When it comes to headphones, there are many different brands providing different features that make picking out an ideal headphone no easy feat.
Although you might not appreciate the celebrity-endorsed trends, browsing through the sheets and sheets of specs is not an easy job either. Not to mention, headphones specs are pretty complex and technical to grasp.
Therefore, we decided to curate a guide entailing all the critical specifications of headphones and the terms commonly used to define them.
In-ear headphones, or typically known as in-ear canal headphones, are usually placed inside the ear canal. Mainly these headphones have two technical benefits to offer. First off, these headphones sit closer to the eardrum. Thus the user always enjoys the astounding sound quality. Secondly, these kinds of headphones fill the entrance to the ear by sealing out the external noise.
In-ear headphones come in a variety of sizes. Thus you can always find the one that is a perfect fit for your ear. Getting the suitable fit is paramount for getting the best performance, as the wrong-sized tip can not just ruin audio isolation, but it can also make the earphone prone to falling out.
The best thing about in-ear headphones is their portability. These headphones are super convenient to use at the gym or jogging track.
Supra-aural or on-ear headphones rest on the top of the ear. As the name suggests, these headphones direct the sound straight to the ear canal. Although they do seal out the external noise, these kinds of headphones can leak it to nearby people.
A lot of people find on-ear headphones much more comfortable than earbuds. That is because, in comparison to over-headphones, these types are also less likely to confine the heat on your ear. That said, clamping could be an issue with on-ear buds as they can squeeze too tightly and can get uncomfortable if used for extended hours.
Over-ear headphones are also termed circumaural headphones, and as the name suggests, they encase the entire ear. The increased size of these headphones makes bigger room for a larger driver.
Therefore these headphones have an excellent volume and phenomenal bass performance. The driver of the headphones is also placed furthest from the ear. As a result, they produce a sound akin to the performance you could hear from speakers.
By covering the ears, these headphones provide excellent noise isolation. However, they are much less portable than other formats. Although over-headphones are no longer the most efficient pair out there, they are still the audiophiles’ number one choice.
- Open and closed-back headphones
If you are in the habit of reading the features and specs of the gadgets, you might have an idea that there are primarily two terms for the headphones, i.e., “closed back” or”open back.”
While “closed-back” headphones provide better noise isolation and more forceful sound, open-back has slightly more sound leakage. That is because they let more ambient noise get inside. These kinds of headphones deliver what is more often termed natural sound.
- What about the drivers?
Irrespective of the headphone kind, the driver is the most crucial element in it. That is because the driver can turn the electrical signal into sound pressure, thus creating sound.
There are many drivers, but they all consist of similar components, such as voice coils, magnets, and diaphragms. Magnets and voice coils cause the diaphragm to produce sound waves.
- What is the role played by sound pressure and sensitivity?
Sensitivity and sound pressures are both related terms, and both of them indicate how loud headphones could go.
Sensitivity is the efficiency of the headphones to convert the electrical signals into acoustic one. Usually, headphones provide the range of 85 to 120 dB of SP for every milliwatt.
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