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Earphone Buying Guide: Which Features To Consider

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We have compiled all features you need to consider while buying an earphone. Keep it in mind and choose the best earphone that fits your requirement.

- Updated: 16th Jan 2023, 15:11 IST
  • 1
    Find the Right Design For Your Ears
    • In-ear
    • On-ear
    • Over-ear
    • Closed-back/Open-back
  • 2
    Earphone buying guide: Choose the Right Connectivity
    • Wired Earphones
    • Wireless Earphones
  • 3
    Earphone Buying Guide : Specifications to Consider
    • Acoustic System
    • Drivers
    • IPX Rating
    • Frequency Response
    • Impedance
    • Battery Life
    • Sensitivity
    • Diaphragm
    • Noise Cancellation
  • 4
    Steps to Follow While Selecting Earphones
    • Epilogue

Searching for the Earphone buying guide that will help you understand which features you should look for. If yes, you are at the right place. In today’s digital era, headphones are one of the most widely spread technological objects in our homes, just like how the television is. It seems that this situation will not be likely to change in coming years soon. Whether you want to stay tuned to your favourite music, talk to someone, or want to indulge in a web series or movie without disturbing people around you – the right pair of earphones or headphones is the perfect pick for you. Using it, you can do all of this and a lot more very easily.

However, one question will pop into your mind – how to find the right earphones/headphone?

Nowadays, many earphones’ choices are available in the online marketplace as per the type, shape, and size. It can be really confusing. On top of all these, some critical factors matter while selecting your earphones/headphones.

There is only one way to clear all your confusion – read this headphone buying guide and understand the jargon and technical specifications.

Also read: MacBook Air M1 Review – The Perfect Mac For Most Of Us.

Find the Right Design For Your Ears

In-ear

In-ear

These headphones are widely known as earphones or earbuds. In-ear headphones are the ones that you can insert into your ear canal. They are the most portable out of the four types. Here are some of its pros and cons.

ProsCons
Perfect for an active lifestyleEasily tangles
Great noise cancellationEasy-to-misplace
Compact & lightweightDue to size, sometimes sound quality suffers

On-ear

On-ear earphone

On-ear headphones are the ones that rest on top of your ears but do not entirely enclose your ear. Its band usually goes over or behind your head. It is relatively smaller and lighter than over-ear headphones. Let us check out some of its pros and cons.

ProsCons
CompactPoor noise isolation
Produce less heat on the ears as compared to over-ear headphonesCan cause discomfort
 Leaks sound

Over-ear

Over-ear earphone

Over-ear headphones are the ones that fully encompass your ears. This kind of headphones comes in closed-back and open-back versions. Over-ear headphones are the most comfortable of the three types.

ProsCons
Most comfortableLeast portable
Great sound qualityExpensive
Excellent isolationProduces heat on the ears

Closed-back/Open-back

Closed-back earphone
Closed-back earphone

Closed-back headphones are the ones that come with an outer casing. This outer casing does not have any hole or vent. Therefore, the sound gets trapped inside the cups and keeps external noises out.

Open-back earphone
Open-back earphone

Open-back headphones are the ones that are more acoustically transparent and let the headphone user hear the outer sound.

In short, open-back headphones sound more natural than closed-back but closed-back headphones are better to listen music when you are outside your home or studio.

Also read: 7 Signs To Buy A New Phone

Earphone buying guide: Choose the Right Connectivity

As you have decided on the type and style, the next step is to determine connectivity. Do you want your earphones to stay connected or want to go with no string attached? It is entirely your choice. Continue reading our Earphone buying guide to learn about it.

Wired Earphones

Wired earphone

It comes with a dependable wire that you can insert into your device. This type of earphone has its own set of pros and cons. Let us check out in brief.

ProsCons
Stable & lag-free connectivityHandling wire can be problematic as it easily gets tangles

Wireless Earphones

Wireless earphone

With wireless earphones, you can freely groove to the beats of your favourite tunes without any restrictions. It is because it uses Bluetooth as its connectivity to the music source.

ProsCons
PortableBatteries might be a concern

Earphone Buying Guide : Specifications to Consider

Acoustic System

An acoustic system in earphones represents its design. A closed acoustic system stops outside noise passing through the earphones. On the flip side, an open acoustic system means people around you can easily hear what you are hearing.

Drivers

Drivers in earphones turn electrical signals into sound pressure. In simple words, larger driver = better overall sound quality.

IPX Rating

It’s a fact that we are usually a little careless in taking care of earphones. Therefore, dust, splash, sweat, anything can cause them damage. So, it would be best to choose an earphone with a higher IPX rating. IPX rating indicates the protection level against water, dust, sweat, etc. It also indicates water-resistant, water-proof, or dust resistant. Higher IPX rating = better protection

Frequency Response

Frequency response means the frequency range your earphone can cover. Bigger frequency range = better frequency. The bigger difference between the minimum and maximum value shows a larger range cover.

Impedance

Impedance means the earphone’s circuit’s resistance to the electric signal. Generally, it is preferable to choose the earphone that has less impedance. Ideally, it should be less than 25Ohms.

Battery Life

It is one of the most important factors that you should consider while selecting the earphone. It varies according to the various types of headphones. Generally, Bluetooth headphones offer more battery life as compared to wireless earbuds. You should choose a product that provides you with good battery life, quick charging, and high-performance levels.

Sensitivity

It means how much sound an earphone can produce for one milliwatt of the electric signal. Higher sensitivity = higher sound you will get. Usually, earphone sensitivity ranges from 80 to 110dB.

Diaphragm

It is a thin membrane inside the earphone that vibrate and produce sound. There is no specific shape or material of diaphragms, and the manufacturer uses it as per their choice to deliver the best sound.

Noise Cancellation

It is one of the most prominent features you should look for while choosing the earphone. If you travel a lot or constantly remain in a noisy environment, ANC headphones can be useful as they cancel out even small sounds like AC, aeroplane, drone, and more.

Also read: Google Pixel 6 Pro Review – Best All Round Android Experience

Steps to Follow While Selecting Earphones

Steps to Follow While Selecting Earphones

Here are a few steps that you need to consider while choosing earphones.

  1. Determine the purpose of your earphone

2. Set your budget

3. Select the right type

4. Choose between wired or wireless or both

5. Check the frequency range. The normal range is between 20Hz to 20,000Hz.

6. Decide on the add-ons and accessories like amplifiers, DACs, etc., to make your listening experience extraordinary.

7. Check for compatibility with your device

8. Get ready for your shopping cart and enjoy the musical bliss.

Epilogue

In a nutshell, the above headphone buying guide discussed specifications and factors that matter a lot as all of them have a different impact on the audio quality. Therefore, keep these things in mind if you are planning to buy earbuds, earphones, or headphones, apart from the design types. Consider your requirement correctly and buy according to them.

Hopefully, this headphone/earphone/earbud buying guide has cleared your doubts. Still, if you have any queries, feel free to ask us. What are the features that you usually look for in your earphones? Is there any jargon that you are unable to understand? Let us know in the comment section below.

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