How to choose your Earphones

Posted by Junjie Li on

Types of Earphones

Let us take a look at what type of earphones suites you most !

1. In-ear earphones

In-ear earphones are of two kinds: the ones that sit in the peripherals of ear cavities, and the ones that get stuffed into the ear canals.

Both have their cons. The first kind can cause pain if it’s too big for your ear cavity or puts too much pressure on the ear foldings.

The second kind, less painful (because of the silicone tip), can be uncomfortable if the earbud doesn’t fit you right: if it’s too big or small, it’ll slip out. For some, just the stuffing of ear canals itself can be discomforting. Luckily, there are many earbuds tips available online (for both kinds) that you can use to get the right fit or added padding..

Most prefer the second kind, because of its noise-reducing design: it’s basically like wearing earplugs! But, does that mean you should go only for the second kind? No.

If you frequently use earphones while commuting don’t buy those that reduce or cancel noise. Be aurally aware of your environment. The first kind of earphones will give you a right amount of sound without blocking outside noise to a dangerous level.

The downside of it would be that if your earphones allow too much outside noise in you might have to increase the volume to reduce that noise. You can avoid this by making sure your earphones fit you correctly, then you would get decent noise reduction without completely shutting out the outside world.

2. On-ear earphones

On-ear earphones are also called headphones because of the headbands. They are also of two kinds: the ones that are pressed against your ears and the ones that enclose the ears (a.k.a over-ear headphones).

The first kind is usually lightweight, ideal for small ears and head. The second kind can be both light- and heavy-weighted but in the light-weighted versions the ear portion may not be big enough for big ears.

If the lightweight ones fit you go for those. The padding won’t hurt you if the headband fits your head perfectly. And, the lighter the better—makes it easier to carry.

But, for most cases, especially for men, the second kind suits better. Just make sure the ear portion of the headphones cover at least 95% of your ears so that you can wear them comfortably for long periods of time.

Both kinds are ideal for working or watching videos; they block the outside noise (think of earmuffs). They won’t harm your ears or make you go bald if the headphones put just enough pressure to stay on the head, and not more. Look for headphones with adjustable headbands if you’re not trying them on before purchasing (although it’s much recommended that you do so—try them on).

3. Wireless earphones

All kinds of earphones come with wireless options but you’ll need to pay extra bucks for that.

So, is it worth buying a wireless earphone? If you mostly use your earphones with a portable device, such as a laptop or a phone then yes—adios to wires! If you use earphones while exercising (not crossing the street, just saying) that’s a yes, too.

In a nutshell, if mobility is involved vote “yeah” for wireless. But, if you use earphones only at your workstation you don’t need wireless.

Also, know one thing about wireless earphones… Most of them give poorer quality sound over the wireless technology used in them. Wireless coverage, too, varies with the wireless technology used by the manufacturer.

So, do you avoid wireless earphones entirely then? Absolutely not. They do reproduce quality sound, just not as good as when they’re plugged. The pro of being mobile (and getting rid of tangly wires) can overcome that con, depending on how you use your earphones.

Final Words

Finally, in which situation should you use the different earphones? If you want a good rule of thumb: wired earbuds for commuting; wireless earbuds for getting mobility at home, and for doing sports; wired headphones for working on a desktop for long hours; wireless headphones for working on a laptop for long hours, and for watching TV.


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