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Tips on Choosing the Right Headphones

by Paul Sanders

Girl listening to music with headphones

You can enjoy your music more than ever when it's portable, and a good set of headphones is essential to any portable music device. Listening to your music collection with a great pair of headphones is like being in your own private music studio. To block out unwanted noise and create a secluded music hideaway for yourself, it can help to know a few audio specifications and headphone tips.

Choosing Headphones:

  1. Form factor matters. Earbud headphones offer superior noise-isolation to other kinds of headphones. But if you're adverse to inserting things into your ear, over-the-ear or full-size stereo headphones may be a better option, and they can produce more power as well.

  2. Pick comfortable earbud sizes. If you're using earbud headphones, you may want to choose headphones with multiple earbud sizes. Everyone's ear has a unique shape, and having multiple tip sizes in silicone earbuds can let you choose the most comfortable option.

  3. Earbuds provide superior sound isolation. Sound isolation is the ability to reduce outside noise. Earbud headphones provide good isolation because they're actually inserted into the ear canal.

  4. Big headphones mean more bass. Large headphones can hold larger drivers, which produce bigger bass and more volume.

  5. Block it all out with noise-canceling headphones. Larger headphones tend to be better at noise-canceling, where the speakers produce counter-frequencies to cancel out background noise. Big headphones block more sound from getting to the ear at all, making the noise-canceling technology's job a lot easier. Noise-canceling headphones require a battery for the actual headphones, but they also allow you to hear more detail in your music that you may not have known was there.

  6. Surround headphones simulate surround sound. Gamers and home theater enthusiasts may be interested in surround headphones. Real surround sound uses multiple speakers to create the surround effect, but surround headphones simulate it with software, using just two speakers.

  7. Wireless headphones leave you untied. Wireless headphones continue to improve, getting closer to matching wired sound technology. Wireless headphones will use either infrared transmitters or radio-frequency signals to communicate with your audio receiver.

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