Like the music they play, headphones come in all types and styles. Studio-quality headphones are perfect for serious audiophiles who want to be able to hear every nuance of every note they listen to. For the casual listener, though, these high-end headphones aren’t necessary or even ideal. To help make a great choice for everyday listening, here are a few tips for choosing the right headphones for the casual music listener.
Headphones come in three basic types: in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear. Over-ear headphones provide the best noise isolation, resulting in the best sound quality. In-ear headphones, on the other hand, provide optimal portability, allowing you to take your tunes on-the-go. One factor in choosing which type of headphones to buy is your ear size. For some people, most in-ear headphones won’t work because their ear canals are too small. If this is true of you, then on-ear or over-ear headphones will make a better option.
Wired Versus Wireless
Another factor to consider is whether you want wired or wireless headphones. Wired headphones allow you to listen to music for extended periods without having to worry about battery power. If you can keep them charged, though, wireless headphones offer a superb ease-of-use that wired headphones can’t match. If you choose in-ear wireless headphones, be sure that the individual units fit properly in your ear so that they’re not easily lost.
While all headphones are designed to reproduce a wide variety of sound frequencies, different headphones accentuate sound in different ways. Some are tuned to accentuate lower frequencies, meaning that songs will tend to have more thumping bass. Other headphones, though, are tuned to produce a more flat response, meaning that all frequencies are accentuated equally. Most audio devices have methods to adjust the equalization of the sound you hear, meaning that you can make most headphones work for most types of music.
If you find headphones that fit well, you will generally experience a good level of natural noise canceling. However, a good pair of headphones will also feature active noise-canceling technology, which uses small microphones to listen for nearby noises and then cancel those frequencies out so that you have a quiet listening environment. If you’re only concerned about price, then active noise-canceling is a feature you can overlook. If you often find yourself in noisy environments, though, active noise-canceling is a must-have feature.
No matter which type of headphones you choose, the most important thing to remember is to protect your ears while you’re using your headphones. Given their close proximity to your eardrums, it is very easy to turn your headphones up too loud, resulting in potentially damaging noise levels. If you struggle with this frequently, you can consider using a volume limiter to avoid causing permanent hearing damage.