3 Factors To Consider When Buying Headphones



Sennheisser, Sony or Beats by Dre? Headphones are available from a number of brands. Some are specifically designed for listening at home, others are meant to keep you listening when you're on the move. Each set offers a variety of different features; mobile phone functionality, wireless connectivity, noise cancellation and in-line remote controls. But when you're setting out to buy a brand new pair of headphones--it's good to keep your eye on the basics. Headphones should sound great, be comfortable to wear and provide years of listening pleasure.


Some headphones will feel comfy enough when worn briefly, but after a while they'll start to become uncbearable. If you can, try wearing the headphones for about 20 minutes before buying. Generally speaking, the larger the ear cup the more comfort you'll get for your cash when you're choosing circumaural, closed back 'phones. Headphones that rest on the ear should obviously be smaller, lighter and come with some kind of soft padding for extra comfort.


Another long-term factor is weight. Rule of thumb states the lighter the headphones, the more comfortable. And for those marathon listening sessions you really can't get any better than the super-lightweight portable models with soft foam padding.


The headband is also a factor to considering before you buy. Most headphones come with either an over-the-head type of headband or are designed to be worn behind the neck. Whichever type of headband you choose, always make sure it can be adjusted to suit the shape of your head.



Not normally an issue. If you want to wear headphones while carrying out some form of physical activity there are enough purpose-designed portable and lightweight models to choose from. If you're sat on the couch however, you'll want to take a look at the heavier closed-back circumaurals before you make your final choice. The availability of compact interfaces and laptops etc. has increased the popularity of on-location recording and the application calls for the bulkier, closed-back type of headphones. Folding designs are ideal for more portable functionality and have the added advantage of being easier to protect during transportation. The purchase of some kind of protective case to keep your headphones in when traveling is always a good idea.



If you're paying good money for a new set of headphones then you'll at least expect them to last. The downside is that if you're looking for durability then you'll probably have to carry the extra weight too. We all know how easily lightweight headphones can snap or bend when sat or stepped on. Again, buying a protective case to store your 'phones when not in use will help them survive a lot longer. If you're tempted the folding headphones make sure to check the hinges are well made. Cables also need to be considered. Are they thin and delicate or thick and sturdy? Asking if spare parts are available for the headphone before you part with your cash is a good way to save money in the long run.


When it comes to choosing headphones it's like everything else in life--you get what you pay for. And whereas some specs are helpful, information like frequency response can be confusing. The only way to be sure is to put the 'phones on and listen for as long as you can before you give the cashier the nod.



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