Do you want to know what are the pros and cons of the different types of headphones: in-ear, wireless (with Bluetooth or WIFI), with noise cancellation, True Wireless, supra-aural, circumaural…? Let’s see what the pros and cons of the main types of headphones that we will be able to find today are.
The use we’re going to give those headphones (to listen to music, play, TV) or where we’re going to use them (at home or on the street) is going to determine which is the best headset for us.
General my rating: Headphones open vs Headphones closed.
The first thing to keep in mind when buying a headset is a very general rating.
- The air comes in and out of the headphones, implying that our music can be heard “outside” the headset and that we can hear the external sounds.
- High-end headphones, those that offer HI-FI sound in Hi-Res are usually of this type (although lately, they are turning the turns). Sound is more natural.
- They are usually more delicate headphones and need to be treated with love. Electronics are more out in the open.
- They give a tremendous boost to the sharpness and clarity of the music. The “soundstage” is higher. Classical music or jazz enjoys these headphones.
- They tend to be more comfortable and lighter.
- The closed headphones are completely insulated from the outside. You don’t hear anything from outside, and the others don’t listen to your music.
- The sound is not as natural as in the open, and the atmosphere can be warmed in your ears being more closed.
- They usually provide more powerful basses.
- They are very useful headphones for DJs, music production or to carry in public transport.
- In recent years, companies such as Focal, Audeze or Sennheiser have created high-end closed models (e.g. Sennheiser HD820).
In case you don’t want to eat the coconut too much, we recommend that you visit the following ticket where we recommend the best headphones you can buy:
Pros and cons of different types of headphones
1. In-ear headphones
These are the typical headphones that we will find when we buy a smartphone or tablet and that we usually throw away by higher quality ones. Its tiny headphones are inserted into the ear canal, and some models include clips for a safer fit.
Pros: ultra-compact and lightweight; most models have controls for microphone and navigation between songs on the cable; they can provide good insulation from external noise and do not interfere with slopes, glasses, etc… Some already have noise cancellation like the Bose QuietComfort 20. They are usually cheaper and are used to practice sport.
Cons: The sound quality and bass response are often not comparable to the larger models, and they cover our ears completely; some models may not fit very well depending on the pads we use.
2. On-ear headphones (supra-aural)
These headphones cover our ears but do not completely “enclose” the ear like circumaural models that provide greater sound insulation. They are preferred in the office environment as they let some outside sound happen.
Pros: Comfortable; less likely to warm our hearing than over-ear headphones; some models fold up for easy transport. They’re also cheap.
Cons: Noise isolation is less effective than in full-size models. With less powerful bass compared to over-ear headphones. They let the sound slip away.
3. Over-ear headphones (circumaural)
This category includes any headset that completely encloses the ears. Due to their size and sound insulation, over-ear headphones are often more suitable for home use but beats noise-cancelling headphones changed this paradigm and are now worn everywhere by everyone.
Pros: Large headphones that offer excellent maximum bass and volume level; with surround sound that effectively blocks outside noises. They provide the best sound. Perfect for gaming if you have a microphone.
Cons: They can be very device-friendly to always take them with you; they can cause warmth in your ears; interfere with earrings, glasses etc… They tend to be more expensive.
4. Wireless headphones (RF – Bluetooth)
Wireless headphones are most often used at home or to carry with us when we don’t want to be disturbed by cables. The most popular format for streaming music wirelessly is Bluetooth, but keep in mind that we’re going to sacrifice some sound quality. Some of the new headphones support aptX Bluetooth, which offers better sound quality.
Pros: no wires to get tangled up with; These last few years have gone down in price and are more affordable. They are very comfortable and usually have good design. Perfect for smartphones.
Cons: On many models, when the battery is finished, you stop listening to the music (others have auxiliary cable); the sound quality is somewhat lower.
5. Headphones with noise cancellation
These headphones prevent external noises from bothering us while listening to music. Noise-cancelling headphones are usually over-ear, although there are already in-ear headphones. This type of headphones allows you to listen to music at lower levels, reducing ear fatigue. You’ll also hear more details about your music.
Pros: Active noise cancellation technology eliminates ambient noise; ideal for travel on aeroplanes or by public transport to work.
Cons: they’re usually a little more expensive. They alter the sound.
6. Gaming headsets
Gaming headsets are often somewhat expensive, but we can find cheap options with good performance. They are usually over-ear, have a microphone to be able to talk to the playmates, and they must be very comfortable to be on with them for a long time. The design is usually very striking.
Pros: Really comfortable. You may or may not love the design.
Cons: They’re usually a little more expensive, especially wireless ones.
7. True Wireless Headphones
The last type of headphones that originate from in-ear headphones (you put them in your ear) and wireless headphones (they work with Bluetooth and don’t have any cable).
They don’t have a cable to connect to the smartphone, tablet or computer, and there’s a big difference with traditional wireless in-ear headphones: they don’t have a cable that connects between the two headsets either.
Pros: They are small, placed in the ear and usually have a cover to take them everywhere and carry them at the same time. Premium models have noise cancellation.
Cons: They can be easily lost. Many models are quite expensive.