Earbuds vs. headphones – Which one should you buy? That is the question that many people ask themselves when they are deciding what to purchase. There are a lot of options out there, but not all earbuds and headphones are created equal. This article will compare and contrast both types of products in order to help you make an informed decision about which product is best for your needs!
The reason why a lot of people seem to be thinking about this is that earbuds have been flooding the market lately, and they are cheaper than headphones. However, when you compare them to each other on price alone, it’s not always clear which one is a better investment.
What are headphones?
Headphones are small, portable devices that have speakers in them. They go over the head and rest on top of your ears so that they can deliver sound directly into your ear canal without surrounding noise getting in the way. Headphones have been a thing for a while and everybody knows them.
Some people would say a good pair of headphones will create an immersive experience for their listeners with high-quality audio because only one person is hearing it while other people around may not be able to hear what’s coming out from the speakers.
There are different types of headphones including in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, and over-the-ear headphones. There are also different types of over-the-ear headphones such as open back and closed-back. Also, headsets are some kind of headphones, usually targeted at gamers or people who do a lot of phone/video calls and need a microphone.
Some popular brands of headphones include Beats by Dre, Bose, Sony, and Monster.
What are earbuds?
Earbuds are small, portable headphones that go in your ear and deliver sound directly into the ear canal. They have been around for a while but they really started to take off when Apple released their iconic white earphones with the iPhone about 15 years ago.
There are different types of earbuds as well including true wireless ones where you don’t even need wires connecting them together anymore, corded ones, or wired ones. There are also various sizes available so it’s possible to find one that is comfortable for you!
Earbuds weren’t as advanced as headphones until the market exploded when Apple (yes, again) launched the AirPods in 2017 and their market cap is now bigger than many companies such as Netflix or Spotify.
Some popular brands of earbuds are Apple, Anker, Samsung, and Bose.
Earbuds vs. headphones – Sound quality
Sound quality is typically better with headphones because the sound waves are directed into your ear canal. It’s also easier to isolate sounds if you’re using a pair of headphones and they offer a more immersive experience for those who use them.
Besides, headphones can have bigger drivers and more intricate designs to create high-quality sound. The best headphones are usually over-the-ear models with noise cancellation and all the bells and whistles.
Earbuds, on the other hand, are going into your ear canal and so they may not be as good at blocking outside noise. They also don’t have the same level of drivers or sound quality because they’re more compact and lightweight. However, this doesn’t mean that most people can notice a difference in audio quality.
In terms of sound quality, it’s clear that headphones can be better than earbuds in most cases.
Earbuds vs. headphones – Portability
The smaller size of earbuds means they are more portable and easier to bring with you wherever you go. They can be put into your pocket or clipped onto something else so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in your bag.
Headphones, on the other hand, can be wrapped in your neck and they’re comfortable for casual walking or traveling via public transportation. Earbuds win in this area just because they’re fairly smaller, lighter, and easier to carry.
Earbuds vs. headphones – Comfort
The main difference in comfort between earbuds and headphones is how it sits on or around your ears. Some headphones are more comfortable for casual walking because they’re resting on top of the head while most earbud models go inside the ear canal, so there’s a lot less pressure from gravity pulling them down. But the design and type of headphones makes a big difference in this department.
Earbuds can be uncomfortable if people have smaller heads that don’t easily fit with this design since they push against the sides of their faces. However, some people swear by earbuds and say they’re more comfortable because their ear canal is a perfect fit. Some people even sleep with earbuds in their ears because it’s the best way to drown out ambient sounds and you barely notice them.
In terms of comfort, there may not be much difference between the two options depending on your preferences and needs in this area.
Earbuds vs. Headphones – Noise cancelation
Some headphones are better at noise cancellation than others but it really depends on how good you want them to be and how expensive they are. Some people prefer over-the-ear models that have closed backs for maximum sound isolation with some even going as far as having an active or passive feature so if someone’s talking nearby, not only will you hear what you’re listening to, but also everything else around you which might feel like being home alone!
On the other hand, earbuds don’t offer the same level of noise cancellation because they go inside your ears instead of over the top. The material in-between is also important, like foam or silicone, which can help reduce outside noises but only to a certain degree.
In terms of noise cancelation, headphones are better than earbuds for most people who want this type of feature on their headphones.
Earbuds vs. Headphones – Price
The price difference between these two options will vary depending on where you’re looking at them from and what brand you get since some brands charge more even if both products have similar features such as durability and sound quality.
Expensive earbuds can cost up to $200 and the cheapest option can be as low as $20. The same is true for headphones with expensive models costing up to $500 or more, and the cheapest ones being around $30-50 on average in most cases. Here’s where you need to decide what matters most: sound quality or price?
For some people, it might not make sense to spend so much money when earbuds are just a few dollars cheaper but they don’t offer better noise cancellation and other features that come standard on over-the-ear headphones.
If someone has limited funds because of budgeting priorities like saving for school tuition fees or medical bills, then earbud models may be their best bet since there isn’t really a difference in terms of sound quality within the less expensive models.
In terms of price, earbuds are cheaper because they’re not as complex or expensive due to the lack of features involved in their design like noise cancelation and active/passive modes. However, this might change with newer models that have come out recently which offer better sound quality for a competitive price. It all really depends on what you want your headphones to do and how much money you can spend in order to get them done!
Earbuds vs. headphones – Battery life
One of the best features about headphones, especially over-the-ear models, is that they can have a long battery life because it’s possible to get more power out of them. However, this isn’t always true for earbuds since some models only last up to 12 hours or less. Headphones are better because they can last up to 20+ hours or more which is great when traveling and not having access to a charger at all times.
High-quality brands will include fast charging capabilities in earbuds though so that if you need to charge them for a quick boost, it won’t take too long.
Pros and cons of headphones
Let’s get started with the pros:
- Better sound quality
- Noise cancelation works better
- Usually more durable because their design is often sturdier over time which prevents them from breaking easily as earbuds can
- A plethora of options available for all niches and needs
- If you get a good pair of headphones, they can be very comfortable
The cons of headphones:
- They’re often bigger so they have to be carried around everywhere or stored properly if you want to keep them safe.
- Headphones are also heavier than earbuds which means they could hurt your neck after a long day; this might depend on the type of material as well.
- High-end models can be more expensive
Pros and cons of earbuds
Let’s get started with the pros:
- Earbuds are smaller and lighter than headphones which makes them more portable
- They’re also less expensive in general because of the lack of features that come standard on high-end models.
- There’s no noise leakage with earbuds
- Earbuds can be very comfortable if they fit your ears. But sometimes they just don’t.
Now the cons:
- Might not have good sound quality if they’re cheap
- Noise cancelation doesn’t work as well with earbuds because of their design, but this will depend on the brand and model you get.
- Easy to lose if you’re not careful?
The bottom line
Both earbuds and headphones have their own set of advantages. Which one you should get is based on your individual needs!
Some people may need better sound quality from expensive high-end models which will cost more money but also be sturdier in terms of durability over time. But if someone has limited funds, then the cheaper option might be a good way to go since noise cancelation won’t make much difference with those types of products. It just depends on what features are most important for that person so it’s best not to assume anything when shopping around for this type of gear!
You should get a pair of earbuds if you need something light and compact that you can take anywhere without taking up much space.
You should get a pair of headphones if you want the best sound quality possible, or they’re more comfortable than earbuds for long periods of time like working out. Sound leakages also won’t be an issue which is helpful in certain situations like when listening to music in public places where others might not appreciate hearing your tunes!
Stay tuned for the next blog post and see what we have in store for you!