Smart­phone head­phones are an indis­pens­able acces­so­ry. They allow you to lis­ten to music, watch movies, receive calls and use instant mes­sen­gers. The head­set that comes with gad­gets often does not offer the best qual­i­ty. There­fore, users buy head­phones sep­a­rate­ly. We will help you under­stand the range of mod­ern devices and choose the best.

Head­phones are an essen­tial acces­so­ry for smart­phone users. Pho­to: physicsworld.com

Wired and wireless headphones: the main pros and cons

The first thing you need to decide when buy­ing a head­set is how to con­nect to the device. It is impos­si­ble to say unequiv­o­cal­ly which option is bet­ter. Each type has strengths and weak­ness­es.

Wired headphones

These head­phones do not have a bat­tery, so they can not be dis­charged at the most inop­por­tune moment. Of the short­com­ings, wires can be dis­tin­guished, which cause slight incon­ve­nience. For exam­ple, head­phones left in a bag or pock­et get con­fused. A per­son can­not imme­di­ate­ly con­nect the device to a smart­phone and spends time unwind­ing the knot.

Untan­gling the ear­phones is an unpleas­ant expe­ri­ence when you want to lis­ten to music. Pho­to: obozrevatel.com

Anoth­er impor­tant nuance: not all mod­ern phones have a 3.5 jack con­nec­tor for con­nect­ing a wired head­set. So, own­ers of the lat­est gen­er­a­tions of iPhone and Sam­sung Galaxy S will not be able to con­nect stan­dard head­phones.

Wireless headphones

They have no wires, which means that a per­son­’s free­dom of action is not lim­it­ed. True, it is impor­tant to mon­i­tor the built-in bat­tery — it requires reg­u­lar recharg­ing. There are two types of wire­less head­set:

  • head­phones are inter­con­nect­ed by a short wire or rim;
  • Head­phones are two sep­a­rate minia­ture devices con­nect­ed to each oth­er and to a smart­phone via Blue­tooth.

The lat­ter are more com­pact, and a spe­cial case with a built-in bat­tery is used to recharge them. As a rule, one charge of the case is enough for 2–4 recharg­ing of the head­phones them­selves.

TWS ear­phones are com­pact ear­buds. Pho­to: www.istockphoto.com

Headphone types

We fig­ured out wired and wire­less, and now let’s move on to the advan­tages and fea­tures of indi­vid­ual types.

Struc­tural­ly, all head­phones are dif­fer­ent. Pho­to: gagadget.com

in-ear headphones

In-ear head­phones are quite com­mon. Some smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers imme­di­ate­ly include them in the pack­age. The plas­tic ear­buds are com­pact, easy to insert and fit well in the ears. How­ev­er, these head­phones do not have high-qual­i­ty sound, espe­cial­ly bud­get and mid-bud­get mod­els. They also can­not pro­vide com­plete noise can­cel­la­tion.

Vacuum headphones

Such head­phones are also called “droplets”, or “plugs”. They are supe­ri­or to in-ear head­phones in terms of sound qual­i­ty and pro­vide good sound iso­la­tion. By insert­ing them into your ears, you will hear much less extra­ne­ous noise. True, there is a draw­back — “plugs” can not be used for a long time. If you lis­ten to music with­out inter­rup­tion, you can dam­age your hear­ing due to the prox­im­i­ty of the ear­piece to the audi­to­ry mem­brane.

On-ear headphones

These head­phones have an arc with which they are kept on the head. At its ends are bowls with sound mem­branes. On-ear head­phones com­plete­ly cov­er the auri­cles, pro­vid­ing good iso­la­tion from extra­ne­ous noise. There are also com­pact mod­els that are adja­cent to the ears, but do not com­plete­ly cov­er them.

The advan­tage of such a head­set is good sound qual­i­ty and tight bass. If you’re buy­ing head­phones to lis­ten to music on your smart­phone, over-ear mod­els are best. Before buy­ing such a head­set, it is bet­ter to try it on. Some on-ear head­phones can put a lot of pres­sure on your ears and may not always be adjustable.

How to choose headphones for a smartphone

When choos­ing head­phones, you need to con­sid­er what and in what con­di­tions they will be used. Ath­letes fit “droplets”, which are tight­ly insert­ed into the ears and do not fall out when run­ning and oth­er activ­i­ties. If you need a head­set for tele­phone con­ver­sa­tions, you can buy ear­buds or vac­u­um head­phones con­nect­ed by a wire or an arc. They can always hang around the neck, and insert­ed into the ears only when nec­es­sary.

When choos­ing head­phones, it is nec­es­sary to take into account some tech­ni­cal fea­tures.


The sound vol­ume depends on this para­me­ter. For com­fort­able lis­ten­ing to music in trans­port or oth­er noisy places, a vol­ume lev­el of 90–100 dB is enough. This is enough to drown out the sur­round­ing noise.

A vac­u­um head­set, due to its place­ment deep in the ear canals, trans­mits sound bet­ter, so 85–90 dB is enough for them. Due to the prox­im­i­ty to the mem­branes, an indi­ca­tor of 100 dB is not need­ed here.

For over­head mod­els, it is bet­ter to select 95–100 dB or more, as they pro­vide less sound insu­la­tion.

frequency range

Man­u­fac­tur­ers often indi­cate on the pack­ag­ing a fre­quen­cy range from 20 to 20,000 Hz. But these num­bers are just a mar­ket­ing ploy. Cheap head­phones from Chi­nese sites have a very nar­row range, and this can only be deter­mined by test­ing.

But if the descrip­tion con­tains data on vol­ume devi­a­tions — for exam­ple, from 20 to 20,000 Hz ± 6 dB — this indi­cates the qual­i­ty of the head­set. This means that the fre­quen­cy response curve fluc­tu­ates along the ver­ti­cal axis, and there are no sharp dips or peaks in the indi­cat­ed range.


This para­me­ter must be select­ed for the device with which the head­phones will be used. The indi­ca­tor should be low, oth­er­wise the head­phones will not work with a smart­phone. The rec­om­mend­ed imped­ance range for portable devices is up to 50 ohms.

Weight and dimensions

The size and weight of the ear­buds will deter­mine how com­fort­able they are to use. The lighter the device, the less dis­com­fort it cre­ates, espe­cial­ly when lis­ten­ing to music for a long time. Heavy and bulky head­phones can put pres­sure on your ears or sim­ply have a bad hold, falling out in motion.

Distortion factor

This para­me­ter deter­mines the clar­i­ty and puri­ty of the sound. It is indi­cat­ed only for expen­sive mod­els, usu­al­ly for a head­set cost­ing more than $100. An accept­able option is the range from 0.1 to 0.3%. This indi­ca­tor is found in most mid-bud­get mod­els. For cheap head­phones, the dis­tor­tion fac­tor is not indi­cat­ed or it exceeds 0.4–0.5%.

Which smartphone headphones to choose in 2022

Con­sid­er sev­er­al mod­els of wired and wire­less head­phones that you should pay atten­tion to when choos­ing.

Xiaomi AirDots Pro 2S

Wire­less ear­phones in a case with fast charg­ing func­tion. Air­Dots Pro 2S are made in the form of small inserts with thin legs. On the body of each emit­ter there is a mark that allows you to dis­tin­guish the right from the left. The ear­phones are tight­ly insert­ed into the ears and do not fall out even dur­ing active move­ments — run­ning, jump­ing.

  • Fre­quen­cy range: 20 to 20,000 Hz.
  • Imped­ance: 32 Ohm.
  • Sen­si­tiv­i­ty: 90 dB.
  • Sin­gle ear­piece weight: 4.5g.
  • Auton­o­my: 5 hours.
  • Total oper­at­ing time (with recharg­ing from the case): 24 hours.
Xiao­mi Air­Dots Pro 2S fit in a com­pact charg­ing case. Pho­to: apmusicales.com

The head­phones have touch but­tons that allow you to call the voice assis­tant, switch the track or answer an incom­ing call. On a sin­gle bat­tery charge, the head­phones work up to 5 hours.

Apple EarPods

Wired head­phones for Apple gad­gets are attrac­tive due to the opti­mal ratio of price and func­tion­al­i­ty. Com­pact size is anoth­er advan­tage. They are small­er than most sim­i­lar devices from oth­er brands. The head­set is com­pat­i­ble with all devices from the man­u­fac­tur­er — from smart­phones to tablets.

  • Fre­quen­cy range: 20 to 20,000 Hz.
  • Imped­ance: 42 Ohm.
  • Sen­si­tiv­i­ty: 109 dB.
  • Head­phone weight: 10g
  • Cable length: 120 cm.
Com­pact wired head­phones Apple Ear­Pods. Pho­to: cnn.com

Stereo head­phones are equipped with addi­tion­al noise iso­la­tion, which pro­tects from extra­ne­ous sounds. For exam­ple, when trav­el­ing by pub­lic trans­port. Apple Ear­Pods have com­fort­able in-ear cush­ions, a vol­ume con­trol, and a phone call but­ton. The ear cush­ion is the part of the ear­piece that is insert­ed or applied to the ear.

Sony MDR-7506

These head­phones com­bine pow­er and prac­ti­cal­i­ty. They are suit­able for smart­phone own­ers who val­ue high-qual­i­ty sound. The head­set is used even by DJs and sound engi­neers.

The Sony MDR-7506 are equipped with thick ear cush­ions that fit your ears and pro­vide noise iso­la­tion. The sound is trans­mit­ted with high fideli­ty: bass­es are deep and rich, high fre­quen­cies are clear, back­ground vocals are with­out dis­tor­tion.

  • Fre­quen­cy range: 10 to 20,000 Hz.
  • Imped­ance: 63 Ohm.
  • Sen­si­tiv­i­ty: 106 dB.
  • Head­phone weight: 226g
  • Cable length: 300 cm.
Sony makes qual­i­ty head­phones. Mod­el MDR-7506 is one of them. Pho­to: lifewire.com

The head­set has a com­fort­able head­band shape. Head­phones do not squeeze the head and ears, do not cre­ate dis­com­fort even after many hours of lis­ten­ing to music.

Haylou GT7

These are bud­get wire­less head­phones. The head­set has a high-qual­i­ty vibra­tion coil, which pro­vides good sound detail for this price, clean highs and tight lows.

  • Fre­quen­cy range: 20 to 20,000 Hz.
  • Imped­ance: 32 Ohm.
  • Sen­si­tiv­i­ty: 95 dB.
  • Sin­gle ear­piece weight: 3.9g
  • Auton­o­my: 6 hours.
  • Total oper­at­ing time (with recharg­ing from the case): 20 hours.
Hay­lou GT7 are inex­pen­sive wire­less head­phones for users who are not the most demand­ing in terms of sound qual­i­ty. Pho­to: techbuzzireland.com

Plas­tic Hay­lou GT7 are com­ple­ment­ed by soft sil­i­cone pads. With them, even many hours of lis­ten­ing to music does not cause dis­com­fort.

What other headphones are worth paying attention to?

In the bud­get seg­ment, you can pick up such head­phones for your smart­phone as Hay­lou GT5, Hay­lou GT6, Xiao­mi Mi True Wire­less Ear­phones 2 Basic, Xiao­mi Air 2 SE. All of them cost about 2000 rubles.

In the mid­dle price range, there are Sound­core Life Note E, JBL T215BT, Accesstyle Indi­go TWS, Nokia BH-605 or Hiper TWS Skat. The cost varies between 2500–3500 rubles.

Users who are will­ing to pay for the high­est sound qual­i­ty should look at the Sam­sung Galaxy Buds Live head­phones, Apple Air­Pods 3, Sound­core Lib­er­ty 3 Pro and oth­er mod­els cost­ing more than 6,000 rubles.