how to choose the right pair of headphones

The types of headphones and earphones you look for should depend on what you plan to use for them. There are many models to choose from, so narrowing down your selection should be straightforward.

According to Headphone Output, There are many factors that go into selecting the best headphones for you. However, and we will discuss each in more detail below. Sound quality of course is important to everyone, but for more big bass is a must, and other favors an open, full-range reproduction that emphasizes overall accuracy.

What type of headphones or earphones do you need? Are you looking for headphones that can plug into a portable player for casual listening, or is it a set of studio headphones for monitoring recordings?

The article gives you the basic knowledge you need to choose the right headphones and earphones for your needs using the different types of headphones and earphones.

How To Choose Between Headphones and Earphones

However, many mid-priced headphones offer performance to suit the needs of musicians with home studios and modest budgets. When it comes to serious pro-audio work, high-end headphones are usually necessary for recording and mixing.

Consumers can replace earphones, also called earbuds or in-ear headphones, with better quality models that provide improved sound and comfort in addition to being included with portable MP3 players.

It’s important to understand that consumer-grade earbuds should not be confused with professional-level in-ear headphones or earbuds for monitoring live performances and other critical listening applications.

You’ll find this convenient categorization simplifies the process of sorting out the many choices of headphones and earphones/earbuds.

What are the different types of Headphones?


A circumaural headphone are an excellent choice for DJs and recording applications in noise environments since these headphones provide isolation from outside sounds. Closed-back headphones isolate headphone sound from outside noises, and circumaural headphones prevent noise from escaping.

For DJs and recording applications in places with a lot of noise circumaural headphones are ideal.

Supra Aural

Usually, these headphones are lighter and more comfortable than circumaural headphones because they rest on the ear instead of encircling it. These headphones are similar to circumaural headphones, but they encircle the ear instead of surrounding it.

Due to the fact that circumaural headphones seal less well, they don’t isolate sounds as well.

Open Air

A circumaural or supra-aural headphones, open-back headphones allow sound to spread freely in both directions as the back of each earpiece is open.

In recording studio applications, they are not a good choice as they can leak sound and be picked up by the microphone. This can affect the final recording if the headphones are used by a singer.

As a result of their open, airy sound, they are good choice for general listening, since they do not exhaust the ears.

Semi-Open Back

There might be some sound leakage with this type of headphone since it falls somewhere in between an open-back design and a closed-back design. However, there would be less sound leakage than with an open-back design.

They provide a realistic stereo field, little distortion, and a long low-frequency response. Semi-open headphones are usually used for recording, as they do not leak sound, so they do not pick up any noise.

Closed Or Sealed

There are several types of earpieces that offer greater sound isolation. These earpieces have a completely closed back, along with an effective seal around the ear, making it difficult for sound to pass through.

In loud environments, this type of design is especially useful for monitoring. It also protects sound from leaking out and causing microphones to pick it up.

The downside of these headphones is that they can cause ear fatigue if used continuously for prolonged periods. Additionally, they usually have a rich bass response, so DJs mixing dance music prefer them.

Studio Headphone Packages

Home studios and project studios may require a lot of headphones in order to record a full band, and the sound signal must be amplified and distributed to individual musicians in most cases with a headphone amplifier.

A combination of multiple headphones and a headphone amplifier has been complied by Musician’s friends through a partnership with audio headphone manufacturers. These packages cost less than buying the parts individually because they bundle multiple headphones with an amplifier.

Portable Headphones

There is another type of headphones that are open-air, lightweight, with foam earpads, and are usually used with portable players. The ones that are included with the player are often cheap and you may want to replace when with better quality ones.

They are very lightweight and very comfortable to wear, they allow you to listen to external sounds such as a runaway garbage truck bearing down on you if you need to hear what is going on around you. They are especially useful if you’re active and want to hear what is going on around you.


A good pair of earbuds provides the best in portability and lightweight. They fit into the ear and form a seal so that the sound is isolated and only you hear it. The finest earbuds offer exceptional sound, considering the size of the drivers used.

In some designs, sound quality for the bass is compromised, especially if the earphones does not have a good fit in your ear canal. A few models have interchangeable tips to improve fit.

Noise-canceling Headphones And Earbuds

Traveling by car, train, or airplane can be challenging for music listeners since background noise compromises the nuances of the music. If you are a critical listener, this can be particularly bothersome.

Using phase-canceling technology, noise-canceling headphones block out background noise. Some models feature Bluetooth for cordless convenience and comfort, and some come with computer and smartphone compatibility.

Wireless Headphones

You are free to roam while you listen without fear of tangles. They work on three basic technologies: infrared, radio frequency, and various digital technologies, including Bluetooth

There are some differences between infrared and RF transmitters, such as their reception distance and how they receive the singal. Infrared models have a shorter reception distance and require line-of-signt orientation to the transmitter. Many radio frequency models operate through walls, but can be noisy and have poor sound quality.

Signals are converted to digitally encoded signals and then converted back into analog signals by the headphones.

These are more expensive than infrared and RF and require a transmitter and headphones powered by batteries. They also generate more noise than infrared and RF.

DJ Headphones

In addition to traditional headphones, DJs use single-sided headphones with just one cup, as well as circumaural headphones. DJs often use closed-back headphones for isolation.

The DJ headphones are typicall louder than the ambient sounds so that they can be heard well over high levels of sound. Most have a rotating earcup for comfort and detachable, replaceable cords.

The headphones generally designed for DJs are durable and built to withstand heavy use and travel.

What to Look For When Choosing Headphones

Fit and comfort

Wearing headphones for more than 20 minutes should determine whether they are comfortable. However, many headphones will feel fine worn briefly, but become uncomfortable when worn long periods.

If you’re choosing closed-back, circumaural headphones, larger ear cups will be more comfortable. If you’re choosing headphones that rest on your head, smaller is better, and fabric or leather padding will ease the pressure.

Lightweight headphones are generally more comfortable over long periods of time these are ideal for long term listening. Super-light portable headphones with foam pads are perfect for long-listening sessions.

Most headphones come with a headband that goes over the head, but there are also versions that are behind the neck. Earbuds remove the headband entirely, so they are more comfortable in that respect.

A rotating ear cups on over ear headphones is one feature that enhances comfort, reducing leakage and increasing comfort. No matter what type of headband you choose, you want it to be adjustable.


Portable headphones work well for listening during physical activities for traditional stationary studio work, close-back circumaural headphones are usually used.

On-location recording has become more popular in recent years with the advent of laptop computers and compact interfaces. This requires bulkier closed-back, sealed-cup headphones.

A case that folds up is very portable and protects the headphones while in transit. If your recording headphones are to be transported, it is prudent to have a case for them.


In order to have durable headphones, you need to make sure they are light enough to be held or snapped in half more easily. You just need to be careful and keep them in case when they’re not in a use.

You should inspect the hinges of fold-up headphones, as well as the cables. Are they thick and sturdy or thin and fragile? If you intend to purchase more expensive headphones, find out whether replacement parts are available.

The cost of replacing the cables or the ear pads is quite low compared to replacing the whole set.


It’s imperative that the cable you choose to use is long enough for your needs. However, if you can prevent it, an excessively long cable may negatively affect the sound by lowering volume, adding noise, and being more easily tangled.

You can always use an extension cable if you buy headphones with too short a cable, but make sure it is of equal quality to the cable on the headphone. A quality pair of headphones will likely have a shielded cable that minimizes noise.

It is advisable to use a single cable that is as long as you need, rather than using two shorter ones. Multiple connections can degrade the singal.

Additionally, single sided cables have internal circuitry that carries the signals to the earpiece. Double-sided cables have external circuitry that carries the signals to the earpiece.

It is generally considered better to use single-sided designs, as double-sided types tend to tangle more easily.


If you want to get the best headphones, earphones, or earbuds, you should remember that you get what you pay for. Some specifications may be useful, but others, such as frequency response, can be misleading.

Listening critically and carefully is the key to getting the right model of headphones. You should also consider how you intend to use your new headphones.

Our no-hassle return policy means you can shop with confidence, and we want you to be satisfied with your headphones or earphones purchase.