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Types of headphones – Pros and Cons – Buying Guide

    Types of headphones range from the over-head model, neckband model, in-ear model, wired model, we enjoy the high pitch classes offering a wonderful group of instruments. These handsets are specifically made for your ultimate entertainment purposes.

    Headphones are the true nature of reality, bringing music to life, encouraging rhythmic musical cords, listening to some cool jams, including amusing podcasts sessions. Different brands have designed sophisticated models which led to the increasing demand for headsets.

    Headphones have changed from the first headset created and improved in 1910 by Nathaniel Baldwin for the U.S. Navy during World War I. From the copper wire and leather design to a more comfortable wired and wireless model, bringing technology to its best fit.

    With every being addicted to a set of pitches, people bring up a specific choice for listening to audio. Over the years, earphones were popularly known all over the world and today, we have more than 5 types of headphones with hundreds of models built around this niche.

    When you talk about headphones, you talk about two major models – Wireless and Wired models. Headphones that are wireless come with support for Bluetooth, RF, Infrared, NFC, and KLEER support. While the wired model is self-explanatory.

    types of headphones

    What is headphones

    When you discuss headphones, you hear audio, music, videos, podcasts, movies, and any file that needs sound for perfection. Google explained that Headphones are “a pair of earphones joined by a band placed over the head, for listening to audio signals such as music or speech”

    However, I’d prefer the TechTerms definition “Headphones are small speakers that can be worn in or around your ears.” Well, there are small speakers built right inside a casing, where some casings are massive and some casings are just perfect for everyday use.

    When you use various types of headphones, you must conclude the basics uses, the fundamental usage is the only pleasure of arriving and achieving the best. Headsets are almost everywhere, they’re worn by just about everyone, from young kids, teens, youths, and adults.

    Types of headphones

    At any period, there are little things one should notice whenever you are discussing types of headphones – DJ Style, Foldable, Lightweight, Microphone, Phone Control, Sports & Exercise, Tangle-Free Cord, Volume Control, Water-Resistant, and Wireless.

    What is the essence of this article you may ask, but I had to find out for myself a few years ago because most headphones were monstrously gigantic and simply oversized, such as the over-the-ear, closed-open-back, and even the on-ear was slightly sizable.

    When it comes to the neck-band model, it does a funny thing to my ear, although, it was ergonomic with efficient design in mind. But I later found seamless comfort in the Behind The Head Wireless Headphone and that has been my case, story, and solution to this day.

    Over the ear headphones
    Apple Over the ear headphones AirPods – Gadgetguy

    Over-the-Ear headphones

    This type of headphones is the most popular modification on the market, and it promises better quality sound, efficient audio system and one of its greatest is shutting you off the world. As the name implies, the headset goes over your year, from your head to the ear.

    It covers your entire ear, it is always known as the largest headset, which distinctively differentiates itself from the rest. Over-the-ear headphones come with noise-canceling and are mainly used for professional recording. Available in either wired or wireless model.


    • You will enjoy a great time listening with excellent sound quality.
    • It is comfortable to wear based on some cases.
    • Shuts out surroundings more effectively.


    • Fall over your ears, which brings Noise-cancellation which is bad when outside your comfort zone.
    • Expensive, they are way expensive than others.
    • Not travel-worthy thanks to its gigantic size, as you can’t carry them in your coat or bag as easily.
    On ear headphone
    Beats On-ear headphone – CNET

    On-ear headphones

    Identical to the over-the-ear headphone, but this time around, the cup containing the sounds is only subjected to the ear, as it does not pass over the ear. These types of headphones are not just smaller, but they are also lightweight.

    The on-ear headphones come with ambient noise but it is still audible to a limited extent, making in-ear headphones safer in traffic. However, the on-ear earpads can hurt more and faster, as those pads/cups press on your ears. It might come either wired or wireless.


    • It is lightweight and smaller
    • Supports noise cancellations
    • It is affordable than the on-ear model
    • You can carry it easily around


    • Does not shut out surroundings more effectively
    • The foams around the cans tend to absorb water
    • It is slightly uncomfortable to wear for a longer time
    • It hurts faster than the over-ear headphones
    Closed-back headphones
    Closed-back headphones

    Closed-back headphones

    There is a closed-back design that intends to easily keep what you’re listening to private. The closed-back headphone is the most common type of fit since the speaker is on the inside of the cups, allowing you to keep the sound close by.

    With the closed-back headphones, users will be completely shut outside the world, which might be dangerous, and we advise that you wear them when you are in a comfortable situation, and not when walking, crossing the road, and others. Might either be wired or wireless.


    • Immersive and offer better sound quality
    • Better when you intend to shut out the outside world
    • It does not allow sounds to leak into recordings


    • The sound coming out might feel heavy
    • It is not good or preferable for students when studying
    • The sound is not wide enough
    Open-back headphones
    Open-back headphones – Shure

    Open-back headphones

    Another major types of headphones are the open-back models and issue out wide-sounds which spreads across the room. As the sounds spread out, this might act as a distraction to others in the room, who are probably not interested in your activity and want peace of mind.

    Since the speakers are fitted on the outside of the earcups and don’t have a cover on the outer part of the cup, they may be perfect for music studios during live performance and this style is typically used on soundstages. Likewise to others, they maybe be available wired or wireless.


    • Improves natural listening experience
    • Speakers fitted on the outside of the earcups
    • It saves life as ambient sounds are leaked from the outside periodically


    • Great sound experience but not the best
    • Sounds might act great disadvantages to the people sitting around you
    • Not the best noise cancellation model, as sound leaks out when you want peace
    Behind-The-Head headphones
    Sony Behind-The-Head headphones – Amazon

    Behind-The-Head headphone

    Might not be the best noise-cancellation headset, but they actually do the job perfectly. From ear to ear but around your cervical spine, which seems like it is hidden. They are little wires inside but offer great comfort.

    It is much preferable when listening to movies, as you can easily turn your head from one side to another, which is unlike the case of other headphones. As expected, they are Sweatproof and are only available in the wireless models, are weightless, and are easily foldable.


    • Lightweight, foldable, and easy to travel with
    • They are comfortable to wear and are Sweatproof, which is better for sports activity
    • Affordable, better when watching movies at night too


    • Not better at noise-cancellation. This, unlike other headphones, this sound is great but it is considerable
    • When the shield holding the wires breaks, it is automatically condemned and can no longer be used
    Sleep HeadBand headphones
    Sleep HeadBand headphones – Amazon

    Sleep HeadBand headphones

    Imagine wearing your headband and it comes with the speaker to listen to music? That is what the sleep headband headphone is all about. Why I have not used it before, but it won’t offer a 100% noise cancellation design.

    The Hoomband Headband Sleep Headphones are simply the best, and similar to others, the material is strong and offers full closure. They are not perfect for sleeping, but can also offer other easy life such as music sports sleeping headband headphones for a workout, jogging, and Yoga.


    • These bands are a lightweight, slim, foldable, and better travel companion
    • Better for sleeping, Music Sports, Workout, Jogging, and even Yoga


    • Sound won’t be better or as great as the over-the-ear or on-ear headphones but might be immersive
    • Does not offer 100% noise-cancellation
    In-ear headphones
    In-ear headphones –

    In-ear headphones

    This might be one of the most popular used types of headphones, it’s mostly known as ‘Earphone’ and it is very cheap and affordable. As with others, the in-ear headphones fall short of better sound quality available to other headphones models.

    With a pair of earphones, you can easily listen to your favorite music/audio without disturbance, they are wired and can easily be hidden from the under of your cloth. As usual, you can also use it for sports, entertainment, and better for shutting someone up.


    • Thin, small, slim and are easy to hide from others
    • Earphones are not just cheap, but affordable to purchase as it is a different model than others in the group
    • It is available everywhere, and you can find them easily in different colors
    • Earphones are also good at sports, fitness activities such as Yoga, Running, and others


    • Wired headphones no longer make you feel the vibe
    • The sound quality might be as bad as ever. The new wireless headphones offer a larger speaker cup with better sounds
    • It lacks immersion and this is not surprising at all
    • Wires can entangle at any moment
    • They are also uncomfortable to wear, constant and regular wearing might cause injuries
    EarBuds –


    Simple, addictive, and promising with different companies showing its latest design – EarBuds are another pair of perfect types of headphones, which are known for fashionistas, but great in emitting quality sounds.

    Earbuds are more like ‘wireless in-ear headphones‘ Instead of the wired in-ear model, the wires are cut out to remove those disadvantages. They are small and get lost at any period of time but they are great for sports, and fitness activities.


    • Compactible, smaller, and thinner. EarBuds are just your travel buddies, it can easily be seen.
    • Wireless in-ear buds are perfect, you won’t have to worry about the tangling of wires.
    • Feature interchangeable earbuds, which are clean, sharp, and comfortable to wear


    • Earbuds are 100% prone to getting lost at any time. Ensure that you are with the case always.
    • As expected, it allows external noise to come through easily. Don’t increase the volume to avoid this, as it can damage your eardrums.
    • Earbuds are also prone to breaking and tangling also
    • They are slightly expensive compared to the behind-the-ear model
    Noise-canceling headphones
    Beats Solo Pro Noise-canceling headphones – CNET

    Noise-canceling headphones

    As with the name, it simply removes, eradicates, and totally eliminates outside distractions. With noise-canceling headphones, you will never be bothered as it focuses on the music, or track that is playing at that time.

    Yea, we all know the cause. It is very dangerous and not advisable to wear outside your house, especially when conducting some sports and fitness activities such as outdoor running. Always wear noise-canceling headphones when you are either sitting comfortably at home.


    • Perfect for eliminating outside noise, as it does not allow outside distractions to pass through.
    • Great when you are trying to be alone, and accomplish something and be productive.
    • Noise-canceling headphones handle calling and answering jobs efficiently, thanks to noise cut-out.


    • Dangerous and more dangerous than any others. Headphones with noise-canceling features are more dangerous and prone to lead the user to accidents that can be avoided easily.
    • They are mostly expensive also when you want noise-canceling headphones, you must try to know the price, as it starts from $250 and above.
    Bone Conduction
    Bone Conduction –

    Bone Conduction

    These types of headphones are not like those noise-canceling headsets, where no sounds can pass through. But Bone conduction uses special techniques of enlightenment that produce sounds but do not affect the eardrum or ear canal as others.

    Bone conduction sends vibrations to the bones in your inner ear, bypasses the eardrums as the bone conduction devices (such as headphones) perform the role of your eardrums and they are worn above the ears, which makes them excellent for anyone with hearing issues.

    The Bone Conduction decode sound waves and convert them into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea so the eardrum is never involved. Which protects your eardrum from any harm which other handsets may bring.


    • The Bonebridge implant transmits sound waves via bone conduction directly to the inner ear where they are processed just like a natural sound.
    • Bone conduction technology allows people with deafness to hear, helps tech-heads talk, and lets swimmers listen to music underwater.
    • Comfortable to wear and produce an adequate sound quality.
    • It lets swimmers listen to music underwater.


    • Bone-conduction headphones can still damage hearing when music or sound is played at high volumes.
    • They can still be unsafe when used inappropriately.
    • Bone conduction headphones usually rest on your temples. Because of this, wearing bone conduction headphones can get uncomfortable or cause headaches.
    • When they are worn for long periods of time. Bone conduction headphones rest on the skin above your ears and can cause pressure or irritation.
    NeckBand headphone
    Sennheiser NeckBand headphone

    NeckBand headphone

    Another major headphone is the neckband model, which relaxes on your neck seamlessly and tends to provide a stable and amusing quality sound. The neckband is among the most populous type of headset right now on the market.


    • Slightly lightweight and thin, but easily foldable, which support smooth travel
    • They are affordable, retractable earbuds and support MIC.
    • They are better for sports, and fitness activities.
    • Neckband headphones are sweatproof and support noise-canceling features.


    • Slightly heavy when placed on the neck. Unlike the behind-the-ear headphone which becomes invisible after a period of time.
    • These bands’ wire tends to entangle in between themselves, which may lead to the cutting of wire.
    • They can easily fall off your ear without proper placement or after hours of usage.
    • As usual, noise-canceling is dangerous and this is not different. You must be careful as to where you put them on.

    Types of headphones brands

    Headphones are properly made out of profitable material which miraculously boasts the headphone’s lives and longevity. These material combinations are Aluminum, Artificial leather, Ceramic, Copper, Memory foam, Plastic, Rubbe, Silicone, Textiles (Fabric), and Vinyl.

    Below are the types of headphones brands, these are the most popular headphone brands?

    • Sennheiser
    • Sony
    • JBL
    • Bose
    • Audio-Technica
    • Jabra
    • Skullcandy
    • AKG Acoustics
    • Beats by Dre
    • Samsung
    • Xiaomi
    • Bang & Olufsen
    • Apple
    • Bowers & Wilkins
    • Marshall
    • HiFiMAN Electronics
    • Philips
    • Shure
    • Beyerdynamic
    • Audeze
    • Logitech
    • Focal
    • Grado Labs
    • Razer
    • Harman Kardon
    • HyperX
    • Jaybird
    • Klipsch Audio Technologies
    • Koss
    • Sol Republic
    • V-MODA
    • Edifier
    • ASTRO
    • Etymotic
    • JLab Audio
    • JVC
    • Parrot SA
    • Pioneer
    • Plantronics / Poly
    • SoundMAGIC
    • SteelSeriesSteelSeries
    • Westone
    • House of Marley
    • Taotronics
    • Asus
    • Denon
    • Monoprice
    • Monster
    • OPPO Digital
    • Panasonic
    • PSB
    • RHA Technologies
    • Yamaha
    • Creative
    • Fostex
    • KRK
    • LG
    • Onkyo
    • Thinksound
    • Turtle Beach
    • Ultimate Ears
    • Ultrasone
    • Urbanears
    black man dancing with headphone
    black man dancing with headphones –

    Headphone Warning and Cautiousness

    Well, different types of headphones are worn in different cases and lifestyles, from work, cleaning, gaming, answering calls, studying, exercising, listening to audio, podcasts, and even acting as a suitable distraction.

    While they are worn due to the current lifestyle, you are instructed to check if the connection has any valid issues as this might affect the connection. It is also advisable to wear your headphone an hour or less each day and try to keep your volume under 60%.

    For a longer period of time, try to take 5-minute breaks every hour, as this is proven to give your ears a bit of relief. While sleeping with headphones are considered good and bad, scientist tries to explain that it relaxes and others say it could damage the tissues in your ears.

    Nevertheless, I’d advise that you listen to music, podcasts, or any other audio format via your Bluetooth speaker, or even from your phone speaker, but the volume must be set at a minimal audio setting. It will even boost your sleeping hours.

    Headphones Buying Guide

    They are a few reasons why you should choose the best types of headphones, and this totally depends on your lifestyle. Choosing your headphone is more like choosing other gadgets. I once bought an over-the-ear noise-canceling headset but had to give it away, because it didn’t fit my lifestyle.

    • Sound quality: That is always the number excessence of having a portable headphone, and it doesn’t change from that. Excellent quality sound makes the perfect types of headphones, and enjoy better sound even at the preferable 60% volume.
    • Comfortability, Portability and Compatibility: This is crucial, and your next headphone should be devoted to your cause and lifestyle. Someone like me, I prefer the behind-the-neck headphone, because it is portable, and just help me listen to musics and movies. Professional recorders don’t need that.
    • Costs and Reviews This is as important as the first, money should not come now, but common why should I search for $300 (NGN150,000) headphones? Your cause should affect the costs too. While looking at the costs, the reviews matter also. Not because it is cheap, doesn’t mean you shoud avoid the reviews.
    • Strength and durability: What is the point of buying something as expensive as headphones and it doesn’t have up to atleast a year of warranty? Follow the reviews, specifications, features to determine the stregnth and durability.

    Types of headphones are bound to be on the increase in demand in a few years, stats suggested that the global market for headphones and earbuds is expected to be worth $20.8 billion by 2025. It is advisable to get the best and always watch out for better quality sound,