Top 5 Things You Need to Know When
Buying Headphones


Buying Headphones can be a challenge. Let BoldList make it a little bit easier! Check out our list of the Top 5 Things You Need to Know When Buying Headphones and learn about the pros and cons of the different types of headphones, as well as information about closed-back vs. open-back headphones, and whether or not you need a headphone amp! Learn more about top headphone brands.

1) In-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser CX 3.00 headphones
  • Also often referred to as earbuds
  • Sound quality and bass rarely as good as full-size headphones
  • Can provide moderate to excellent isolation from external noise
  • Ultra-compact and lightweight, perfect for travel or the gym
  • Check out our Top 5 In-Ear Headphones

2) Over-Ear Headphones

V-Moda Crossfade M-100 headphones
  • Also referred to as Full-size, Circumaural, or Earcup
  • Better suited to home use rather than as a portable option
  • Large headphones offer potential for maximum bass and loudness
  • Surround-sound effectively blocks outside noises
  • Check out our Top 5 Over-Ear headphones

3) On-Ear Headphones

girl wearing on-ear headphones
  • Also referred to as Supra-aural or Earpad
  • Preferred in places like office environments, where listeners still benefit from hearing the outside world
  • Comfortable and less prone to overheating ears than full-size headphones
  • Less effective noise isolation than in-ear or full-size models and less powerful bass compared with full-size
  • Leak more sound than full-size or in-ear

4) What’s the deal with open-back vs. closed-back headphones?

  • Closed-back headphones are sealed and allow minimal sound leakage
  • Open-back headphones lack this seal, and large amounts of sound leak out and can be heard by anyone around you
  • Closed-back headphones are more useful for private listening (in the office, at the gym, on the bus)
  • Open-back are more useful for outdoor activities like jogging (or if you are alone and there is no one around you to be annoyed)
  • The benefits of open-back headphones are that they produce better, more "open" sound than sealed designs

5) Do I need a headphone amp?

headphone amp
  • High quality headphones will only sound as good as the source of the music being fed to them
  • If you are planning on maximizing your listening experience, and are currently using an mp3 player or your phone as a source, you should definitely consider an amp
  • Since the internal amp in a smartphone is so puny, an amp is needed for a stronger power supply, allowing overall better controlled sound
  • An amp offers the ability to provide considerably more output power to the headphone
  • If you aren't looking for audiophile level sound from your headphones, then you should probably save your money, since headphones, on their own, deliver adequate sound for the undiscerning ear

P.S there are many headphones better than beats out there

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