Whether you are looking for cheap earphones that you can replace every few months or investing in a good set of earphones, there are some things to keep in mind before buying a new pair. While most of us depend on advice from our peers or online portals before making a decision, there is something more important to consider: what we expect from them so that we can be clear about our purchase.
Broadly, earphones can fall into three categories:
In-Ear: In-ear headphones (also known as in-ear monitors) are great for people on the go as these are handy and offer excellent sound quality. Most models today feature a True Wireless System (TWS), which allows for a wire-free experience. Their size makes them convenient to carry around.
On-Ear: On-ear headphones (or supra-aural headphones) are bigger but may not offer the best sound isolation due to their size.
Over-Ear: Over-the-ear headphones (also called circum-aural headphones) are comfortable to wear for a long period and offer excellent sound quality. Their only drawback is that they are much larger than the other two varieties, making them heavier in weight.
With in-ear headphones gaining immense popularity today, here are some things to consider before buying your next pair:
Most wireless earphones offer a playback time of three to five hours, after which the earbuds need to be put back into their charging cases to recharge. The charging case is equipped with a battery that can top up the charge on your earphones three to four times. When buying a new pair, look closely at the specifications for battery life for the earbuds or AirPods, as well as the charging case, to check if they fit your needs.
Many wireless earbuds models feature control pads or buttons on the earpieces that let you attend/cancel phone calls, change volume, skip tracks, or issue voice commands. Some can even pause the music automatically when you take a bud out of your ear. Other options may not offer these features, meaning you will have to keep your phone at hand constantly. It is always advisable to pick a pair with responsive controls.
Some models offer a noise-cancellation feature that may help reduce or eliminate outside noise for a more immersive listening experience. Although this feature may drain the battery on your earphones more than usual, it is worth the purchase if you work in a noisy environment or have a long commute. Your earphone may also be equipped with a ‘hear-through’ feature that lets you mute the music to hear what someone else may be saying to you.
Not all earbuds operate in the same manner when it comes to volume. While some need to be turned up to their maximum volume to deliver ambient sound, others offer the same at 50-60% volume. If possible, try to check these products at an audio/tech shop so you can get a model with the best volume settings for you.
A great option to skip out those cables and listen to music hands-free are wireless earphones (also referred to as earbuds or AirPods). They are perfect companions while exercising or commuting.
AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)
The new Apple AirPods Pro is an excellent choice if you are looking for quality wireless earphones. Launched on the 7th of September 2022, the new AirPods have an H2 chip, updated active noise cancellation and an adaptive transparency mode, improved audio quality, and battery life. The device also comes with a new extra small ear tip for a comfortable and rich music experience for everyone. In addition, users can enjoy Personalized Spatial Audio for a more immersive and customized music experience, with dynamic head tracking across the Apple universe. The new AirPods Pro also features new touch controls with media playback and volume controls right from the stem and a revamped charging case with its built-in speaker, all for a launch price of $249.