One of the first decisions you will encounter when you decide to buy headphones is what kind you want. In fact, there are many options you will face when shopping for headphones. All of these choices and options can make the purchase process overwhelming at best.
The majority of people nowadays walk around with some kind of electronic device in their hand, whether it’s to listen to music or watching videos among other activities, even while working out or at the gym. Having the right headphones can make a big difference in the comfort and quality of music you get to listen to as you go about your day.
Most Comfortable Headphones Comparison
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Most Comfortable Headphones Buying Guide
The very first step you must take when buying the most comfortable headphones is to decide exactly what you are looking for in a headphone. There are several questions that you will want to ask yourself that will help you narrow down your focus.
- What type of devices will you be using your headphones with? – Are you looking for headphones to use with an MP3 player? Your cellphone or tablet? Or do you want good headphones for your PC or laptop? Don’t forget gaming. X box users definitely love headphones. If you will be using headphones on many different devices, you may want to seriously consider purchasing a couple of different types.
- What style do you prefer? – There are several different kinds of headphones on the market, including over the ear, in-ear, and on-ear. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. Later in this guide we will talk about all the different kinds of headphones and give you some characteristics of each type.
- What is your budget? – Budget is definitely something to look at when choosing headphones because there are many different prices points available. Headphones are a product that the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is definitely true. A cheap pair of headphones will definitely provide cheap sound and more than likely will end up breaking in short order. Rather than looking only at price, make sure you look at other factors such as what the headphones offer in the way of features, what kind of comments consumers are making that have already purchased and used them, and read reviews.
- Decide what features are important to you – What kind of features will you use? Do you want your headphones to have a mic? Do you want noise-cancelling capability? Bluetooth compatibility? Think about the different features you will use and look for headphones that include those.
Types of Headphones
Below we have listed the many types of headphones that are available on the market. Take a look at each kind and see which ones meet your needs and preferences the best. You may find that you like a certain type for working out and another type for gaming or watching and listening to videos. Many people have several kinds of headphones so it is not unusual to purchase more than one kind.
- On-Ear – On-ear headphones are lighter than their over-the-ear counterparts and don’t typically cause the discomfort that over the ear models can. This is because they do not put pressure on the sides of the head. The pressure, albeit very light, is on the ears with on-ear headphones. A lot of headphone users find the on ear style much more comfortable and prefer not having their ears hot the way they get with over the ear styles. One drawback to on ear headphones is that they have a tendency to let in extra sounds from your surroundings. On-ear headphones have closed and open versions and some come with carrying cases and can even fold up to store easier.
- Over-the-Ear – There are two kinds of over-the-ear headphones:
1. Open – This type has openings in the ear cup that allows you to hear more sounds from your surroundings. They allow for more air flow so your ears don’t get as hot but it is possible for sound to escape the headphones enough for someone to potentially be bothered who is close by.
2. Closed – Closed over the ear headphones cup your ears so the sound is sealed in. It also muffles external noises so you are not battling ambient noise when trying to listen to what is playing through your headphones. The problem with closed, over-the-ear headphones is that it can seal out sound so well you may not hear things you should hear such as the doorbell or your child calling for you. For safety reasons you should NEVER wear closed, over-the-ear headphones when walking on the sidewalk or road or when driving.
- In-Ear – In-ear headphones, also called ear buds rest just inside the ear, outside the canal for the most part. A portion of the ear bud may extend into the canal but this is not dangerous due to the design of the bud. This type of headphone is very popular and common because they are often included with the purchase of mp3 players and other handheld devices. Most in-ear headphones come with tips in a variety of sizes that will ensure a custom, more secure fit.
- Noise Reduction or Noise Canceling – Noise canceling headphones are perfect for people who want to listen to their favorite music or movies without being bothered by external noise. Closed, over the ear styles and insert type headphones block more noise than the open, ear bud style and on-ear designs. Headphones with active noise reduction do a better job than those with passive noise reduction. Depending on the model, some headphones offer the ability to turn off noise reduction capabilities so you can still utilize the headphones when your batteries die.
- Wireless – Wireless headphones are very popular for those on the go. They most often use Bluetooth which provides a range of about 30 feet to connect to their laptops, iPods, some TVs, and smartphones. Despite being wireless, many headphones still have wires that connect the two ear pieces or cups together. Others don’t even connect the ear pieces at all and you will have a separate piece for each ear.
Special Headphones Features to Consider
The features listed below are not your everyday, regular features but some brands offer them. If these are features that you are interested in be sure to look for headphones that offer them.
- Water Resistant – This is a great feature for those who use their headphones to work out because the water resistance will prevent water and sweat from ruining the headphones. You will also be able to work out in the rain and not worry about stopping to wipe off your headphones.
- Voice Assistants – Assistants like Google Assistant or Siri are typically built-in so you can check your messages, playback music, and get any answers you need while on the go. Some types of headphones can even give walking directions when you’re out and provide the user with immediate language translations as well when paired up with your phone. (smartphone)
- Bone Conducting – These may not be familiar to some. Bone conducting headphones rest on your cheekbones in front of the ear. They bypass your eardrum and deliver the music or other audio to the inner ear by sending vibrations to the bones in your head. This may sound painful but it is not. It is a good feature for people who want to hear their music clearly but do not want to block important background noise. Other bone conducting headphones are made for listening to music while swimming and can be used underwater. Consumers who have used bone-conducting headphones state that they are less likely to turn the music up loudly which can be a saving grace to the health of your ears.
- Microphone/Controls – Gaming headphones typically have a microphone that is boom mounted so you can interact and talk with other gamers during multiplayer sessions. This is also a great feature for those who like to answer their phones while they are wearing the headphones. Some portable headphones have small, in-line microphones and controls that can be used with smartphones and MP3 players. Wireless headphones usually have these mics and controls on the ear pieces.
- Biometric – This type of headphones are used to monitor your heart rate. They gather information from your ears while you are listening to your music. Some will even give you audio cues that will help you with your workouts. This feature enables you to keep track of your heart rate without having to get another device.
- Sound Amplifying – Sound amplification is great for those who get distracted by excess noise easily. They have built-in directional microphones that focus on the conversation while reducing the background noises that can distract you.
- Volume Limiting – This is a great feature for those who have a bad habit of blasting music and movie dialogue into their ears. It is especially great for children as they can turn the volume up too loud without even thinking about it. The volume limiting feature is designed to keep the decibel level as 85 or less. These are not just for children and can be used by adults who want to protect their hearing, too.
Which Headphones for Your Lifestyle?
- Fitness and Sports – Music is a great motivator for those who love to work out. The best headphones for fitness enthusiasts are on-ear and in-ear designs that will stay put even when you are working out. Some even have clips that will hold the drivers securely. Some styles have a band that runs around the back of the head or neck to hold the headphones on as well. The most important factors in headphones for those who want them for their exercise sessions are proper fit and comfort. Another very important feature for sports headphones would be water resistance to protect them when you are sweating. You also may want to consider some of the wireless models that offer hands free controls that you won’t even have to slow down to utilize.
- Work – One of the best headphones for the work place is the over the ear styles that will help you distance yourself from the hectic pace. Noise cancellation is an important feature for work headphones. In-ear headphones are good for those who are allowed to listen to music while they work so you don’t disturb your co-workers and your hair won’t get messed up!
- Traveling – A lot of people use headphones when traveling so they can listen to music or watch a movie without disturbing the rest of the passengers on the plane, train, or bus. Headphones that are designed for travel fold up and tuck away easily making them easy to bring with you in your carry on or purse.
- Kids – Road trips with kids can be challenging when there isn’t anything for them to do. Headphones for a tablet or DVD player can make an otherwise stressful trip much nicer. Headphones that are designed for kids are a lot more durable than regular headphones. They usually come in a variety of fun, kid-friendly colors and can even have designs. They are also sized for kids making them fit better. Some kid-specific headphones have volume-limiting capability to avoid the child turning up the headphones to an ear damaging level.
- Gaming – Hard core gamers will love over the ear headphones that have deep response bass and high volume that does away with distortion. This provides a full immersion in the games they play. Some models have multichannel surround capability that enhances the listening experience even more. Many headphones that are designed for gamers also have boom-mounted microphones so they can talk to other players during the game.
- Home Entertainment – Over-ear headphones are great for avid music listeners. They typically have oversized drivers that provide excellent sound quality. The over the ear design provides a soundstage effect compared to the other types of headphones. There are high-end in-ear and on-ear styles as well if you don’t like the over-the-ear design.
- Audiophiles – If you are a stickler for high quality sound, you may want to invest in some headphones that are professional-level. Most high level headphones have large ear cups that will fully cover the ears and prevent ambient sound from getting in to distort your music. You can find high level headphones in both the closed and open back designs.
Some Technical Specs
Great sound in headphones is very important but what sounds great to one person may not sound great to another. People prefer different things when they are listening to music. Some may like a lot of bass and others may prefer the higher tones. There are a few specs you want to understand and consider when you are looking at different models.
- High Resolution Audio – This technical spec enables the user to hear the music the way the artists intended for you to hear it. High resolution headphones provide audio signals with a bandwidth and dynamic range that is much greater than your regular CD will. This allows you to enjoy the music with terrific sound quality.
- Sensitivity – Sensitivity in headphones measures the volume that can be produced from a certain amount of input power. High sensitivity headphones at 100 decibels or more are recommended for handheld devices that usually have much less powerful amplifiers.
Headphones are very popular in today’s society where so many have numerous handheld devices that they are connected to on a regular, daily basis. Music is still as popular as it has always been and now, thanks to smartphones, tablets, and laptops, watching Youtube or movies on the go is a common occurrence.
For this reason, finding quality headphones is more important than ever to deliver the kind of audio experience you’re looking for. The ten headphone selections on our chart above are very popular with consumers due to their reliability, performance, cost, and feature selections. Any of them will provide an excellent audio experience for music lovers and those on the go.
The information provided for you in this buying guide will help you sort through all of the choices and options and choose the headphones that will meet your preferences and needs. Keep in mind that some headphones work better for certain activities than others will so you may decide at some point to purchase a couple of different headphones for the different activities in your life.
The knowledge you have gotten from this guide will help ensure that you make a good decision on headphones that will give you your money’s worth.
- Panasonic – http://shop.panasonic.com/
- COWIN – https://www.cowinmusic.com/
- Mpow – https://www.xmpow.com/
- Beats – https://www.beatsbydre.com/
- AIlihen – https://www.ailihen.com/
- AUSDOM – https://www.ausdom.com/
- Vogek – http://vogek.com/
- Betron – https://www.betron.co.uk/