How to choose headphones

More recently, headphones were used only by professionals for work. Therefore, they were not in demand by a wide audience. Music was heard from tape recorders or radio. The players were bulky, so they were not portable, but used at home. The question is - how and which headphones to choose did not even stand in front of users.

The development of digital technology has made media devices compact and lightweight. This allowed them to be used outdoors, while playing sports or traveling.

The market for modern audio devices demonstrates a wide selection of headphones, and it can be quite difficult to dwell on any one suitable option.

All products can be divided into several main types:

  1. Droplets or liners. They have this name because they are fixed by inserting the product into the auricle. They have standard sizes, so they can fly out of your ear during operation. Since the headphones are small, they cannot provide good sound quality and clear low frequencies. The main advantage is low cost.
  2. Vacuum They have a soft silicone pad, which ensures better fixation than droplets. Their sound insulation is pretty good, so the sound quality is decent, and the low frequencies are “juicy”.
  3. Monitor (full size). Very comfortable products covering the entire auricle. They are of two types - closed and open. The former are used for professional work, as they provide complete isolation from external sounds. The second option has holes. They are very popular with gamers and music lovers.
  4. Consignment notes with a special mount. Due to their design, they fit snugly on the auricle and provide excellent sound insulation. Unlike full-size ones, they have much smaller dimensions.
  5. Wired. This headset is connected to an external audio device using wires. It has a number of disadvantages - the radius is limited by a long wire, and the cable itself is often confused.
  6. Wireless Very popular option. It provides mobility thanks to missing wires. However, sound quality depends on wireless audio technology.
  7. With integrated microphone. A convenient option that makes communication on a smartphone, tablet and other device more comfortable.

Each of the accessories has its own purpose, pros, cons and characteristics.

All headphones have common characteristics, the indicators of which are individual for each device. When buying a product, you should pay attention not only to its appearance and design, but also to the operating parameters.

The main indicators that should be considered when choosing are:

  1. Impedance.
  2. Power.
  3. Harmonic distortion level.
  4. Range.
  5. Sensitivity.


The higher the resistance indicator of the device, the stronger the incoming signal will be required to swing its membrane. When choosing headphones, you need to build on what output impedance provides the product to which they will be connected.

If you connect full-size studio headphones to the player, the sound will be very quiet, since for a player, tablet or smartphone, the optimal value is 15-50 Ohms. For a studio version with a value of 250 ohms, a resistance of 500 is needed.

REFERENCE! Resistance is responsible for the purity of sound, the higher its value, the cleaner the audio signal.


This characteristic should correspond to the connected products. If the value of the external player is significantly higher than that of the headset, it may break. It also affects the charge of wireless devices. At high power, the battery will drain much faster. The optimal value is 100 mW.

Harmonic Distortion

This characteristic means the distortion of the audio signal, it is measured as a percentage. The lower it is, the better the sound will be. The optimal value is 0.5%.

ATTENTION! Products with a harmonic distortion level exceeding 1% are of poor quality.

If this characteristic is not indicated on the packaging of the headphones, you should refuse to purchase. Many manufacturers thus conceal the fact that the product is of poor quality.


A value that characterizes the frequency range in which an audio signal is reproduced. The wider this value, the better the sound quality. Structurally, this depends on the diameter of the membrane of the device. The presence of a large-diameter membrane means that the covered frequency range will be wider. The human ear can hear sound at a frequency of 16 to 20,000 GHz. A value between 20 and 20,000 GHz will be optimal for headphones. The device will transmit low and high frequencies equally well.

ATTENTION! The presence on the product packaging of a value below 16 and above 20,000 GHz, speaks of the manufacturer’s deception and is a simple advertising move.


Sensitivity affects the sound volume. It depends on the type and size of the magnet used. The larger it is, the louder the sound will be. Therefore, small-sized headphones, such as overhead or vacuum, sound much quieter than full-size. The default value is 100 dB.

Other characteristics

If you plan to use headphones with a built-in microphone, you should pay attention to its characteristics. Two types of microphones are used in headsets: dynamic and condenser. The second option provides the best signal transmission. A very important feature is the noise reduction function.

How to choose the right headphones depending on the purpose of use

When choosing a product, you need to consider what it will be used for:

  • if high-quality sound is not the main characteristic, and a headset is needed for use with a smartphone, then the optimal solution would be droplets or vacuum headphones;

  • for sports, when a person is actively moving, the comfort of operation is important, which can be ensured by an overhead headset;

  • fans of listening to music and gamers fit full-sized open-type products;

  • for comfortable viewing of TV shows, the wireless version of the product will be the best choice - such an accessory is also suitable for sports;

  • for professionals to work with sound, you need high-quality full-sized closed headphones.

When choosing the most suitable product, you should focus on personal preferences, while not forgetting that the device should be comfortable to use.

Watch the video: What headphones should I buy? Everything you need to know. (April 2020).


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