Headphones are one of the greatest inventions made in the recent history, changing the way we listen to music entirely. Headphones, are used to listen to music without disturbing other people around us. 2018 is the best time to buy headphones as more and more headphone technology is hitting the music shelves each day and audiophiles just cannot get enough of it.
We would guide you through today at gadgetranks on which headphones to get this 2018, what type of headphones to get, what design of headphones to get, what colour headphones to get, the difference between headphones, headsets and earbuds, and the history of headphones and how it changed the world, among several other things so keep reading our guide on headphones.
What are Headphones?
While we are here discussing headphones, we would tell you what headphones really are. Headphones are a hardware device can easily be plugged into a laptop, PC, mp3 player or a smartphone.
They are easy to plug in without any software being required. Headphones can be worn around or over the ears, they come with two ear cups that are attached by a band which is placed over the head. Another type of headphones which are smaller in size are called the earphones or earbuds, which are worn outside the outer ear canal.
Headphones consist of transducers just like speakers which help convert sound waves from audio signals. The headphones that connect with an audio port such as 3.5mm help in processing analog audio. And the headphones that come with a lightning port or a USB convert it into digital audio which must consist of DAC, digital to analog converter in order to produce the sound.
Headphones work just as Speakers, but the only difference is that the sound is produced only for the listener that wears it unlike Speakers which give a surround sound loud effect. Speakers generate a lot of amplitude so that the sound can be heard from anywhere whereas headphones only send the waves to the listener’s ear. Speakers may give more sound coverage but if the headphones are closer to your ears it can make the sound quite loud and most of the headphones support 20 hertz to 20,000 Hz frequency but the bass is not easy to notice as they don’t move a lot around the air.
How Headphones Changed the World
If you visit a modern day office you would most likely see dozens of headphones where people are talking, and listening to music and you couldn’t hear any one of those even if you wanted to. Most of the millennial workers today listen to music or make calls on headphones, and most of the people today think music helps them concentrate on their work, and even a survey conducted recently states that music is most likely to make us more productive and happier.
It was in 1910, when Thomas Edison invented the creation of sound from electrical signals. He had build a new kind of a headset which could amplify sounds. When the military tested that headset they were astonished prior to the world war 1, and since then headphones have been all the rage. The main purpose of a headphone is to concentrate and produce sound that is only catered to the ear of the listener.
The 20th and 21st century saw the biggest innovations in the headphones technology. Radios, cars, mobile speakers and silicone chips made music as portable as ever. Headphones compared to all those saw the biggest change in the music history, it became portable, wireless, lightweight and as comfortable as ever. Headphones were like writing to a language, it made the music industry big as everyone could listen to music in a quiet place, and could pause and replay it anytime. Headphones today still help in creating separation from a chaotic world, making us enjoy a moment alone with our music.
How do headphones work? And What’s inside them?
The difference between headphones and speakers other then the size is that you can hear the sound it produces from far away compared to headphones which only send sound waves closer to your eardrums which is why they are smaller in size. Headphones that are large are firmly mounted on a strap which goes over the head, earbuds also work similarly but everything inside the earbuds like coil of wire, magnet and the diaphragm cone which makes the sound is much smaller compared to the large headphones.
Headphones that have closed backs seal the back so the sound does not escape when listening to music but the open-back headphones give a more open sound, and sound way better than the closed ones although the sound often leaks from such design. Noise-cancelling headphones are mostly closed backed ones as ambient noises cannot pass through them as they can on open-ear headphones.
In short, both the speaks, headphones, earbuds and earphones are made up of a back case which holds things together, and also from where the main wire runs through; a front case, which faces the ear of the listener; a seal, that is rubbery and round that holds the front and back case together. The headphones also consist of wires, which carry the signals from a stereo to the speakers; a magnet which gives the headphones and earbuds it’s weight, they are the heaviest thing on headphones; a coil, from which the electricity flows and a transparent plastic cone that makes a sound when it moves.
What Are Headphones Used For?
Headphones are used to listen to your favourite music or watch your favorite TV program or a movie without having to disturb others around you. If you are disturbed by other people around you even then they work perfectly well. Headphones today are in higher demand than ever, as music everyday keeps becoming portable and easy to access, and so is the demand as the technology enhances.
Other than the purpose of listening to Music, or watching a movie headphones are used for gaming purposes and studio purposes too. Whether you want to easily communicate during a conference call at your office, or talk to your teammates during a gaming session, or use it to DJ, or to give you an adrenaline pump while working out; headphones today are an essential part of everyone’s life. Each day headphones designs keep innovating and give the users the best experience, and everyday the demand for them increases for different parts of life.
Different Types of Headphones
There are several types of headphones in the market today. Every design has its pros and cons, and some people prefer one or another whoever suits their needs the best. Some of the most popular headphone designs are as follows:
Earbuds: These type of earphones rest at the edge of the ear of the listener, and often come with newer smartphones and media players.
In-Ear- These type of earphones fit firmly inside the ear canal, and contain rubber ends which securely fit inside the ear.
On-Ear- They are a type of headphones which firmly and comfortable sit on the ears but they do not cover the entire ear, and it helps isolating sounds.
Over-ear – headphones that wrap around your ears; also called “around-ear” or “circumaural” headphones; come in open and closed versions. Open versions allow all outside noise, while closed versions limit external sounds.
Noise-Cancelling Headphones – They are best to eradicate all the noises and ambient sounds around the person. They can easily cancel out any type of noise that is interfering with your listening session. The passive noise-cancelling headphones cancel out the noise from their design whereas the active noise-cancelling headphones digitally cancel out any noise from the background.
Wireless Headphones: Most of the headphones today are wireless headphones as wires have become a big problem for many people. Wireless headphones are compatible and easy to use compared to the wired ones. Although the sound quality is better on the wired headphones but many wireless headphones manufacturers today are focusing on giving the user the perfect sound performance.
What Is The Difference Between Headsets, Headphones, And Earphones?
Headphones, Headsets and Earphones all share the same function, tech, and form despite having key difference in their design and +their deliverance of sound quality. Let’s have a look at some of the differences between them.
Headsets are no different than a pair of headphones, what makes them different is that they are equipped with a microphone. They have a boom microphone that can be easily moved around and positioned near the mouth or over the head. Or a headset would consist of an in-line microphone, where the mic is attached to the wire itself, and that connects to the computer or some other device through a cable.
Headsets are best for people that are looking to communicate with other people, such as gamers or making office conference calls. Unlike headphones which are made to listen to music they work more like a communication device.
Headphones are used for listening to music purposes. They have two speakers attached to a headband which covers around the head, which makes the ear caps sit firmly over your ears. They give the user the best music listening experience compared to earbuds, earphones and headsets. Headphones give the user an exceptional sound experience because of the sonic sound it delivers directly to the ear.
The air between the headphones and the listener’s ear in small which makes gives it a more personalised sound stage. Headphones these days come in large varieties, such as wired and wireless headphones, and noise-cancelling, and bluetooth headphones.
Earphones are a bit of latest technology and have taken the music industry by storm. Unlike headphones they are easy to carry around, and if you are doing some heavy workout or you just want to travel on a train, plain and a car they are compact and easy to use. They can be easily carried anywhere, in your bag, over your neck and can easily be taken out if you have to interrupt your listening session.
They come with small earmuffs that contain the earphone speakers, and deliver the sound waves directly to your ear-drums. Although, if you want to get noise-cancelling headphones then you are unlikely to find it in an earphone design as they can be uncomfortable to wear and can leak sound.
Which are better, earphones or headphones?
These days most of the hearing damage is caused by noises around us, from traffic to heavy machinery but apart from that our own listening devices can be quite damaging to our ears too. We constantly listen to music and we do not even realize it is damaging our eardrums.
So making sure which design and type of headphones to get can save our ears by far. And if you are listening to music on high volume then you really must consider getting a good pair of headphones. Earbuds are often said to damage your hearing compared to headphones, as earbuds directly send sound waves to your eardrums whereas headphones still keep the sound at bay.
If you listen to music on 85 dB volume then it is considered safe, and if you are listening to music louder than 90dB it would most likely cause damage to your ears. Most of the smartphones and mp3 players today have the ability to produce up to 120 dBs, from which hearing loss can be caused within an hour.
If you are getting cheap earbuds they would most likely cause ear damage. Headphones have larger drivers, from 40mm to 50mm of range, and earbuds have 7mm to 15mm drivers. The larger drivers deliver a more smooth bass and a consistent sound. So they are far better than using earbuds. However, if you are looking for a compact thing and ease then earbuds can also be great, just make sure you keep the volume low.
Which Headphones Should you buy? 5 tips for buying Headphones
When going to buy headphones we have compiled some tips on how to buy headphones, so make sure to follow these instructions:
Headphones and Earphones come in all prices today, and if you are going to be spending money then you need to consider what you want in a pair of headphones and which features it has. If you want to spend a lot to get the best thing then you should consider if it has good reviews and if it’s worth it. Also you could get cheap headphones with excellent features in the market as well. So keep your budget in mind when spending on headphones.
Sound quality should matter the most if you are going to be spending money on headphones. If you are an audiophile then sound quality in headphones makes a huge difference as you don’t want something that does not even give you clear and good sound.
If you are going to be spending a lot of money then another important thing to look for is if the headphones are durable, that they don’t break easily and have a solid build quality.
Comfort is as important as the above mentioned tips. If you are spending on headphones then you need to see it doesn’t hurt your ears if you would be wearing them for longer periods of time. Most of the headphones today come with comfortable cushions and lightweight design, but there are still uncomfortable ones so make sure you test them first.
If you want to cancel out ambient noises and other surrounding sounds while listening to music then you should consider true wireless, noise-cancelling headphones. And if you are getting wireless headphones make sure it comes with a good battery life and the battery is user-replaceable.
The best headphones of 2018:
- Sony MDR-1000XM2
- Jabra Elite 65t
- Sennheiser HD 201
- SoundMagic E50
- Bose QuietComfort 35
- Bowers & Wilkins P7