Types of Headphones

Types Of Headphones And What Is The Difference Between Them

Manufacturers produce different types of headphones. Devices differ in design, design, and connection, and use goals. The headset for trips around the city is chosen by one criteria, game models – on the other. Before you make a choice, you need to watch the photo and read the description carefully. And to compare the characteristics, you need to understand how such equipment works.


What are the headphones by type of design?

On this basis, different types of headphones are allocated – from intra-channel, with which they travel in transport, to monitors used in the studio. The picture on the site shows what the model looks like. Some will close only the ear canal, others – the ear as a whole. But the photo does not convey the differences between these species. Here it would help if you read the description to understand.


Intra-channel or vacuum plugs

Users choose two types of headphones for the phone, intra-channel plugs and inserted models. Externally, the devices are similar. But the first type of models (denoted by the English acronym IEM) are inserted into the ear deeper than the inserted. Part of the design principle of such equipment borrowed from hearing aids. Other features are from monitor-type devices that are used on stage.

There are better internal headphones and increased sound concentrations. These models are equipped with soft earbuds that provide insulation from external sounds and eliminate distortion.

Intra-channel models are produced with different nozzles. The most common option is a soft nozzle-nose. There is a type of intra-channel model called vacuum. Such devices are equipped with silicone nozzles. This design does not create a vacuum, but more densely adjacent to the ear canal – it will not fall out of it.


Inserts (“ins, earbuds”), “drops” “buttons”)

The first inserted headphones appeared in the early 1990s on the basis of audiological models, originally created for research purposes. Such products (in everyday life they are called “drops”) are also inserted into the ear, so they are often confused with intrachannel. But these models don’t put so deeply. Not all models are equipped with earbuds, but it is a small round piece of foam simple design if this accessory is attached. The use of an earbud increases sound insulation and makes wearing “droplets” more comfortable.



Models of this type are speakers fixed to the headband or fixed by a headband. The first option is to put it on your head. The second is covering the neck. The choice depends on how the user is more comfortable to wear the device.

The bowls of the product are worn on the ear, pressing it on the outside – hence the name “overhead headphones.” The source of the sound is outside the auditory channel. These models are more likely to connect to a home or office PC rather than a smartphone.



At home, they use this view because it is convenient to connect to any device. Full-size are called large headphones that fully cover the ear. These earbuds provide good sound insulation, and the size of the speakers – the area for pure reproduction.

These models are in demand among gamers and are suitable for listening to music. This species is also used to watch movies because it is connected to the TV. Full-size headphones can be equipped with microphones. But folding mechanisms do not supply them, so portable such models can not be called. The headband is made hard, durable. Such details are not afraid of deformation and blows to the ground.



“Monitors” resemble a full-size variety. These models are worn, completely covering the ear with an ear. But from full-size devices outwardly differ large and massive headband, solid weight, the presence of a thick ring-shaped cord. Another difference between monitor headphones is the scope of application. Sound engineers use these models. Therefore, monitor headphones have a wide frequency range but rough sound because they reproduce compositions without post-evaluating.


Types of headphones by connection type

Types of headphones by connection type

Depending on how the signal is transmitted and how the device is connected to the source, there are two types of equipment and a hybrid variety.


Wireless headphones

This category includes four types of devices:

  • Infrared headphones
  • Radio models;
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Wi-Fi models.

Combines these varieties are the absence of tangled wires, which provides comfort to the user. There are hybrid models – the user decides whether to connect the wire or not. An example of a wireless device is airpods. Other brands are copying the design and technology that Apple uses for its models. Airpods and other wireless droplets are equipped with cases (cases) for recharging.

The lack of wireless headphones is a delay of a few milliseconds. It doesn’t matter if you listen to music or participate in a conference. But you can’t use these models for recording.



Even new wireless headphones can run with a slight delay. Wired models are clean and stable. The wire restricts the user’s freedom of movement. But brands produce models with long cables and even with additional extension cords.


Views by emitter

Regardless of the design, the headphones can be equipped with different types of emitters. This criterion uses a classification in which five types of devices are singled out. Overhead models are usually dynamic. Intra-channel – only rebar. Full-size equipment produces three types. There is no single right choice, each option – its characteristics.


This type of emitter is only used for models that are inserted into the ear canal. At the heart of the design is a magnetic pipeline, similar in shape to the letter “P.” In the field of the magnet placed anchor with a coil, and to it – attached diffuser. When the current is fed to the coil, the anchor transmits the movement to the diffuser. This design provides a clear and clean sound.



This type of device is most common. The principle of work is based on an electrodynamic type of transformation. The design of the dynamic variety assumes the presence of a membrane with a coil with a wire. The membrane is affected by a field created by a magnet under the influence of a actuary. From the point of view of signal playback, this design is not without flaws, but it is constantly improving and improving sound quality.



These devices belong to the Hi-End class. This is professional equipment, in stores that sell models of household type, such expensive products are not sold. The principle of work is based on the presence of a thin membrane, which is placed between two electrodes. The part moves under the influence of a high-performance current, so there are sound vibrations. These headphones provide high-quality sound. However, they are expensive. The set includes a large amplifier.


Planner (isodynamic, morphodynamic)

This headphone design has several names. The device is based on Hale’s emitter, patented in the United States at the end of the last century. His work is based on the use of a rectangular membrane, which is made of Teflon film. On the surface of the membrane, apply the aluminum spray, but not even layer, and in the form of strips. This design is placed between two magnets with a strong field. Under the influence of current, the plate produces vibrations that distinguish the human ear. This gives high accuracy of signal reproduction.

The type of such design is urodynamic devices. If the membrane is made rectangular in standard performance, the part has a round shape in these models.


Acoustic headphones

In any category of headphones there are models with different types of acoustic design. Companies produce open and private devices. Semi-open devices are often a marketing move, but brands also produce such models.


Open-type headphones are distinguished because the speaker is placed in a chamber with holes that have the shape of a slot or lattice. Such devices are suitable for travel in public transport and walking. The user hears the ambient noise, so in time to respond to the signals of cars or reversed speech. Open headphones connect to computers and smartphones. They prevent the appearance of an air cushion effect that complicates membrane function. Such devices do not distort the sound.


Closed-type headphones have a corresponding body in which there are no holes in the perforated grille. This provides insulation from external noise. The sound is directed to the auditory channel; it does not come outwards, the music does not interfere with the surroundings. Such headphones are bought not only for the computer but also for the mobile phone. These devices are suitable for people who like to listen to music or watch videos in transport.



There are semi-open headphones that look like closed devices. But the speakers are not completely isolated. Through the camera passes some volume of air. Such headphones manufacturers advise using at home. But these devices do not block external noise. Such models do not use phone headphones. On a trip device also will not be possible. Only houses use a semi-open variety.


Parts of headphones and their names

To understand the characteristics, you need to know what the details of the device are called:

  1. The bowl is the hull or the outer part of the body. The bowls are fastened on a within or headband, covered with a leather substitute, and equipped with a soft insert.
  2. The earbud is a soft part responsible for noise insulation. In conventional headphones performs only this role in the interchannel – they do not allow the cup to fall out of the ear.
  3. The inner and outer mesh (installed in front of the case and inside) performs a protective function that protects against dust.
  4. The cable nest is only available in hybrid models. The wire connects through a special connector and can be removed.
  5. The Wire Jack is the device by which the equipment connects to the input provided for this on a computer, laptop, or smartphone.

When viewing an item before buying, pay attention to which devices are compatible with a given model, the size of the speakers and bowl, and the length of the cable.

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