What are the things you consider while you plan to buy a headphone?

I remember, even few years before, I didn’t know anything about the headphones. I went to a shop or browse an online store, see around many headphones, the one looks nice, I picked once of nice headphones which was under my budget.

And what happened next?

When I started to listen to music with it, it really sucks 🙁

I choose the headphone over its look, not its quality which is I need actually from a headphone. I felt sorry for myself, I should have searched for a buying guide.

Well, here we have this Infographic to help you!

How to choose your headphone technically.

Headphone Infographic

Headphone Types

There are three types of headphones.

  • Over Ear
  • On Ear
  • In Ear
    • In Ear
    • Earbud

So, which type you need?

It depends on why you need the headphone! This table bellow might help you to identify your headphone type.

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Over Ear Headphones

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Over Ear Headphones are Best For

  • Any kind of Gaming
  • Professional Studio
  • DJ Professionals
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On ear Headphones are best for

  • Listen to music
  • Watch Movies on TV
  • Use with Mac/PC/Laptop etc
  • Regular use
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On Ear Headphone

Bose Sound Link On-Ear Headphone

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In-Ear Canal Headphone

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With the help of above two images, you probably already identified the type of in-ear headphone in your pocket now. And also probably have an idea when you need them. Allow me to make a list for you.

  • Sports
  • Jogging
  • Excercise
  • Walk and in travel
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There are two main ways to connect your headphones with your device.

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Usually connect with a 3.5mm jack in your device.

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Connect with Bluetooth Technology. Bluetooth 3.0, 4.0, 4.1 technology is available in current headphones.

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Some recent headphones offer NFC connectivity as well.

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Noise Cancelling

The world is a crowded place. In the busy cities or streets or most of the places, it’s heard to get a noise free place to spend some quality time or listen to music or attend phone calls without any outside noise.

Noise Cancelling feature of a headphone can be a great help in this situation. Headphones used two techniques to cancel noise and its described here.

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Headphones uses a built-in microphone to receive outside noise then generate an Anti-noise pattern and both noises cancel each other. This is the most effective process of noise cancelling but as this process use mic, process sound, it drains some battery power. Some headphones have buttons to deactivate this feature which helps to save battery power.

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Also known as Noise Reduction, Noise Isolation etc. There’s no electronic functionality involved in this method. Here designers design the headphone in a way that Earcup, foam block the outside noise to enter the ear canal.

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Sound Quality

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Human Ear’s can hear from 20Hz – 20,000Hz or 20kHz. When the condition is more perfect, sometimes human ear’s can hear as low as 15Hz and as high as 28kHz as well.

If your headphone offer 20Hz – 20kHz, that’s perfect. If the range is more narrow, e.g. 100Hz – 18kHz, that’s mean you going to have less clear sound.

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Impedance displayed in Ohms and this is a measure of electrical resistance. Higher impedance = more resistance and more resistance means more power is required for the headphones.

For small sized headphones like In-ear headphones, Earbuds, impedance is usually below 32ohm. This helps to minimize the power use.

Over-Ear, On-Ear headphone have a higher impedance than 32ohm. High-end, Gaming, Studio  quality headphones use very high impedance as 300ohm or more. They often require a dedicated amplifier to power them.

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Sensitivity is measured by Decibel or dB
A Decibel Chart is

  • dB 0 = threshold of hearing
  • dB 30 = Library room, Bedroom at night
  • dB 60 = Buy office
  • dB 80 = Sidewalk by passing bus
  • dB 100 = On platform by passing train
  • dB 120 = Air raid siren at 50 ft (Pain threshold)

Most headphones are within the range of 85-120 dB.

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The sound quality of a headphone largely depends on its Driver size. It is measured with driver diameter. A large diameter provides better sound quality.

Standard In-ear canal headphone size is between 8.8mm-12.5mm.

Standard In-ear earbud size is between 13.5-15.4mm in diameter.

Over-ear and On-ear headphone driver sizes are between the 30–53 mm range.