Yurovskiy: 10 Mistakes when choosing Overhead Headphones

  • January 13, 2023
  • 7 min read
Yurovskiy: 10 Mistakes when choosing Overhead Headphones

Choosing the right headphones is not an easy task. There are hundreds of visually identical models in the catalog. At first glance, most models differ only in the nameplate with the name of the manufacturer. In this article we will consider the top 10 mistakes when searching for headphones.

Yurovskiy`s choice of a microphone is here.

Don’t study the specs 

Most people don’t like to look at instructions, read agreements and contracts, moreover, many people don’t pay attention to the specifications, choosing headphones simply by their appearance.

Sensitivity, impedance, frequency range and other parameters help to determine the purpose of the headphones. Depending on the characteristics, you can choose a model with surround sound, for gaming, office work, listening to classical music or take overhead “ears” with amplified percussion.

It is important the source of sound. Smartphones, players or tablets will not be able to rock the membrane of headphones with high impedance, the sound will be quiet. It is desirable to understand at least the basic parameters. There is no need to look for anything, there is already an article destroying myths and dispelling misconceptions.

To be guided only by the brand and the price

We are used to trusting the global brands. For example, in 99% of cases Logitech headphones will be of high quality, but is that enough? Apple, Samsung, Sony products are all designed for the average hearing aid and average user requests. If your ears can be put in the Paris Chamber of Weights and Measures, no problem. If they differ from the standard – it is worth taking a closer look at the characteristics and other parameters.

Less popular brands often use components from top manufacturers, assembling “ears” with a unique design and a lower price.

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Despite this, in the world of overhead headphones their own kings rule: Audio-Technica, Marshall, Shure, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser. The brand is a reason to trust the build quality, the high price will help to understand that quality components were used, but both parameters still do not guarantee the correctness of the choice completely.

Choose headphones by their appearance 

Not everything is a gamer that has a beautiful design. Many manufacturers make one design line to draw attention to their products in a highly competitive market. Bright, garish colors are often found on cheap models. Once you see a familiar logo, look closely at the parameters.

Gamer headphones are not characterized by combat coloring and not even glowing diodes, and the sound quality, the ability to create surround sound, lightness, and a comfortable mounting system.

The more concise and simple the design, the better quality and more users like them. This does not mean that you have to choose the most dull ears, design is a factor in aesthetics, and headphones are bought for practice.

As for office and home copies, “designer ears” are more expensive or will be of worse quality compared to monochrome counterparts – see a pic.

Do not define the purpose of use 

Universal headphones are a myth. If you are a versatile person, you need at least 2-3 pairs. First you need to determine why you need overhead headphones at all?

For podcasts, it’s better to get lightweight, rechargeable, with Bluetooth 5.1 and a flexible shoe.

For gaming – 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, corded, with a microphone and the ability to adjust the mounting system horizontally and vertically.

Music – Armature, with a long, flexible cable, ear cushions and a soft leather headrest. Depending on the type of music you like, you should pay attention to the midrange and treble range. Enjoying classical or folk on ears with pumped bass is impossible.

Sound quality in headphones for listening to podcasts does not matter much, they should be lightweight and mobile, do not interfere with walking, playing sports, lying in bed. 

“Music ears” are characterized by a special setting for bass, midrange and treble and are designed for sounds recorded for 2 channels. The process of recording music for games is different from conventional studio recording, so 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound in games with these headphones will only be a mediocre imitation.

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The same cannot be said about gaming headphones, the main purpose of which is to transmit high-quality surround sound in both directions. But alas, in the gaming ears when listening to music, the sound of individual instruments can descend into a cacophony, absorbed by the echo of the loudest instrument. 

Don’t test the headphones live

We are so used to buying over the Internet that we forget – not everything can be “felt with our eyes”, some things are worth hearing. The best and most accurate instrument for analyzing sound quality is your own hearing. If possible, it is necessary to test on the equipment on which you are going to listen all the time, at least take a phone or player with an appropriate jack.

Don’t tune your player to your headphones 

Get two players or put any music app on your phone, and compare the sound of one track on your headphones. If the headphones are capable of delivering clear sound, the quality will be different in all cases. Each pair of headphones has its own factory calibration settings, the player has its own.

You can reset the player to default settings and look for the best sound or immediately load the genre of music you listen to most often into the equalizer: rap, rock, jazz, heavy metal, pop, etc. 

Don’t look at weight

Weight makes a big difference to objects attached to your head. Even with a good unloading, the neck gradually gets stiff.

Manufacturers of quality headphones try to make the designs as light as possible and distribute the weight evenly, but this does little to help those who are used to “sitting in their ears” for 3-4 hours straight. Earphones weighing 100 grams may cause less discomfort than 70-gram headphones, and yet, an extra 30 grams of strain on the spine over time will make itself felt.

Neglecting the quality of the wire

A broken or frayed wire often becomes the reason for replacing the entire structure, while the main part of it – the radiators, diaphragms, the sound tube remains intact. You can attach a wire with crude soldering and a roll of duct tape, but it will be a temporary solution. 

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You should not buy the ears with armored cable, its weight will be on your head, and only on one side. Wires in a thick heavy braid get rubbed against the table corner more often than the smooth and round cables. You should choose according to your own needs, the optimal wire diameter for overhead headphones varies between 1 and 2 mm, 3.5 mm and more typical for a cable in a thick braid.    

The length is also not the last factor, take care that the wire does not turn into a taut string. 

Do not pay attention to the type of plug

7.1 Real headphones differ from regular headphones in that they are equipped with seven cones and deliver really surround sound. Real ears connect to your TV or sound card with four cables, there are modifications with USB connection for PC. They cannot be connected to most players and phones, nor can models with a 6.3 Jack plug for audio systems and DJ consoles.

If your PC/laptop has a built-in sound card, you cannot enjoy 7.1 Real because it does not have its own central audio processor, only Realtek codecs that create surround sound emulation. But 5.1 or 7.1 headphones, imitating surround sound with codecs, will sound good.

Choose on the advice of friends

The worst thing you can think of is to rely on the taste and advice of your friends. Each of us has his own head, ears and other individual characteristics that affect the perception of the world. When buying headphones, it’s best to rely on structured data.  

The main characteristics are: 

  • type of plug
  • color
  • weight
  • impedance
  • Bluetooth version
  • microphone
  • battery life
  • noise isolation
  • comfort
  • price, color
  • ear cushion size
  • equipment
  • brand
  • case material

If you want, you can make a table, indicating important parameters for yourself horizontally, and the name of the model vertically. Be sure to watch the video before filling out the table.

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