Six Tips to Help You Select the Right Pair of Headphones

Last Edited: May 13, 2016 | Published: May 13, 2016 by


So you decided it is time to buy new headphones for yourself. So what’s your next move? One quick look online will display a staggering number of headphone choices for you to wade through. How much time do you have?

You are going to have to narrow down your choices if you ever hope to be able to pick a pair that will really work for you. But how do you do that? Many just grab one of the first pairs they see. Then they wonder why they don’t really like the headphones they have chosen.

Let’s take a look at six tips to help you narrow down the search so you can select the best pair of headphones for your needs and wants.

1. Set Your Budget

Headphones range in price starting at around $30 all the up into the several hundred dollar range. That is a big range. Because of this, you need to decide first how much you are willing to spend. After all, why waste your time looking at that one pair that costs $300 if you really don’t want to spend more than $100.

Now this doesn’t mean that if you aren’t willing to spend big bucks you can’t find good headphones. On the contrary, there are many great pairs of headphones out there that won’t reach deep down into your wallet if you decide that you want them

By deciding how much you are willing to spend before you begin, you can focus your research into headphones within your price range. This will help narrow your search and cut down your research time drastically. Sometimes, you may find that you need to change your budget to suit what you want and/or need, but often you can find exactly what you are looking for in your budget range.

2. Determine How You Will Use Them

After you have determined your budget, your next mission is to determine exactly how you plan on using these headphones. Do you just want to listen to music on your iPod or do you need to do some heavy audio or video editing while using these headphones? What you want to do will have a major impact on the type of headphones you should buy.

To be fair, this may actually impact your budget as well. So once you determine how you use them you may want to revisit your budget as well. Headphones designed for audio editing, for example, will be more expensive as they are designed to let you hear each frequency with ease. If you just want to listen to music while you run or walk, other options will make more sense.

3. Decide on Your Style

Now that you know how much you want to spend and how you plan on using them, your next mission is to determine the type of headphones you want. There are three main types of headphones:

  • Earbuds – Earbuds are the smallest options out there and everyone is familiar with these today thanks to Apple. They fit just inside your ear and contain small speakers. Because of this, you need to be careful about the fit and the sound quality, but these are great options that are affordable and perfect for just light music listening.
  • On top of the Ear – These headphones are larger than the earbuds, but not quite as large as the last option on this list. These rest on top of the ear and were once the reigning king of headphones for everyday use, before earbuds rose in popularity. They provide a kind of middle ground between quality, style and fit between earbuds and over the ear headphones.
  • Over the Ear – These headphones are often the largest and do the best job at canceling out background noise. They fit completely over your ear and are designed for comfort as well as superior sound quality. These options are usually the most expensive out there and are often used by audio engineers and people that really want the best quality sound out of their headphones.

Take a look at these different styles online and in the store and you will quickly see the differences. You must ask yourself which style you believe would work best for you, your ears, and your head, of course. We are all different, the size and shape of your head and ears can greatly influence what type of headphones you should buy.

4. Try Them On

I have to admit this one may be hard, as it tough to find places that let you try on your headphones. I’m not sure why this is, as fitting headphones to your head and ears seems like a pretty important detail to me. Still, you can find shops that will let you try on headphones and give them a test drive.

You want to find a pair that fit your head and ears well so they are comfortable and easily allow the sound to pass from the speakers to your ears. As we are all shaped differently, this isn’t always an easy task. If you can find a place that will let you test drive them, don’t hesitate to take the opportunity to give them a try.

By trying them on ahead of time, you can quickly figure out if they are comfortable to you or not. While you can’t determine how they will do after wearing them for hours on end, you can at least get some idea about how they fit you. And that is a great start. Trust me, if you can try them on before you buy them, do it. It will make your decision just that much easier.

5. Give Them a Listen

This is another one that is sometimes hard to do, but if you can, try them at your local shop to see how well they do. Most will give you options to sample the different headphones while connected to audio devices. If they will allow it, give them a test drive and see how well they perform in the store.

Now, I admit that this can only give you a limited test at best, but a limited test is better than none at all, don’t you agree? Try to give at least a quick listen to all the different models you are considering before you make your purchase. That way you at least have some idea about how they sound before you bring them home and hook them up to your system.

6. Check Out What Others Are Saying

Finally, after you have been through all your research, it is time to find out what others think about the headphones you are thinking about getting. Hop online and check out this site and others to see what people are saying about the headphones. You may find out that your favorite pair just doesn’t last or that after a little time another pair can hurt your ears or even your head.

It’s hard to know exactly how a new pair of headphones will be with just a few minutes of testing. That is why it is important to check out the reviews from people who have owned the headphones for quite some time. They can give you a little insight into how the headphones will perform over a longer period of time. That information is as good as gold and could prevent you from making the wrong decision.

Just be careful with what you read. In the end it will come down to how they do for you, and you will always find that one reviewer that just hates the pair you are considering. However, if you see a lot of bad reviews about a pair, you may want to avoid them at all cost.

Final Thoughts

Buying headphones can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. The sheer number of options out there can truly make it difficult to make the right decision. After all, how do you decide between a thousand different pairs? By following this guide carefully, you should be able to narrow down the choices in front of you. Take it one step at a time until you have narrowed it down to a few choices and then use the Internet to help you make your final decision.

If you do this, you should be able to make the buying process for headphones at least a little bit simpler for you to navigate. The net result will be a shiny new pair of headphones in your possession that are perfect for your listening needs.  Happy shopping.

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