How to choose your headset? Our advice for a successful purchase.
Bluetooth, In-Ear, Closed, Open, Cradle, In-Ear headphones, how to determine which one is best suited to your needs? The purpose of this article is to enlighten you.
The number of brands and references of headphones has literally exploded in recent years, and what was only a tool for listening to his music has become a real fashion accessory, a means of asserting his belonging to a “tribe”, and above all an object of desire in its own right that deserves to be invested sometimes up to several hundred euros. We will try to guide you in choosing your next headset.
There are 2 large families of headsets on the market, sedentary headsets and nomadic headsets. They do not meet the same needs at all. The former favour listening comfort and sound quality over “look” and compactness. The latter must be light, comfortable, well insulated, compact and, for some years now, have had a strong visual identity.
As their name suggests, they are aimed at listeners who are looking for a solution for listening to a living room -wired most of the time- that emphasizes sound quality. There are 2 types of headsets in this category: closed headsets and open headsets. Keep in mind that a closed headphones is hermetically sealed and isolates the sound, preventing it from spreading outdoors while the open headphones let a part of the sound message pass through, often through a grid visible on the earphone shell.
Closed headphones have the advantage of offering a wide bass range and optimum insulation. You are in a bubble, cut off from the outside world, for a better immersion in music. Some models, called noise-reducing headphones (also known as “active noise reduction”), are particularly suitable for noisy environments (aircraft, trains, etc.).
On the other hand, open headsets, which are less insulating, allow for an opening of the reproduction, with the result that the bass is less present but often more tense and varied, and above all a “liberation” of the interpretation, which seems more airy and neutral. Disadvantage, the sound is perceptible from the outside, which can create a discomfort for the environment.
Let’s start with the in-ear headphones, whose principle is to enter the auditory canal and create maximum sound insulation. Their big advantages are their discretion and lightness, they can be used everywhere. However, a large number of listeners are reluctant to introduce a foreign body into their auditory pavilion. Another disadvantage is that the insulation they create can be dangerous because we are less aware of the world around us and our attention is reduced. With the recent advances in this headsets family, many quality products can be found on the market today in all price ranges.
The headphones, very fashionable at the beginning of the nomadic sound adventure, are losing speed. Often supplied as standard with personal music players, they are clearly set back in terms of sound quality and listening comfort. The isolation is very relative, the sound scene is often narrow, the port is often unpleasant over time, so we will reserve the use of it for telephone calls.
Finally, headband headsets, the most sold at present. More or less comfortable depending on the quality of manufacture and the chosen clamping system, they have for them a better bass management and good isolation (especially for closed models), an often larger bandwidth, and a greater versatility (many of them can perfectly be used on a hifi channel thanks to the jack adapter often provided). Not to mention that the vast majority of them are foldable for a much smaller footprint. These headphones often offer a wider sound scene than other technologies.