Headphones vs. Earphones: Which Is Best?

Contributed Post


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When you listen to a lot of music, the perennial question of whether to buy headphones or earphones will crop up at some point. There are various pros and cons for each, of course, and plenty of factors to consider. But, as we will see, the main thing to think about before you make your purchase is – what are you using them for?

Understand the difference

For those that don’t know, let’s go through a rough explanation of what we are talking about. Headphones sit on top of your head, with the cups that hold the speakers fitting around both of your ears. Earphones are smaller, don’t have the wide headband, and just fit in or around your ears. Easy, right?

For the audio lover

The obvious difference between headphones and earphones is one of size. Headphones are much bigger – which means they are a lot more flexible regarding technology. So if you are looking at the sound quality to be your judge, there is only one winner – headphones by a mile. That said, the tech in earphones is slowly getting better over time. And a cheap pair of ‘phones is a cheap pair of ‘phones, whether they sit on your head or in your ear. But there is no question that an expensive pair of ‘cans’ will outperform earbuds all day long.


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For those that don’t like attention

However, what if you want to remove all elements of noise leaks when you are listening to your tunes? Unless you have a strange shaped head, it is physically impossible to wear headphones with zero leakage. Earbuds, however, will isolate your music far more efficiently. If you are concerned about bothering other people with your music, you should find yourself a snug set of earbuds.

For jogging and fitness

Music can help you get through the toughest of workouts and running sessions. But I think we can all agree that headphones are a complete no-go for physical exercise. The folks over at Dextro Audio recommend the Plantronics BackBeat Fit Bluetooth headphones. According to their explanation, the Plantronics are waterproof, fit well, and remove the need for wires that can often get in the way.

For sheer comfort

Earphones have got a lot more comfortable in recent years. But they are still no match for the snug fit of a great pair of cushioned headphones. With some of the higher end designs, you can barely feel their presence. If comfort is important, there is only one route to go down – find yourself some good quality headphones.


As you can see, headphones win out for me. I’m big on sound quality and comfort, so if you had to choose, there’s a clear winner. But, of course, your best bet is to invest in a nice pair of both. Different situations require different options, so consider investing in excellence. Your music will sound a whole lot better if you get rid of your bog-standard smartphone earplugs.

Any recommendations for headphones or earphones? Let me know about them in the comments.


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  2. stefan

    I prefer earphones over headphones. Because i like to feel them in my ears when i run or go to gym. Also the sound in my opinion is superior.

  3. Stefan

    For me it’s earphones all the way. I feel like headphones are to heavy to use and they hurt my ears.

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