The choice of suitable headphones depends primarily on what they are used for – for talking on the phone, Skype, or listening to music. A model equipped with a microphone is usually great for all occasions. The only difference is that for a conversation, especially over the Internet (VoIP), simple possibilities are enough, if only because of the sound compression. More important is the sound quality, the maximum available volume.
Most mobile devices support values in the 16–64-ohm range (denoted by the Greek letter Ω for omega). The higher the impedance, the more power you must supply to the headphones in order for them to reach a sufficient volume level.
This means that when you connect the same source that provides a lower current (such as a smartphone), the low-impedance headphones will be louder. On the other hand, the lower the resistance, the greater the susceptibility to noise.
Headphone frequency range
Pay attention to the frequency range, that is, low and high frequencies are supported. In the case of good headphones, the range should be from 16 to 20,000 Hz – exactly as much as the range of sound perception in humans. The lower limit means the lowest, bass sounds, and the upper range means high, i.e., top and any accents.
Be aware, however, that manufacturers measure frequency range differently, as there are no uniform requirements, and this can make a big difference. If the headphones are quiet at low frequencies, in practice you may not hear the most bass sounds. Therefore, frequencies are an important criterion, but not the main one.
Headphone diaphragm size
An important feature that determines the sound quality. Of course, the membrane of over-ear headphones is larger than in-ear and behind-the-ear ones. This is important so that the reproduced sound is less distorted and sounds better (especially low, bass tones).
Headphone membranes are made from various materials – artificial, paper, aluminum, or titanium. High-quality headphones with a wide operating frequency range can be equipped with a microfiber membrane, which provides a better sound.
Adjustability and convenience
Comfort and ergonomics are also very important. The comfortable earphones are almost unnoticeable, so you can listen to music for hours. If you buy in-ear or intrathecal headphones, you will usually receive a complete set of earbuds and/or hooks in various sizes to fit the shape of your ear.
In the case of full-size headphones, consider the headband adjustment range first.
Which headphones to buy?
Before choosing a specific headphone model, think about what device you want to pair it with: a smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer, or TV.
Most models available on the market are great for any occasion. But it is worth knowing what headphones are designed for use with various devices should have.
Headphones for smartphone
With a smartphone, it is more convenient to use small headphones or earbuds that take up little space and are easy to store even in your pocket. Headband or behind-the-ear headphones that stay in place when you’re on the move, walking fast, or running are also a good idea.
The type of headphones suitable for a smartphone is determined primarily by the presence of a jack connector. If so, you can choose from many different models of wired headphones that provide great sound quality. The wired connection is reliable; however, such headphones can get tangled during storage.
Headphones for TV
It is much better to take wireless bluetooth earphones to the TV – mainly because of the coverage area. Wired should have a very long cable. If you’re looking for headphones that you’ll only use at home with your TV, look no further than the on-ear headphones. They provide the best sound quality that you will appreciate when you watch a movie and hear even the quietest phrases clearly.
Headphones for computers and laptops
Wired headphones work well for laptops and desktops. It is better if it is a model with a long cable, especially if you have a system unit under the table. Otherwise, you may experience a rather strong “attachment” to the computer…
It is more convenient to have just a monitor with a headphone output – then a standard-length cable is enough for you. It’s also a good idea to use a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth network card or a Bluetooth module that plugs into a USB port on your computer and allows you to use wireless headphones.