By: Nick Gambino

Our phones are not just communication devices anymore, they’re our entertainment center. And to hear our entertainment music, videos, games we need a set of headphones.You can use the set that came with your phone, but if you want to wear something comfortable and not be a barbarian, you need a new pair.Dependent on the purpose of your headphones, you’re going to want one of three styles: earbuds, on-ear, and full-size.iphoneear

The uses of all three are blending more and more, but there are still reasons for going one style over another: how do you plan to use your headphones, where, and how much are you willing to spend? To help you narrow down the decision, we’ve created a Headphone Guide.

So first up, in-ear, also known as ear buds.These little guys started out as the pair that came with your phone or were given in “Thank You” packages from friends and in stores. And they were awful. No longer!With increased technology in sound and smaller electronics, earbuds are gaining in popularity. So let’s start with The Good stuff. They’re compact, they’re light, andcan often be used with your phone as a microphone and receiver.Higher end models have quality speakers in the buds and fitted ear canal pieces, some even are wireless.These guys are perfect for working out, listening to music on the go, and traveling. But there’s a bad side. While the sound quality has improved dramatically in recent years, they don’t stand up to full size and over-ear headphones and they can become uncomfortable in your ear over extended periods of time.In the end, these guys run on average between 11 dollars and 90 bucks.

Next is the on On-Ear headphone. This style of headphones rests on the edge of your ear and offers anything from high to middle end quality of sound. It might not offer the same noise isolation as earbuds and full-sized headphones, but it’s still a great option for the work environment. So same situation, lets start with The Good stuff. On-Ear phones are comfortable and don’t fatigue your ears from usage – which is a definite differentiator.
They offer decent quality of sound and can be easily folded up for transportation.
They’re great for work and travel if you want a light set to carry on flights.
Now the bad, first up, Noise isolation doesn’t exist quite like it does with earbuds and full-sized headphones, so your neighbors will definitely hear your music. And they are not ideal for working out as they will slip off your ears easily.In general, this style will run you anywhere from 80 to 200 dollars, depending on quality.

Source: Gavin Whitner

And the final style is the Full-Size. These headphones are the top of the line option and have earcups that fully encircle your ear, offering maximum sound quality and isolation.
The Good is they offer top-of-the-line sound with high-end bass and treble and The fully enclosed earcup means you can listen to high-volume sound without disturbing your neighbor. They can come in wireless and folding options for transportation.
But there’s still a bad side. With size comes weight and heat issues. Many styles can be heavy and cumbersome for travel, while others will heat your ears to a point of discomfort.
Their size can also interfere with someone who wears earrings, glasses, necklaces, and has long hair. Like me my mane of hair is always in the way. Your standard full-size headphone can run anywhere from $150 dollars to higher and higher. But it’s definitely worth it. In the end, Headphones have come a long way over the past few years. Dependent on your budget, what you’re trying to spend, and the purpose of the headphones, you have three headphone styles available to you. I keep earbuds on hand for working out, riding a bike, or on the metro. I have on-ear for work, because they’re easy to remove and talk to people, and I have over-the-ear for my long-distance travels and watching movies in bed.

There’s a different reason and purpose for each style, hopefully this guide helped you out.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch.  He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.


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