How to choose the right headphones for music or games

It used to be considered prestigious to turn up the sound louder, so that everyone in the neighborhood could hear who “sings in the house” and what kind of music you like. But today this is not the case and the point here is not in changing tastes and manners, but in technological progress. As soon as a music library of many thousands began to fit into a small digital drive, people wanted to listen to their favorite music from their player and at any time. Now it is exactly the opposite – so as not to disturb others, in any place, plunging into the world of sounds and images. And this cannot be done today without a personal listening device. So, how to choose good headphones is the topic of our article.

What are modern headphones

I would love to state as soon as possible, considering that the marketplace is full of numerous sorts of “head screens”, picking the right alternative can be quite difficult. Therefore, to facilitate the process, let’s very first categorize existing devices according to their kind, objective and qualities. After that, it will certainly be much easier for us to recognize how to pick the best one.

All of them can be conditionally divided into 4 types:

  • liners (droplets);
  • plug-in, vacuum (plugs);
  • overhead (with special fastening);
  • monitor (full circumference of the ears).

This classification depends on how close the speaker is to the ear itself. In this regard, each type has both its pros and cons.

in-ear headphones

In-ear headphones are so named because they fit into the ear. They are held due to the force of elasticity, but since the droplets are standard in diameter, and the shape of the ear is different for all people, the liners “have a habit” of periodically falling out.

In addition, due to the small size of the membrane, they do not reproduce low frequencies well. They are also characterized by poor sound insulation. These are their main weaknesses.

What is the merit? In their inexpensive cost, as well as compactness: they do not take up much space. Droplets are best suited to people who are unpretentious in terms of sound quality, and it was they who were most often sold earlier as a load to phones.


Vacuum headphones or “gags” are better than those mentioned above. Soft silicone tips and fixation of the speaker inside the ear canal – this is their main difference from other types.

The sound quality of such models is much higher. Earplugs have a deep level of sound insulation, the person in them is literally immersed in the sound. That is why they are relevant in noisy places, in the subway, on the train, in the metropolis. The accessory is good for listening both from the player and from the phone.

However, they also have their drawback: they create a significant load on the human auditory organs, as they are inserted deep into the ear. It is obvious that earplugs with their frequent use can plant hearing.

These are those that, in the literal sense of the word, are superimposed on the ear. They have a special fastening: on the ear, occipital bow or on the headband.

This accessory is better than droplets in sound due to the larger membrane. Also, a special fastening, especially the headband, literally attracts them to the ears.

It is suitable for the owner of the tablet or gamer, as well as for enjoying music from the player. Another plus: fairly good soundproofing.

Their cost is from $ 25, for example, such as the Sony MDR-370LP White cost 1100 rubles.

Monitor Headphones

Over-ear or monitor headphones are those that completely enclose the ears. This type is also divided into open and closed. Closed ones provide complete isolation from the outside world. The open ones have holes in the ear pads.

In closed headphones, as a rule, sound directors work, who need to see the entire sound picture and they do not need extraneous noise. And open ones are the destiny of computer game lovers, music lovers who listen to music on a computer.

The disadvantage of full-size headphones is their size. Quality ones like AKG and Sennheiser, Koss or Audio-Technica come with a hefty price tag.

Purpose of different types

So, considering the various types, we have already touched on such a topic as purpose. Nevertheless, let’s expand the scope of head monitors and once again decide where, in what area it is best to use one or another.

Headphones are used:

  • for sound recording and information of music;
  • to work in a music and radio studio;
  • to listen to the player;
  • to listen to audiobooks;
  • while playing by gamers;
  • while surfing the Internet;
  • to watch videos on a computer, tablet;
  • to listen to internet radio on your phone or smartphone;
  • for a Skype conversation;
  • just like a phone headset.

Obviously, a DJ in a radio studio will not work in drops, and an ordinary person will not need studio accessories to talk with a friend on Skype. To each his own. Therefore, to choose headphones, you must always first determine how and when you will use them.

Therefore, general advice for the time being, without going into characteristics, will be like this.

  1. If you are unpretentious to the sound quality, you need at least some, if only “ears”, if you always have a phone or smartphone at hand – your choice is a droplet or a plug.
  2. If you are always on the move, jogging in the early morning, like to listen to audio books or music from the player, listen a great deal – your choice is overhanging. You need a great place which your hearing does not burn out.
  3. If you are a player or, while working at a computer system, like to “go into yourself” for a while, your option is full-size open.
  4. And naturally, if you function professionally with noise, then you need high-quality shut “ears”.

Read More Building your home recording studio.