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Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Headphones Online

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Have you ever tried buying headphones online? Apart from the looks, there’s literally nothing else you can possibly judge about it. Have you ever been in a situation where, after a week of waiting with bated breath, the headphones you ordered online were just disappointing, plain and simple?And to go through all the pain of returning it and asking for a new pair is frankly quite a b*tch.

Most of us depend on the advice of good friends (you know who you are!), but it’s difficult to judge exactly how Becoming Insane will sound unless you’ve actually heard it.

So, just like you can relate RAM to speed, mega pixels to camera quality, and storage to the number of pictures while buying a phone, there are some parameters to follow to ensure that the headphones you splurge on do not end up being a solid waste of money.

Here are the things you need to keep in mind while buying headphones online.

1. Type

You should be clear about the type of headphones you are planning to buy. They come in 3 major types:


We all use these in-ear headphones, also known as IEMs (in-ear monitors), on-the-go, because they are handy and have great sound quality. These are ideal for your daily commute, but using them for a long duration is not a good idea — you may end up damaging your ears more than you realise.


These are also called as supra-aural headphones. Although they are bigger, they are far more comfortable for longer usage. However, most on-ear headphones do not have proper sound isolation, which means people around you can actually hear the audio as well.


These are by far the most comfortable headphones, especially if you’re looking at using them for long hours. Over-ears deliver great sound quality; the only drawback, though, is that they aren’t very portable, as they’re relatively bigger and heavier. These are also called circum-aural headphones.

2. Drivers

The driver is the component in the headphone that generates sound. It’s generally made of magnet, voice coil, and a diaphragm. It’s not a thumb rule, but for the most part, the larger the driver, the better the quality of the sound.

3. Sensitivity

If you like to listen to music on loud volumes, this is what you need to look out for in the specifications of your next headphones. Sensitivity specifies how loud the headphones can be. Most headphones are at around 110 dB/mW; anything lower than 85 dB/mW should be strictly avoided.

4. Impedance

The power required for the headphones to work is impedance. Most mobile devices have enough capacity to deliver required power to the headphones, but those requiring lower impedance can utilise full power to deliver great sound; whereas those requiring higher power may not be able to deliver their 100% without a dedicated source of power. Generally, 16 Ohms is a good impedance for headphones.

5. Frequency Response

Do you like music with bass? Frequency response is the range of frequency the headphones can produce, where lower limit is the bass sound and upper limit is treble. Most headphones support 20 Hz – 20000 Hz frequency response. If you like more bass, then opt for something that can support a wider than the usual frequency response range.



6. Cord

Do not skip this section even if you are planning to go for a wireless headphone. Even though a wireless headphone looks cooler and is more portable, you need to select it based on the wireless technology it’s using. It can be either radio frequency or Bluetooth. Bluetooth typically has a 30m range and may not sound as great as any other wired headphones due to battery or range issues. In case of wired, do not to opt for one with a rubber-coated cord, as it tangles easily and gets damaged quickly too.



7. Design And Comfort

This one’s pretty damn important — try and check if the headphones are comfortable in your ears. Most human ears are non-identical and not every device may suit you. For in-ears, try and go for a smaller ear-bud size, which can fit in and won’t slip off easily.


This story first appeared on AskMen India. For more stories like this, visit


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