There are so many ways to describe audio devices that bring sound to your ears, it can be quite confusing when you’re searching the best option.
It doesn’t help when people use the terms earphones, headphones and earbuds interchangeably. There are differences, so hopefully we can help clarify the situation for you.
Let’s start with the easy one – headphones.
Headphones, as the name suggests, usually means the left and right ‘speakers’ are connected via a band of material (often cushioned) worn over the head. But they also come in over the ear and around the ear options, just to confuse you even further. The around ear option completely surrounds your ear and therefore minimises sounds from external sources. They are often padded, so they’re comfortable for long listening periods. However, they can make you feel a bit hot and sweaty. And they’re usually bulky to carry around.
In contrast, the over ear options are usually lighter, less bulky to carry around, and you don’t get sweaty. But they will let in more ambient noise.
Earbuds, generally speaking, are made of plastic and tend to be one size fits all, although some will come with different tip size options. They are designed to rest on the outside of your ear canal, so they can present problems when exercising. Some people seem to have no problems keeping them in their ear, while others struggle to keep them in when active.
Because earbuds sit on the outside of your ear canal, they also tend to let in more ambient noise. This can be an advantage of course, especially if you’re exercising or commuting near traffic and you need to know what’s going on around you. But the placement also means bass quality is usually compromised. So, they might be fine for podcasts or audiobooks or phone calls, but a true audiophile is unlikely to be impressed.
In contrast, earphones extend deeper into the ear canal and often come with soft rubber or silicone tips, so they fit more snugly and comfortably, some even come with interchangeable sized tips and are therefore less likely to fall out. Because of where they sit in the ear and the tip design they also let in less ambient noise and deliver a better bass response. So, if you’re into your music, earphones will make you happier.
Earbuds and earphones both have the advantage of size – light and portable. Small enough to fit in your pocket. And with many of us looking to get untangled from wires and plugs, the smaller options come wireless, and Bluetooth enabled. Best of all, many models come with a carrier that doubles as a charger – something you probably can’t have with a headphone option.
The Quantum Sonic Wireless earphones captures all the best things about earphones – they’re comfortable, high audio quality, and true wireless (see this article to learn why that’s good). The handy charging base doubles as a storage container and holds two charges. You can even use Siri and Google assistant activated voice controls, so you can work or play completely hands free. Check them out here.