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What is The Difference Between Earphones and Headphones?

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Have you ever heard someone refer to their listening device as both earphones and headphones? You may be confused as to what the difference between earphones and headphones actually is.

It may come as news to you that it is a common misconception that headphones and earphones are the same items when, in fact, they are pretty different.

In this article, we will go over the difference between earphones and headphones to give clarity to whether or not you own headphones or earphones.

Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash

What are Earphones?

Earphones, also known as earbuds, are audio devices that sit within your ear to provide you with sound from a device. They come in wireless and wired options to deliver you sound in a way that is more low-profile than headphones. Because of their nature, you will likely notice improved audio quality from earphones.

Unlike headphones, earphones sit within your ear canal to deliver sound. With properly fitting earbuds, you can have the most direct sound experience as the sound travels right to your eardrum from your ear canal.

Another difference between earphones and headphones is that earphones are typically much smaller than headphones are, given that they only have to go inside your ear, making earphones much more travel friendly.

Also, earphones are a little more secrete than headphones and provide a more subtle look when you listen to music or speak in meetings on the go. You may find that you like that you look less like you are tuning the world out while you are out and about. Some people also prefer earphones for running or going to the gym.

What are Headphones?

On the other hand, headphones are audio devices that deliver sound from speakers that sit over your ears, usually connected by a band that rests on top of your head. Rather than sitting within your ear canal, these devices typically sit on top of your head and can be slightly heavy.

Headphones with their larger size can have better speakers, capturing more of the subtle sounds within your music. In addition, they have bigger drivers which can support higher resolution audio files and optimize your listening experience. However, while you can find high-quality earphones, their smaller size can negatively affect overall sound quality.

If you are hoping to find a wireless headphone option, you might wonder how long headphones last in battery life compared to wireless earphones. The answer is that wireless headphones often have longer battery lives due to their larger size and capacity for battery.

Headphones are popular picks for people who really care about audio quality. If you are looking for a set of headphones or earphones for work with audio, you might want to consider headphones over earphones.

Which Ones Should I Buy?

Deciding between earphones and headphones is a pretty personal experience. Many people don’t like the feeling of earbuds, while others dislike the weight of headphones on their heads.

Both products can provide you with audio that you can listen to. In addition, many earphones and headphones have microphones that you can use to take phone calls or record audio.

Luckily, there are many different high-quality options for both types of audio listening devices on the market, so you will have no shortage of options to choose from.

Depending on your intended use, you can find a pair of earphones or headphones, like the Sony in-ear monitors, that suit your fancy and fulfill your needs.

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