4 Crucial Factors to Consider When Buying a Pair of Headphones
With nearly everyone having a smartphone these days, headphones are always a part of one’s accessories. Manufacturing headphones is a big business. From costing a few hundreds to thousands of dollars, headphones come in various price ranges. The quality varies as well. So how can one know which is the best for them?
Deciding on any one pair/model of headphone as “best” is very subjective. With technology advancing each day, it’s difficult for any headphone to attain the “best” position and stay there. Still, certain factors should be considered before buying a pair of good-quality headphones to ensure your purchase remains one of the best buys for a long time. Read on for more on these factors.
- Types of Headphones
Headphones come in various types and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to first decide on the use of the headphone. If you’re looking at it as only a hearing tool, then don’t go for one with a mic. Although the mic comes in handy if you want to make or answer a call on the go, this additional feature may unnecessarily make you expand your budget.
Similarly, having Bluetooth-connectivity feature in your headphones can be great, but only if you use this feature regularly. While the biggest benefit of a Bluetooth headphone is its wireless feature, you also have to face the hassle of charging and pairing it with your phone or sound system. Thanks to the latest technology, Bluetooth headphones also come with in-built remote control functions and you can change the song by simply shaking your head. However, it is also possible that you skip a song even as you simply adjust your earphone. Having a wireless or mic-enabled headphone is a choice that depends completely on your usage.
- Comfort Factor
Before buying a headphone, you must be sure of its comfort level. But then, comfort cannot be generalised, it is a relative term and has different meanings for different people. However, one thing that remains constant with all comfortable headphones is that they feel inconspicuous when placed on the head, and wrap the ears with beautiful audio effects. Whether it is the earbud style or over-the-ear headphone, your comfort is essential in order to use it for hours together.
The headphone’s ear-pad is what comes in contact with the delicate skin around your ears. Therefore, ensure that it is made of soft material and is not harsh on your skin. It should be well-ventilated for long use. If you’re going for over-the-ear style, make sure the headband is tight enough to stay on head, but not so rigid that it clamps down heavily on your ears.
- Headphone or Earphone
The difference between the sound quality in earphones and headphones is slowly fading, but the main difference remains that an earphone is inserted into the ear canal, whereas a headphone rests outside it. Sometimes low-quality earphones may give you a snug fit, but you miss out on a lot of bass notes. However, this problem is reduced to an almost non-existent level in good quality earphones.
Also, headphones block outside noise considerably as compared to earphones. Price-wise, earphones are often less expensive than headphones. Whether to buy a headphone or an earphone depends on your usage. For example, if you’re buying an earpiece for wearing when running or jogging outdoors, you may not want to buy a headphone that seals off outside noise. Similarly, if you’re looking for exceptional sound clarity with no other unwanted noise, headphones are the most preferred option.
- Noise Cancellation and Isolation
Noise cancellation and isolation are often misjudged to be one and the same thing. Yes, they both reduce noise, but the difference lies in how they do it. Noise-isolating headphones block outside noise physically with the help of their seal against the ear. Noise-cancelling headphones cancel sound waves electronically. They use microphones to listen to incoming sounds and create inverse waves that cancel the ambient sound.
However, noise cancellation is most effective with only low-droning sounds such as those coming from car engines, air conditioners, airplane engines, and more. It works best for those who want to cancel ambient noise and listen to almost every sound beat.
Both, noise-isolation and cancellation work well. However, noise cancellation headphones are more effective as they are made for both, noise isolation and noise cancellation. Another factor that needs to be considered here is that in noise-cancelling headphones, extra sound waves and built-in DSP can interfere with the sound quality. Although it does not make a vast difference, the price of these high-end headphones is quite high, and even a little drop in the noise quality is noticeable.
- Warranty and Durability
Warranty and durability are factors that should influence your decision majorly if you’re buying high-priced headphones. It’s nice to have a warranty of at least a couple of years so that in case something untowardly happens to your high-end headphone, it can be exchanged or serviced. It is always good to be aware of the service the headphone brand is offering as the cord and cushions may wear off over time.
The electronics market is flooded with amazing options and gives you every reason to be spoilt for choice. In such a case, the best way to go about buying the ideal pair of headphones for yourself is to take your time, research options, sleep over your decisions, and test various options so that you have no second thoughts after buying your pair.