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What Are Headphones and How to Choose Them Correctly?

What Are Headphones and How to Choose Them Correctly?

I am sure that every music lover has more than once faced the question of choosing headphones. There are so many directions and varieties of which that it has become a living hell to navigate them. Today we will try to cover this topic in as much detail as possible.

Full size, on-ear, in-ear, or earplugs?

First, you need to understand exactly where the headphones will be used. It is on this that the type and class of choice of these devices depends. So, full-size models are just perfect for home listening. But there is a subtlety here, they are open and closed. For quality, it is better to choose an open type, but everything that happens around is heard in them, and your music is heard by others. 

That is, this option is only for the house and only when you do not bother anyone, and no one bothers you. Yes, there are critically many restrictions. That is why advanced music lovers and recording studios use exclusively closed models. As a minus, there is a reflection from the outer wall of the structure, and a plus is good sound insulation. It’s like listening to speakers in a specially equipped studio.

Earbuds pro headphones are much more mobile, but this segment has not been developing seriously for a long time. Most often they are marked with the word “DJ”, which means only a folding design. DJ models have nothing to do with high-quality sound. I recommend avoiding them, if possible, as they don’t give the right pressure and coverage to the ear, which means that your music will still be heard by those around you, and at the same time they have a mostly closed design. Therefore, they collect all the disadvantages of each of these models. Plus, one – a little better mobility. But this is very controversial, compared with the next segment.

Dynamic, isodynamic, hybrids, or pure armatures?

Headphones are also divided into dynamic, isodynamic, armature, and electrostatic models. All these are different ways of positioning the emitter membrane in a magnetic or electric field. The principle of their work is approximately the same.

It is widely believed that isodynamic headphones sound better than their dynamic counterparts, but this opinion is long and very outdated. Unlike any planners, the dynamics have developed quite strongly in recent years. A great variety of various coatings have appeared that improve the speed characteristics of diffusers, and even they are made from very non-trivial materials. Consequently, today a good dynamic driver can easily outperform its isodynamic competitors. Which, by the way, also have their own small flaws. Typically associated with the edges of the range, i.e., bass and highs.

Are high ohms the best?

According to the resistance of wired headphones, there is also a craze that the higher it is, the better the sound. And behind this opinion, the action has sound notes – it is better to choose headphones with the highest possible impedance. However, you should immediately understand that the tighter the headphones you choose, the more powerful the source will be. In my memory, a person purchased 600-ohm headphones, and then grieved greatly, realizing that they simply needed a rather expensive amplifier.

The output power of your smartphone (about 25 mW) is enough for a maximum of 64 ohms. If the model has a resistance of more than 200 ohms, then it is desirable to have at least 200 mW of output power, and preferably all 500. That is, immediately figure out what you will connect them to and whether your source will pull the selected model.


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