Headphones are great to use to listen to music while carrying out an extracurricular activity or when using your personal computer. There are thousands of applications where you can use headphones. There are a lot of brands and types that you can choose from nowadays, depending on the application.
Headphones (or head-phones in the early days of telephony and radio) are a pair of small listening devices that are designed to be worn on or around the head over a user’s ears. They are electroacoustic transducers, which convert an electrical signal to a corresponding sound in the user’s ear.
Headphones are designed to allow a single user to listen to an audio source privately, in contrast to a loudspeaker, which emits sound into the open air, for anyone nearby to hear. Headphones are also known as earspeakers, earphones or, colloquially, cans.
Circumaural and supra-aural headphones use a band over the top of the head to hold the speakers in place. The other type, known as earbuds or earphones, consist of individual units that plug into the user’s ear canal. In the context of telecommunication, a headset is a combination of headphone and microphone. Headphones connect to a signal source such as an audio amplifier, radio, CD player, portable media player, mobile phone, video game console, or electronic musical instrument, either directly using a cord, or using wireless technology such as bluetooth or FM radio.
The first headphones were developed in the 1800s from telephone receivers for use by telephone operators, to keep their hands free. Initially the audio quality was mediocre and a step forward was the invention of high fidelity headphones.
Headphones are made in a range of different audio reproduction quality capabilities. Headsets designed for telephone use typically cannot reproduce sound with the high fidelity of expensive units designed for music listening by audiophiles. Headphones that use cables typically have either a 1/4 inch (6.35mm) or 1/8 inch (3.5mm) phone jack for plugging the headphones into the audio source. Some new stereo earbuds are completely wireless, using Bluetooth connectivity between the 2 speakers and with the smartphone.
As of 2015, most headphones are amplified by a headphone amplifier, either an integrated amplifier (e.g., in an iPod) or a standalone unit. In the 2010s, headphones are used by people in everyday life to listen to audio material such as recorded music, podcasts, or radio shows. Headphones are also used by people in various professional contexts, such as audio engineers mixing sound for live concerts or sound recordings and DJs, who use headphones to cue up the next song they will play without the audience hearing, aircraft pilots and call center employees. The latter two types of employees use headphones with an integrated microphone.
Basically, a headphone has three parts: the driver, the earpiece and the attachment system. The driver is the ‘sound producer’. It is a transducer which converts electrical signal to the audio sound that you hear once you place the headphones on your ears. The earpiece is the physical part which you put to your ears.
There are a lot of types of earpiece that you can choose from. Finally, the attachment system is the part which holds everything together. This can either be the headbands – for types which have one – or the wires which hold two ear buds together. The job of the attachment system if to make the earpiece somehow fit your ears.
Headphones can be attached to any music player, to mobile phones or to a personal computer. If you want to get rid of the outside noise and you just want to concentrate on the sound, there are noise-canceling variants that you can choose from. The open-type headphones generally have better sound quality than the noise canceling type.
When it comes to the design of the headphones, then you can choose one that will best suit your application. Clip-on headphones do not have headbands, the earpiece can easily be attached to your ears. There are also wireless headphones that are available. Ear buds are made up of earpieces that can fit the inner part of your ear. Headsets combine the functionality of a microphone and an earphone. Street style headphones are best used for music-listening purposes.
Ear pads have two flat pads as earpieces. With all the designs and brands available in the market now, you will surely find the type of headphones that will best suit your need and lifestyle.
Have you tried using an advanced Headphone? Drop your experiences in the comment box below.