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Earphones vs Headphones – What’s right for you?

earphones vs headphones

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If you’re looking for a new set of headphones or earphones, you may be on the fence when it comes to making a choice between the two.

There are pros and cons to choosing either one and here is an in-depth overview to help you make a final decision and choose either headphones or earphones that will provide you with a consistently optimal listening experience.

The importance of frequency

Not many people consider frequency when deciding between headphones and earphones, but the frequency is a very big deal.

What is frequency? Frequency is the range in which sound is heard through a listening device, such as headphones or earphones.

Earphones, regardless of brand or type, simply don’t provide the same quality as headphones due to lower frequency abilities. Headphones will almost always trump earphones when it comes to supreme listening frequency.

Noise cancellation feature

Both earphones and headphones offer noise cancelation abilities, but headphones’ noise cancellation is superior to earphones in most cases.

Earphones in front of a headphones
Earphone beside headphones | Make Life Click

However, if you opt to invest in a pricey pair of high-quality and high-cost earphones, then they may provide the adequate noise cancellation abilities that you seek. Most headphones in all price ranges that have the noise cancellation feature work at or very near 100%.

In your ears vs on them

Experts state that headphones and earphones can even pose a potential risk to your health, especially when used excessively or improperly. Although this is true for both headphones and earphones, earphones pose a higher risk of potential health issues because they must be worn inside the ears. 

Sounds extreme, I know.

One possible health problem that wearing headphones can cause is ear pain and numbness. These two conditions can result in individuals who wear certain earphones that may put pressure on the internal ear canal.

Not all earphones are made equal, and some don’t fit well, which is why pain and numbness in the ears can occur.

Another health issue that can occur is impaired hearing. This can occur whether you opt for earphones or headphones if you regularly listen to extremely loud music.

It is recommended that you refrain from listening to music at maximum volume, which can prevent hearing impairments from occurring. It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing earphones in your ears or headphones on them, listening to excessively loud music can cause hearing loss and impairment.

Headaches caused by headphones

Snug-fitting headphones are likely to cause pressure on the temporal bone, which often leads to headaches. This happens to a number of headphone users, especially in the beginning until they become used to wearing headphones.

Despite this fact, there are some methods for eliminating this annoying problem. First of all, you should ensure that you refrain from using headphones for extended periods of time. This can significantly reduce the prevalence and severity of headaches and can even eliminate them altogether. 

Choosing adjustable headphones is important, because if you’re able to adjust them to fit your particular head and ears, then this will decrease the chances of headaches occurring in the first place.

Don’t purchase the first pair of headphones that you find for an affordable price. Take your time to research the different headphones available to determine if they are adjustable.

You might also want to read reviews from others who have owned specific headphones and choose a set that has the highest reviews as well as other features that you desire. If you must, then save up for a higher-quality pair, because it will be less likely that they will cause headaches.

Some people have experienced headaches with earphones too, but it’s a lot more common with headphones. People who are prone to getting headaches from headphones often switch to earphones to keep the likelihood of experiencing headaches to a minimum.

Earphones compare to a phone, wallet and keys
Have earphones, will travel. | Make Life Click

However, again, there are ways to prevent headaches from resulting from headphones, so if you’re leaning towards choosing headphones but you’re worried about getting headaches, then be sure to follow the recommended advice when choosing headphones. 

Earphones are sometimes difficult to keep in place

Many people prefer headphones to earphones because of the tendency to experience a disruption in their music enjoyment experience. Not only are many earphones uncomfortable and difficult to fit into the ears, but they’re also difficult to keep in the ears, as they are often not secure and will fall out of the ears.

In order to prevent any disruption in your music enjoyment with your earphones, you should choose the specific pair carefully.

Different earphones fit into the ears differently, and some remain in the ears more easily. There is even the possibility of choosing earphones that come with a hook around the ears, which helps them to stay in the ears a lot more securely. 

Just like when choosing the right headphones, when choosing earphones, be sure to conduct an appropriate amount of research before opting for a particular pair. It doesn’t have to be challenging to find a pair of earphones that will remain in your ears as long as you want to listen to music through them.

So, if you are going to be using your earphones or headphones frequently, and to listen to music that has the best quality, you should likely opt for headphones. Not only are headphones safer, but they can offer a superior sound quality due to greater frequency abilities.

High-quality headphones are best because cheaper headphones aren’t likely to provide the superior sound that you’re seeking. Earphones certainly aren’t a bad choice if you prefer them, but in the long run, you will likely be a lot happier with a high-end pair of headphones as opposed to earphones in any price range.

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.


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