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Difference between Earphones and Headphones

Smartphones have become a new standard of communication in this digital era and headphones or earphones have become a fashion accessory more than a technology. These stress-busting devices, which were initially reserved for the athletes and trainers, have become the lifestyle staples of today. They are all the rage these days among the urban youth and with the flexibility to carry your music on-the-go, people now spend a considerable amount of time plugging in their favorite pair of earbuds or headphones. They are now available in all kinds and budgets, especially the wireless ones which are outselling their wired counterparts. In this article, we compare the two to help you better understand the differences between earphones and headphones.

Difference between Earphones and Headphones

What is Earphones?

Earphones are basically the stripped version of the monster-sized headphones which rocked the 70’s something era. Headphones began to shrink in the late 80’s when portable music players redefined the whole music-listening experience. All of a sudden, earphones have become all the rage for a better listening experience on-the-go. They are lightweight, handy, easy to carry, and portable enough to fit in literally anywhere, which is not the case with those bulky oversized headphones. Earphones, as the name suggest, are the listening devices which rest on the outer ear or plug into the internal part of the ear. They are also called as earbuds, earplugs, in-ear headphones, etc.

Difference between Earphones and Headphones-1

What is Headphones?

Headphones are the oversized version of earbuds with superior sound quality. They rest on the outer ear, covering the entire ear surface but don’t seal them entirely. They provide a better listening experience while blocking out external noise, delivering unsurpassed sound quality, plus they are extremely good at capturing bass tones. Though they are not too portable as earphones, they are great for movies and PC games. They are also comfortable to wear because of the cushioning which doesn’t hurt the ears, plus they don’t compromise with the sound quality. Headphones are a great bargain when it comes to sound quality and they are good for your hearing health than earphones.

Difference between Earphones and Headphones

  1. Design of Earphones vs. Headphones– Earphones are so designed to fit right into your ear canal while some rest on your outer ear. They are lightweight, portable, and less bulky than the headphones, which, on the other hand, are the oversized version of earphones. Headphones rest on your outer ear covering your entire ear surface but do not entirely seal the auditory surface.
  2. Portability  of Earphones and Headphones– Earphones are the trimmed version of the headphones which make them portable enough to carry around with ease – be it on a morning run or while working out at the gym. Headphones, on the other hand, are bulky and not too portable to be carried around while walking or running.
  3. Sound Quality of Earphones and Headphones – Headphones block out the external noise thereby delivering a far better music-listening experience. They are really good at capturing bass tones making them ideal for movies and PC games. Earphones do not filter external noise very well thereby affecting sound quality.
  4. Ease of Use with Earphones and Headphones– Earphones can be a great bargain for commuting, thanks to their lightweight and portable design which makes them ideal for running, walking, or working out. Headphones are great for enjoying high-quality sound, but they can get all hot and sweaty when worn for a very long time.
  5. Noise Cancellation in Earphones and Headphones– Noise cancellation means all the unnecessary noise that plays in the background gets inverted. This feature is not as effective in case of earphones, especially when you’re commuting or using a public transport. Headphones are really good at cancelling all the background noises, providing a better listening experience on-the-go.
Earphones vs. Headphones: Comparison Chart
Earphones Headphones
Earphones plug into the internal part of the ear covering the eardrums entirely. Headphones rest on the outer surface of the ear without covering the auditory surface entirely.
They are lightweight and portable enough to fit in almost anywhere. They are the oversized version of earphones with added bulk. They are not as portable as earbuds.
Great for walking, running, or working out at the gym. Ideal for watching movies and playing games.
They don’t mess with the hairstyle. They interfere with the hair after prolonged wearing.
Noise cancellation feature is not as effective, especially while commuting. Effortlessly cancel all the background noises for a better listening experience.

Summary of Earphones and Headphones

Headphones are a decent bargain when you wish to enjoy superior quality sound at home without much of the bells and whistles, whereas earphones are an ideal choice, if you are into commuting because of being extremely lightweight and portable. Headphones are good at capturing bass tones, which makes them ideal for bass lovers who wouldn’t compromise on sound quality. In addition, they cut off the external noise efficiently to provide a rich listening experience.


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References :


[0]Stach, Brad A. Clinical Audiology. Boston: Cengage, 1998. Print

[1]Stach, Brad A. Clinical Audiology. Boston: Cengage, 1998. Print

[2]Ewing, Joseph. The Unconventional Guide to Headphones. North Carolina: Lulu Press, Inc., 2015. Print

[3]Alten, Stanley R. Audio Basics. Boston: Cengage, 2011. Print

[4]"Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:In-ears-earphones.png"

[5]"Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-razer-gaming-headset-hanging-on-white-painted-wall-159463/"

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