What are the Key Differences Between Earphones and Headphones?
Everyone enjoys a good pair of earphones or headphones when listening to their favourite songs or podcast channel on-the-go. This can come in the form of either a pair of sound isolating earphones or noise cancelling headphones. Between the two of them, there is always this comparison as to which is more suitable, however it all boils down to the needs of the individual. To provide you with a clearer idea and help you with your choice, we will be sharing the key differences between earphones and headphones.
What are Earphones?
In-ear headphones or more commonly referred to as earphones are essentially a stripped-down version of headphones. A listening device that is inserted in the ear canal, earphones started to gain popularity in the 1980s when portable music cassette players arrived onto the scene. The popularity of earphones can be attributed to factors such as being lightweight and portable to fit even in one’s pockets. This is a vast difference compared to a pair of headphones, where they sometimes cannot even fit into a small bag. The issue with earphones back then was the lack of technology. Without sound isolating earphones, and combined with poor sound quality from the music cassette players of old, though lightweight and portable, the audio quality was nothing to shout about.
What are Headphones?
To a certain degree, headphones are considered the earphones’ older and bigger brother. Back in the 1970s, headphones were the go-to listening device for a better listening experience. Despite its disadvantage in terms of size, headphones offer better comfort and sound quality in comparison to earphones. Even more so, when you consider modern day headphones with its excellent build quality, noise cancelling function, and premium materials that are used to manufacture them. Which is why headphones are still the preferred choice for many audiophiles and gamers, as they make everything Sound Extraordinary.
Earphones as mentioned earlier are designed to fit into your ear canal, covering your eardrums completely, although there are some earphones that do rest on your outer ear. As for headphones, they would normally rest on the outer ear and cover the entire surface of each ear; cup your palms over your ears, that’s how headphones work.
Headphones when compared to earphones are better at blocking out external noises to deliver a superior listening experience. They are also known to capture bass tones better. Modern headphones go a step further as they now possess noise cancelling technology. While earphones also make use of this noise cancelling feature to drown out external noises, they still pale in comparison to that of headphones. This is the reason why we have engineered sound isolating technology for our earphones. In comparison with noise cancellation circuitry, sound isolation provides greater noise reduction. This is based on research conducted at Virginia Tech some years ago, where it was established that Shure earphones performed significantly better as compared to other noise cancelling earphone brands. The best part of sound isolating technology is that it works across the entire audible spectrum. This means whether you are in the train or walking down a busy street, sound quality will not be compromised. Shure has you covered!
Both earphones and headphones are priced on a rather wide price range, as it boils down to the brand and model. These days, you can find a pair of earphones that can cost just as much or even more than a pair of headphones. These days, size does not determine price, rather it is the build quality and the number of features that determines an audio product’s value.
What is the Best Option for Me?
When you look for a new pair of earphones or headphones, it will be good to first identify what are your needs. One of the questions you should ask yourself is, what are you using this device for? Is it for music, movies, or gaming? Next, ask yourself what you would prefer to prioritise? Would it be sound quality or comfort? This will then determine what best suits your needs.