Headphones vs Earphones – A Sound Debate

If you are a person who loves to listen to music and be careful about your headphones or earphones. If you are shopping for one. There are number of reasons that may influence your decision to pick one over the other. Size, convenience, comfort and features are the consideration that may affect your decision.

Above reasons may influence over your decision but what if you really care about is the sound performance of the headphones or earphones. Do you think there is any difference between the sound quality of headphones and earphones?

In general, headphones are way more powerful and has a better sound experience for many of the people. Same is the case with the other features before we go into that lets discuss some terms.

What’s the difference between headphones and earphones?

Headphones and earphones are known by many names as on-ear, in ear, Earbuds or any other descriptive terms. For the purpose of discussion we will use the following definition.

Earphones are listening devices that firmly fit inside your ear canal while headphones are listening devices that sit over the ear.

Why does one sound better then the other?

As we have already discussed if you are only interested in the sound performance of the listening device, then headphones will better serve you as compared to the earphones. To back my words we will discuss the following reasons.

Headphones are benefited from a much larger version of drivers – most 40mm to 50 mm drivers. As compared to a much smaller 7mm to 15mm drivers in earphones. Larger drivers produce a fine and smooth bass, the same is the case with the audio sound over the entire spectrum. Frequency from the lowest to the highest are better as compared to earphones. In earphones, the bass is also better which is only possible because they sit inside the ear canal.

Headphones provide more space to breathe both literally and figuratively. With headphones the soundstage is so good. Just close your eyes and you will feel the guitar, bass, drum all in front of you.

Noise Isolation

The most important thing in headphones or earphones is, how well they fit over your ear or in the ear canal, the better they will sound. Generally everyone got different ear canals so earphones come with variety of different ear tips, in different sizes and shapes. This solves the problem for many people but still some people have problems.

On the other hand headphones don’t need to be shaped and sized. They sit over the ear and are better in sound isolation as compared to earphones. They isolate sound better and you don’t have to turn up the volume to listen to the music. Listener enjoys a more pure and soothing sound.

Furthermore, headphones are less fussy fit and more comfortable. So they can be weared for a longer time as compared to earphones. Also, they are larger in size and have more room to fit in electronics. So they have a better active noise cancellation as compared to earphones.

Well, What about workout and sports?

Well, if you are a sport person, earphones will give a better experience as compared to headphones. If you wear headphones while running or working out, you will feel more heat around your ears and will feel uncomfortable. So, earphones can be light, comfortable.

The other thing is that earphones are portable and easy to carry around. You are going on a trip, just throw them into your pocket. You are working out and tired of music throw them in your pocket. What could be better then if you have a listening device with you all the time. On the other hand headphones cannot be carried everywhere.

Bottom Line

Well, here we come to place that you have to decide what’s better for you. You know at the end it all comes to personal preference. For some of the people sound matters while for other maybe design and comfort matters.

You shouldn’t look what’s best, you should look for what’s best for you and what you really need.

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