Are you also wondering which Audio equipment you should buy? A headphone or an earphone? You have arrived at the right place.
Before you finalize a product, you need to ask yourself what is the actual purpose of you buying new Audio gear.
If you are looking for a convenient and portable device then probably a wired or wireless earphone would be a great option, and for the ones who need an immersive sound experience, should get a Headphone.
But is it that simple to pick one? Definitely, No. .
There’s a lot more that you need to understand before you make a decision. Being a Music enthusiast it’s our duty to help you make the right decision while making a purchase.
Let’s begin by comparing both and understanding what they actually mean. We will also discuss some of the distinguishing factors like Portability, Comfort, Noise Cancellation, and Performance.
So without any further ado.
What is an Earphone?
The earphone is an in-ear style design that fits in the outer opening of your ears. This makes the sound waves to directly enter your ear canals from much less distance than any headphone.
As the earphones can be plugged into both your ears separately, it gives you the flexibility to remove one so that you can hear the noises in your surroundings clearly.
This is probably one of the most important factors which make the Earphone a better pick among the two.
Carrying the earphones around is quite easy as they can even fit in your pocket. Because of the small build, they are quite lightweight as well.
Moreover, if you are buying a Wired Earphone then you don’t even have to worry about draining the battery.
If you will be traveling a lot, or you want to listen to music while commuting then Earphones will be the most appropriate choice for you.
After you plug the earphones in your ear, based upon the quality of the Eartips your comfort level may vary.
A soft comfortable Ear Tip which perfectly fits in your ear would offer you the ultimate comfort given the fact your earphones do not weigh much.
Wearing earphones for a longer period of time may cause irritation in your ears so make sure you don’t use them continuously.
With an in-line control present on most of the Earphones, the headphone makes for a more convenient and comfortable experience while listening to music as you can play/pause music, change tracks, answer or reject calls as and when required.
As you know that there are two types of Noise cancellation technology that exist. The technology helps you eliminate background noises from entering your ears.
Noise cancellation features work on earphones but not to an extent as they work in Headphones, especially a Passive Noise Cancellation enabled device.
But in more premium earphones, Active Noise cancellation works more efficiently in blocking the ambient noises. So if you are solely buying the earphones to enjoy the Noise-canceling feature then you will be better off with a Headphone.
While analyzing the performance of an Earphone there are various factors that need to be uncovered. The sound quality of earphones depends upon the Sound drivers that they are equipped with and the frequency response that they are capable of delivering.
Are you wondering which drivers are the best? Please refer to this Article.
The most common driver that you will come across while buying an Earphones online, is Dynamic drivers, this is one of the most cost-efficient technology which offers exceptional sound output.
On the other hand, the frequency response determines the pitch range that the earphone is capable of producing. Higher Frequency response with a high Pitch range does not always mean better sound quality but it can definitely reproduce a larger spectrum of frequencies.
What is a Headphone?
As the name suggests, Headphones are Audio equipment like an Earphone which can be placed over Head.
There are mainly two types of headphones i.e. Over the Ear Headphone and On-Ear Headphone which can be either wired or wireless. You will require Bluetooth or AUX/USB connectivity options to start using them.
These devices offer better sound quality and bass reproduction as compared to the Earphones because of the large build quality which can accommodate better and larger drivers.
Headphones are not the best when it comes to carrying them outdoors. They are much heavier and larger than Earphones.
You will have to make space for them in your traveling bag while making sure that they don’t get damaged.
Most of the manufacturers have done their bit to create a foldable design which makes the headphones to rotate and fold in a way so that they take up less space.
Buying a premium pair of headphones would also get you a Carrying case that you can use to place the headphone safely.
The fitting of the headphone is probably the main factor that determines the level of comfort that you may have while wearing them for a long duration.
Most of the headphones have padded cushions made up of soft material that offers great comfort for ears and when supported with a padded headband you won’t feel a thing.
Moreover, the adjustable sliders allow you to have a perfect fit based upon your Head size.
But all of this depends upon the quality of headphones and the Brand that you are investing in.
The premium devices with higher price tags tend to offer better comfort levels when compared with Budget or Mid-range Headphones.
When Noise cancellation is present on the Headphones it cannot only block out ambient noises but also makes sure that the Sound quality is effectively improved. As mentioned earlier there are two types of Noise Cancellation technologies that can be equipped in the Headphone.
Active noise cancellation creates sound waves to diminish the background noises. While the Passive noise cancellation makes sure that the Build and the design of the headphone do not allow any background noises to enter your ear. To know more about Active and Noise cancellation read this informative guide which will answer all your questions.
Overall, Headphones offer better noise cancellation when compared to Earphones.
The headphones accommodates better and larger drivers which can reproduce better sound quality. Most of the headphones out there in the market have a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Based upon the type and size of the driver the headphone is equipped with you can expect louder sound levels (volumes) as well.
However, the size of the Driver does not determine the Audio quality that you can expect from a Headphone. To know more about the types and sizes of drivers read this.
Here again, the sound quality and performance depend upon the quality of the headphone and the Brand you are investing in.
Headphones or Earphone: What’s better for your ears?
With the increase in demand and accessibility of Headphones people are getting used to having them on their ears all the time. Among youngsters and teenagers, they are becoming a style statement.
But very little do we know about the fact that WHO stated in 2019,
Both Headphones and Earphones when used continuously for long duration at higher volume can cause damage to your hearing capabilities. This has accounted for the majority of Noise induced hearing loss in the last couple of years.
Listening to music at more than 85 db (Decibels) can cause damage to Human ears.
While both Headphones and Earphones possess the possibility of causing hearing damage, Earphones or Earbuds are more likely to do so. As they are much closer to your eardrums the actual volume level increases naturally by 9 decibels.
However, on the other hand the headphones stay outside the ears and are much more capable of applying noise cancellation to block out ambient noises. This allows the user to use the headphones at a lower volume level but while using earphones one may boost up the volume to cancel out the background noises which is quite harmful.
So which one is better? Headphone or Earphones?
From a sound quality perspective, headphones do offer a better experience than Earphones but they lack the portability factor. Not that Drivers size matters but Headphones have larger drivers which can result in louder volume.
Many argue that Headphones have better technologies and performance when compared with Earphones. But in the current scenario even Earphones are capable enough to put front a strong competition to headphones.
All depends upon the brand you choose and whether it’s earphones or headphones, you will get an appropriate performance.
We hope that you have finally found an answer to your question. But we also understand the struggle one has to go through before selecting the most appropriate device.
You can go ahead and buy an earphone, if you are planning to use them outdoors more frequently. Because of Earphones portability you can carry them even in your pockets.
Headphones on the other hand are much preferred by Gamers, Sound engineers and professionals so that they don’t miss a beat or musical notes.
Now the only thing left up to you is to decide the budget, usability and your requirement to make a perfect decision. Don’t forget to consider which one should be best for your ears!
Thank you for reading!