Purchasing new headphones can be a boring task because you have to choose the wide array of styles, types, and prices. The five questions are the well-prepared steps on your way to finding a set of earphones, headphones or earbuds that should provide years of sonic enjoyment.
However, there are few things to consider before hitting the list below. For one thing, there are great headphones for every budget. So, you do not give up on good sound because you cannot afford it. If you are mainly listening to compressed mp3s or less-than-pristine Youtube videos, you may not need a pricier set of ‘phones that reveal every ounce of detail.
On the other hand, if you tend to wear your headphones for extended periods of time, the model you choose has to be comfortable. You may choose to own several sets of headphones depending on whether you are listening at home or on the go. As a final point, headphones become as much a fashion item as a piece of audio gear. Though you are likely to pay a bit more cash for the extra flash, you do not have to sacrifice decent sound for an eye-catching design. Now, you should look at the list of questions that should help narrow down your choice.
Will you be using them in a noisy environment?
You will probably want a model that can either block out some external noise or one with active noise cancellation. Most in-ear headphones that are closed over-ear headphones do a decent job of blocking out external sounds. With active noise cancellation, models offer tiny microphones. This device captures the frequencies of incoming noise. Also, designs use battery-powered electronic circuitry to create out-of-phase frequencies to cancel the noise.
Will you be using the headphones with a tablet or phone?
If you will, pay attention to the controls built into the in-line remote control and the sensitivity of headphone. This device is a measure of how much power it takes to drive the headphones to satisfying volume levels. Actually, most portable items have much less power than a home A/V receiver. A model with high sensitivity will alleviate most concerns, but you should look for a model with medium sensitivity. If you want to use headphones to receive phone calls, make sure the headphone’s in-line remote control has a built-in button and microphone. The features will let you answer and disconnect calls without having to dig your phone out of a pocket, knapsack, or bag. You may also want to consider a wireless model that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth rather than a wire.
Will you be using them while working out or engaging in active sports?
If you do, you will need earbuds or earphones that will stay in place during vigorous motion. Some designs have special bands or ear tips that provide a secure, snug fit. With water- and sweat-resistant materials, the models allow them to be washed after hard workouts.
Is fashion important?
For many of us, fashion seems to be important these days. If so, choose a model that satisfies your fashion sense without sacrificing good sound. Besides, you will pay a bit or even a lot for a fashion-oriented model such as the present Beats by Dre models.
Will I get more if I pay more?
This may be true in some cases, though there are exceptions. If you look at this stereo headphone, many top models are expensive. For example, the Grado Prestige 325i ($300), B&W P7 ($400), and HiFiMan HE-400 ($300) are all high-priced. For portable models, the Panasonic RP-TCM125 has very good sound, but many higher-priced models do not cost only $10. On the other hand, the exception is noise-canceling models. With excellent or very good sound and noise reduction, some models tend to cost expensive, typically between $280 and $400. Besides, you can find a model with excellent noise cancellation and good sound such as the Monoprice Noise or Canceling Headphone just for a little over $10.
In short, the comfort is going to be extremely important in your choice, especially if you tend to use headphones or earphones for extended periods of time. If you have a chance, you should try all different types – earbuds, in-ear, on-ear, and over-the-ear models – to see which feel the best on your ears. If you tend to buy online, you should try to find a retailer that will at least let you exchange the model you purchase in case of uncomfortable items.