Headphones are like a personal speaker system specifically designed for your audio needs. They offer you a way to tune out the rest of the world so you can submerge yourself in your own world. Nothing wrong with that. We all need our own time every once in awhile. Finding the right headphones to buy can be a difficult task. There are so many options to pick from. Price, style, features, quality and comfort are all important factors depending on your taste.
When music lovers search for the right pair of headphones to be their portable speakers, they often look at sound quality and durability. Some also prefer the natural look of wood headphones. But in order to fully enjoy your music or audio listening experience, you also need to be comfortable while wearing your headphones. We think comfort is probably the most important factor in choosing the best headphones for you. If you’re not comfortable and can’t wear it for more than 20 minutes, then you will not get the enjoyment out of it no matter how good the headphones can sound.
You have two types to chose from on the more traditional headband type of headphones- over-the-ear (often just referred to as over-ear) and on-ear. What is the difference? Pretty simple actually. On over-ear headphones, ear cups go around your ear lobes, while on-ear headphones’ ear pads sit directly on top of your ears.
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of over-ear vs on-ear headphones so that you can make the best buying decision for yourself.
The nice thing about over-ear headphones is that the ear cups spread out the contact area to your head which decrease the amount of pressure you feel. It’s bulkier (they have to be to fit over your ears), but it’s also more comfortable to most people.
Because your ears are fully engulfed by the ear cups, the cups’ material type usually doesn’t matter. A positive side effect from this is that it tunes out sound from the outside and partly cancels out noise. Essentially, you have a pair of semi-noise cancelling headphones without paying for the noise cancelling technology. The ear cups also give you a better seal, thus improving the sound quality while you immerse in your audio experience.
The downside of over-ear headphones is that without any room for airflow, you could easily get hot and sweaty if the temperature is warm enough. Some people may find them to be too bulky as they need to be in order to cover your ears. They are not as portable so if you travel a lot, it may not be the best option for the road. However, now that headphones have become a fashion accessory, you can certainly wear it around your neck for the ultimate hipster look.
When wearing a pair of on-ear headphones, the sound streams directly into your ears giving you a pretty good listening experience. The biggest complaint about on-ear headphones is that clamping of the headband puts a lot of pressure on your ears. If you wear glasses or are sensitive to head pressure, then they will hurt. It’s definitely not the most comfortable option for you. If you’re not hurting in your pocket books, top-end models sometimes come with memory foam ear padding for maximum softness to try and ease the pressure.
The one big advantage of on-ear headphones is that it can be made with smaller and lighter materials, making it more portable compared to over-ear models. Many of the models are also designed to be foldable, giving you good listening experience on-the-go. Because they don’t close off completely to your surroundings, they need noise cancelling capabilities if you don’t want outside sound to contaminate your music listening. They also let your ears breathe better so you won’t be as sweaty on a hot day.
Which one should you chose?
That primarily depends on your ear pressure tolerance level and personal needs. If you travel a lot, then go for the portability of on-ear. If not, go for the comfort and better sound experience of over-the-ear. If you love listening to audio and the look of wearing headphones, then you should definitely buy at least a pair of each. Both types have its own usefulness. Besides, who doesn’t like to own a lot of things, right? Wichever headphones you decide to buy, make sure the model is of top build and sound quality.