6 Different Types of Headphone Designs

The form factor of headphones may be confusing to some people.

People believe that headphones are bulkier and oversized versions of earphones, but is that true?

Actually, earphones are part of the headphone category, but most websites classify these products as earphones and headphones for a better understanding of the consumer.

We will discuss different types of headphones designs and their benefits from the viewpoint of a user in this article.

Let’s begin without wasting any more time.

Headphone designs

The various types of headphones available have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Here we present a short overview of the most commonly used designs available on the market and discuss their benefits and drawbacks.

This will hopefully prevent you from buying a piece of electronic junk that is expensive.

1. On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphone

These headphones are also called supra-aural or open-backed‌  ‌headphones.

With on-ear headphones, the earcups cover just the earlobes, instead of covering your whole ear.

In comparison with the other types of headphones, these headphones will be considerably lighter.

Advantages

  • No ear fatigue: On-Ear headphones leave enough space for air to pass between the earpieces and the ears. As a result, earlobes do not get overheated, which reduces ear fatigue from prolonged listening.
  • Lightweight: Because these headphones are lightweight, people won’t feel too irritated while wearing them. These devices remain stealthy on our heads, unlike heavy and bulky headphones.
  • Smaller size footprint: Due to their size, headphones on the ear are not pocketable. In addition, On-Ear headphones are smaller than Over-the-Ear alternatives and take up less space in your travel bag.

Disadvantages

  • No passive noise cancellation: The ear is open to the air passage, which allows external noise to interfere with the music and reduce its enjoyment.
  • Smaller speaker drivers: On-ear headphones often have smaller speakers compared to over-ear headphones, as a result, their sound is weaker.

2. Over-the-Ear Headphones

Over Ear headphone

Over-the-Ear Headphones are also called circumaural headphones or closed-back headphones.

There are headphones in this type that cover the entire ear, which is basically like a sealed chamber.

In the market, you can find this kind of headphones the most often.

Advantages

  • Noise isolation:  Almost no background noise can enter the ear canal since the earpiece cushion covers the entire earlobe. As a result, the listening experience is relatively serene and relaxing.
  • Bigger speakers: Over-the-ear headphones are much larger than on-ear headphones. The reason for their larger and better speaker drivers is to produce much better sound.

Disadvantages 

  • More chance of ear pain and fatigue: Over-the-ear headphones can cause discomfort and fatigue, especially with prolonged use.
  • Bulky and heavy: These headphones are heavy, bulky, and can annoy users because of their large drivers and earpieces.

3. Canalphones

Canelphones

Currently, canalphones are the most commonly used earphones.

These earphones are also known as earbuds or in-ear earphones.

People commonly call them earbuds since they are more familiar with that name (so they can find them easier).

They are called in-ear headphones because they go inside of your ears. The source of music is usually close to your eardrum by using a tube inserted into your ear canal.

It improves sound quality and noise isolation.

The various online e-commerce sites in India sell affordable to expensive canalphones.

Advantages

  • Perfect fit: The elongated earpiece tubes of these earphones allow them to fit comfortably in the ear canal.
  • Better sound isolation: Canalphones are designed with an earpiece that is sealed inside the canal, which keeps outside noise out.

Disadvantages

  • Ear fatigue: Canalphones are irritating in the same way as Over-the-Ear headphones.

Long-term listening can harm your hearing

Since these earphones have near-ear speakers, they may cause hearing problems in the long run.

4. Ear Monitors

In-ear monitor

Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly rare to find these types of earphones on the market.

Typically, the earpiece sits outside the ear canal on such earphones.

These are mainly Philips earphones, but there are a few other budget models as well.

Moreover, many manufacturers, such as Nokia, include these earphones with their budget smartphone packages.

Advantages

Better listening comfort: Since our earpieces rest outside the ear canal, there is very minimal ear fatigue, even after listening for hours at a time.

Disadvantages

No sound isolation: Earphones of this style are best suitable for indoor use since they don’t provide the same level of isolation as in-canal headphones.

5. Earphones with clips

Clips earphone 1

Most of these are active earphones marketed towards gym users so they can use them during physical activity or workout sessions.

With these earphones, the earpieces come with an ear-hook that keeps them in place and does not let them fall out of your ears.

6. Earphones with neck bands

Neckband earphone

This type of earphone is usually categorized under the wireless earphone category.

The neckband that wraps around the head may contain a battery or adjuster for the playback settings.

FAQs

How many types of headphones exist?

There are four main types of headphones: circumaural (over-ear), supra-aural (on-ear), earbuds, and in-ears.

Which are the best headphones or earbuds?

In general, earbuds are more affordable, more compact, and more workout-friendly than canned headphones. 

Conversely, headphones are often better at noise cancellation and audio quality than either, as well as offering a longer battery life – as long as you’re willing to pay the extra premium.

How many hours a day should you wear headphones?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), wearing headphones daily for an hour is the optimal length of time.

Is wearing headphones while sleeping badly?

According to studies, sleeping with headphones on while listening to music can be harmful and lead to permanent damage. Hearing loss, skin necrosis, and earwax buildup are possible side effects and risks of wearing earplugs.

Can earphones explode?

Yes, but it is only a very little explosion, as it only sounds like a pop sound, but it is not dangerous to us.

Should I buy earbuds or headphones?

To enjoy high-quality sound and to hear all the different sounds in a song, headphones are a great choice. You can also use them to listen to tunes in your home. 

However, if you are working out at the gym or commuting, earbuds are probably a better choice, since they are lightweight and portable.

Conclusion | Types of Headphone Designs

Thousands of headphones are available on the market. In today’s article, we outlined different types of headphones, which would help us decide what one to buy.

As you already know, a good pair of headphones is truly a lifelong partner. 

Wearing the right headphones would add to the joy of every moment, whether you’re commuting or working out.

It was my pleasure to provide you with valuable information about Different Types of Headphones.

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