Even something as small as a pair of earphones demands several scientific, technological as well as engineering aspects to be taken into consideration during its production. One might only think about its design, brand, and cost while purchasing, but there’s more to the picture. Apart from these basic factors, there are loads of features and specifications elucidated along with the product, which many of us fail to understand or take heed.
To help you choose your ideal pair of earbuds, the following are 7 most significant factors to consider before making the decision of purchase.
Before I get into the details, you also need to understand that type of application and your personal favorite sound signature are major factors that will decide which earphones work best for you.
7 Significant Things to look for in a good pair of Earbuds:
This has to be hands-down one of the most significant design feature that you need to look for in any pair of earbuds. That’s because ‘Comfort’ is the key to take your listening experience to a whole new level. If the earbuds are not ergonomically designed to be comfortable, it is just going to kill the whole vibe.
Earbuds that lack ergonomic structure and feature just plain design are certainly going to hurt your ears after just a few hours of wearing them. Different sizes of eartips provided along with the product also play a vital role in customized comfort and better sealing capabilities.
For best comfort, go for silicone eartips that are much comfortable than cheap plastic or rubber ones. Moreover, many brands offer foam tips, custom-molded eartips or other such comfort earbuds that meticulously conforms to your ear shape.
Here’s the kicker, revolutionary design of earbuds has made it possible to find earbuds with multi-flanged eartips as well. Most commonly, silicone eartips come with double or triple flanged designs which deliver better noise attenuation and also boosts bass.
2. Integrated drivers:
Drivers installed in earbuds do the job of converting electrical signals into sound pressure. In simple words, drivers create sound and are also responsible for bass response, mids and treble. Most of the drivers comprise of three critical parts namely a diaphragm, magnets and voice coils.
Since earbuds in themselves have quite petite structure, mostly you will find single or dual drivers installed in them. In terms of dual-drivers, one of them will work on bass performance whereas other will concentrate on mids and high frequencies.
3. Quality of components:
Always make sure to check the quality of the components used in the construction of earbuds, from cables to its external housing. The cable must not be too thin or cheap, rather it must have a fine quality of shielding to minimize noise. Replaceable cable is also a great feature, as you do not have to replace complete earphones if any problem arises with the cable.
Too long cords also might hinder with the quality of sound, meaning it might create noise and lower the volume. Cables are featured in two main design types: Single-sided and double-sided.
Specific internal circuitry is installed in a single-sided design of cable where the electronic signals will be carried to each earpiece precisely. Double-sided cable designs are more likely to get entangled, which is why most users prefer single-sided ones nowadays.
Impedance is something that is matched between your earphones and any audio device that you use, measured in Ohms. Impedance can be called as a measure of resistance that any circuitry provides to the flow of current. Higher the impedance of any device, lower will be the current flow. To get best sound quality out of any earbuds, you need match the impedance of your earbuds with the impedance of your source device (like mp3 player, mobile phones, etc.).
Earbuds deliberately made for mobile phones have rating lower than 32 Ohms. Whereas, high impedance devices feature more than 300 Ohms of rating- they require a dedicated Amplifier for powering them.
5. Sensitivity and Frequency Response:
Measured in dB of SPL/mW, Sensitivity is nothing but a measure of how loud your earbuds volume can go. Sensitivity specifications refer to electric signals converted into acoustic signals. For preventing your ears from any possible hearing disorders, always pick earbuds featuring mid-range level of sensitivity. You should not opt for more than 85 dB.
Frequency response is the audio frequency range which the earbuds are able to repeat. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). If you prefer listening to booming Bass, look for earbuds with low bass frequency. Lower the Hertz rating, more emphasized will be the bass of the speaker.
Higher the Hertz rating, more will be the treble. Drivers highly affect the quality of sound. If the drivers installed are cheap, no amount of Hertz rating will improve the sound quality.
6. Sound isolation or Noise Cancellation earbuds:
These two are completely different phenomenon. Sound isolation will separate the background noise from whatever music you are listening to. Such feature is much desirable when you are using earbuds at very crowded places or in traffic.
On the contrary, Noise cancellation earbuds will completely block out ambient noise and are much powerful in blocking noise as compared to Sound Isolation earbuds. As a matter of fact, they are more expensive as well. Such models are well suited for long flights or other such loud noise ambiences.
7. Wireless or Wired earbuds:
For all the workout fanatics and sports players who love listening to music simultaneously would love the concept of true wireless earbuds. It uses Bluetooth connectivity to stream music with any device and play music without any hassle of messy cables. However, Wireless earbuds might carry a hefty price tag. Besides, people who prefer high-quality uncompressed sound might not find Wireless design much amusing.
Apart from this, you can also take note of Maximum power rating of earbuds. This is the measure of how much beating your earbuds can handle. To enhance the operating life of your earbuds, make sure you use them at low power levels. For that, you could play them at average volume levels.
These are some of the tips that you need to keep in mind before getting a good pair of earbuds. Hope you loved this blog post.