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What Are Different Types of Earphones?

Last Updated on April 26, 2020 by ashwinig

While searching for a pair of earphones, we come across different options, both in physical stores and online stores. It is quite difficult to know the differences between the different styles and what features these headsets offer. Thus, a lot of people face a situation where they are unable to decide which product they should choose even if all the products do the same thing, that is play music. This article would help you in making a better decision by telling what the different variants are and what are the things that you need to consider while selecting a pair of earphones.

In-ear Headphones

The In-ear headphones, which are often referred to as earbuds and canal earphones as well as in-aural earphones. On the basis of their designs, we could further classify them into two variants, earbuds, and canal earphones. Each of these options has a different way of fitting in your ears. An in-ear headphone comes with various kinds of cushions to help the user fit them perfectly in their ears. These cushions are made of different materials, but the majority of them are made either of silicone, rubber, or memory foam. Some of these in-ear headphones are designed to fit snugly into the concha, and a protruding structure goes further into your ear canal.

Some in-ear headphones have wireless options, and they are somewhat bigger in size to make space for the Bluetooth components. These earphones might have control mechanisms on their earpiece or on the cords that connect the two earpieces. Overall, these devices are slightly bigger than their wired cousins and need to be recharged after prolonged usage. Most of the time, these wireless earbuds don’t offer any cushioning, but nowadays, the cushion variant has become more popular. These devices are often designed to be placed near the concha ridge instead of fitting inside the ear canal. Most wireless options come with a single size that might not fit in some people’s ears.

Common Misconception About Earphones

Most of the time, people refer to in-ear headphones as earbuds as they are the most commonly available variant in the market. However, in reality, in-ear headphones and earbuds are not the same things. Mostly, earbuds are placed slightly outside the ear canal. If you put one of your fingers in your ears, you would know how wearing the earbuds feels like. Generally, earphones and earbuds are interchangeable. Nowadays, finding earbuds is quite difficult on the market. Only Apple, Sennheiser, and Amazon provide earbuds, as the companies have shifted towards canal phones which have earbud-like housing.

How to Select the Perfect Pair of Earphones?

While looking for a pair of earphones that not only fit your ears but also provide a good experience while listening to music, you need to consider the following things.

Frequency Response

It tells us about the frequency range of sound that a headphone could produce. A healthy young person is capable of hearing sounds ranging between 20 and 20000 Hz. Most headphones keep their frequency response within this range. However, some might even go as low as 15 Hz and as high as 25000 Hz. Theoretically speaking, these ranges won’t make these headphones better than the other ones because we don’t hear sounds that are not within the 20 to 20000 Hz range. However, some people claim that headphones with the ability to produce music with a higher frequency range sound a tad bit better.

Noise Cancellation

Most headphones offer two kinds of noise cancellation features, namely, active-noise cancellation and noise isolation. Now, both the options perform the same task, keeping outside noise away from your ears so you can hear the music clearly. But they employ a different approach to achieve this goal.  Noise isolation headphones just block the outside noise from entering your ear physically. They either cover the ears (over-the-ear headphones) or make a seal within the ear canal (in-ear headphones).

Active Noise Cancellation headphones physically block the external noise, but they go a step further to ensure a better performance. These headphones have tiny microphones located on the outside whose job is to pick external noise. The headphones understand the frequency of the external noise and make a noise at the opposite frequency to that of the external noise alongside the music. This process cancels out the external noise, and the music is all that the wearer hears


If you are going to use your wireless earphones with your phone, then it would be an excellent choice to go with a product that comes with a built-in microphone. The good news is that most wireless headphones not only come with a microphone but also with an ability to access Google Assistant or Siri.


In the end, it all boils down to the money you are willing to spend on the headphones. In-ear headphones could come for prices that are as low as 1000 Rupees and could also go up to one lakh rupees. It is true that the more you are willing to pay, the better the experience would be, but it doesn’t mean that you get the most expensive pair.

Types of Earphones FAQs

What Are the Different Types of Earphones?

Earphones can be classified as wired or wireless, and these could be further broken down into earbuds that sit on the entrance of the ear canal and in-ear monitors that go into the ear canal.

Do Earphones Offer Noise Cancellation?

Yes, earphones, especially canal phones, offer great passive noise cancellation by plugging in the ear canal. Some variants also offer active noise cancellation, but their performance is not as good as the over the ear headphones.

How long do wireless earphones work, and how long does it take to charge them?

Most wireless earphones last anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on their design—wireless earphone charges in about two to four hours.

What Are the Things That I Should Consider While Choosing A Pair Of Earphones?

When buying earphones, look at the use case, the budget, the microphone, and the battery life (if wireless). Other things that might be considered are noise cancellation and sweat and water resistance.

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