Headphones are used widely for listening to audio such as music or speech. They are often paired with popular devices such as an MP3 player, mobile phone, or other audio playing device. They are designed to act as two miniature speakers and can be worn in or over the ears. Headphones are either connected to a signal source with wires or they operate via a wireless receiver which can pick up a signal without the need for a cable. Headphones are available in a wide array of colours, styles, sizes, and sound quality. They also come with various features including noise cancellation and volume control.
Headphones are versatile and enjoyed by many, whether travelling or listening to music at home. eBay offers a handy list of headphone specifications to make it easy for shoppers to identify the right headphones. When purchasing headphones using eBay's specifications as a guide, buyers should consider the various types of ear piece and familiarise themselves with the features of headphones.
Types of Ear Piece for Headphones
The ear pieces of headphones can be found in a wide array of types. The styles vary by manufacturer, but all can be grouped into a few categories. Some headphones are designed to fit within the ear itself. These headphones are known as in-ear, and an example is the earbud. Other types surround the entire ear and are known as over-ear. They often offer greater sound quality. By using eBay's headphone specifications, buyers can successfully narrow their search to the specific headphones that they wish to purchase.
Earbud headphones are relatively inexpensive and often come as standard with many popular devices such as the iPod. These headphones are an in-ear design and rest just outside of the ear canal. They are compact, lightweight, and portable. When searching for earbuds, buyers should consider the drawbacks that are often associated with cheaply made earbuds, such as those that come bundled with audio devices. These include distorted sound, external noise interference, and a loose fit. If bought separately, high quality earbuds offer many benefits and features such as noise cancelling technology and a better, ergonomic fit.
Canal Earbud Headphones
Canal earbud headphones are similar in size and style to earbuds. However, they are often made with a rubberised ear-tip sleeve that allows them to efficiently seal to the ear. This style of headphone helps to keep the audio inside the ear while blocking out external or environmental interference, creating a more insulated sound and less distraction. Similar to earbuds, canal earbud headphones are compact, lightweight, and are well suited for travel and exercise. Buyers should consider headphone safety when purchasing canal earbuds as their cancelling out of external or environmental noise can be dangerous in situations where awareness of the outside world is important, for instance, in activities such as running or cycling on public roads.
Ear-cup headphones, also known as circumaural headphones, fully enclose the wearer's ears. Due to their bulky size and sound isolation, these headphones can be cumbersome for portable use, making them better suited for listening at home. However, some models have a folding design, which makes them more portable. Ear-cup headphones offer the potential for maximum bass and loud sound levels. They effectively block external noise, sealing music in for the listener's pleasure. However, some full size models can cause overheating around the ears. The wide headband associated with ear-cups can also interfere with earrings, glasses, and some hairstyles. Other ear-cup features include a detachable cord, microphone, track navigation, and volume control on the cable.
Ear-pad headphones are designed to rest on the listener's outer ears. They vary widely in price, from inexpensive portable models to high-end models to use at home. These headphones are often preferred in office environments, where listeners still need to hear what is going on in the outside world. Ear-pad headphones are known for their comfort: they are less prone to overheating the ears and many models fold to make them easy to transport.
While offering listener's many benefits, buyers should bear in mind that ear-pad headphones have less effective noise isolation than in-ear or full size models. They also have a less powerful bass, often leaking noise to those in close proximity. Ear-pad headphone features often include a microphone and track navigation controls on the cable. Due to their size, many also come with a carrying case.
When searching for headphones, buyers should bear in mind their features in addition to the type of ear piece. eBay has designed a list of popular specifications, which allows buyers to narrow down their choices based on personal preference.
Noise Cancellation for Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones are more advanced in the way that they use technology to reduces external noise that would normally interfere with the sound quality of the headphones. Noise cancelling headphones are able to cancel out environmental noise by using minute microphones located inside the ear piece and active electronics within the headset that receive external noise signals and invert them, mixing them with a signal from the sound source. The result is that this technology cancels out ambient noise and environmental distractions.
Noise cancelling headphones are particularly appealing because of their better sound quality, although they can often only eliminate certain frequencies and noises. Noise cancelling headphones often require batteries in order to function. However, some models offer the option of listening in passive mode, which does not cancel external noise, but eliminates the need for batteries.
Open Back Headphones
Vented, or open back headphones, allow sound to exit through the back, causing less sound deflection and providing listeners with what is best described as a more acoustic or natural sound. This is thought to create a more accurate amplification of the intended sound. These headphones are ideal for listening at home as the open back design allows sound to leak out, which makes them less than ideal for public environments where people in close proximity are exposed to the audio. The open back design also allows for external sound to trickle in to the listener's ear, which can be an irritating distraction.
Closed Back Headphones
Closed back headphones are sealed, with semi-airtight ear-cups closing the ears to external noise. Closed back headphones aim to prevent noise from leaking into external environments and disturbing those in close proximity by keeping all of the audio inside the ear-cupped space. This is ideal for listening to music at a loud volume, which makes closed back headphones popular among DJs and those who work in music studios. Closed back headphones have the tendency to reflect and resonate the sound made by the headphone drivers, creating an enclosed or hollow sound, which is especially noticeable on cheaper models.
Volume Control for Headphones
Some headphone models are equipped with volume control, located somewhere along the cable, usually closer to the ear piece than the audio device. This allows for easy volume adjustment on the move or while exercising. Some volume control features also have the ability to control the tracks in order to play, pause, or skip with a simple click of a button.
How to Buy Headphones on eBay
To begin shopping for headphones, buyers should start at the eBay home page. For all related item listings, type headphones into the search field at the top of the page. Buyers are free to browse all of the results, or to narrow down the listings by condition or price. Search terms can also be used to find specific items. For example, to see listings for earbud headphones, type 'earbud headphones' or 'canal earbud headphones' into the search field. Buyers can look at eBay's customer support pages for additional information on searching with keywords.
Buy Headphones with Confidence
Read item listings before buying the headphones. Check the price of the item, as well its delivery costs. Buyers should also examine available photos carefully. If additional images or information are desired, buyers should not hesitate to ask the seller. Sellers are usually happy to provide additional information in order to promote a positive transaction.
Shoppers who wish to buy headphones should use eBay's headphone specifications to help with their purchasing decision. Buyers should consider both the intended use of the headphones and where they plan to do most of their listening. For use at home, a bulkier style of headphones, such as ear-cup or ear-pad, may suit a buyer's requirements. Those who like to use their headphones for exercising should opt for more portable earbuds or wireless designs. Others who find themselves listening to their audio device in public or in noisy environments may prefer in-ear noise cancelling headphones.
Considering these factors helps buyers to select the most appropriate choice. A buyer's choice in music can also influence the desired headphones as some genres have low, heavy bass, while others have softer tones. With the wide variety of products available, eBay's headphones specifications offer buyers a handy tool to help with their purchasing decision.