Headphone Buying Guide – How To Choose a Perfect Headphone

Headphone Buying Guide

Music is one of the best healers in the world. You can just listen to your favorite music, and all your worries and stress will be melting away, leaving you energized and fresh.

But what is bliss to you, can become an annoyance for others. A headphone can be the answer to this question. But from the wide range of headphones out in the market, it is hard to choose the ideal one for you, right?

That is why, in today’s article, I will share with you the specific factors you should keep in mind while buying a headphone. If you follow these factors, you will end up with the best headphone as per your need.

Reason To Choose Headphones At All:

Why should go for a headphone in the first place?

With a headphone, you can achieve amazing sound quality and comfort in your ear. Headphones provide you with rich sound experience. It sits easily on the ear and gives you a nice spacious feel.

Earphones vary slightly in nature. Instead of sitting over the ear, they sit inside the ear canal or just in front of them. Although they are pretty good at doing their job and providing the quality sound, headphones have a far superior sound quality at their expense.

In recent days, another headphone type has emerged on the market. These are called Headsets. Headsets offer an external mic as opposed to headphones. As a result, they let the user record their voice on the go; feature headphones cannot provide.

Headphone Types:

There are quite a few headphone types available on the market. Currently, four types are dominating the market. They are Over ear or Circumaural, On-ear, In ears, and earbuds.

Over-Ear or Circumaural:

Over-ear or circumaural headphones are designed in such a way to cover the ears in full. The ear pads are usually circular or ellipsoid in shape. The headphones often cancel outside noise due to the full ear surround design. These headphones are generally larger. This makes them troublesome for some users.


On-ear headphones are quite similar to the over ear ones. They also cover the ears. However, they fail to do it to the degree over ears do. As a result, they can not prevent unwanted noise as much as the over-ear headphones. On the other hand, they are lighter and more comfortable than their counterpart.

In-Ear Headphones:

In-ear headphones, also known as In-Ear Monitors or IEMs, are designed in such a way that they fit into the ear canal completely. This, in turn, leads to total noise cancellation. In-ear headphones are the best headphone type out there. They are used by the professionals as they give a very rich sound quality. The headphones come in various shapes and sizes, and material as well. The most common materials to be found are foam and silicone. Foam made headphones are extremely comfortable. On the other hand, silicone made ones are best when it comes to durability.

Earbuds: we can call earbuds as in-ear headphones because they are somewhat similar in nature. The only difference is that the latter tightly fit within your ear canal and creates music isolation. On the contrary, earbud is the most common choice for the one who does not want to remain isolated from the environment. They are absolutely safe for outdoor activities and deliver mediocre level performance. They are affordable in nature, and if you are a teenager, earbuds are the best for you.

Decide By Strap Designs:

Headphones straps also vary in design. Three dominant strap designs are out in the market. These are neckband design, ear hook design, and headband design.

The Neckband Design:

The headband design is a sporty headphone design. They are particularly useful for listening to music while working out in the gym.

Ear Hook Design:

Ear Hook Design is among the sportier headphone designs. The headphones also offer better protection than the others.

The Headband Design:

The headband design is the most common headphone design on the headphones. They offer great comfort. On the other hand, they take a good space as well.

Decide By Features:

You should look out for various features when choosing a headphone. These are noise cancellation, surround sound, Bluetooth, magnet type, driver size, and impedance.

Noise Cancellation:

First of all, the first feature you should look for is noise cancellation. In case you are in a place with a lot of people, your listening experience could hamper a lot. To prevent this, most headphones nowadays come with a noise cancellation feature. The headphones use an active noise-control engineering mechanism. They generate an anti-wave identical to the noise wavelength in the surrounded environment. As a result, the both waves cancel each other out. The effect is known as Phase Cancellation.

Some headphones cancel the noise using passive cancellation methods. Over-ear headphones is a prime example. They cancel the outside noise by wrapping up your ears completely.

Surround Sound:

Surround sound is a feature to recreate the sound. This, in turn, makes the listening experience even better. This feature utilizes various audio channels and gives an almost identical sound reproduction within a 360-degree radius. This happens on the horizontal plane. Surround sound gives you a very rich sound experience.


Bluetooth is a technology to transfer data within short distances without a wire. With a Bluetooth headphone, you can listen to your music even when you are in the gym or cycling. There will be no problem of tackling the cord. Bluetooth has a total four versions till date, Bluetooth 1.0 to Bluetooth 4.0. Bluetooth 1.0 has become almost obsolete. Among the four, Bluetooth 3.0 is the very best. Bluetooth 2.0 has a 3 Mbps data transfer rate. On the other hand, Bluetooth 3.0 has a 24 Mbps data transfer rate. Bluetooth 4.0 has a feature called ‘Low Energy.’ The feature allows you to transfer data in a low energy.

Magnet Type:

A Magnet in the headphones is usually fixed on the ear bud frame. Alternating current signals always pass through the cable. The magnet reacts with them. As a result, it moves an electric coil and an attached diaphragm. The diaphragm then vibrates in a way to make the alternating current signals into sound.

Neodymium and ferrite are the two most common magnet types found on headphones. Neodymium is a rare earth magnet. They have more flux density as well as better gauss strength than the ferrite counterpart for their size. Therefore, they are a better choice when it comes to headphone magnets.

Driver Size:

The driver helps to convert the electric signal into different forms. The driver is proportionate to frequency reproduction. As a result, small sized drivers are better for low range or bass range frequency reproduction, whereas bigger drivers are better for high range frequency reproduction.


In the case when a certain specific voltage is applied, the opposition amount a circuit presents to a current is known as Impedance. Headphones having high impedance responds well to the high voltage when headphones are having low impedance respond well to the low voltage. The high impedance headphones are used in recording sessions.

Decide By Ear Cup Design:

You should also consider the ear cup design. Two designs are usually the most common when it comes to headphones. They are Open Back Headphones and Closed-Back Headphones.

Open Back Headphones:

The ear cup on the open back headphones is open toward the outside. Headphones create two sounds in general. One sound directs to your ear, while the other one draws away from it. In open back headphones, you could hear them both. As a result, you feel the space between your ear and the headphone is increased, giving you a more comfortable feeling. On the other hand, this feature decreases the noise cancellation ability to a certain extent.

Closed-Back Headphones:

The ear cup on closed back headphones is closed from the outside. As a result, these headphones provide great noise cancellation. You can enjoy only the music with these headphones on. However, there is also a disadvantage. It sits so close to the ear that it creates an uncomfortable feeling for some users.

Decide By Your Purpose:

You should give a good thought on your purpose. Where and for which reason you will use the headphone.

Using The Headphone At Home:

Are you going to use your headphone mostly at home? Choose a product with better sound quality over portability. You can get away with buying a big headphone that is difficult to travel with.

For The Bass Enthusiasts:

Are you someone who just loves the bass? Go for the closed back ones for better noise cancellation. Also, look for a headphone that has better lows over mids and highs. Circumaural will give you a better experience than Supra-aural. However, also keep in mind they are more expensive as well.

For The Classical Music Lovers:

If you are a big fan of classical music, you should go for headphones producing a rich as well as balanced sound without any interruption. Open Back headphones are designed particularly for this reason. Get yourself one.

For All The Hustlers: 

Do you spend most of your time driving or walking? Then headphone cords can be a big problem for you. Therefore, you should choose a wireless Bluetooth headphone that will serve your purpose.

For All The Hardcore Gamers:

For all you serious gamers out there, the sound is most important. You should look for headphones with surround sound feature. Buy a good quality multichannel headphone explicitly made for gaming.

So, these are the all the knowledge and information you need before you go out there and buy yourself a new headphone. I hope the article was thoroughly helpful as well as fun to read. Thank you so much for reading!

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Mike Miller

Mike is an Editor & Writer at Engageexpo covering Technology, Smart Home Gadgets, and Gaming. He reviewed Gaming Gadgets, Accessories, Pc & Electronics Components, and Smart Home Gadgets. He is also an Avid Gamer and Building Gaming PC since 2009.

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