Choosing The Best Headphones For You

by : Lee Dobbins

Headphones can allow you to listen to whatever music you want wherever you want without bothering anyone else, but choosing the best headphones for you can be a challenge with so many options out there.

Do you want sealed headphones or open air headsets? Wireless or wires? Should you spring for noise cancelling? All these questions are enough to have anyone heading back home without a purchase! Here are some basics that might help with your decision.

Headset Design

There are 4 basic types of headphones - sealed, open, canal phones and earbuds. The style that is right for you is largely a matter of what you intent to do with them and how much money you have to spend.

The sealed headphones are those heavy clunky headphones that you think of when you picture studio musicians and stereo sets from the '70's. These are great if you want to isolate out any exterior noises. Not only will they not let outside noise in, they will keep whatever you are playing from getting out, so if you are using them at work and want to crank the tunes without bothering your officemate, then these might be a good choice.

The open-air headsets are lighter and will deliver better sound quality but won't block out outside noise. They also will emit some noise and may be bothersome to anyone sitting close to you. They are quite comfortable, however but aren't as sturdy as the sealed headsets and may break more easily.

Earbuds are really tiny headphones that fit right inside your outer ear and are held in place with clips or a band. They are very light but if you are particular about your sound quality these may not be the best headphones for you or you may have to take some time to find a set that is the perfect fit for your outer ear.

Canal headphones are the smallest of the 4 types of headphones and fit right into your ear canal staying in place without the aid of any bands or clips. They seal off your ears so no extraneous sound can get in and therefore they provide excellent sound quality.


You can buy headphones that are wireless or go with the standard type that have some sort of wire that hooks into the stereo, TV, CD player or whatever you are listening to. Wires can be a bit limiting and you can tend to get tangled in them unless you are sitting still the whole time. This is why many people prefer wireless headsets. The wireless sets use radio signals or infrared technology. If you want to run around in your yard or be able to go all over your house, then you want to opt for the ones that use radio signals as the infrared ones only function when they can "see" the transmitter.

If you tend to listen to your headset somewhere where there is a lot of outside noise, then a noise-cancelling set might be the best headphones for you to use. These use microphones to pick up external noises and "cancel" them out so that your music listening is clearer with less distractions. These sets can be a bit heavier than the others, but can be a boon to anyone who works in a noisy environment.