Buying Guides

Things to consider when buying new headphones

Music has been making time more enjoyable for centuries. Today’s technology allows you like never before to enjoy your favorite sounds in the highest quality sound at any time and any place. And most importantly, without disturbing the silence of others. Headphones available on the market offer a wide range of variants, among which even the most demanding audiophiles will find a perfect solution for themselves. Over-ear headphones, in-ear headphones or wireless headphones are used in many areas. The prototype of today’s devices was constructed for the army. First commercial models began to gain popularity at the beginning of the second half of 20th century and became a fashion item.

What to look for when choosing headphones – important factors

  • Frequency

20-20000 Hz is the most popular and in addition the full range audible to the human ear. Models that meet this condition are, for example, JBL Tune headphones or Sony headphones from the WH series. It is assumed that the wider the frequency response range, the better for the recipient.

  • Speaker dynamics

The higher the value, the better and more faithfully they reproduce the sound of varying intensity. Dynamics, expressed in decibels, tells you the difference in loudness between soft and loud sounds. For example, Xiaomi Dynamic Pro wireless headphones have a dynamic range of 98 dB, while Bose QuietComfort headphones have a dynamic range of 114dB.

  • Power

Expressed in milliwatts tells you the maximum volume the headphones can handle. The power of the headphones must be properly matched with the output power of the product to which they will be connected. For comparison, AKG K240 headphones have a frequency response of 200 mW, and HyperX Cloud gaming headphones have 150 mW.

  • Impedance

Expressed in Ohms, the apparent resistance, which is a parameter on which depends the quality of sound. It refers to resistance to noise, distortion and loudness. The higher the limit, the better the sound quality. For example, the Sennheiser HD 599 over-ear headphones have an impedance of 50 ohms, while the Sennheiser IE 60 in-ear headphones have only 16 ohms.

  • Weight

Headphones for running must be lightweight, in other applications it is a matter of preference. The optimal weight in the category of universal headphones is considered to be about 200-300 g. Lightweight devices are considered models that do not exceed 100 g. So ultralight headphones turn out to be Apple AirPods Pro, the total weight of which does not exceed 11 g. For comparison, the gaming headphones SteelSeries Arctis Pro weigh 390 g.

Wireless headphones – pros and cons

Using headphones undoubtedly has many advantages. Headphones mean you can listen to music where and when you want without disturbing those around you. So, let’s focus on the most popular type of devices nowadays, which are wireless headphones – in-ear, on-ear and in-ear. Bluetooth headphones – their pros and cons:

Pros

  • No tangled cables
  • No movement restrictions
  • Allows you to move away from the sound source
  • Compatible with many devices

Cons

  • need to recharge
  • poorer sound quality
  • slightly higher price
  • battery life on a single charge

How to take care of headphones?

How do you take care of your headphones to make them last as long as new? Here are some simple tricks to keep your headphones in great condition.

Clean your headphones at least once a week. In addition to keeping the sound quality high, it’s also for hygiene reasons. Replace worn out ear cushions and pads with new ones.

Protect your headphones from moisture. Electronics and moisture are not the best combination. If your headphones come into contact with water, opt for devices that meet at least the IPX4 standard.

Disconnect corded headphones gently, without tugging. Earphone cords are easily damaged, so carefully disconnect the earphones from the device by pulling on the plug, not the cord.

Keep your headphones in their protective case. A case can help deal with tangled cords and protect against dirt and accidental damage to the headphones.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.

1 Comment

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  • Get headphones with ANC – it’s really great for canceling noise. I’m wearing glasses all day so I prefer in-ear headphones.