The Essential Guide to Buying Headphones for Music Lovers
If you’re a hardcore music lover it’s important to know which type of headphones are going to get the very best out of your device – and ensure you are getting the highest quality sound to make your playlist sound even better.
If you’re a hardcore music lover it’s important to know which type of headphones are going to get the very best out of your device – and ensure you are getting the highest quality sound to make your playlist sound even better. Not all headphones sound the same and choosing the right pair can significantly improve your listening experience.
Whether you’re listening to adrenaline-pumping workout tunes or a boredom-busting playlist on your commute to work, we’ll help you find the best headphones to fit your needs and personal style.
Earbud or in-ear headphones
We’ve probably all owned a pair of earbud or in-ear headphones at some point in our lives, so it makes sense for us to start with this style and to consider how good they are for music lovers who are after the very best experience.
First of all, in-ear headphones are the cheapest you can buy, with prices ranging from between £3 – £30. You’ll find a big difference in quality between the two prices, so if you’re an avid music lover steer clear of the cheap pairs and consider investing at least £20 in a reasonable quality pair.
As well as their relatively low price, in-ear headphones have a few other good qualities. They are discreet, light and easy to carry, as they fit conveniently into a pocket or bag. Most quality models will have both microphone and track navigation controls built into the wire, and can provide reasonable isolation from external noise. From a style perspective, they don’t interfere with your hairstyle, hats, glasses or earrings.
The cons of this style are that the quality of sound and bass response is not as good as those found in full-size models. Some people also complain about the feel of the headphones as they are sat in the ear, as opposed to other types of headphones that sit over or around the ear. They also have a tendency to fall out whilst you’re on the move, particularly during exercise, which can be very frustrating.
You’ll hear on-ear headphones called a number of things, including open-backed headphones, supra-aural headphones, semi-open headphones or earpad headphones. This type of headphone sits on the ear rather than in it or around it. As a music lover, you should seriously consider starting here, as the quality tends to be far better than ear buds.
Prices start, for a reasonably good pair, at around £20 and can go all the way up to £1,000 – although this end of the scale tends to be for limited edition headphones that won’t necessarily make a lot of difference to the sound quality. A recommended price range would be around £100 – £300, with your choice of model based on not just the sound quality, but also the fit and appearance of the headphones when sat on your ears.
Although these types of headphones differ greatly from the standard in-ear or earbud headphones that might come with your device, you will certainly notice the benefits when it comes to sound quality. They are also much more comfortable and, although they can look quite big, they are typically very light and easy to wear.
The on-ear headphone is currently very popular among commuters and is probably the best choice for on-the-go music lovers. For those of you that love listening to music whilst travelling on the bus, train or tube, these headphones not only look stylish, but also offer a great quality of sound. Another benefit is that they are less prone to overheating compared to full-sized headphones. If you are concerned about the size, some models fold away neatly and can be carried in their own pouch or in a bag. However, you might prefer to just let them hang around your neck when not in use, as they make a rather stylish accessory.
The cons of this type of headphone are that they are still not as effective at blocking outside noise, when compared to full-sized models, and you will find that the bass is less powerful. You might also find that your neighbours can hear your music on the bus or in the office, as the on-ear style can lead to sound leakage.
Over the ear headphones
Over the ear headphones are given a number of names, including closed-back headphones, full-size headphones, earcup headphones, and circumaural headphones.
This type of headphone is particularly suitable for the home or studio, as it completely encompasses the ear, blocking out more noise than any other type of headphone. This is perfect for the home or studio listener who wants to be completely immersed in the music and hear every little detail without distraction or interference.
The over the ear headphone is typically quite heavy and large, as it has to cover the entire ear. Some people find that long periods of time using these headphones cause them neck ache, making them an uncomfortable choice for commuting. However, manufacturers are addressing this issue, and you will find some Beats models (by Dr. Dre and Monster) to be perfectly light enough for taking out and about.
Prices are very similar to the on-ear headphone and, depending on your specific need, you may need to spend hundreds of pounds to get an extremely high quality sound. Although they do tend to be the heaviest type of headphone, you may find them to be the most comfortable of the three as they sit snugly over the ear, rather than in or on it. They also offer maximum volume and bass levels, as the cups create a larger sound stage. The surround sound is usually very effective in blocking out external noise. On the downside, the headband can get in the way of hairstyles, earrings and glasses, and some models have issues with overheating.
Wireless headphones can be a great buy for listening to music on the go, with no wires to trip you up as you’re working out or fighting your way off the train. You can expect to pay around £100-£300 for a quality pair. The cons of this type of headphone are that you are limited by battery life, and the technology can make your music sound less dynamic than you might like.
These headphones are effective at blocking out ambient noise by giving out anti-noise that removes the noise at your ear. They don’t completely eliminate all noise from the outside world, but the high quality models are effective at blocking out office chit-chat or reducing the sound of the engine on flights.
Noise cancelling headphones can be purchased in all of the above styles, and they allow you to enjoy your music at lower volume levels, which is beneficial for your ears. They also make it easier to hear more of the detail in your music.
Prices for noise cancelling headphones vary a great deal – starting at around £150 for a good quality pair and working up to around £1,500. At the top end of the market, these headphones offer luxurious materials, a truly impressive sound experience and outstanding technology.
If you could do with a new pair of headphones so your amazing playlist sounds the best it possibly can, why not check out Go2telecom’s range of styles? Browse the full collection online or give us a ring on 01925 768 250 for some expert advice.