Key Features to Look for When Purchasing Headphones

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Key Features to Look for When Purchasing Headphones

There are various devices and accessories which one can use for entertainment, whether it is watching movies or listening to music. Almost everyone uses headphones as they enable people to enjoy listening to music or other kinds of audio entertainment without disturbances from ambient noises. Headphones have been in production for many years, and have evolved greatly to include many features which contribute to the audio quality. A good pair of headphones is important especially for those who travel or who do not use speakers when listening to music. However, many people tend to buy the cheapest headphones that they can find thinking that any pair of headphones is good enough as long it allows them to listen to music.

Choosing the right headphones is important as good quality ones provide better audio and comfort to the listener compared to cheaper headphones. There are various features to consider when purchasing a headphone, but the key features to look for are noise cancelling, wireless connectivity or cord type, and comfort. To make an informed decision when buying headphones, one should also be familiar with the wide selection available on eBay..

Types of Headphones

Typically, headphones are divided into home and portable headphones, but the line between these two types is blurry as headphones have been getting more versatile over the years. However, there are still a few types of headphones which are suitable for different needs. They may be designed for gaming, home theatre, or for listening to music on the go. For this reason, one must decide how they want to use the headphones before buying them. The three main types of headphones are in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, and full-size headphones. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and a buyer should know them to be able to make an informed decision when selecting the right pair of headphones for their needs.

In-Ear Headphones

Also known as earbud headphones, in-ear headphones are commonly included as a freebie with media devices such as portable music players. However, many users choose to purchase new higher performance headphones to replace the ones that came with the device to enjoy better sound quality. In-ear headphones are small and can be inserted into the ear canal, while some models have clips of some sort to fit more securely on the ears, which is useful especially for those who like listening to music while exercising. These headphones are lightweight and portable, come in various sizes, but may not have the best sound quality compared to bigger headphones. The ear tips on these headphones can be made of different materials such as rubber, silicone, and foam.

On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones are also called earpad headphones and supra-aural headphones. Instead of being inserted into the ear canal like the in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones rest on the outer ears of the user. They are light and comfortable but also pack more power than in-ear headphones. On-ear headphones are more common in offices and other work environment as they allow one to be aware of the surrounding environment and in the same time listening to music.

Full-Size Headphones

These headphones are also called circumaural headphones and over-the-ear headphones, among other names. These are the biggest headphones available and they are designed to fully cover a user’s ears. Full-size headphones provide the best noise isolation, which means that users can get fully immersed in their music or movie without any noise disturbances from the outside world. The size of the headphones also enables them to have better performance in terms of audio loudness and clarity than other types of headphones. However, their large size also makes them bulky and cumbersome to carry around.

Headphone Types



In-Ear Headphones

Lightweight and compact

Very portable

Do not interfere with hats, earrings, etc.

Low sound quality and bass

Uncomfortable to wear for a long time

On-Ear Headphones

Somewhat lightweight


Less likely to overheat ears

Less effective noise isolation

Music may leak outside

Full-Size Headphones

Have the best loudness and bass

Good noise isolation

Bulky and not portable

Can overheat ears

Each type of headphones has its own pros and cons, and it is up to the users to decide which type is the most suitable for them. For those who are not audiophiles, even in-ear headphones included for free with their MP3 player may be sufficient for them to enjoy their music.

Features to Look for When Buying Headphones

Some people may think that buying a pair of headphones is a trivial task. However, to get the most out of their headphones, and really enjoy their music or movie, buyers should know the type of headphones that they should get and also the features which can improve the listening experience. By choosing the right pair of headphones, one can get the perfect combination of comfort, sound quality, and also value for money. There are several features that one should consider when buying headphones.

Noise Cancelling

Headphones with active noise cancelling use small microphones to detect any external noises, which then feed the noises to a circuit. This circuit cancels the noise by creating opposing sound waves, and thus preventing the user from being disturbed by the environment noises. This feature is perfect for those who like to fully immerse in their music or who work and travel in noisy environments. Also called noise isolation, this feature reduces the amount of external noise that a user perceives, enabling one to use headphones at a low volume. Active noise cancelling headphones require a power source, and therefore, usually use batteries. On the other hand, headphones with passive noise cancelling prevent ambient noise from reaching the user by covering the ears tightly.


Wireless headphones generally use Bluetooth technology or a battery-powered receiver instead of wires to connect to a music player. They are perfect for those who find long headphone wires to be troublesome to deal with. This feature is mostly available on full-size and on-ear headphones, but there are in-ear headphones with Bluetooth connectivity as well.

Cord Shape

The two different types of headphone cord shapes are the J and Y shapes. This feature is usually present on in-ear headphones as they generally have thinner wires than bigger headphones, which can rub against one’s clothes and create some noise. A J-shaped cord connects to only one earbud, whereas a Y-shaped cord has two cords attached to both earbuds. This feature is mostly up to one’s preferences.


Some headphones have microphones which can be used for Internet voice chatting or for voice recording. Headphones with this feature are usually referred to as headsets, and are mostly used with a computer. A headset usually has two plugs, one which connects to the headphone/speaker jack and another which connects to the microphone jack. Headsets are also popular with gamers who like to communicate with other players during the game. Gaming headsets are generally full-size or on-ear headphones so they are able to produce powerful, realistic sounds when playing. Some may also have a built-in microphone instead of an external one.

Other Features

One important feature of any pair of headphones is comfort. One should always choose headphones which are comfortable to wear, because uncomfortable ones can distract the user and even cause pain in the long run. Buying uncomfortable headphones is also a waste of money, as one will not be using them as often as if the headphones were comfortable. Some headphones also can be compatible with mobile phones and MP3 players. These headphones may have volume controls and a button for answering calls.

Purchasing Headphones on eBay

eBay is a great place to shop for headphones as it has headphones of every type, brand, and with various features. To shop for a good pair of headphones, you can start at the eBay home page. Just type what kind of headphones you are looking for into the search bar and by pressing ‘Search’, you see a list of relevant headphones for sale. You may search for whatever headphones you like, such as ‘over-the-ear headphones&’ or ‘Bose headphones&’. By using a combination of keywords, you can improve your search and obtain more results. When browsing through the list of headphones, you can look at some details including the price and delivery charge. Also look out for headphones on auction, as they can be sold at a very low price.

After selecting a pair of headphones, make sure you look at all the information provided in the headphones’ description. Things you should read are the full product description, price, terms and conditions, and also the seller’s return policy. The return policy enables you to return the headphones if they are damaged or faulty when you receive them. Before you purchase the headphones, make sure you look at all the details of your purchase and are truly satisfied with your choice.


Headphones are necessary items to have especially for those who listen to music on the go. Although there are many cheap headphones in the market, they may not provide the best listening experience, especially for an audiophile. Therefore, it is important for one to select a suitable pair of headphones for their needs. The three types of headphones are in-ear, on-ear, and full-size headphones, with each type having its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, in-ear headphones are lightweight and portable, but may not have good bass and sound volume.

The key features of headphones are wireless connectivity, noise cancellation, and comfort. When buying a pair of headphones, one should decide what features they want and need so they can get the most out of their headphones. Comfort is also a major factor when buying headphones, so if it is possible, one should try out the headphones before buying them. Headphones are available at various shops, including online ones, and eBay is a good place to shop for headphones as it has a large selection of high quality headphones.

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