High End Headphone Buying Guide

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Headphones

So you’ve decided to buy the high end headphones that money can buy. Good – you’re in the right place. Our article will aim to provide you with a decent amount of information to go on as you make your decision to buy the best headphone of your need.

Right off the bat, we pray you understand that the items you will be acquiring are quite an investment, and the product is intended to serve you a good amount of time.

To this end, we will try to teach you the some of the things you need to know, and what things you need to look out for in terms of characteristics and specs these headphones feature.

No matter what you use them for, these things will certainly be of value to know when you make your decision.

What types of high end headphones are there?

First things first, we need to discern between the three types of headphones. This is important, as the type of headphones will critically impact your decision when making a purchase. With that in mind, read carefully the descriptions of the types and learn their characteristics in order to select the best ones to suit your needs

In-ear headphones

Beats In-ear Headphones
Beats In-ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are the smallest type of headphones, and thus the lightest and most portable. These headphones (or earbuds, more popularly), are the cheapest of the three types, but the high end headphones are sure to perform as well as the best headphones of other types. They are also knon as Earbuds.

In-ear headphones are designed to fit inside your ear canal tightly so that no excess sound will be dissipated.

There are two subtypes – the first group is the type of headphones that fit inside your ear cavity via their ergonomic shape; these ones come with most smaller media-playing items, such as phones, iPads etc.

The second subtype is the type of headphones that feature a slightly elongated shape that extends farther into the ear canal in order to facilitate direct delivery of audio. These headphones are connected via the cable and have no solid parts, apart from the earbuds themselves.

As it has been mentioned before, these headphones are extremely portable, as they can fit easily in your pocket. Some of the very best earbuds have a tangle-resistant cable, so you won’t have to undo the knots after they have sat in your pocket for too long. To sum up, here’s a short list:

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Not encumbering and easily stored.
  • Great for use while outside

Cons:

  • Can tangle in.
  • Less durable.
  • Can be uncomfortable when worn too long.

On-ear headphones

Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

On-ear headphones are larger than in-ear headphones but are still very portable.

These headphones feature foam-lined pads that go onto your ears, and the pads are usually connected by a solid piece of plastic or metal that is most likely foldable for your convenience.

However, some of the on-ear headphones are not connected in this manner. These are connected via a cable, just like the earbuds, but the pads are resting on some form of construction that goes around your ear; this is so that they can be even more portable, and can fit more easily in your pocket or purse.

But, these headphones suffer from a drawback – the padding can be sometimes too thin and will leak the sound into the surrounding area. Even so, they are a bit more comfortable than earbuds, because of their solid construction, and will not cause discomfort after long usage, nor will fall out while you0’re doing something physically engaging. To sum up, here’s a short list:

  • Lightweight and portable, just like the earbuds.
  • Comfortable to wear, much more so than the earbuds.
  • Often foldable.

Cons:

  • Since they don’t encase the ear, they can leak sound into your surrounding area.

Over-ear headphones

over-ear high end headphoneOver-ear headphones are the biggest and the most expensive type of headphones. They are usually the least portable as well. However, if you’re looking for truly out-of-this-world quality of sound, these headphones deliver.

They have a solid construction that goes over the head, and the earmuffs in case the whole ear with thick padding that prevents sound leaking, or even blocking incoming sound. All in all, for the best quality of sound, if you don’t mind the bulkiness and the exuberant price tag, these are definitely the way to go. To sum up, here’s a short list:

  • Extra durable.
  • Often the best noise canceling option.
  • Superb sound quality

Cons:

  • Not as portable due to size.

Special features high end headphones can have

Secondary headphone jacks

Sometimes you’ll find that a pair of earphones has an extra jack. This jack will allow you to plug in another pair of headphones. This is of particular use for those who are in the music industry, in a situation when a certain track needs to be heard by a few people at once.

Foldable headphones

Beats Solo2 Wireless Foldable High End Headphone
Beats Solo2 Wireless Foldable Headphone

 This is a feature often found with on-ear and over-ear headphones. Foldable constructions and rotatable pads offer better portability, as you can pack them in more compact places. This may be a godsend for those who are often on the road because it will save them a lot of trouble with transportation.

Noise-canceling

noice canceling high end headphones
ClearArmor 141001 Safety Ear Muffs Shooters Hearing Protection Folding-Padded Head Band Ear Cups

Another feature found on the best and the most expensive headphones (although not exclusively), noise-canceling is a true blessing for those operating in loud areas, or simply for those who want silence and uninterrupted audio.

Check out Top 7 Noise Cancelling Earbuds of 2016

The noise-canceling is performed in two ways, actively and passively.

  1. Passive way: The headphones with passive noise-canceling seek to establish a snug fit around or inside the ear of the user, in order to block out the incoming sounds.
  2. Active way: Active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones feature an emitter installed inside the muffs that “listens” to the sounds around it, and then plays a sound of opposite frequency, thus eliminating it. However, this might impede on the sound quality of the headphones because of the emitter. Also, do not expect them to block out everything because you’ll still be able to hear high-pitched and very loud sounds.

Pros of such headphones are:

  • Do greatly when you want to block loud, distracting sounds.
  • Still provide great sound quality.
  • Do a great job if you just want to mitigate loud sounds without listening to music.

But there are some cons:

  • Will not help with loud, high-pitched sounds.
  • Can damage the sound quality (though not greatly), so audiophiles may not like them as much.

Wireless Headphones

One of the best features of high end headphones is the option to go wireless. Many cutting edge headphones can connect to your media player via Bluetooth, so you can listen to them while away from the player, for example, while mowing the lawn. Also, such headphones are tangle-free, even more so if you go with true wireless earbuds where the two are separated and connect via Bluetooth individually.

Curious? Find out 10 Best Wireless Headphones For TV

Some pros and cons:

  • Will not tangle, no cables.
  • You won’t have to operate the media player directly.

Con:

  • They are, sometimes, prone to critical malfunctions.

What are some uses for headphones?

This question is a bit silly, isn’t it? Headphones are obviously used to listen to your music remotely and privately. But as we have seen from the special features, headphones can be used to share music or to block out noise.

headphone-on-airplanePeople often complain when flying that the engines are too loud for them to sleep on the plane, and this can be a major inconvenience when the flight is very long. This is where the noise canceling headphones come in very hand, reducing the noise to a minimum. This is also useful in loud offices, as it will help you concentrate better on your work. On the other hand, quite a few earbuds and on-ear headphones feature biometrics.

running_headphonesThis is certain to come in handy for more fitness-minded users, as your headphones can read your vital signs and thus help keep a tab on your overall conditioning when running or working out (or playing Pokemon Go, whichever).

Additionally, earbuds come in very ergonomic shapes and sizes to fit any user, so you are sure they will not be falling out when you jog. Some headphones feature a higher frequency span than normal. A human ear can hear a range from 20 Hz to 2 MHz, while some headphones feature a span of 5 Hz to 3.3 MHz.

This will appeal to those who like to listen to some heavy basses, because the low frequencies will go right through your body, so you will not only hear those low basses, but you’ll be able to feel them stirring inside.

All in all, the use is entirely up to you – we are not here to instruct you how to use them, we are here to present you with the features so you can make the best available choice.

To sum up, here’s a list of what headphones are good for:

  • Earbuds are great for fitness-minded people, or those who enjoy spending time outside because of their small size and small weight.

  • On-ear headphones are also great for people who enjoy outdoor activities, but you may run into trouble using them when running and working out, or using them when in crowded places when you want to keep your music for yourself.
  • Over-ear headphones do a great job canceling out noise and offer amazing sound quality, so they are best used in those conjunctions – for people constantly flying, for people sensitive to loud sounds, for people working in places where loud sounds can be heard, for people who need to hear precise notes, and, finally, for gaming.

Cons:

  • Earbuds can be uncomfortable after prolonged use.
  • On-ear headphones leak sound on occasions.
  • Over-ear headphones are bulky and are not best suited for outdoor use due to safety reasons (see safety section.)

Why would you want to use such expensive equipment?

For starters, the quality of the sound is a whole lot better. In fact, this is an understatement. Why are Beats by Dre the most famous brand of headphones? Because the sound quality on them is stellar, and this is exactly why you want them.

Another reason is ubiquity. High-quality headphones can be used whenever you feel like it and wherever you want. True, you can do that with a standard pair of earbuds, but a pair of top notch headphone will be much more stylish, for one, and will probably be more compatible with several devices, offering more choice concerning media players.

They are also more portable, as many products, even the largest ones, are probably foldable and easily packed into smaller spaces. Finally, durability is an issue of great importance, and a famous brand product is certain to last far more than the one from a regular brand.

Are headphones totally safe for use?

Indeed, there are very few dangers from using headphones. The only issue that might be of concern is the noise-mitigating headphones. The danger of using these headphones arises from their inherent characteristics to blocks sound, making them less than ideal for use in cars or generally in traffic. So, when you sit in your car, or on your bike, or if you go out for a walk, we recommend you leave these behind for your own safety.

Conclusion

Well, now you know everything you need to know about high-end headphones, so you can make your choice. In all, it is your decision after all, and this is just a guide to provide you with the necessary information. Just remember that these headphones are a long-term investment, so be sure you have picked the right ones for you – you certainly don’t want to spend a lot of your hard earned money for an item that you will not use, or that will give your discomfort.

We hope you enjoyed this little ride with us, feel free to like, share, and comment if you’re up for it – it’s your feedback that fuels our passion for writing!