Headphones are quite possibly the best way to enjoy music and other types of audio on a very personal level. They are these little speakers that are attached to a headband that sits around your head to deliver audio directly to your ears. As there are many people from many different walks of life, there are different types of headphones for everyone.
Over-ear headphones utilize the standard headphone design with a headband, but the padding on the earcups are usually larger to accommodate the ears of people. The headphone earcups on over-ear headphones sit around the ear instead of on them, effectively sealing out external noise and providing a more comfortable listening experience. These are also usually larger types of headphones.
On-ear headphones are like the opposites of over-ear headphones. On-ear headphones are usually much more compact and sometimes even foldable for portability and easy storage. As the term suggests, on-ear headphones have smaller earcups which sit directly on the ear of the listener; depending on the person this could be rather uncomfortable in longer listening sessions.
In-ear headphones are also known as earphones or earbud-type earphones. These are the simple and compact headphones that you usually see packed inside your smartphone’s box, along with an inline microphone for calls. In-ear headphones provide the best noise isolation because of the way its rubber tips sit inside the ear canal, sealing it from external noise. More expensive and custom-made in-ear headphones are also known as CIEMs, custom in-ear monitors – typically used by professional musicians to monitor their sounds.
Closed-backed headphones are the normal everyday headphones that you see all over the place. It’s the headphone that most people will commonly buy off the store shelves. Closed-back headphones are called that way because of the way they are built, with their drivers put into a sealed space in the headphones. These offer better sound isolation in comparison to open-backed headphones, but without the superior acoustics.
Open-backed headphones have … an open back. The drivers sit in the headphones with an open back behind the drivers. Having open-backed headphones delivers superior audio in comparison to closed-back headphones, with the acoustics of the room coming to play with delivering natural tones to music – however, there is a downside to this: your music can be heard by others and you can hear external sounds, which makes it unsuitable for use in public areas.
There are also other types of headphones that are designed to be used for a specific activity such as sports headphones or monitoring headphones for use in recording studios. But regardless of so, they all share the same types of features as listed above.