So you are finally watching that movie for which you have waited a lifetime. It comes with high recommendations too – especially that one scene. And you are there right now. The narrative has already picked up pace and mystery after mystery is being unfolded at breakneck speed. You are dying to hear what or who is that final piece of the jigsaw. The protagonist starts to speak and…. CLAANGGGGG!!! Your kid brother brings all the utensils crashing down and you couldn’t hear a word the detective said!! You have no clue how the murderer was identified!!
Of course, you can always rewind and go back to hear that all important dialogue (unless you are watching the movie on regular TV cable network). But that kills the mood, not to mention the continuity.
Sounds familiar? Déjà Vu?
That’s why headphones / earphones are such a rage. And you should get a good pair too. But there are so many types and brands out there. How to choose? While comfort of use for extended listening periods is an important factor, audiophiles will obviously look for the best sound as their first preference. The following discussion should help make this decision easier.
Types of headphones
You may come across the following types of headphones in your quest to find that perfect fit for yourself.
- Wireless – Bluetooth, Radio Frequency (RF), KLEERTM , DSSS (digital audio transmission),
- Noise cancelling
- Lightening – Apple’s proprietary ‘Lightening’ cable
- Over-ear headphones
- On-ear headphones
- In-ear headphones
In this article, we will focus on the ‘over-ear headphones’ and try to compare their utility with a few other common types.
The Top Features of Over the Ear Headphones
As the name suggests, over-ear headphones surround the entire ear and provide a comfortable fit. These are also known as circumaural (around the ear) or full-size headphones. They are available in open-back, closed-back, wireless and noise-cancelling variants. Some of these variants may overlap, i.e., provide more than one of these features.
1. They fit on your ears easily
On-ear headphones (supra-aural) sit on, and not around, your ears. These may be lighter in weight and more portable when compared to over-ear headphones, but they also let in a lot of the ambient noise. Not many prefer this, especially if you work or live around places with continuous loud noises.
2. Offer good speakers
Next come the speakers on these devices. The over-ear types generally sport 3 to 5 inch speakers within the cushions that enclose the ears. This isolates the listener from the external sounds in the surroundings and delivers a fuller listening experience.
The on-ear types, on the other hand, have 1 to 2 inch speakers. The ear pads on these press down on your ears more firmly, so as to deliver better sound. This may also help to hold the headphones in place while doing certain light activities. However, some may not prefer the extra pressure on their ears.
3. Offers good noise cancellation
Since the over-ear headphones cut-off the external noise, they help the user to concentrate better on the task at hand by reducing auditory distractions. Another notable advantage is the way these prevent sound from leaking out of the headphones. This avoids disturbance to people around you and since nobody can hear what you are listening to (or what the person at the other end of your phone call is saying), your privacy is protected too.
4. Is comfortable
One more positive is that the speakers of over-ear headphones are (generally) mounted in a way that they face the back of the listener’s head. This is effective when watching a movie because you get the feeling that the sound is coming from in front of you where the action is taking place.
On-ear headphones are generally cheaper than over-ear types, but require quiet surroundings to deliver their best performance.
‘Comfort’ is very subjective. However, for most people over-ear headphones may be the most comfortable, especially if you plan on using your headphones continuously for long hours. However, to each his (her) own.