One of the simplest ways to improve your gaming, music-listening, calling, or video-conferencing experience is to use earphones or headphones. With these accessories, you can expect clearer, high-fidelity audio that’s undoubtedly better than what your phone, TV, or computer’s built-in speakers can produce.
That said, it can be difficult to choose an earphone or headphone. Philippines’s tech scene is always bustling, so there’s a wide selection of top-notch products. There are also new models of earphones and headphones being released every few months, which can further add to your dilemma.
To help you choose the best audio accessory, here are some factors to consider:
Of course, it’s a must that your earphones or headphones have good sound quality. However, keep in mind that “good” is subjective. You might like a lot of bass, but other listeners might prefer to have a bit more treble. This is why, as much as possible, you should try the earphones or headphones first before you make a purchase. If you’re buying online, check the policy of the store so you can return or exchange the product in case you aren’t satisfied.
If you’re also looking for earphones or headphones that can be used for voice calls, make sure to find a model that also has a good mic.
Headphones are made to be portable, in the sense that you can bring them anywhere. Nevertheless, earphones are much smaller than headphones; thus, if you want something that you can stash in your bag, earphones are the way to go.
However, there are also more compact models of headphones with foldable ear cups or headbands. They also come with carrying pouches. Do note, as well, that headphones usually have better sound quality than earphones (but this also doesn’t mean that earphones are bad).
Aside from the size of the earphones or headphones, you should also consider their comfort factor. For earphones, check the size of the earbuds. Usually, you’ll find three sizes in the package: small, medium, and large. If any of these have the perfect fit, good! If not, you may have to order separate earbuds to ensure your comfort.
With regards to headphones, on the other hand, one of the things you need to pay attention to are the size and material of the ear cups. For maximum comfort, especially during long listening hours, find a headphone with memory foam ear cups covered with breathable fabric. An adjustable and lightweight headband also contributes to overall comfort.
If you’re a commuter, then you’re probably familiar with that feeling of annoyance when the background noise interferes with your enjoyment of good music. Fortunately, this can be solved by earphones or headphones with noise-canceling capabilities.
Remember, though, that noise-canceling earphones or headphones shouldn’t completely block out sounds. For example, if you’re crossing the street, you should still be able to reasonably hear car horns so you can stay safe.
Cable Length and Quality
For many music enthusiasts, wired earphones or headphones are better since they don’t depend on signals. Many HiFi or high-fidelity earphones or headphones are also wired. (High-fidelity audio equipment can reproduce music as closely as possible to the original recording, with very little distortion.)
Most standard earphones and headphones have cables that are 1.2 meters long. If you need more mobility, you can buy cord extenders. However, long wires can get in the way. They can also add distortion and possibly degrade the signal, so just keep these in mind when you want to lengthen the cord.
Finally, try to purchase earphones or headphones with braided cables as much as possible. These cords are less likely to fray and can withstand more
Meanwhile, if you go for wireless earphones or headphones, it’s best to look for a model that can promise connection stability. There are plenty of things that can cause Bluetooth signal interference, which can then cause the audio to stutter, skip, or get delayed. Distance can also affect the quality of the connection and the sound you hear.
For signal interference, you can simply avoid the things that can cause them. These include physical obstructions, microwaves (yes, your oven can interfere with Bluetooth signals), and other wireless devices such as smart phones. Meanwhile, regarding the distance, the solution is to get the Class 1 Bluetooth earphones or headphones. These boast a range of up to 100 meters. Class 2 have a range of about 10 meters, while Class 3 earphones or headphones have a range of 10 meters or below. Of course, Class 1 products will be more expensive.
Price is also an important consideration. Note that a high price doesn’t always equate to high quality, but tried-and-tested brands often cost more. There are also more expensive earphones or headphones that produce good sound but don’t meet your personal preference. Again, “good sound” can be quite subjective.
That said, with these tips, finding the perfect pair of earphones or headphones will be a lot easier.