Headphone Buying Guide
Introduction – HeadphonesHeadphones are a pair of small loudspeakers designed to be held close to a users ears. Originated...
Headphones             http://jblindia.in/headphone.html                                                 2
Options & OpinionsGood music should be heard on good quality headphones. Current market offers plenty ofoptions to custome...
Headphone ClassificationClassifying a category so diverse is a tough task, but it’s always beneficial to do some sort ofgr...
Form Factor ClassificationIn Ear Headphones:Also known as Ear canal headphones, these headphones are placed in ear canals,...
Form Factor ClassificationEarbud:Unlike In ear/ear canal headphone, ear buds are placed just outside the ear canal, withou...
Form Factor ClassificationOn Ear Headphones:These headphones rest on outer ear. These headphones are very comfortable and ...
Form Factor ClassificationOver Ear Headphones:Also known as full sized headphones or Circumaural headphones, these headpho...
Connectivity ClassificationWired Headphones:These will generally have a male 3.5mm input pin for connection to portabledev...
Connectivity ClassificationWireless Headphones:These are generally Bluetooth based solutions, needless to say battery oper...
Usage ClassificationGaming Headphones:These headsets provide an immersivesound experience while in gaming mode.They give t...
Usage ClassificationSports Headphones:Headphones which are meant for onesworkouts at gym, forathletes, runners, joggers, c...
Please feel free to contact us if you want to know more about headphones• Phone – 1800 108 1234• JBL Online Store – http:/...
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Headphones Buying Guide

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Headphones are a pair of small loudspeakers designed to be held close to a users ears. Originated from ear piece, for many years these were the only devices existing to listen to audio before amplifiers were developed. A century ago when the first usable headphones were developed, it probably was never imagined that headphones would take over the music world as the only audio accessory categorized for personal audio, obvious isn’t it!

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Headphones Buying Guide

  1. 1. Headphone Buying Guide
  2. 2. Introduction – HeadphonesHeadphones are a pair of small loudspeakers designed to be held close to a users ears. Originated fromear piece, for many years these were the only devices existing to listen to audio before amplifiers weredeveloped. A century ago when the first usable headphones were developed, it probably was neverimagined that headphones would take over the music world as the only audio accessory categorized forpersonal audio, obvious isn’t it!Pre-Modern headphones made their way with Walkman era, when customers used to buy walkmans witha pair of large, awkward looking headphones or small ear piece in/on their ears. Reason of thispremodernization was that listeners got a medium to carry their music with them, a portable medium.Back then it was magnetic tapes, cassettes etc and now in this modern era its digital medium – iPod,iPhones, Other Smartphones, portable players, tablets etc. The need for headphones is growing ever, withthe content residing in more on-the-move devices and being more accessible, the headphone becomes aninevitable accessory to carry for personal entertainment.Headphones being personal music accessory/devices, are also a style statement for the young generation.A decade ago it was seen that headphones in general audio devices, came in only Black and Whiteuniversal acceptable colors – but now things have changed to the world of all new funky colors – One cannow see all sorts of color variants in these headphones – Red, Blue, Green name it and surely it will bethere.This paper takes a deep dive into headphones as category. It provides classification of various types ofheadphones, usecase of such headphones and also serves as a buying guide for customers. 1
  3. 3. Headphones http://jblindia.in/headphone.html 2
  4. 4. Options & OpinionsGood music should be heard on good quality headphones. Current market offers plenty ofoptions to customers in terms of designs, color and types of headphones. Options do notdistract a focused, well conversant customer but then if a casual listener of music wants tobuy a “good” pair of headphones he gets overwhelmed by the number of options he/shesees in a retail store.They get so much overwhelmed that at times they walk out of the store with a confusedmindset or buy something that is either wrong for their intended use or is too much for whatthey will use the headphone for.When investing in a good pair of headphones or any electronics or any gadget or anythingliterally!! – The customer invariably looks it on internet. The process of buying starts fromthere, Per say for headphones, he searches on internet as “I want to buy a good pair ofheadphones”, “headphones for jogging”, “good DJ headphones” etc.The reviews do serve good information for customer’s thought but are not necessarilyalways right, the reviews at times fail to deduce the customer needs and guide them to rightproduct. At times it also is the responsibility of knowledgeable on-ground sales staff to bringin customer delight and help him find a suitable product. 3
  5. 5. Headphone ClassificationClassifying a category so diverse is a tough task, but it’s always beneficial to do some sort ofgrouping.We shall try to classify headphones based on usage, technology etc. Each of these groupingcould be actually a subtype of other: Over Ear wireless Gaming Headphone.• Form Factor Classification o In-Ear Headphones o Earbud o On-Ear Headphones o Over Ear Headphones• Connectivity Classification o Wired Headphones o Wireless Headphoneso Usage Classification o Gaming o DJ o Sports o Travel http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/in/shop/headphones/catin10006 4
  6. 6. Form Factor ClassificationIn Ear Headphones:Also known as Ear canal headphones, these headphones are placed in ear canals, which actuallyseal the user from outside world. They are small, light weight and portable headphones. Theseheadphones generally come with different size sleeves for a better fitting in terms of isolation.Being ultra compact and light weight, these are intended for casual listeners, ex: who want tolisten to music while travelling in a public transport (Often bundled with Smartphone/PortableMusic players), these types of headphone (entry level) are not known for their bass response.User preferences vary, some feel it quite comfortable and others may have discomfort wearingsuch headphones.Customers if are looking for a portable headphone which could easily fit in their pockets andwho are casual listeners of music and want to keep their music to themselves and want toisolate themselves from the surroundings can go for these headphones. Biggest advantage ofsuch small headphones is they do not interfere with your other accessories such as hairband, goggles, caps etc.One word of advice is while choosing this type of headphone – one should look for tangle freeflat cables, which prevent any kind of mess of cables in ones pocket or purse. These headphonescome in a wide Varity of colors and also have some stylish zipper wire cable designs available. 5
  7. 7. Form Factor ClassificationEarbud:Unlike In ear/ear canal headphone, ear buds are placed just outside the ear canal, without actually sealingthe ear from outside world. They also are extremely portable, small and light weight. These arecomparatively cheaper than their InEar counter parts.Since these do not fit in the canal, they have a tendency to fall while being used. At times these are not sopersonal too, the audio being played might be heard by surrounding world, in better words audio leaks tooutside world. At a same volume level InEars may sound more loud and clear at times as compared to Earbuds – for a particular model.These generally do not offer high dynamic range compared to InEar headphones and suffer from poor base.Customers if are looking for portable, lightweight headphones and are casual listeners of music, might chosethis as an option. These are not meant jogging or sporting use, primary reason being they often slip or comeloose. Customers who feel discomfort wearing InEar headphones, yet have a desire to have portableheadphones, lightweight option can go for Ear Bud headphones.Biggest advantage here too is they do not interfere with your other accessories such as hairband, goggles, caps etc, but then they fall off often for some users. One word of advice is while choosing thistype of headphone one should look for tangle free flat cables, which prevent any kind of mess of cables inones pocket or purse. These headphones too come in a wide Varity of colors and also have some stylishzipper wire cable designs available. 6
  8. 8. Form Factor ClassificationOn Ear Headphones:These headphones rest on outer ear. These headphones are very comfortable and often have some kind offoldable mechanism for flat bag storage useful for travel. They are not categorized as portable but cancertainly be used as travel headphones. These headphones come in two types – Open-back headphones andClosed-back headphones.Open-back headphones: These have the back of ear cups open. This essentially leaks sound, but soundsmore natural and spacious.Closed-back headphones: These have the back ear cups closed or sealed. They block the ambient sound butmay not have a natural sound. These headphones give user a perception that the sound is coming fromwithin their heads. Reason being the closed back headphones reflect the sound back to the ear.These headphones are also called Supra-aural headphones and are a very popular type. Lot of usercommunities uses these headphones, meaning from audiophiles to casual listeners.Customers looking for a ‘little’ audiophile quality sound and who want their music to be clear with goodbass can chose this type of headphone. These headphones range anywhere from $50 to $500, an advicehere is that chose the right one based on wearing comfort and audio preference. While choosing play yourfavorite track which you have listened to many times – so that you know what the headphone misses interms of sound (Bass, Mid range or highs)These headphones certainly mess up with your newly done hairstyle! At times these can be tight, so becareful with the headbands flexibility, if tight it may pain your ears and will be very uncomfortable. Foldableearcups, memory foams/cushions would be a nice feature as well as a detachable cable would be preferredfeature to look for. Ah, not to forget flat tangle-free cables!. 7
  9. 9. Form Factor ClassificationOver Ear Headphones:Also known as full sized headphones or Circumaural headphones, these headphones cover theear entirely.These headphones are big and also heavy at times. They are not categorized as portableheadphones, but certainly are urban style wears.To reduce any discomfort of wearing there has been lot of research on headbands that getsused in OnEar headphones. Current generation headbands are extremely comfortable.Word of caution: At times these headphones can make your ears sweat! Since they lack aerationThese styles of headphones are often used in reference quality/audiophile headphones.These are better suited for homes/studios etc and not as travel or portable use – reason beingtheir size and weight. These have excellent isolation from outside world.Customers looking for audiophile quality headphones or who are audiophiles themselves cango with these headphones, chances are there that customers demanding these types ofheadphones are knowledgeable and may not need any guidance from the sales staff! 8
  10. 10. Connectivity ClassificationWired Headphones:These will generally have a male 3.5mm input pin for connection to portabledevices/laptops/computers etc.Some manufactures do give their proprietary connections but this fashion is slowly gettingphased out.Few of the desirable features of wired headphones are gold plated 3.5mm input pin (especiallyaudiophile quality headphones), flat cables (for tangle free) and detachable cables from otherside (saves lots of money if the cables wears off – user just has to replace the wire). 9
  11. 11. Connectivity ClassificationWireless Headphones:These are generally Bluetooth based solutions, needless to say battery operable.They support mostly all A2DP and AVRCP profile. These headphones are generally in On-Earform factor.One of the key desirable features apart from longer battery life is a cable. In case of batterybeing drained out user should still be able to use the headphone as a wired headphone.Customers need to make sure while buying a wireless headphone that it supports the latestavailable Bluetooth profile and the best streaming technology in terms of audio quality. 10
  12. 12. Usage ClassificationGaming Headphones:These headsets provide an immersivesound experience while in gaming mode.They give the gamer an ability to speak toteammates allowing them to coordinatestheir actions and next move. DJ Headphones These headphones/headsets reproduce precise sound coming from the mixing board and isolate the DJ from the dance floor noise. These generally are audiophile headphones and are Over the Ear headphones. A desirable feature in this category is twistable earcups. 11
  13. 13. Usage ClassificationSports Headphones:Headphones which are meant for onesworkouts at gym, forathletes, runners, joggers, cyclersetc, these are soft and comfortable and donot fall out from the activity. Theseheadphones are shaped as InEar neckbandheadphones many times having wirelessfunctionalityTravel HeadphonesTravel headphones have some special technological features – Noise cancellation These arealso In Ear sealed headphones. Noise cancellation headphones cancel the unwanted ambientnoise outside. Noise cancellation makes it possible to enjoy music without raising the volumeexcessively. These headphones are often used by travelers – On Air, public transport etc. Theseheadphones use a built-in microphone to generate some kind of anti-noise to cancel ambientnoise and keep ones ears noise free and rich of music ! A short note on noise cancellation isprobably injustice to this type of headphones but customers wanting this type of headphonesare often travelers and want the best in class headphones. 12
  14. 14. Please feel free to contact us if you want to know more about headphones• Phone – 1800 108 1234• JBL Online Store – http://jbl.in• HARMAN Twitter Page - https://twitter.com/harmanindia• HARMAN Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/HarmanIndia

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