Etech Spider

Headphones Buying Guide: 15 Things To Know Before Buy Headphones

Headphones Buying Guide

When it comes to purchasing a new pair of headphones, people search for Headphones Buying Guide and consider the headphone’s style they prefer, whether wired or wireless and whether they want additional features such as noise-cancellation to stay away from unwanted noise while listening.

Then comes the price as every buyer has a budget.The budget determines whether you buy expensive or cheap headphones. Once you narrow down your options for headphones, you can explore a large variety of models we offer in our selection of the best headphones.

We have classified the headphones into categories such as sports headphones, noise-canceling headphones and wireless headphones. If you are still doubtful about headphone selection, here are some important guidelines that would help you make a wiser decision.

15 Best Headphones Buying Guide

The award-winning engineers at xFyro audio created the most advanced pair of xFyro waterproof earbuds on the market, bringing next-generation technology today’s active listener.

The perfect way to test any headphones is to listen to them. Use the headphones to listen to some piano or guitar music and you will be able to make the difference between the good and the very good. However, any two headphones with the similar specifications often sound really different.

The most important and the simplest spec about a headphone is probably the price. Most times, performance and quality are directly related to the price tag. Size of the driver is also a critical spec, particularly for those who need big bass.

Larger the driver, higher is its ability to reproduce bass frequencies. Other important specs such as sensitivity and frequency range are also useful to smart buyers who want to decide between high-quality studio headphones.

Another helpful factor to select from different brands, models and types of headphones is the online professional reviews and customer reviews present on our website.

Different Types of Headphones and Buying Guide

Different Types of Headphones and Buying Guide

#1. Circumaural

This kind of headphones may either be open or closed-backed. They are generally comfortable to use and closed-backed models offer complete isolation from outside noises while preventing the sound from the headphone from leaking out. Circumaural design is the perfect choice for DJs who work in loud environments and for recording applications.

#2. Supra-aural

This design of headphones is very similar to circumaural type but the difference is that they rest on the ear instead of circling around it. Such headphones are typically lighter in weight and hence more comfortable. However, they don’t seal the ears like circumaural types and so don’t effectively isolate the sounds.

#3. Open air

Open air or open-back headphones can be either supra-aural or circumaural with open back of the earpiece that allows sound to escape easily in any direction. As they don’t isolate sound, they are not ideal for recording applications.

#4. Semi-open

This kind of headphone, as suggested by its name, is designed to fall between a closed-back and fully open type. Though some sound leakage does occur, it is lesser than that with an open-back design. Semi-open headphones are capable of delivering low distortion, extended frequency response and realistic stereo field.

They are largely used for recording purposes in situations where no microphones are present to pick up the sounds leaked from headphones.

#5. Closed or sealed

Such a type of headphones is designed to offer the highest sound isolation. In this design, the back of the ear buds are completely closed and there is a seal around the ear to prevent the sound from spreading in any direction.

Closed or Sealed headphones design is particularly useful for monitoring in noisy environments and also in recording as they prevent sound from leaking out and entering the microphones.

#6. Studio headphone packages

Adding appropriate headphones to a project or home studio to record an entire band would turn out to be an expensive affair. Most packages even involve a headphone amplifier to be able to amplify and distribute the signals to all the listeners.

#7. Portable headphones

Ultra light, open-air headphones generally feature foam ear pads and are paired with portable players. Portable headphones which come with music players are usually cheap and it is advisable to replace them with superior quality headphones of this kind.

Light weight makes these devices great for active use and high quality types can provide excellent sound quality.

#8. Earbuds

Specially designed to offer the best of lightweight and portability, earbud headphones fit inside the ear and create a seal which isolates the sound in such a way that only you can listen to it.

High quality earbud headphones deliver excellent sound quality despite the small drivers. But, some designs might offer weaker bass response, especially those that fit poorly into the ear canal.

#9. Noise-canceling headphones and earbuds

As most of us would know, listening with headphones becomes difficult while traveling by train, car or airplane due to the normal background noise. Such a condition can be quite frustrating for serious listeners as the music effects are blurred by the noise.

Special noise-canceling headphones are designed for such users who would like to remove the background noise while traveling or in crowd.

#10. Wireless headphones

The benefit of not having a cable is quite apparent. Wireless headphones let you roam freely while listening. These models work on three primary technology types RF, infrared and digital technologies such as Bluetooth which is more noise-free as compared to RF and infrared though more costly. Such headphones also need battery power to operate and power for the transmitter as well.

#11. DJ headphones

You can find a wide variety of headphones designed for DJ application. These are generally the closed-back, circumaural design intended to provide isolation. DJ headphones are constructed to be rugged so as to handle the wear and tear of travel and extreme usage.

#12. Fit and comfort

Comfort is extremely important. Cheap headphones feel comfortable when worn for a short time but when used for longer periods can turn out to be discomforting. Try on the headphones for a minimum of 20 minutes to decide about the comfort.

When going for closed-back, circumaural headphones, large ear cups are considered to be better. Smaller ear cups are better for headphones which rest on the ears. Leather insets and fabric padding can further lessen the pressure on head and ears.

Weight plays an important role when considering long-term comfort. Lightweight headphones are often more comfortable. Super-light portable headphones featuring foam pads are perfect for long listening sessions.

Another factor that influences comfort is the headband. Headphones generally feature over-the-head headband though behind-the-neck headphone styles also exist. Earbuds completely dispense with the headband and this increases comfort.

However, regardless of the type of headband your headphone has, adjust ability is desirable. A rotating cup is another factor that increases comfort, specifically with over-the-ear headphones. They are adjustable to the head for increased comfort and reduced leakage.

#13. Portability

Portability for headphones is generally not a big issue. However, one can opt for lightweight and portable headphones specifically designed for listening while performing physical activity to suit the purpose. Heavy closed-back circumaurals are typically perfect for regular stationary studio task.

Today, with the advent of laptops and compact interfaces, on location recording has gained popularity. Such applications need sealed-cup, closed back headphones which are somewhat bulky. Portable, fold-up designs are made to keep the headphones protected during transit.

If you are planning to travel with your headphones, you should consider getting some kind of storage case.

#14. Durability

We all want the headphones to last longer. The bitter truth is that durability is directly related to heaviness. Lighter headphones are much more prone to snapping and sitting on. It is necessary to be careful about their protection and you should store them in a case when not in use. Fold-up headphones should be checked for sturdiness of hinges.

Also check if the cables are delicate and thin or thick. If you consider buying expensive headphones, check whether their replacement parts are readily available. After all, replacing ear pads or cable is quite cheaper than buying an entire set.

#15. Cables

Make sure that the length of the cable is appropriate for your application. However, you should avoid too long cable as long as possible as it can affect the quality of the sound negatively. Long cables can introduce noise and lower the volume and also get tangled easily.

A high quality pair of headphones generally has a shielded cable that minimizes noise. It is possible to add a cable extension if you have purchased headphones with too short cable. But make sure you get an extension of the same quality as the original headphone cable.

It is also important to use a single cable for adding length rather than two short cables because multiple connections would degrade the signal.

The next thing to consider is single versus double sided cables. Single-sided cables feature internal circuitry which carries the signals to the right ear pieces. Majority of headphone users prefer single-sided designs as double-sided can become tangled easily.


Like most things in this world, the concept of get what you pay for applies to headphones or earphones. Though certain specifications can really prove to be useful, factors such as frequency response numbers can be misleading.

The main thing is after all listening carefully. The use of headphones also plays an important role in deciding the ideal model.

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