Headphone Heaven... Finding the Right Model

By: Rc Rougeux

If you like to listen to music, there are probably times when you prefer to listen to music on your own rather than share it with the world (and admittedly, there are times when the world would prefer not to share your music with you!). When you want to keep the sound in your head, you need headphones.

Headphones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are designed for varying levels of sound quality, convenience, and affordability.

The common headphones that you will likely use for listening to music on a portable CD player or an ipod or your phone are probably earbuds. These small, circular head phones fit right into your ears. They don't eliminate outside noise, which makes them appropriate so you can still hear your stop on the subway or listen for oncoming traffic if you're riding your bike. They are very lightweight and affordable. In fact, most listening devices that offer headphones with them offer earbuds.

If you are a true audiophile in that you love music – not just the tune but the deep intricacies – you will likely want something a little better. If you are at home, consider using noise canceling circumaural head phones which completely enclose. The ear is surrounded by a comfortable padding and the headphone itself has special wiring to keep exterior sounds out. Although these don't look very cool when you're walking around on the street (not to mention that you won't hear anything but the music with them on), they are perfect if you are trying to create the ultimate home entertainment theatre system (for either music or movies).

If you do want to hear higher quality sound while you're walking around and listening to your ipod, you may want to consider a headphone called a canalbud. Like an earbud, these go in your ears but they are slightly different. Earbuds usually look like half circles and are essentially speakers that go just on the outer edge of your ear canal. Canalbuds, on the other hand, look more like small tubes and they go inside your ear canal in the same way that ear plugs might go inside your ear canal. The result? More exterior sound is deadened from the outside world and the music you hear has a better sound. The only drawback is that these canalbuds are more expensive than earbuds to they are really for the serious listener only.

Headphones can really make the difference in your music enjoyment. The best kind of headphones are ones that do block out a fair amount of noise from the outside (even if you don't get noise canceling headphones). The reason is that the volume has to be turned up louder to compensate for exterior noise and the louder the volume, the greater chance of permanent hearing loss. Instead, spending a little extra and finding headphones that do a good job of blocking out quite a bit of sound will result in enjoying the music more clearly at lower volumes so your hearing will last.

Enjoy your headphones…find ones that suit your needs.

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