How do headphones, headsets and earphones differ?

Ever asked for headphones as a gift and gotten earphones or even worse a headset that has some advanced audio functions?

For a true audiophile this is on par with being punched in the face...twice. Because not only have you gotten the wrong thing, but now you have a chore to do in order to get what you actually wanted...surprise!

So let’s take the time to clear up the differences of headphones, headsets and earphones.

We’re going to go over the obvious differences of each, and evaluate the benefits that each of them offers. We hope that after reading this you won’t have to get another gift that you have to return for what you actually wanted 😉

What Are Headphones?

Headphones are what you see every cheesy dj wearing in clubs, or what skrilex is wearing when he’s mixing some beats on stage. They’re an over the ear way of delivering sound to your precious ears in a very focussed way.

They have some of the most impressive abilities when it comes to delivering quality sound. That is made possible by the extra space that they have to use bigger components compared to earphones or headsets. And most new models of headsets have active noise canceling abilities that will almost mute whatever’s going on around you so that you can focus on the music!

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No matter how great of an engineer you are, you can’t fit what’s in headphones in earphones.

Headphones are professionally used in the music industry by sound engineers, djs, and professional music producers. There are some casual users who enjoy the fashion of over the ear headphones, but it’s not a sure thing that someone who’s wearing headphones is a professional music mixer.

What Are Headsets?

Headsets are those boiler room, wrap around your head things that usually have a mic attached to them. I’m sure saying that these are a wolf of wallstreet essential would be pretty accurate.

These headsets have some pretty cool combinations of abilities for such a small package. For the right price, you can get a one way noise canceling, audio enhancing headset.

If that sounds like a lot to pack into one speaker and a mic, that’s because it is!

Granted, there are also headsets that are just headphones with a mic attached. These are mostly for gaming so that you can have the benefit of hearing the environment around you, but that’s a whole other topic 😉

Headsets are mostly used in the professional world by sales people (boiler room folks) and customer service/office workers. Yes there are people who use headsets for gaming, but we prefaced that sentence with “professional”...

What are earphones?

Earphones are what most people call earbuds. Which are those in ear, or over ear if you want, players of music that most people use, and they’re generally what you get with your newest iphone.

Unless you’re the lucky owner of the new iphones 😉

Earphones/buds have come a long way, to the point that they have close to the same audio frequency ranges of headphones, along with the active noise canceling abilities. Which is pretty impressive to pack into something as small as earbuds.

And what’s even more impressive is that they’re making earphones that no longer require cables. So that’s even more tech that’s packed into these little things!

Earphones come in a wide range of options, ranging from in ear, over the ear, bluetooth, wireless bluetooth. The reason there’s so many options with this make of audiophile love is because it’s the most commonly used listening device.

Cory H.

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