The choice among wired headphones is still very wide. We’ll help you get oriented.

Acoustic design

Open headphones

They partially let in external sounds, which reduces their value when used in noisy places and vehicles, but they give a cleaner and more natural sound picture – they are better suited for home use.

Closed headphones

They are better isolated from surrounding sounds, and this works both ways – others also hear less of what you are listening to. But the sound picture is a little more muffled.

Semi-open headphones

It is already clear from the name that they occupy an intermediate position between closed and open.

Plug

Another subtlety is the port to which wired headphones are connected. The vast majority, of course, involve connection via a 3.5 mm jack, or mini jack. But there are also a few options for owners of current iPhones, with a Lightning connector, gaming models connected via USB, and rare professional headphones with a full-size “jack” (6.3 mm). There are also headsets with two plugs. These are exclusively gaming models that involve separate channels for headphones and a microphone.

Headphone type

In-ear headphones

Compact, open-design headphones that fit in the ear but do not fit into the ear canal. Their advantage has already been stated above – a slightly wider sound picture. But they are worse kept in the ears and do not provide any noise isolation. Today, this type of headphone is becoming less and less common.

In-ear headphones

Also called intracanal. They are attached inside the sound channel due to silicone tips, which, as a rule, are included with each headphone, and in different sizes – you can always choose the right ones.

The advantage of in-ear headphones is better isolation of external noise. The disadvantage of inexpensive models will be the inevitable prevalence of bass over high frequencies due to the closed design. However, headphones of the middle and high price categories are often devoid of this drawback.

 

On-ear headphones

They are not inserted into the auricle but are pressed against it from the outside. Most often, they are fixed on the head with the help of a classic headband, but sometimes ear hooks are also used – as a rule, on sports models. These headphones are relatively compact, often foldable, but like in-ears, provide less noise isolation.

Over-ear headphones

Assume the presence of large ear cushions, in which the auricle is placed entirely. They provide the best noise isolation, and due to the availability of the largest membrane among all types of headphones, over ear headphone is among them that you can find models with the best sound.

A subclass of full-size headphones – monitor. These are the largest headphones, with a massive headband, often a thick cord, and a design that is not designed to be folded. However, in recent years, these two categories have smoothly merged into one.

Sports headphones

Waterproof, shockproof, the most comfortable design – but despite the offer, in this case, we would recommend staying with wireless headphones, rubbing the wire on your clothes while jogging or exercising in the gym will not be a pleasure.

Emitter design

Most headphones today are dynamic. They emit sound using a membrane to which a magnet is passed, which creates a field due to which the membrane vibrates and transmits sound. They are both compact (plug-in or inserts), and overhead and full-size.

The second most common type of acoustic design is rebar headphones. They sound due to the so-called “anchor” (U-shaped cone), which is driven by an electromagnetic field – and, in turn, transmits vibrations to a small membrane. Reinforcing headphones are exclusively plug-in and, having higher acoustic characteristics, are noticeably more expensive than dynamic ones.

Acoustic characteristics

A frequency range ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz for basic characteristics will be sufficient. The size of the membrane should be considered first when choosing compact headphones – here every extra millimeter can have a big impact on the reproduction of certain frequencies. The resistance (impedance) for smartphones and players should be no higher than 100 ohms – in this case, the source will cope to “voice” the headphone coils. Headphone power is the sound pressure they can deliver to your ears. It has a direct effect on the maximum volume.

 

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