Over the Ear Headphone

Headphones Buying Guide

Types of headphones: differences and features

The OCU cares about your health and teaches you how to enjoy the best products. If you’re into music, you have to pay attention to the sound quality of what you hear but also to the health of your ear. Our analyses have shown that the headphones that are given away with regular players and mobile phones are quite mediocre. Learn to get some good quality ones.


For music lovers: classic headphones

If you’re quite a melomaniacal, you need good headphones. Wired classics are best suited for their high sound quality.


How to choose the best headphones

There are them for everyone. Barely visible or surrounding the entire auditory ward:

  • Button: they are the most popular for their low price (less than 10 euros) and their small size. They are placed inside the ear but without touching the ear canal. They don’t isolate from outside noise.
  • Intrauricular: similar in size to button size but enter the ear canal. Its rubber adapters (caps) isolate a lot from outside noise and allow for better ear support.
  • Supraural or open: they are placed over the ear and their pads allow a good fit, but do not completely isolate from the outside noise. They are light and very easy to carry.
  • Circumaural or closed: they have large pads that completely surround the ear. They achieve better sound insulation, although because of their weight and size they can be somewhat uncomfortable.


What headphones to buy and what to look at?

Once you have chosen the model, you should look at another set of things:

  • Sound quality :we recommend that you consult our analysis and choose one of the ones that you get good note of in this section.
  • Comfort:no less attractive, they are of no use if they are uncomfortable. Try them before you buy them: they should weigh little, not swing over your head and not squeeze too tightly, especially if you’re wearing glasses. If they are intra-ear, the pad has to fit perfectly in the ear (many bring up to three different sizes of pads). If they’re circumaural, make sure they completely cover your ear.
  • Cable: virtue is in the middle. It must be long enough not to pull your ears but not so long as to get tangled up in your clothes. If it is removable you will be safe from breakage in case of jerking. If it is extendable you will be able to adjust its length.
  • Practical issues: it’s good that they’re easy to clean, don’t break when you put them in your backpack, and have a bag to store them.


For mobile: Bluetooth headphones

Bluetooth headphones are practical, lightweight and not very expensive. They allow you to use your phone (which must also be equipped with Bluetooth) without having to hold it all the time with your hands and without the hassle of cables from a conventional headset. You can also use them to listen to music from your phone.


Mono or stereo?

  • Monkey: they are attached to one ear and are suitable for phone conversations. Its price ranges from 30 to 60 euros.
  • Stereo: have two headphones and are convenient if you want to listen to music with your phone player. You will need a mobile compatible with the A2DP profile. Its price is higher: the best are around 100 euros.


What to look at?

  • Sound quality :it is usually quite good and depends on both the chosen headset and the phone with which it is paired.
  • Comfort: depends on the piece that fits in the ear and the hook or curved piece that is placed behind the atrial pavilion. Some have rubber supports, deformable to fit the ear. Others provide interchangeable parts of different sizes and shapes.
  • Battery: make sure they have enough battery life.
  • Practical issues:It is important that the headphone controls have a location and size that allows them to be easily manipulated. Before using them, you need to connect the headset to your mobile. Remember, you won’t be able to use them eer behind the wheel or on the plane.


For lovers of silence: with noise cancellation

When traveling by bus or subway, we’ve all complained about the annoying background noise that prevents us from enjoying our favorite songs. The solution? Use a noise-cancelling headset. These models have a device that allows to eliminate annoying noises from the environment.


Intraural or circumaural?

  • Intraural: they are smaller and their pads introduce sound directly into the ear canal, which achieves great insulation from the outside. The noise-cancelling device is located inside a small box arranged along the cable. Its price ranges from 50 to 100 euros.
  • Circumaural: they are larger and their pad completely surrounds the user’s ear to isolate them from noise. The electronic components of the noise cancelling circuit are integrated into the headset itself rather than the cable. You won’t find them for less than 100 euros and some can reach 300.


Noise-cancelling headphones: What to look at?

  • Battery: All noise-cancelling models require batteries to use this functionality. They can be small AAA alkaline batteries (usually run on a single battery, although some models may need two) or specific batteries that will come with their own charger and in some cases even with a replacement battery.
  • Option to disable noise cancellation : itis very important, since this function can create a “bubble” effect that prevents us from hearing a warning or alarm signal. If you’re going to use them to run in traffic environments, you need to be sure you can turn off noise cancellation.
  • Comfort: carrying a circuit to cancel out noise can make them bigger and heavier. Make sure the weight of the cable doesn’t cause them to fall off (if they’re intraural) or swing over your head (if they’re circumaural).
  • Practical issues:As with Bluetooth, it is important that the headphone controllers have a location and size that allows them to be easily manipulated, especially when changing the battery. Finally, keep in mind that the effect that a user perceives who is not used to this type of headphone is pressure in the ears, as if they were plugged.