed from the headphones directly if wireless. The quality of these type of headphones affect the price, with the range being from super affordable to professional-grade.

Which type of headphones will best suit you will depend on what you want to listen to and where you want to listen. But its great having so many choices.

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