Whether you are a music lover, podcasts or like talking to Google Assistant, a best headphone pair can transform your listening experience.
However, the problem is, choosing the right pair of headphones from tons of available options is a serious headache. From sound quality to price, you have to consider each and every aspect carefully for make the right decision. Here are 10 things to consider when shopping for headphones.
1. Sound Quality
Of course the most important factor of any sound product is its sound quality and when you are shopping for headphones, you have to start with the quality of sound. In order to evaluate the better sound quality, it is essential to explore features that can affect your audio experience. Here are some of these features.
● Noise Cancellation
The noise cancellation feature of the headphone helps to eliminate external noises and sounds. It provides you with an ultra comfortable listening experience. Such types of headphones produce sound frequencies that cancel external distractions.
● Surround Sound
A headphone pair with surround sound feature offers same sound effects like the sound in a movie theater. These headphones have multiple speakers in each cup to project best sound from different angles to create an ideal listening experience.
● Stereo Sound
Headphones featuring stereo sound provide phenomenal listening experience. They have separate channel in each ear cup to add dimension to the sound. For example, you may hear a violin in one ear cup and guitar strings in the other.
● Driver Size
In simple words, a headphone with more number of drivers offers best sound quality. The driver is a crucial thing to consider when shopping for headphones as it produces the sound we hear.
Large drivers are better but they may not support high frequency range and can lead to muffled noise. That’s why different brands add separate drivers in their headphones to support high frequency treble sounds.
It is the electric resistance amount needed to keep the drivers of the headphone safe by limiting and measuring the current flowing through them. If you want to buy best headphones for professional use featuring AC-powered adapters, make sure to select impedance up to 620 ohms. If you want to use headphones with portable media players or a smartphone, impedance lower than 34 ohms is ideal for you.
● Frequency Response
The frequency response of headphones is range it can support and precisely produce. For instance, if you love bass, make sure to choose the headphones with low bass frequency. A treble fan should prefer frequency range of more than 20,000 Hz. Sound frequencies are categorized into following three types.
⮚ Bass (Lows) – 20Hz to 200Hz
⮚ Mids (Medium) – 200Hz to 5000Hz
⮚ Treble (Highs) – 5000Hz to 20000HZ
● Frequency Responsiveness
This is the ability of headphones to reproduce different sound ranges perfectly. Some of them are tuned more towards lower frequencies which are ideal for heavier bass lovers. On the other hand, headphones with higher frequency response are best for those who prefer balance between bass and treble.
● Sound Signature
This is the unique signature of headphones. Every headphones pair is equipped with a certain style of sound output. Headphones made for heavy bass produce the lower frequency range whereas the one with sharp treble produce improved higher frequency sounds. Take a look at the commonly used sound signatures.
● High bass
● High treble
2. Purpose of Use
Another significant factor to consider while shopping for headphones is the usage. There are different types of headphones made for different requirements. Here is a table that will help you to choose best headphone set based on your usage criteria
|Purpose||Recommended Headphone type|
|Travelling||On the ear wireless headphones|
|Daily use (watching videos, listen music or talking on your phone)||In-ear headphones|
|Gaming||Over the ear headphones (wired or wireless)|
|Music enthusiasts||Over the ear closed back headphones (wireless or wired)|
|Professional use ( studio recording, studio monitoring and DJing)||Over the ear closed back headphones|
|Running, Gym lovers||Invisible Earbuds (on the ear headphones, preferably wireless)|
|Immersive movie experience||Over the ear headphones (wireless or wired)|
If you want to buy headphones for gaming or remote working, choose the one with built-in microphones. Each headphone pair is equipped with different microphones. For instance, some have microphones on the wire, whereas some feature built-in microphones which are not visible to naked eyes. Headphones having extended microphones are ideal for gaming.
4. Battery life
If you are looking to shop for noise-canceling or Bluetooth headphones, don’t forget to consider their battery. You don’t want the battery to die in the middle of the high-pressure game or an interesting movie scene. Always choose the headphone with long battery life. However, a powerful battery means it will take a long time to recharge.
5. Voice Assistants
There are headphones with built-in voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Siri. Using a voice assistant feature, you can begin tasks such as ask questions, play music, and many more.
It depends on your personal preference and requirements. You can choose either wired or wireless according to your needs. A wired headphone pair comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack to help you connect with a device having a 3.5 mm input.
Bluetooth headphones are ideal for free movements. Make sure to check the Bluetooth range before buying headphones. Some headphones have a detachable cable featuring inline mute to conveniently mute or un-mute the headset microphone.
One can’t neglect the importance of durability when choosing headphones. Make sure to check the following features to ensure the durability of your headphone set.
● Resistance to water, dust, and moisture
● Durable material that can last for a long time
● Headphones weight
● Properly installed wires featuring resilient rubber covers to prevent breakage or bending
Waterproof headphones are an excellent choice for swimming and areas with wet weather conditions. Headphones that have IPX55, IPX6, IPX7, and IPX8 ratings are the best waterproof headphones.
Remember, there is a huge difference between waterproof headphones and water-resistant headphones. Water-resistant headphones are manufactured with materials that can resist sweat and water. That’s why they are popular with running and gym lovers. Headphones having IPX1, IPX2, IPX3, and IPX4 ratings are excellent water-resistant headphones.
9. Built-in Volume and Play control
Most headphones have in-line volume control and in-line play control buttons. They have Play, Pause, and Volume up, Volume down, Next, and Previous buttons. Some may have a common button for Play and Pause, whereas others have separate buttons. You can use the play button to attend calls.
The buttons in wireless headphones are located on the ear-cups, which are big enough in size to host such controls.
The last thing you should consider is that your headphones are comfortable, especially if you are looking for gaming or traveling headphones. Make sure to check the ear pads material thoroughly. Also, check for the adjustable headband in a headphone you want to buy. The earpads should be water and sweat-resistant to protect ears from overheating during hot summer days.
Tips to extend the life of headphones
You can keep your headphone in excellent condition by following these steps.
● Avoid damp contact with slots, buttons, or plugs.
● Always read the quick start guide before using new headphones
● Make sure to store headphones in a clean, dust-free environment.
● Never expose headphones to high temperatures.
● Use a dry clean cloth to clean in-ear headphones.
● Never use commercial cleaning products to clean headphones.
● Remove ear adapters and clean them regularly
● Avoid extreme cable bending.
● Replace headphones if they are looking damaged or worn.