Headphones & Headsets
Headphones are part of our daily life, but what should you look out for when buying them?
What makes a good headphone?
The technical product details offer a first overview of the differences between the numerous headphones available on the market.
Which details are important for the selection of headphones can vary depending on the intended use and personal preferences. However, here are some of the most important technical details to consider when selecting headphones:
- Frequency response: The frequency response describes the audible frequency range that a headphone can reproduce. A wide frequency response (20 Hz to 20 kHz) allows the headphone to reproduce a larger portion of the audible spectrum and can result in a more balanced sound.
- Impedance: Impedance describes the resistance that a headphone opposes to the electrical signal. Headphones with higher impedance require more power to achieve the same volume, but can also lead to better sound quality.
- Sensitivity: Sensitivity indicates how effectively a headphone converts the electrical signal into sound. Headphones with higher sensitivity require less power to achieve the same volume, but are also more susceptible to distortion and background noise.
- Form factor: The form factor of the headphone can affect comfort and sound quality. Open-back headphones have an open form factor that allows more ambient noise to pass through, but enables a better soundstage and more natural sound. Closed-back headphones have a closed form factor that reduces ambient noise, but also provides stronger bass and more isolation.
- Wired or wireless: Headphones can be operated either with a cable or wirelessly. Wired headphones usually offer better sound quality, while wireless headphones offer more freedom of movement and comfort.
- Noise-cancelling: Headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) reduce ambient noise by generating an anti-sound. ANC headphones can lead to an improved listening experience in loud environments, but can also be more expensive.
- Microphone: A built-in microphone allows the headphones to be used as a headset for calls and voice control.
- Driver size: The driver is the heart of a headphone and converts the electrical signal into sound. Larger drivers can usually deliver higher volume and improved bass reproduction, while smaller drivers allow for better detail reproduction.
- Battery life: The battery life or playback time of Bluetooth headphones is determined by the built-in batteries, which typically range from 50 to 150 mAh. How long a headphone lasts until it is fully discharged during playback mainly depends on the Bluetooth version and the impedance value.
These technical details can help improve the sound and performance of headphones and optimize the listening experience. However, it is also important to note that personal preferences and comfort factors such as fit, weight, and design are important when choosing headphones.