Step 1. Identify how you will use your headphones.
Will you be using your headphones while traveling, sitting in your listening room, or at the gym? Or maybe all three? Different headphones will be better for different situations — and the rest of this guide will help you identify the right ones for you.
Step 2: Choose the right headphone type.
Before we get to wireless variations, noise cancellation, smart features, etc., you need to settle on your preferred headphone type first, so let’s do it. The three basic variations headphones styles are: Over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear.
The biggest of the three types, over-ear cardboard vr box surround or cup your ear and stay on via light pressure on your temple and upper jaw. Over-ear headphones are the classic, original style headphones and they come in two versions: closed and open. Closed-back headphones naturally keep your music in, preventing others around you from hearing what you’re listening to, while open-back headphones have openings that let outside sounds in and inside sound out. (The effect here is a more natural, spacious sound, but more on that in a bit.)
Over-ear headphones are the only type that leave a space between your ears and the headphone speakers. On a good pair, that space does what a good concert hall does: envelops you in sound that is natural, while lending a sense of distance between you and the performance. So music on a good set of over-ear headphones is killer, which is why so many sound engineers and music producers prefer them.
On-ear headphones are generally smaller and lighter than over-ear headphones, and they stay on your head via pressure directly on your ears, like ear muffs. On-ear headphones also come in open and closed variations, but as a rule, on-ear will let more ambient sound through than over-ear headphones.