Shoppers Guide: Finding your ideal headphones is never easy. There are various types of headphones each with its distinct features to suit a particular buyer’s needs. Most of us don’t have clarity regarding various headphone types and which buyer category we belong to, and thus we fail to get our ideal headphones. Our money gets wasted and we still don’t get the product we desired.
We at Swing Vertigo are always concerned about our buying choices. We have listed the most coveted list on the best headphones here. Now, we will break down the various parameters you need to know so that every time you look for a headphone, you get your best buy at an affordable price. Follow our ultimate shoppers guide for all your headphone queries.
Follow our site for brilliant headphone choices to win your New Normal Digital Life! Let’s get started with this shoppers guide!
There are four things to know before you buy your headphones. They are as follows:
Shoppers Guide for Headphones: Type and Fit
As per the type and fit category, headphones are of three main types:
(1) In-Ear Headphones: In-Ear headphones comfortably fits inside your ear. They are the most common type of headphones which are mostly cheap to find. Prices of such headphones usually begin from Rs. 399.
There are two sub-categories of In-Ear Headphones shoppers guide:
(a) In-Ear Monitors (IEM): The tips of IEMs fit snugly inside your ear canal for reducing the external noise. Their tips are made of rubber or silicone material. They provide a brilliant audio experience by canceling the external noise. IEMs stay in place and is ideal for outdoor activities that involve movement like working out.
(b) Earbuds: Earbuds rest on the outer ear. They don’t block external noise like IEMs as they have poor noise isolation.
Based on the style, IEMs and Earbuds are of two types:
(i) Earclips: Earclip headphones come with added clips to hold on to your ears. They come with both wired and wireless forms and are ideal for gym-goers. They are comfortable to wear as they are lined with soft material.
(ii) Neckband: Neckbands provide an easy transition between using and not using. They comprise a band that rests on your neck and are tailor-made for day-long comfortable use.
(2) On-Ear Headphones: On-Ear Headphones fit and sit on the outer ear but don’t enclose it completely. They come with a moderate price range which usually starts from Rs.699.
- They are more light-weight and portable as compared to over-ear headphones.
- They provide better sound quality as compared to most in-ears.
- They are equipped with soft ear cushioning for added comfort.
- They are easy to carry and move around.
- They don’t block external noise as much as over-ear headphones and might interfere in your listening experience.
(3) Over-Ear Headphones: Over-Ear Headphones fit over your ear and use cushions to enclose the whole ear. They come with a decent price range which usually starts from Rs. 1199.
- They provide best music experience to users.
- They are comfortable to wear and use as they enclose your ear with cushions.
- They provide active noise cancellation and immersive sound experience.
- They provide better sound quality as compared to In-Ears and On-Ears.
- They are more expensive as compared to in-ear or on-ear headphones.
Based on earcup design, On-Ear, and Over-Ear Headphones are of two types:
(a) Open Back Headphones: They allow free airflow keeping your ears cool. Open Back headphones comprise vent or mesh to allow airflow. But they can leak sound to the neighbouring environment.
(b) Closed Back Headphones: They allow no leakage of sound to the neighboring environments. Closed Back Headphones are equipped with fully covered earcups with no vents for airflow. However, extended use might build up heat/moisture in these headphones.
Shoppers Guide for Headphones: Usage
In this shoppers guide, we have divided the usage patterns of a diverse group of headphone users into five broad categories:
(1) Light Everyday Use: This category belongs to the users who use headphones for talking on the mobile phone or listening to occasional music or videos on the move.
We recommend two categories of headphones for Light Everyday Use:
(a) Neckband Headphones: They are comfortable to use and provide an easy transition between using and not using.
(b) In-Ear Headphones: They are portable, compact, and easy to handle.
(2) Sports and Fitness: This category belongs to the users who use headphones while gyming, running, or exposure to sweat or rain.
We recommend two categories of headphones for Sports and Fitness:
(a) True Wireless Headphones: They are extremely lightweight and provide say play/pause controls. They stay put and have no hassles of wires for the users to worry about.
(b) Wireless In-ear Headphones: They are portable and easy to use. They provide easy play/pause controls to the users and have no hassles of wires for the users to worry about.
(3) Travel: This category belongs to the users who use headphones while they are on the move and prefer private listening in the plane or bus.
We recommend three categories of headphones for Travel:
(a) On-Ear Wireless Headphones: They provide good sound experience. They are portable and perfect for users on the go. They have no hassles of wires for the users to worry about.
(b) Over-Ear Wireless Headphones: They effectively block external noise. They also provide good sound experience and have no hassles of wires for the users to worry about.
(c). Neckband Headphones: They are easy and comfortable to wear and carry around. You easily change your posture from using to not using.
(4) Audiophile: This category belongs to the users who use headphones for an immersive music experience and good sound quality as a professional artist.
We recommend two categories of headphones for Audiophile:
(a) Wired Over-Ear Headphones: They have large ear cups to surround your ears, making it comfortable for you to wear and use. They provide good quality sound and have decent noise cancellation options.
(b) Wireless Over-Ear Headphones: They have large ear cups for comfortable use. They have good noise cancellation options and offer decent quality sound to their users. They have no hassles of wires for you to worry about.
(5) Gaming/Entertainment: This category belongs to the users who use headphones for immersive gaming and to hear dialogues, sound effects, and background sounds.
We recommend two categories of headphones for Gaming/Entertainment:
(a) Wired Over-Ear Headphones: They offer good quality sound and have effective noise cancellation options. They are equipped with large earcups to surround your ears for added user comfort.
(b) Wired On-Ear Headphones: They offer good quality sound and decent noise cancellation options for an immersive hearing experience.
Shoppers Guide For Headphones: Technical Features
There are five technical features to look for before buying your ideal headphones in this shoppers guide:
(a). Mic: Mics on earphones enable you to attend calls. They are present on the wire or earcups depending on the brand and model you use. Wireless models come with a mic that is built-into the earpiece. Headphones that are equipped with extended microphones are ideal for gaming and official use.
(b). Connectivity: To discuss this feature, we divide the headphones into two categories:
(i). Wired Headphones: They mostly come with 3.5mm jack for you to connect with your smartphone or laptop device. Some wired headphones come with cables that are tangle-free for easy handling and use. 3.5mm Jack is the most common audio port to be found in smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Check the smartphone or laptop device you want to use the wired headphone with. In case it does not have a 3.5mm audio port, you will require a USB Type C to 3.5mm or lightning to 3.5mm convertor.Swing Vertigo Team
(ii). Wireless Headphones: They pair easily with devices that are Bluetooth enabled like Smartphones, laptop, or Smart TVs. The quality of the audio you hear depends on the distance with the paired device. Headphones usually have a range of 10 meters. Some of the BT models can pair multiple devices at the same time.
(c). Volume/Play Control: These features allow you to play/pause your favorite songs or.help you attend important calls. Some headphones have one single button for Play/Pause controls, while others come with more buttons for added controls. In wireless earphones, users get mounted buttons on the earbuds for control features.
(d). Voice Assistant: Some headphones are laced with in-built voice assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or Google Assistant. These assistants allow you to play music, get instant answers to diverse questions, or manage tasks without using buttons. These voice assistants can also give instant language translations once they are paired with your smartphone device.
(e). Build Quality or Durability: We would advise you to look for these features for your longer headphone life:
- Whether your headphone is made of strong materials that can resist damage and light-weight for easy carry.
- Whether your headphones have resilient rubber around the wires which are damage-resistant and rust-proof.
- Whether your headphones are resistant to moisture and dust.
- Whether there are weak points at hinges and connections are reinforced for bending resistance.
(f). Protection against dust and water: We can divide this feature into sub-categories for easy understanding:
(i). Water-Resistance: Headphones that are water-resistant are designed with materials that repel water and sweat. Water-Resistant headphones are easy to clean and maintain and are perfect for working out. They are rated in between IPX1 to IPX4 and can easily withstand raindrops and water splashes.
(ii). WaterProof: Headphones that are waterproof are not easily damaged by water and can be even immersed in it. They are rated in between IPX5 to IPX8 and are great for swimming, working out, and other outdoor activities. As a user, you should look for meters below water for which your headphone will remain waterproof.
Shoppers Guide For Headphones: Sound Quality
Sound Quality is the perception of how good the sound is. This is a qualitative feature and will vary across people of different needs.
For creating uniform parameters to judge the sound quality of different headphones in this shoppers guide, we look at sound quality at the following different angles:
(a). Surround Sound: A feature found in many headphones, it produces a sound effect similar to a good cinema or a home theatre system. This feature uses multiple speakers in the same earcup to project sound from different angles for a brilliant audio experience.
(b). Noise Cancellation Headphones: This feature reduces distracting noise and provides a restful listening experience to all its users. They are excellent for travel and work by generating sound frequencies to cancel out outside ambient sounds. However, experts warn that you should avoid using this feature on roads with traffic when you need to be aware of external sounds.
(c). High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) audio: Hi-Fi audio headphones can produce sounds that are very similar to the original source elevating your musical experience to the next higher level. Their audio is of much higher quality as compared to low budget earphones.
(d). Stereo Sound: With stereo sound, you can hear distinct sounds in the left and right ear for an immersive audio experience. It adds a whole new dimension to the sound as you hear a different audio channel in each ear. Go for stereo sound if you belong to the audiophile who uses headphones as a professional artist.
(e). Sound Signature: Different headphones have different types of sound signatures that appeal to a particular listener group. We have broken down the various types of sound signatures into five different categories:
(1). High Bass: It is ideal for EDM and Club Music.
(2). High Treble: It is ideal for Acoustic Music.
(3). Balanced: It is ideal for acoustic, rock and soft rock and pop music.
(4) V-shaped: It is ideal for acoustic, rock and soft-rock music.
(5) Warm: It is ideal for Jazz and R&B music.
(f) Driver Size: More the number of choices in your earphone, better the sound. Sizes of drivers can range from 6 to 12mm in earbuds and 40 to 100mm in on-ears and over-ears. Some brand manufacturers install an extra driver for high-frequency treble sounds.
Shoppers Guide for Headphones: Conclusion
We are fully sure that you have got in-depth shoppers guide for headphones through our detailed article which aims to answer all your headphone queries so that you can purchase your ideal headphone with full confidence. If you have anything more to ask, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
We will be bringing more insightful articles on headphones and audio devices for your New Normal Digital Life. Stay Tuned!