What Are the Different Types of Headphones & Are Headphones Harmful to Your Hearing

What Are the Different Types of Headphones & Are Headphones Harmful to Your Hearing

Headphones are “a pair of miniature speakers used for listening to sound from a computer, music player, or other such electronic device,” according to Techopedia. They’re a convenient way to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and videos on the go.

Nathaniel Baldwin invented the first sound-amplifying headgear in 1910. It was created by the United States Navy during World War I to make long-distance communication easier. Copper wire and leather were used to create the headphones.

Headphones are significantly more advanced these days, and some don’t even require wires to work. They’re worn by almost everyone, from young children riding the bus to adults going to the gym after work.

What Are The Different Types of Headphones

When it comes to headphones, there is a lot of diversity, just like with any other piece of technology. It truly depends on the type of fit you want and how you intend to utilise them.

The following are examples of headphone styles:

  • Wireless (Bluetooth)
  • Earbuds (In-ear)
  • Circumaural
  • Supra-aural
  • Noise-cancelling
  • Bone conduction
  • Closed-back
  • Open-back
  • Semi-open
  • Waterproof
  • DJ

1. Wireless

wireless headphones

Bluetooth wireless headphones are a form of technology that uses radio waves to connect two devices. Bluetooth is popular because it eliminates the need to deal with a tangled wire.

2. Earbuds


Earbuds, sometimes known as “in-ear headphones,” are quite popular among runners, commuters, and teenagers who want to listen to music quietly while in class. Earbuds usually have good sound quality and are the simplest and lightest style to transport.

3. Circumaural

Circumaural headphones

Headphones that fit over your ears are referred to as circumaural. The spongy, large earcups are attached to a headband that adjusts to fit your head. Over-ear headphones are another name for this form of headphones.

4. Supra-aural

Supra-aural headphones

On-ear headphones are sometimes known as supra-aural headphones. The earcups are often smaller than a circumaural pair, allowing athletes to be more stable during conditioning or practice. They also have a fashionable vintage style that makes them popular among hipsters.

5. Noise-Cancelling

Noise-cancelling headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are essential if you’re travelling by train or airline. The earcups are really comfortable and soft. Outside noises are effectively isolated from you and your audio content using these headphones.

6. Conduction of Bone

Bone conduction headphones

Most headphones completely seal off the ear canal, preventing any other sounds from entering. In contrast, bone conduction headphones convey vibrations to the bones in the inner ear. They are worn above the ears, making them ideal for people who have difficulty hearing.

7. Closed-Back

Closed-back headphones

The closed-back design makes your listening experience private. Because the speaker is on the inside of the cups, you can keep the sound near by. This is the most frequent style of fit.

8. Open-Back

open-back headphones

The speakers on open-back or open-air headphones are mounted on the exterior of the earcups, which may seem unusual. When songs are played live, this approach is often used on soundstages or in music studios.

9. Semi-Open

semi open headphones

Semi-open headphones are a good compromise between closed-back and open-back headphones. They don’t totally enclose the speaker, allowing some air and ambient sounds to pass through. If you’re just sitting at home, they’re perfect for casual listening.

10. Waterproof

waterproof headphones

Do you wish to go swimming or take a bath while listening to music? Try a pair of waterproof headphones! This style is designed to tolerate water without being ruined or causing damage to your ears.

11. DJ

DJ headphones

While a DJ can use any type of headphones, the pros prefer a pair with two speakers, one on the left and the other on the right. For those times when you’re really into it, these headphones can even play separate tunes in each earcup!

Related: What Is The Difference Between Headphones And Headsets?

Are Headphones Harmful to Your Hearing

From podcasts and music to audiobooks and YouTube videos, headphones provide unlimited pleasure. Despite all of this, it’s important to remember that excessively loud music, sharing headphones, or falling asleep to your music might be damaging to your health.If you’re not careful, loud headphones can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness, or an ear infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Harvard Health.

How to avoid hearing loss or ear injury when wearing headphones

Choose the appropriate pair

Over-ear or noise-cancelling headphones are recommended by Consumer Reports. You won’t need to play the audio as loudly, which will save your hearing over time.

Use both headphones at all times

There’s a reason we all have two ears! When you only use one headphone, your ear has to work harder to hear the sound without the assistance of its partner. This is harmful to your hearing!

Check the volume on your device

You should not listen to your headphones at a volume higher than 60%. If you’re going to be using the headphones for an extended amount of time, don’t turn up the volume.

Ensure that no one else can hear you

If anyone around you can hear your headphones, they’re probably too loud. Instead, use portable speakers to share your sounds.

Put them through their paces

Do you want to see if the volume on your headphones is too high? Remove them and place them at arm’s length. It’s time to turn down the level if you can still hear the audio.

Consult your physician

If you’re unsure about your headphone volume, seek advice from a trustworthy medical practitioner. They will be able to provide you with the finest guidance for preventing hearing loss or injury.

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Sara Khan

About the Author: Sara Khan

For almost 5 years, I've been passionately blogging about headphones and audio technologies. Hundreds of headphones were tested and tried. Always on the lookout for the "best-value-for-money" headphones. Today, I'm more concerned with back-end content creation and technical concerns.

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