How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Headphones
The headphone is your faithful friend who fills your life and ears with fat music. We help you to find the perfect sound partner among the many possibilities.
Earphones used to be just something you wore on your head or in your ears and wired to your mobile device or music system. The different models worked more or less in the same way, so it was mainly a question of style and brand if you wanted to express your personality through your headphones.
Today, headphones differ much more and the choice has increased considerably. Apple, for example, said goodbye to the jack socket with the iPhone 7, which triggered a veritable flood of new Bluetooth headphones.
The voice control of your phone via headphones and Bluetooth have become a real alternative in record time, which you can use on the go and at home without having to worry about the sound quality.
The same applies to earplug headphones (in-ear), which today offer a sound quality that will delight even the most demanding music lovers. Wireless in-ear models are also on the advance, so you have a wide choice.
Once you have decided what type of headphones and what features you want, the right choice is much easier. And of course style, design and price also come into play here.
Allround – one headphone for every position
First you have to decide whether you want headphones that cover as many of your needs as possible, or whether you only want them for a specific application area, such as sports, gaming, high-end, DJ or the like.
With an all-round solution, you have to choose between:
Full format (Over-Ear/On-Ear) or earplugs (In-Ear)
Cordless or wired
You’ve decided beforehand whether you want full-size headphones or earplugs. Then we don’t need to go into it here. However, we have to go into more detail on the question of whether with or without cables.
Wireless or wired – the big question
Wireless headphones give you freedom of movement everywhere, and the sound can be very high class. On the negative side, however, there is the need for battery power, both for the headphones themselves and for the Bluetooth transmitter in the telephone. So you need to be ready to charge your headphones almost as often as your phone if you don’t want to risk silence in the ear canal. However, many wireless headphones have a cable connection so you can have a Plan B in special situations.
On the other hand, a cable model is always ready to play and does not suck the battery in the phone empty like its wireless brother. If you can live with a cable, it is in fact a much simpler solution. And since you don’t need any electronics in the cable headphones, it’s also cheaper.
In addition to Bluetooth headphones, there are some wireless models that are specially designed for use at home on the system or on the TV. Here you connect a separate transmitter to the system so that you can move freely in your apartment with the headphones. Not only do some of these models have no cable, they also offer a longer range and higher sound quality than Bluetooth.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is an ingenious feature that is becoming increasingly popular with headphones, especially wireless models. ANC picks up ambient noise via a microphone and suppresses it by mixing a phase-inverted “counter-noise” into the music signal. This has an incredible effect, especially on driving noises on trains, in airplanes or in other situations with engine noise and baby howling.
Some newer models have ANC with smart help functions, such as “Talk-Through”. At the push of a button you can hear what the stewardess, wife or children want to tell you.
ANC has no significant side effects other than low power consumption, so it’s a really useful feature that can improve your music enjoyment in many situations. However, some of these models sound worse – or do not play at all – when the battery is almost empty. Don’t forget that when you take your headphones on a longer trip.
Android or Apple iOS?
Now you’ve come a long way in search of your new all-round headphones. In order to reach the goal, the last details have to be clarified. For example, it doesn’t matter if you use an Apple or Android phone.
Wired headphones have a small remote control on the cable to navigate between songs and answer phone calls. If the remote control is specially designed for Apple, everything works normally, of course. Android phones are so different that some functions – usually the volume control – do not work. Here you have no choice but to come into the shop and try it out. Wireless control via Bluetooth works the same on all phones.
As already mentioned, Apple retired the jack socket when the iPhone 7 was launched. After the initial shock, a number of solutions have come to the market that allow you to use your music on your iPhone with wired headphones. Apple’s own lightning-to-jack adapter is included with the phone, but doesn’t sound very good. You deserve better.
One solution is to buy one of the new headphone models with a Lightning plug directly on the cable. There are already some on the market and others have been announced. So you can hear via cable as usual.
You can also choose a super-compact, mobile headphone amplifier that connects to the Lightning jack. It takes up no more space than a USB stick, and you can plug in any headphone as usual. This solution can turn your smartphone (or PC) into an audiophile music player!
Battery and running time – cordless does not last forever
All wireless headphones have one thing in common, they need power. This comes from a built-in battery, which must be recharged again and again. Wireless in-ear models can have a battery life of up to 3 hours, full-size models up to 30 hours or more.
Battery life is very important for daily use, so you should take a look at it before choosing wireless headphones. However, battery technology is evolving rapidly, so there is no doubt that new products will improve battery life and opportunities.
Come by and listen – it’s worth it
At Hi-Fi Klubben, we take the choice of headphones just as seriously as the choice of system or speakers. Therefore we would like to invite you to come to one of our branches and experience the different possibilities and models.
If you try out headphones and the music flows into your ears, you will soon find out if it suits you. It’s almost like new shoes – they have to fit right and feel good.
The right headphones will be your faithful friend for years. Come to us and let us help you find him!
Special headphones – for special needs
Not every task can be solved with a Swiss knife or an all-rounder. Sometimes you need a specialist who knows his field perfectly. This also applies to headphones where special requirements require special solutions. With the associated advantages and disadvantages.