Best Headphones Buying Guide In 2023

by Emma Williams | Published On

Table of Contents

Headphones Buying Guide

A good set of headphones can make a difference, whether you’ve been on the phone all day for work or are eager to begin watching the newest season of your favorite show during the long drive home. 

You might face issues whenever you think about buying new headphones. Select a headphone with additional features like active noise-cancellation to help filter out background noise or go wired or wireless. All these points have been answered in this headphone buying guide.

It’s crucial to get headphones that will allow you to listen to your favorite music exactly how you want to. I have also discussed additional parameters such as comfort, portability, convenience, style, and budget that should be considered when selecting a new headphone. I have also discussed a comprehensive comparison between Earbuds vs Headphones vs Headsets. Hence before finalizing anything, you can look at the comparison and decide for yourself.

Types Of Headphones

There are many distinct varieties of headphones, which come in a variety of sizes, forms, connection methods, and other characteristics. The three most common styles of headphone design are on-ear, in-ear, and over-ear.

In-Ear Headphones and earbuds rest in your ear, but in-ear headphones feature a design that fits inside the ear canal. You can tune out the outer world using in-ear headphones, which will completely shield you from all noises. Most in-ear models offer a range of sizes of foam and/or silicone cups to help you in selecting the one that fits your ear canal the best. This pair of headphones is ideal for all types of headphone users because they are both lightweight and strong.

They are the type of headphones that are most portable due to their compact size. They are ideal for any situation, whether it be traveling, exercising (indoors or outdoors), listening covertly, or any other activity.

  • Great for workouts and running
  • Affordable
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great noise cancellation
  • Suited to active lifestyles
  • Wires can get tangled easily.
  • Easy-to-misplace.
  • Sound quality generally suffers due to size.

On-ear (supra-aural) headphones are usually more compact and simpler to store and transport. The ear cups of these headphones fit right on top of your ears. Since they are located outside of your ears, more air can flow around them. Since they are less clunky than their over-ear counterparts, on-ear headphones are perfect for settings like commuting and flying because they strike the optimum balance between excellent listening and a fashion accessory.

Although there are on-the-ear headphones with closed-backs, open-backs and noise-canceling, most on-the-ear headphones let sound through as they do not seal your ears. So, what are closed-back headphones, open-ear headphones and noise-canceling headphones?

  • Closed-back headphones:These headphones are those that have an outside case. There are no holes or vents in this outer covering. As a result, the sound is held inside the cups and is kept out by outside disturbances.
  • Open-back headphones:These headphones enable the user to hear background sounds since they are more acoustically transparent. In overall, closed-back headphones are preferable for listening to music outside of your house or studio, while open-back headphones produce a more natural sound.
  • Noise-canceling headphones:Noise-canceling headphones are excellent for blocking out background disturbances and they come in a variety of sizes, from full-size to earbuds. These headphones contain a built-in mic that blocks out surrounding noise. Also, these headphones must be powered, which is provided by a lithium-ion or alkaline battery. Noise-canceling headphones are often more expensive.
  • Relatively compact.
  • Sounds fantastic as they come with large drivers.
  • They come with large batteries.
  • Less likely to result in overheating the ears than full-size headphones.
  • More Portable.
  • Less powerful bass than over-ears.
  • Less-powerful bass compared with full-size headphones.
  • Relatively poor noise isolation.
  • Can cause discomfort.
  • Leaks noise to neighbors.

Over-ear headphones provide the best comfort and sound quality because they totally envelop your ear. Both closed-back and open-back variations of these headphones are available. Over-the-ear headphones provide better noise cancellation than smaller headphones, making them ideal for people who commute regularly or wear them at home. The earcups and headband are usually well-padded and fit extremely well. If you’re looking for headphones that provide decent audio quality, bass, and noise cancellation, over-ear models can be the ideal option.

  • Larger soundstage.
  • Most comfortable.
  • Best sound quality.
  • Excellent for noise isolation.
  • Optimum potential for enhanced bass and loudness.
  • Least portable.
  • Heat up the ears.
  • Expensive

Here is a detailed guide in regard to types of headphones, this could be beneficial if you are looking for more information about the types of headphones.

Wired or Wireless Headphones

After choosing the kind and style, the next step is to decide on connectivity. Do you prefer to travel wirelessly or with your earbuds connected? You are completely free to decide.

After choosing the kind and style, the next step is to decide on connectivity. Do you prefer to travel wirelessly or with your earbuds connected? You are completely free to decide. Although wireless headphones may be more practical than wired ones, wired headphones nearly always provide greater sound quality. Another factor to consider with wireless headphones is battery life.

Wired versions of in-ears, on-ears, and over-ear headphones are frequently regarded as the more dependable option in the music industry. Audiophiles frequently vouch for the sound quality of wired headphones since they get an analogue signal that can accommodate more data than Bluetooth. However, compared to wireless headphones, wired headphones have no lag and do not require regular battery topping off. Cables, however, can get in the way and bind you to your smartphone, and worse quality ones are more likely to fail.

You can freely sway to the beats of your favorite tracks while using wireless earphones. These headphones/earbuds connect to devices that support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The connection options will be stated in the specifications, however practically all wireless headphones use a Bluetooth version. Although convenient, keeping this connection will drain the batteries in your headphones and smartphone/portable music player. New and improved Bluetooth codecs, such as AptX, AAC, AptX Low Latency, and AptX HD are also included with wireless headphones, which enhance the listening experience and/or address latency problems.

Wireless headphones, on the other hand, are normally more expensive than corded ones. The other issue is that they must be charged on a regular basis.

True wireless headphones don’t have a wire or cable connecting the earpieces. They are wireless earbuds kept in a case that serves as storage and a charging station. They have no cables or tangles, are incredibly portable, and are perfect for an active lifestyle. Most of these even have long-lasting batteries, with an average of 5-8 hours on the earphones alone and an additional 2-3 recharges via the charging case. But because of their compact form factor, they are quite simple to lose.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying Headphones

When purchasing headphones, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. The seven factors you should check when purchasing headphones are as follows:

  • Acoustic System
  • Noise Cancelation
  • Audio Quality
  • Bass Quality 
  • Battery Life
  • IPX Rating
  • Impedance

Its design is represented by an acoustic system in earbuds. The passage of outside noise through the earphones is prevented by a closed acoustic system. In contrast, an open acoustic system allows everyone nearby to easily hear what you are hearing.

Headphones with noise cancellation reduce external disturbances and sounds, providing users with a pleasant listening experience. The way noise-canceling headphones function is by creating sound frequencies that block out outside noise.

The sound quality of the headphones is the first and most important thing that you need to take into account. However, it’s important to investigate factors that can impact the audio experience, such as driver size, surround sound, stereo sound, etc., in order to more accurately assess the sound quality.

Everyone values sound quality, of course, but some people need strong bass. It provides the music weight and strength and creates a movement or thump sensation. If you prefer bass-heavy genres like EDM, funk, or metal, you will undoubtedly recognise the value of owning a powerful device because non-bass-heavy earbuds may be a real downer.

Many wired headphones do not require a power supply. This means you can plug them into an audio device and use them anywhere, at any time. Wireless headphones, on the other hand, always need a power source, thus you’ll need a battery to utilize these headphones.

Long battery life is essential if you travel frequently and want to use wireless connectivity and active noise canceling. Over-ear/on-ear headphones often have a longer battery life than in-ear headphones. Almost all over-ear and on-ear Bluetooth headphones can provide at least 10 hours of gameplay per charge (50% vol). The majority of Bluetooth headphones have a battery life of 15-20 hours; however this is not the maximum. In certain circumstances, you will receive more than 20 or 30 hours, and in some cases, even more than 40 hours, each charge.

It is a fact that we frequently treat earphones carelessly. Therefore, anything—dust, splashes, sweat, etc.—can harm them. Therefore, select earphones with a higher IPX certification. The IPX rating specifies the degree of protection against things like water, dust, and sweat. Additionally, it can be used to denote dust resistance or water resistance. Better protection equates to a higher IPX rating.

Impedance is the quantity of electrical resistance needed to measure and regulate the current passing through your headphones’ drivers, protecting them from damage. Thus, if you’re seeking headphones for professional use with AC-powered adapters, we suggest looking at impedance up to 620 ohms. However, looking at impedance lower than 34 ohms if you’re searching for headphones for regular usage with smartphones and portable media players.


Hopefully, this guide on headphones could resolve your concerns. Knowing and understanding more about headphones will enable you to make a sound decisions when shopping for them. Headphones have made a special place in daily life, and as a result, it is always recommended first to chalk out your requirements and then only move forward in selecting a specific headphone.

Let me know your thought in the comment section below, and if you have any suggestions or queries, you can always do the same.

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