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Tips on how to choose headphones

27,12,2016 | by Harshil Gangani | (0) Commnets

In today’s highly competitive market where there are thousands of products to choose from, it can be overwhelming looking for the right pair of headphones from such a vast array. So here are five important points you should keep in mind when shopping for headphones.

1. Describe your need: Zero down on your need. Do you listen to music while jogging or travelling? Or do you prefer the solitude of you home? Do you like to listen to the different layers of a song or is it just your morning workout playlist? Once you have specified your need, you will be realize which of the four parameters ( noise cancelation, sound isolation, frequency response and impedance) you can or cannot compromise on.

2. Budget: once you have specified your need, decide on a budget for the headphones/ earphones. Usually, headphones are more expensive than earphones as they are used for appreciating the finer aspects of music. But there are also several earphones which are excellent, albeit expensive and can rival headphones when it comes to properties such as noise cancellation and frequency response. So if you have your heart set on buying a pair of earphones, then get ready to part with a considerable sum.

3. Check the main four parametersof the sound:

a. Noise cancellation: This is the ability of a set of headphones to block out ambient noise without having to raise the volume too much. It is what gives a good music listening experience in vehicles such as a bus or places with droning sounds in the background (air conditioners). For people who listen to music while travelling, this is an important feature to keep in mind, as high volume levels can damage your ears. Headphones are usually better at cancelling noise as compared to earphones at approximately the same price.

b. Noise isolation: This is a measure of how well the headphones can isolate you so that you hear only the music. This is a very important feature as it gives an uninterrupted listening experience. This also ensures that other people don’t get bothered. In this case, earphones are better as they seal your ear canal perfectly, thus ensuring that no sound can enter or leave.

c. Frequency response: Ideally, the headphones should transmit all frequencies equally well as opposed to transmitting some frequencies more than the others. In a frequency response curve, a flat curve is desirable which means that the transmitted frequency is the same as that of the input. Headphones normally have better frequency response than earphones.

d. Impedance: impedance is a measure of the power required to drive a pair of headphones. More the impedance, more is the power required. Therefore, it is suggested that you match the impedance of the headphones to that of the audio device you are using. Impedance of 150 ohms and under, is low and easy to drive while impedance of 500 ohms ad above require amplification for best results.

4. Comfort: There are several types of earphones and headphones and both have their pros and cons. Earphones are small buds that go inside your ear while headphones are cups which settle over your ears. Earphones are portable and have great noise isolation which makes them good for travel. But the pinna starts hurting sometimes when you use earphones for too long. Headphones on the other hand are bulky and used for appreciating the fine points of music.
They are more comfortable than earphones as the cups settle over your ears but can be problematic for people who wear glasses. Also, headphones become uncomfortable if you start sweating.

5. Trial: Visit a nearby electronics store and try out a few pairs of headphones and earphones. Ideally you should try them on for a period of fifteen minutes and listen to songs that you are familiar with. It’s best if the song you choose covers s many ranges as possible, to give you an idea about it’s frequency response. A few suggestions are “Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin” and “Sheer Heart Attack” by Queen.

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