Sep 26, 2020

How do I choose which headphones to buy?


People buy headphones for all kinds of reasons. Some for serious music others to block outside noise. If you want your headphones to be a one-time investment, here’s a comprehensive list of questions you should ask yourself. These will help you make an informed decision:

Why you want them and how you’ll use them?
Earphones and headphones are designed for a specific audience. So a studio professional would prefer an over-ear with a flat frequency while a college student may want a bass-heavy pair.

Types of headphones
Broadly put, there are three kinds of headphones:

  • On-ear headphones: These come with headbands. They are also of two kinds — ones that press against your ears and the other that encloses the ears and are also called over-ear headphones.
  • In-ear headphones: These fit comfortably inside the ears.
  • Over-ear headphones: These are larger and sit around the ears and tend to isolate it from outside noise. It is recommended for musicians. There are behind-the-neck styles versions also available for the same.

Now, there are classic earbuds or earphones. But they are not technically headphones. These are small buds that initially came with walkman’s and iPods.

Comfort & fit
Do remember headphones come in different fits. It should not be loose or tight. You don’t want them slipping off constantly. You want something that is more comfortable in the long run — if it still fits great after 30 minutes, you have a good deal. Ideally, lighter headphones are more comfortable. 

There are quite a few specifications when it comes to the headphone. Let’s evaluate the vital ones:
  • Acoustic system - A closed one l won’t allow noise to permeate, on the other hand, an open one will. 
  • Frequency response: This implies frequency range, the higher, the better it is.
  • Impedance: A headphones circuit’s resistance to the electrical signal is impedance. The less it is, the better the sound quality. E.g. Philips SHP2600/27.
  • Wireless technology: If going for wireless, ones, check if your device compatible with NFC (Near-Field Communication), BlueTooth, Radio Frequency, Infrared, etc.
While most headphones these days fit into multiple devices, there are some with restricted usage. Some laptops or desktops may have closed-back, sealed-cup headphones that are heavier or bulkier. In such cases, look for fold-up designs. This can be folded easily and protects your headphone during transit.

We all want our devices to last longer. Here’s what you can do:
  • Ensure that you buy a protective case for your headphone.
  • Check for warranty
  • Read reviews on durability
For example, a cable or ear pads are less expensive to replace than an internal piece.

Last but the most important is the cost. If your headphones meet your requirements and offer quality, an expensive one makes sense. 

Top 10 headphones most popular in Riyadh:
  1. Sony Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (WH-1000XM4/S)
  2. Bose 700 Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones
  3. JBL E55BT Bluetooth Over-Ear Wireless Headphones
  4. JBL Endurance Dive Black Wireless in-Ear Sport Headphones with MP3 Player
  5. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Around-the-Ear Headphones
  6. Anker Soundcore Life Q10 On-Ear Headphones
  7. Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Around-the-Ear Headphones
  8. Sony WH-1000XM3 (with Mic for Calls) Around-the-Ear Headphones
  9. TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Over Ear Headphones [2020 Version] 
  10.  Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Professional Wireless Foldable Over-Ear Hi-Fi Sound Headphon

Ideally, wired earbuds are suggested when commuting. Wireless ones for home or sports activity. Wired ones when working and wireless headphones for TV or laptop. However, you can choose one that suits your requirements best.

If you are looking for headphone deals or used headphones you may find a few here:

You can also try our ‘Verify Before Purchase’ service. For a fee of SAR 30, we will verify the specifications, functionality, working condition of the headphones for you.

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