Right from the plastic pairs that you get when you buy your smartphone or the big ones that sit smugly on your ears, deciding on the right headphone for you can be a little daunting. The thing that we all look for in a headphone is to get the perfect sound for our purpose. This little device, however, has a lot of engineering behind its simple looks. Read this review in order to find the headphones that are right for you, but first a few pointers on the different configurations that they come in. Since sound can be tuned in an infinite number of ways, matching the experience that you require to a suitable headphone is an intricate exercise than just picking brands. When going shopping for a headphone, you need to make an informed choice and not get confused by the technical jargon that’s peddled around.


In-Ear Headphones

They are by far the smallest and therefore the most portable. They are also often referred to as In-Ear Monitors or IEMs in short. The two earbuds that come with these sets fit nicely in your ear canal and are powered by very small drivers. Of course, the fact that they sit in one’s ear canals is considered too invasive by some and the fit isn’t liked by a handful of people. However, their size is their biggest advantage as they can be easily folded up and stored, thus offering the most portability. This is ideal when you are traveling and are generally comfortable to wear for longer durations.

On-Ear Headphones

These sit on your ears. They are bigger than the size of your ears and come with a headband that helps hold the ear cups in place. Being larger than the in-ear ones, but smaller than other varieties, they are usually comfortable for use over a decent period of time, but not for prolonged use. They come with drivers that are around 30-40 mm in size and can be easily folded up. Recommended for short periods of use.

Over-Ear Headphones

They are the largest and seat very comfortably, surrounding your ears. Because of their large size, the drivers are much larger, around 45 mm in size. Comfortable to wear, they come with larger driver casings and also a headband to secure the big ear cups. The larger drivers allow for a more detailed sound experience and audio volumes can be much higher than the in-ear or the on-ear varieties. The ones that are designed well also offer good enough sound-isolation as the ear cups completely surround your ears. Their large size, of course, makes them less portable and are mostly recommended for use at home or at the office.

Noise canceling headphones

Precision engineering and design have helped headphone technology evolve to an extent that headphones can now even offer peace and quiet to the listener. These headphones are equipped with noise-canceling technology by using microphones that actually captureexternal noise and then uses the opposite frequency to produce noise that cancels out the external sound. They usually require more power than the other headphone varieties. You might, therefore, need powerful batteries or charging options. Usually, these devices are good at canceling out regular noise that’s of uniform frequency. However, if the sounds vary too much, they might not be able to block out all the external sound.

Gaming headphones

Specifically designed for gamers, these are obviously best used when playing video games on computers, consoles, or devices. They are built to aid the in-game audio experience and provides virtual sound and surround sound capabilities. Such is their precision that they help gamers identify the direction of the sound, a critical requirement for gamers. They also come with microphones to enable audio chat when participating in multi-player games. These audio gears are however not suitable for listening to music.

Wireless headphones

Free of cables, they offer the listener the freedom of movement. They work on radio frequency, Bluetooth, or infrared transmission technology and while radio frequency and infrared need a base device, Bluetooth ones would require pairing with the main device. The devices are highly portable and suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage. While radio frequency does work over large distances, infra-red would work only when there is a clear line-of-sight and Bluetooth usually has a range of around 30 meters. Sound quality may not be as good as the wired ones, especially when there is interference. They usually consume a lot of battery life also.