A Guide to the Different Kinds of Headphones

side view of plantronics overear headphones

Ask anyone, headphones are one of the best tech accessories that has ever been made!

Headphones make it possible to listen to any kind of audio, from almost any device, anywhere! You don’t need to disturb those around you while you listen to your favourite music blasting on high volume or that podcast you’ve been religiously following. Headphones are truly wonderful devices that can heighten your listening experience, one decibel at a time.


A brief history of headphones


Headphones were initially invented not out of listening pleasure, but more of necessity - telephones and other similarly developed devices had earpieces that required the user to hold on to it. Headphones were made to make these earpieces hands-free.


Over the years inventors found ways to make listening into a form of entertainment -- in the 19th century one could listen to the opera and other live performances across London in the comfort of their homes. This paid service, provided by Electrophone, had massive headphones that were connected below the chin (as opposed to over the head) and were held by a rod.


It's amazing to think how far headphones have come!


How do headphones work?


Without going into detail too much, the first generation of headphones were based on the receiver end of a telephone piece -- this is the part that you place on your ear. They worked by using moving iron drivers. A flexible steel diaphragm would vibrate, creating sound waves. Of course, these headphones didn’t exactly give good sound quality and wearing them for long periods wasn’t advisable.


There came a time when headphones were powered by electricity, making it a shocking(!) experience to those who would accidentally touch the bare headset. John C. Koss produced the first stereo headphones in 1958. These were used in the military, radio and telephone networks and people who had worked in these fields.


In-ear types of headphones were created mainly as hearing aids. They rose in popularity due to transistor radios, which made it possible to listen to the radio anywhere you go. What cemented its place in pop culture was the release of the Walkman portable tape player in 1979.



Modern Headphones

Over the past few decades, headphones have been in a constant state of evolution.  There are many different styles, each with different purposes.  The great thing about modern headphones is that there are many different kinds that suit different activities and suit the varying needs of people.


However, while a lot of options ensures that there is a pair of headphones out there for everyone, it can also make it confusing to find the perfect pair for you.


So, to help you out, we’ve put together some handy info about some of the different styles of headphones available in the market now, which will hopefully make it easier for you to find the right headphone! Keep reading to learn more.


The different kinds of headphones available now

To make it easy for you to find the ideal pair of headphones for you, we’ve put together some info on 5 of the most popular styles of headphones available now.


On ear and over ear headphones


On ear and over ear headphones are very similar to each other, their main difference is how wide the earpiece is. On ear headphones sit on top of your ears, while over ear headphones have earpads the cover around your ears.


At first glance they may sound the same, but over time the comfort and wearability of one will outweigh the other. If you listen to music over long periods of time, an over ear headphone would be a better choice - since its earpads rest around the ear (not on it, like an on-ear headphone), you won’t feel discomfort.


Thankfully, both on ear and over ear headphones both give the same sound quality - which is a deal breaker for most users - so it really is a matter of which design is best suited for your listening habits.


In ear headphones


In ear headphones or earphones are those tiny buds that come with basically every iPhone or Android phone. Fitting perfectly in the ear’s opening, they are small and easy to take anywhere. This style of headphones is available with or without wires, which means you can either simply plug them into your device or connect via Bluetooth and voila!  You can listen to music or watch videos privately.


The downside to wearing this style of earphones for prolonged periods is that it can feel uncomfortable. Those who use earphones feel an ache in the opening of their ears. Another downside is that earphones may cause permanent hearing loss.



Wireless or Bluetooth earphones


Wireless earphones boomed a few years ago and for good reason - if earphones were convenient, wireless earphones brought portability to a whole new level.


Connecting to your device via Bluetooth, you don’t have to worry about tangled cords with this one. Perhaps the only caveat is that it needs power to operate (which means charging time for a couple of hours) and you’re without a pair of earphones.


Many different styles of headphones are available with wireless technology, including in ear, over ear and on ear styles.




Noise cancelling headphones


Have you noticed that despite playing music on high volume you can still hear some of the noises around you? Noise cancelling headphones remove those unwanted sounds and make your listening experience much more enjoyable.


Noise cancelling headphones can be quite expensive but also worth every cent. Because of its noise cancelling technology, your hearing is actually subjected to less sound stress, ultimately making the shift a healthy choice.



Bone conduction headphone


A newer style to the market is bone conduction earphones. These headphones are placed not over your ears but rather beside its opening. It works by sending sound waves through your bones (sounds scary but also cool at the same time). The advantage of owning a pair is that your hearing isn’t impaired or blocked. These are very useful for athletes or joggers who enjoy exercising outdoors and would still want to be aware of their surroundings while listening to music. Another obvious benefit is that sound isn’t directed towards the inner ear, limiting permanent hearing loss.


Which is the best?


We hate to break it to you, but there is no “best headphones in the world”. Each one has its own advantages. Whether it’s your free Apple earbuds or the most expensive wireless headphones in the market, if it serves its purpose then it would definitely count as one that is the best FOR YOU.


When you’re shopping for headphones, think about what you want to use them for – Are you using them to make lots of phone calls? Are you a gamer looking to immerse yourself into a fantasy world? Do you need a pair for when you’re jogging in the morning? Or are you looking for a pair to be able to pump up the jams in?



And if you’re looking for a new pair of headphones, then you’re in luck because here at Auditech we have a range of headphones to suit varying tastes and needs. Browse our collection here and see if we have one that you can purchase and be delivered straight to your doorstep. 

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