First, there were large, monster-sized headphones in the 1970s. Then, headphones began to shrink in the 1980s, with the advent of portable music players. And, finally, earbuds debuted with the Apple iPod in 2001. Today, both earbuds and headphones are equally popular, with consumers opting to buy one or the other, depending on their need and preference. This guide will talk about earbuds (also called in-ear headphones) versus regular headphones and will discuss the pros and cons of each.
Headphones rest on your outer ears. Supra-aural headphones cover your entire ear but don't entirely seal them. Over-the-ear models, also called circumaurals, fully enclose each ear. The biggest advantage with headphones is that they deliver very high sound quality, especially when it comes to capturing bass tones. They're also great at blocking out background noise that is always present, such as street traffic sounds.
However, headphones aren't necessarily the best things to wear when running or exercising, because they can be a tad bulky and not too portable. They can also get all hot and sweaty and the bigger the headphones, the more they may muss up your hair or glasses or earrings.
Earbuds can also rest on your outer ear, but most are meant to be inserted into your ear canal. These are typically less expensive than headphones, much lighter and less bulky. This means that they are quite portable, which is why people use these every day in cafes, on the sidewalk, while exercising and at work. Also, they don't affect your hairstyle or your glasses or earrings.
However, many people may not be comfortable with earbuds, as they may slip out of their ears. Also, some people want to buy either headphones or earbuds with noise cancelling technology. What is that, exactly? Well, read on...
Noise cancellation is an acoustical technology that detects ambient sounds outside of your headphones or earbuds and then reverses the phase of the sound waves, which cancels them out. This technology works best on steady, low-frequency background noise, such as the sound of a jet engine while your flying, or steady traffic along a busy street.
However, this technology does not work well with high-frequency and sporadic sounds, such as a dog suddenly barking, or kids running on the street laughing and screaming. So, choose headphones or earbuds with noise cancelling technology depending on your circumstances and surroundings.
So, which should you buy? Well, why not both? Many people purchase both headphones and earbuds and swap them, depending on their circumstances. That way, you are ensured of always getting the sweetest sound of all!
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