The different types of headphones

The different types of headphones

Everyone gets a pair of headphones (or earbuds) when they buy a new phone. The problem is that these are cheap units that prioritize cost over sound quality and durability. Eventually, these units will need to be replaced. Here is a quick rundown of options in the market:


The most common form of headphones on the market is the IEM’s. These In-Ear Models, fit snugly in the ear with special tips that hold the drivers in place. There is great isolation, and almost no outside noise gets through. This isolation also helps with sound quality and bass reproduction. Regarding audio quality, the higher end models produce audio with excellent fidelity.


These are similar to the standard earbuds that come with the phone. They sit in the ear and produce average to decent sound quality. Standard earbuds are hard to find now, with the majority of the market dominated by the IEM’s. The only reason that this market even exists is that there are people who cannot tolerate IEM’s, so the choice is to get an earbud or an over-the-ear model.


Over-ear headphones are the larger models that cover the ears. There are some models that have openings in the back for acoustic reasons, but most are completely covered. If you are looking for high fidelity audio, these are the models. The price ranges here can go as high as several thousand dollars.