When buying a new set of headphones the first thing you should decide is ‘where and how’ you are intending to use them. It’s pointless buying a pair of full size set of Hi-Fi headphones when you are only going listen to music whilst you are jogging, conversely buying a set of sports earphones to use on air flights would be useless since they do not isolate much background noise. If you can, try to test the headphones you want in person and if possible, test them with the music device you intend to use them with and listen to music that you are already familiar with, so that you will be able to detect any nuances from one headphone to another.
Most DJ headphones come with a swivel/rotating ear cup, this is a great feature to help compare the beats of a new track you are about to mix into the audio coming out of the PA system at the same time. When purchasing a pair of DJ headphones it is important to choose a headphone which has a excellent frequency response, a lot of electronic & dance music uses low frequency sounds- so a good set of DJ headphones with great drivers will deliver a wider frequency response.
On ear headphones are the most common type of headphone. They are also know as ‘super-aural headphones’ or ‘earpad headphones’, some have ear cups that literally rest on your ear while others have a larger cup like ‘full size’ headphones. The advantages of a on ear headphone are they are comfortable, your ears are less proven to overheating compared to using a full size set and some models can fold up for easy transport.
In-ear headphones are small earphones that fit into and seal the ear canal, they are also known as in ear monitors, IEM, earphones, ear canal headphones. Like earplugs, in-ear headphones are very good at blocking out external noise. Listening to music using in-ear headphones is a completely different experience to listening to music over a set of Hi Fi speakers, since the sound from a pair of in-ear headphones is being funneled directly into your ears, which can bring out small details which are otherwise lost over stereo speakers.
iPhone Blackberry headset headphones allow you to listen to music and talk when you receive an incoming call. Brands such as Skullcandy and Aerial 7 have a selection of headphones and in-ear headphones which incorporate a in-line microphone as well as a control pad where you can control the music.
Sports headphones usually fall into two types of designs: ones with either a vertical or horizontal headband or headphones which have an ear clip attachment which does away with the headband all together. All sports headphones have a ‘open-backed’ design which allows background and ambient noise through- an important factor if you are planning to exercise outdoors and need to be aware of your surroundings.