Head­phones ranked sec­ond on the list of best-sell­ing gad­gets in 2021. Their pop­u­lar­i­ty has grown by 6% com­pared to 2020. This is not sur­pris­ing. After all, you can choose an option for any require­ments and in almost any price range. This mate­r­i­al told what types of head­phones are (for phone and PC, wired and wire­less). They also gave advice that will help in choos­ing the right mod­el.

Head­phones are not only a use­ful gad­get, but also a beau­ti­ful acces­so­ry. Pho­to: summerballads.wordpress.com

What are head­phones — types of design
Full size (mon­i­tor)
Intra­chan­nel (vac­u­um)
Sig­nal trans­mis­sion method
Acoustic design
Bone con­duc­tion head­phones
Which head­phones are bet­ter to choose

What are headphones — types of design

Full size (monitor)

Fea­ture — they have large ear cush­ions that com­plete­ly cov­er the ears. At the same time, they are not pressed to the head. Because of this, the ears are not squeezed. So even after a few hours of use there is no dis­com­fort. But due to their large size, they are incon­ve­nient to wear with a head­dress.

Over-ear head­phones can be wired or wire­less. Some­times such mod­els are found with­out ear pads. For exam­ple, AKG K1000.

The best full-size wireless/wired head­phones pro­vide good iso­la­tion from exter­nal noise. But bud­get mod­els have worse sound insu­la­tion.

Full-size mod­els can be used while play­ing games, watch­ing movies, play­ing music. They help to abstract from the out­side world and stay involved in the process of play­ing, work­ing, and expans­es of con­tent.

A mas­sive gad­get with a thick bow and large ear pads. Pho­to: mactechnews.de


They dif­fer from the pre­vi­ous ones:

  • thin­ner bow;
  • less weight;
  • ear pad type. They do not com­plete­ly cov­er the ear from all sides, but are pressed against it;
  • the speak­er is clos­er. There­fore, it often seems that they sound loud­er.

Wired and wire­less on-ear head­phones are not designed for con­tin­u­ous use. They are very close to the head. If the size of the bow is incor­rect­ly select­ed, then the pres­sure on the tem­ples and ears increas­es. There­fore, even the best wire­less on-ear head­phones can cause headaches. Espe­cial­ly if they are worn for 2–3 hours in a row or more. Designed for short-term use when iso­la­tion from the out­side world is need­ed. For exam­ple, while play­ing elec­tron­ic musi­cal instru­ments. It is impor­tant to choose and adjust the length of the head­band cor­rect­ly so that it does not squeeze the head and does not pro­voke pain.

Light­weight, com­pact design. This design fits well to the ear and pro­tects against extra­ne­ous sounds. Pho­to: kopfhoerer.de

Intrachannel (vacuum)

As the name implies, these devices are insert­ed into the audi­to­ry canal. Sil­i­cone ear pads are put on the device, which cre­ate a vac­u­um there. In-ear head­phones are wired and wire­less. The lat­ter can be con­nect­ed to each oth­er with a cord or be com­plete­ly sep­a­rate.

The best in-ear head­phones retain high sound clar­i­ty even at low vol­umes. This is pos­si­ble due to the prox­im­i­ty of the emit­ter to the ear. For bud­get mod­els of in-ear head­phones, the sound at very low or high vol­umes may not be clear enough.

Small and com­pact devices that can be worn at home, at work and even at the gym. Pho­to: goods.kaypu.com


They are insert­ed into the auri­cle, and not insert­ed into the ear canal (unlike the pre­vi­ous ones). Sim­ple in-ear ear­buds come in wired and wire­less. Very com­pact and inex­pen­sive. But they let the sound through — with them you hear all the sur­round­ing noise, and the peo­ple around you hear your music.

The sim­plest type of device. These head­phones can be found in any price cat­e­go­ry. Pho­to: vl.aif.ru

Signal transmission method


It is believed that such devices repro­duce sound bet­ter. This is espe­cial­ly true for expen­sive mod­els that use high-qual­i­ty speak­er cables. Wired head­phones are often used by pro­fes­sion­al musi­cians. For exam­ple, in record­ing stu­dios. This type includes mod­els with dif­fer­ent types of con­struc­tion, dif­fer­ing in acoustic design.

Wired head­phones can be with or with­out a micro­phone. Pho­to: collegemagazine.com


This is a great solu­tion for those who appre­ci­ate mobil­i­ty and do not like cords that are always tan­gled. Any head­phones can be wire­less: on-ear, full-size, vac­u­um and ear­buds. There are also hybrid mod­els. They can work both through the cord and with­out it.

TWS head­phones are one of the vari­eties. The abbre­vi­a­tion stands for “True Wire­less” (real­ly wire­less). Such devices are not inter­con­nect­ed by a cord. They are packed in a case, which is a charg­ing sta­tion.

Wire­less mod­els are divid­ed accord­ing to the method of sig­nal trans­mis­sion into:

  • infrared;
  • radio;
  • WiFi;
  • blue­tooth.

It’s hard to say which are the best. All bud­get mod­els most often poor­ly repro­duce bass and high notes. When choos­ing, you need to con­sid­er each mod­el sep­a­rate­ly and take into account its oth­er fea­tures (type of con­struc­tion, acoustic design).

Good wire­less head­phones are active­ly used by ath­letes, peo­ple of dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sions dur­ing work and leisure. Pho­to: holabirdsports.com

Acoustic design


Head­phones may have a dif­fer­ent case design. Closed mod­els do not have a per­fo­rat­ed grill on the out­side. Such mod­els are char­ac­ter­ized by increased noise reduc­tion:

  • the sound from the ear pads is com­plete­ly direct­ed into the auri­cle;
  • out­side noise is almost inaudi­ble.

Closed head­phones allow you to iso­late your­self from the out­side world as much as pos­si­ble. There­fore, their use dur­ing walks, move­ment on a pedes­tri­an cross­ing can be dan­ger­ous. For exam­ple, a per­son will not hear the sound of an approach­ing car. As a result, an acci­dent may occur.

Closed-back head­phones are more often used at home, in a record­ing stu­dio — when iso­la­tion from the out­side world will not bring harm. Pho­to: musmag.com


The speak­er in these mod­els is placed in a spe­cial appa­ra­tus with slots. Through­out the struc­ture there are slots and holes through which the sound comes out. The open type of head­phones is safer for mov­ing around the city. Devices pass noise and sounds from the out­side world.

Open-type head­phones can­not iso­late a per­son from the out­side world. Pho­to: blog.gradolabs.com

Bone conduction headphones

Bonus type, which I want to talk about sep­a­rate­ly. Wire­less bone head­phones dif­fer in almost every­thing from oth­er mod­els:

  • unusu­al appear­ance — there are no typ­i­cal pads that are insert­ed into the ears or put on them;
  • sound trans­mis­sion method. It usu­al­ly affects the eardrum. But not in this case. The sound in these mod­els is trans­mit­ted direct­ly to the inner ear (thanks to the vibra­tions that pass through the jaw);
  • land­ing — not on the ears, but near the cheek­bones;
  • work in water — if the degree of pro­tec­tion against mois­ture is IP68 and high­er. In this case, the liq­uid does not enter the hous­ing. And a per­son hears music while swim­ming, because it is trans­mit­ted through vibra­tions;
  • a per­son is not iso­lat­ed from the out­side world. The ears are not closed — all the voic­es and nois­es are heard. For exam­ple, the sound of an approach­ing car.

You can wear the device with bone con­duc­tion dur­ing train­ing, walk­ing. Do not wear them with glass­es. The arms of both objects will “sit” strong­ly squeez­ing the head and ears. Because of this, the user will feel dis­com­fort, pos­si­bly a headache. It is also bet­ter not to lis­ten to music in them before going to bed — if you for­get to take it off, there is a risk of dam­ag­ing the main bow.

We have pre­pared for you a rat­ing of the best bone con­duc­tion gad­gets in our blog.

After­Shokz Xtrain­erz is a com­fort­able mod­el for home, office and sports. Pho­to: fleetfeet.com

Which headphones are better to choose

one. For home and office — full-size, com­plete­ly cov­er­ing the ear. They pro­vide good noise iso­la­tion, do not squeeze the head — you can wear more than 3 hours in a row. Wired or wire­less is a per­son­al choice.

2. For the city — open (over­head or inserts). Do not iso­late com­plete­ly from the world, loud, intend­ed for short-term use.

3. For Sport — in-ear (prefer­ably wire­less TWS head­phones) or bone. If you want to swim in them, choose with a mois­ture pro­tec­tion lev­el of IP68. And with­out wires, your move­ments will not be lim­it­ed.

four. For trav­el­ing Any with active noise can­cel­la­tion. So that your music does not inter­fere with oth­ers, and the noise around you does not inter­fere with you. A good solu­tion is a fold­ing mod­el that is easy to hide in a spe­cial case.

5. For games — full-size with built-in or detach­able micro­phone. A good solu­tion is to focus on mod­els that sup­port sur­round sound tech­nol­o­gy. With good sound effects, the game will be even more excit­ing.