In Ear vs. Over Ear Headphones

There is a multitude of different types of ear and headphones in the market today. It is no surprise then, that there can be a lot of confusion for consumers when it comes to choosing the right pair of headphones. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on what the headphones are used for. In this article, we’ll look at the differences and benefits of in-ear and over-ear headphones.

In-Ear Headphones

It’s pretty standard for MP3 players, smartphones and other music-playing electronics to include a pair of earphones in the package when a unit is bought. The earbud type of headphones is the more common type that typically comes with gadgets. This type rests on the outer ear and is more convenient than big headphones that cover the ear (more on that later). These are also cheaper than most of the other types of headphones.

Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling HeadphonesThe other type of in-ear headphones are those that actually go inside your ear into the ear canal. These are called in-ear earphones. These usually have rubber ear tips to make resting in your ear comfortable and they also help block out some outside noise. In-ear earphones are usually better than earbud headphones when it comes to audio quality because of better engineering and a more ergonomic shape.

The standard earbud and in-ear headphones can be considered as noise isolating headphones because they are able to block out external ambient noises which makes for a better listening experience. Unfortunately, a considerable amount of noise can still make its way into your ear and the usual solution that most people use is to increase the volume of the music they’re listening to which can lead to hearing damage.

The main advantage to using either type of in-ear headphones is its convenience. They are small enough to fit in most pockets and is light enough to be carried anywhere. You may not get the same audio quality as you would when using high-quality over-ear headphones but you’ll still be able to have a good listening experience with earphones, especially when you’re on the go.

Over-Ear Headphones

As the name implies, over-ear headphones is the type that goes over the ear as opposed to inside your ear as in-ear headphones Sony MDR10RDC Premium Noise-Canceling Headphonesdo. These are also called earcup headphones or full-size headphones and completely or partially cover the ears using earcups. Headphones that fully cover the ears are also called circumaural headphones. The earcups are typically padded to provide comfort and to block out ambient noises.

Over-ear headphones are typically more expensive, not only because of its size, but also because they provide better audio quality than in-ear headphones. The circuitry and engineering of these headphones aim to provide a wider range of frequencies, better tonal balance and deeper bass compared with in-ear headphones.

The most obvious drawback to over-ear headphones is its portability. Unlike in-ear headphones that you can just keep in your pocket, over-ear headphones need to be stored in its case when transported to maintain optimum Couple on Airplaneperformance. The headband can also interfere with hairstyles or headgear while the cups can make wearing earrings uncomfortable.

Padded ear cups can also cause some heat and discomfort on the ears when worn for extended periods so remember to give your ears a break when using over-ear headphones.

Over-ear headphones can give you a unique and satisfying listening experience if you don’t mind the minor drawbacks. If you’re an audiophile or a music lover, purchasing a high-quality pair of over-ear headphones can be a good investment.

Please see my Reviews of Top Rated Noise Cancelling Headphones

Over Ear Headphones:

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony MDR10RNC Premium Digital Noise Canceling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony MDR-NC100D Noise Cancelling Earphone


-Robert Walsh

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About Robert Walsh

I travel internationally on a frequent basis for work and the only way I have found to be able to rest on a plane is by using noise cancelling headphones. I have used quite a few over the years and have reviewed the ones I like best here.