Headphones Buying Guide

This buying guide will help you decide which headphones to buy based on your specific needs, budget, and lifestyle.

Headphones are more than just a way to listen to music. They have evolved into a wearable device that allows you to enhance your smartphone experience. It can be difficult to decipher all the specifications and even more difficult to understand the importance of some software features over others, especially if you are buying headphones for the first time. Buying headphones should not be difficult, but with so many brands and hundreds of headphone models to choose from, choosing headphones that match your preferences is not easy.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to headphones: headphone fit, headphone design, driver type, wired or wireless, sound quality, and more. If you choose headphones with better sound quality, the price may be higher. On the other hand, if you want to spend as little as possible, you can expect to sacrifice sound quality, which happens with cheap headphones on the market, but not always. So before you go to a store or online retailer to buy a pair of headphones, get your priorities in order and list what you really need and what you can do without.

Choose the Type of Headphones Fit

Headphones come in many different styles, but they are divided into two types: wireless and wired headphones

Wired Headphones

As the name suggests, wired headphones have cables that connect the device to an MP player, cell phone, or any streaming device. Since these are wired headphones, the sound quality is excellent and there is no signal loss. Wired headphones do not require batteries, so they are perfect for gamers, travelers, and joggers.

Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones are wireless, so the user can use the device without worrying about cables. These headphones are designed for the sports and outdoor use. To connect to an audio or streaming device, the headphones feature Bluetooth, a connectivity technology that encodes and transmits audio signals wirelessly over short distances. While wireless, these headphones offer stable audio transmission, although they are more sensitive than their wired counterparts. Some wireless headphones can even connect directly to your TV.

Specifications to Consider

Acoustic System

An acoustic system in earphones represents its design. A closed acoustic system prevents outside noise from getting through the headphones. Conversely, an open acoustic system means that the people around you can easily hear what you hear.

IPX Rating

The fact is that we are usually a little careless when it comes to handling headphones. Dust, splashing water, sweat – everything can harm them. Therefore, it is best to choose headphones with a higher IPX rating. The IPX rating indicates the level of protection against water, dust, sweat, etc. It also indicates whether the headphones are water resistant, waterproof or dustproof. Higher IPX rating = better protection.


Impedance is the electrical resistance required to make your headphone drivers safe by measuring and limiting the current flowing through them. So if you’re looking for headphones for professional use with power adapters, we recommend an impedance of up to 620 ohms. However, if you are looking for headphones for everyday use with smartphones and portable media players, we recommend an impedance of less than 34 ohms.

Battery Life

This is one of the most important factors you should consider when choosing headphones. It varies depending on the different types of headphones. Usually, Bluetooth headphones offer a longer battery life than wireless earbuds. You should choose a product that offers you good battery life, fast charging, and high performance.


If you are extremely picky about the volume of your headphones, you should look at the sensitivity of the headphones. Sensitivity indicates how loud a pair of headphones can get. Most headphones have a sensitivity of around 96-110 DB. Headphones with a sensitivity of less than 85 dB are too quiet and should be avoided, and headphones with a sensitivity of more than 110 dB could damage your hearing.


It is a thin membrane inside the headphone that vibrates and produces sound. There is no specific shape or material for diaphragms, and the manufacturer uses them as they choose to deliver the best sound.

Noise Cancellation

With active noise cancellation, a microphone detects what noise is around you and then plays an opposite version of that noise, effectively suppressing it for your ears. Unfortunately, there is no standard measurement for noise cancellation, so it’s hard to say what “good” noise cancellation is. In general, Bose and Audio Technica offer excellent noise cancellation, while other companies are getting better.

Digital assistant support

Many headphones also offer support for the digital assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. Some have digital assistants built into the headset, while others offer a button that allows you to interact with the assistant through your phone.

Selection of Ear Cups Design

While the appearance of the headphone may be important to you, the design of a headphone often relates to whether it is closed or open. The vast majority of consumer headphones are closed-back, but some audiophile headphones are open-back, and the difference in sound quality can be enormous.

Closed-Back Headphones

Most headphones you see in the store have closed backs, which means they let music in and outside noise out. This has some advantages and disadvantages. Closed-back headphones are best for travel or for those who listen to music in the company of other people. The biggest disadvantage is sound quality. Most audiophiles looking for the best sound claim that open headphones have a more natural sound.

Of course, this does not mean that closed headphones cannot sound good. Some of the best headphones in the world are closed headphones. They may sound a little less natural, but many will not even notice the difference.

Open-Back Headphones

While closed headphones at least partially isolate music, open headphones do the opposite. They produce a much more natural sound. Because the sound can come out of the headphones, there are not the small echoes that resonate in closed headphones. Although these echoes are barely noticeable, they create a narrower soundstage, so open headphones have a wider, more open sound.

Headphones with open backs have some significant drawbacks that make them suitable only for home listening. For one thing, noise from inside the headphones can leak out, and noise from outside can also leak in. So if you want to listen in a moderately noisy environment, you can hear everything around you. Another drawback is the lack of a physical barrier between the outside world and the electronics inside the headphones, which means they can be more easily damaged by things like moisture.

Semi-Open-Back Headphones

There is a third type of design, and that is the semi-open design, but most people will probably want to steer clear of it. Semi-open headphones cover most of the outside of the headphone with some space for airflow. In return, these headphones offer some of the advantages of headphones with open backs, such as a slightly (but not completely) more natural sound. The flip side of the coin is that the headphones have all the disadvantages of headphones with open backs. Outside noise can get in, and moisture can damage the electronics inside the headphones much more easily.


Most wired headphones on the market have a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting to your device with a 3.5mm input. If the device you want to connect your headphones to does not have a 3.5mm audio input, you may need a Lightning to 3.5mm converter or a USB Type-C to 3.5mm converter.


Drivers are the main components of any headphone that should deliver good sound quality. They deliver balanced bass, midrange and treble, ensuring a pleasant listening experience. The main function of a driver is to convert electrical signals into audible sounds. The sounds we hear are the result of electrical signals before they reach our ears. When music is played, the audio data is transmitted through the cable in the form of electrical signals. They are then converted into audible sounds by the speakers before reaching our ears for music playback.


It is important to try a pair of headphones in person to get an idea of how comfortable they are when worn. The last thing you want is an expensive pair of headphones that you cannot wear because they pinch your ears. Some headphones have padded earcups to reduce pressure on your ears, but comfort depends on the size of your head.

Sound Profile

Consider which sound profile you like best and buy headphones that fall into that category. There are three primary sound types: warm, neutral, and bright. Neutral sound is considered the holy grail of high-end audio listening, and audiophiles are usually looking for a neutral sound profile to hear the “purest” sound. However, neutral headphones are extremely hard to find and rare because they must reproduce all frequencies equally.

Most headphones have their own timbre, and even headphones that claim to be neutral are in most cases not really neutral in the true sense. Therefore, it is better to find a balanced sounding headphone with a hint of warmth or brightness. Warm” sounding headphones tend to emphasize bass frequencies, making voices and bass more prominent. They usually have a mass-market sound signature and sound “comfortable.”

Brand Name

The brand name can also be important. While Apple, Sennheiser, Shure, JBL, Bose, and Audio Technica are often considered household names in the audio industry, lesser-known brands like Jaybird, Libratone, and Soul have a lot to offer.

Even though some brands have a lower price, you should be extra careful when buying headphones from a company that has no experience in this field. After all, there is often a reason why big brands are more trusted.


A good pair of headphones can transform anyone’s listening experience. The only problem is that there are many different headphones out there, all with something different to offer. This buying guide will help you decide which headphones to buy based on your specific needs, budget, and lifestyle.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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