The headphones space has really exploded over the past few years. Once a simple piece of equipment, headphones can now range from a street fashion statement to a serious investment in the latest technology. And as we all know, a good pair of headphones is a traveller’s best friend.
If you need help deciding which headphones to buy, check out our headphones buying guide
But before you buy a pair online, let’s go through some of the basics:
In-ear vs On-ear vs Over-ear
In-ear headphones, or ear buds, are small and extremely portable. They are much preferred for exercise, as they stay put even during the most burpee-filled workout. Naturally noise rejecting, latest versions of in-ear headphones can now include noise cancellation. On-ear headphones are a smaller style that sits, as the name suggests, on your ear. Some prefer this option as it is lightweight, lets in more of the ambient sound and reduces “ear fatigue” (this is a thing). Over-ear headphones, while perhaps not as compact, can offer the most immersive listening experience. Many are packed with advanced features like noise cancellation, Bluetooth and some can even allow you to access your smart phone’s virtual assistant with voice commands.
Whenever and wherever you are listening, noise cancelling headphones are the key to reducing unwanted noise or distraction without you having to increase the volume. Noise cancelling works by blocking out ambient noise to make sound more clear and can do this in two ways – either active or passive. Active is when the headphones sample the external sound and create an opposing sound wave to cancel it out. Whereas passive means that the headphones physically block the sound with the density of the cup design. Whichever you choose, noise cancelling headphones are considered by many to be essential if you fly or commute regularly.
Wireless headphones, or Bluetooth headphones, are one of the fastest growing segments of the market. The main attraction with this style of headphone is freedom of movement, in that it allows the technology to feel natural, almost invisible. Many even allow you to connect to multiple devices, so that you can move seamlessly between environments. Two things to bear in mind with cordless headphones is compatibility and battery life. You need to ensure that your headphones will pair with your device, it sounds like a simple enough concept, but you can get caught out – research is key. And naturally anything without a wire will require a battery, so battery life can be a concern. Most come with a headphone cord as an accessory and you can always carry spare batteries – but do as the scouts do, and be prepared!Show less
Headphones and Earphones
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