The need for earphones
Interesting thing about music is that it sounds the best when there is no noise or unwanted sounds coloring it. And that means the music is best enjoyed with clarity and no audible obstructions or interference. But how is that possible in our daily lives? We all work, travel and workout but nature, crowd and ambience does not let us be in a serene unobstructed environment. This has inevitably given rise to personal audio gear, it is that gear which is used to entertain and hear audio on a personal level without disturbing others and without being disturbed by others.
One of the most important parts of that gear is earphones and earbuds. The other part the source is usually our smartphones which we already have. So in theory all that is missing is a pair of earbuds. This piece of gadget will and can easily bridge the void between normal audio experience and fantastic audio experience. As using earbuds you can easily isolate and immerse yourself in sonic bliss. Furthermore using earphones you can very easily play songs and content which might not be to everyone’s taste, liking or simply doesn’t suit the decorum.
There are plentiful earbuds out there in the market and we shall start at the basic level, wired and wireless earphones. There are the 2 categories in to which earphones can be broadly classified.
Wired earphones connect to the device or source via a cable or wire and usually derives its power from that source to produce audio. The major advantages of this type of earphones are that firstly you do not need to charge them, simply plug them and start listening. Second big advantage is latency, these earphones are in perfect synchronization with the video and this is especially useful while playing games. Thirdly since most of them are passive type earphones they are very portable since these do not have a battery to increase the footprint or size so to say. Which brings us to their last advantage, these are very light in weight because again these do not pack batteries of chip-sets in to the ear pieces.
Nothing is perfect and neither are these wired kind of earphones. The most obvious disadvantage is the fact that these need to be connected by a wire at all times. Moreover the wire connection means that the source has to be on person for the connection to be maintained. Wires also tangle and have a tendency to snap, break or at the very least loose a connection at the termination points. Adding to the list of negatives is the fact that the wired earphones drain battery of the source and also their volume and output is completely dependent on the amplifier in the source.
Wireless earphones connect wirelessly using Bluetooth. These kind of earphones have their own amplifier and DAC. The earphones audio depends on their own build and construction. Furthermore the output of these earphones is not dependent on the source but on the earbuds themselves. Wireless earphones can be further divided into 2 categories. TWS earbuds and neckband earphones.
True wireless earbuds are the kind of earphones which have both buds which are wireless. That means that both these buds do not have an interconnecting wires and either connect amongst themselves wireless or connect directly to the source independently. Regardless both the buds have a Bluetooth chip-set, DAC and a battery. Some earbuds like Apple Airpods charge wirelessly when inside the case while some earbuds have pins that charges them when cased up.
The biggest advantage of these earbuds is portability. Similarly the battery life is usually great and the added charging case also enables them to be charged on the go. Like any other earphones fitting is hugely subjective. Although many brands provide different sized silicone ear-tips so that the listener gets a good firm and comfortable grip. Another thing going in favor of these earphones is the mono or single bud use mode. Its very convenient and makes using earbuds for calls a breeze. Last but certainly far from least is the presence of ANC and transparency modes which enable the user to drown out ambient noises or let them in as per the situation.
Earbuds have their own set of disadvantages too. For instance the earbuds need to be recharged to be used. While the wires are gone, there is a chance that earbuds fall and break or worse they can escape in to the 14th dimension too. Earbuds have lots of technology inside them, however their form factor is not repair or service friendly at all. Sound quality is dependent on the driver, the DAC and therefore there is the chance that if one of the things is subpar that will mar the whole auditory experience. Losing one of the buds or if one of the buds is spoiled, the entire set is spoiled.
This is the type of earphones which are worn around the neck. That is a band is worn on the neck and the earphones emanate from that band. The said band also houses a battery for the earphones and also usually sports buttons for volume and control set.
The key advantages of this type of earphones are that primarily these are more cost effective than TWS earbud type. Moreover the earphones are a perfect choice if you constantly need to wear and remove your earphones, as with this type they can simply be left hanging around the neck, without the need to holster them. Neckband earphones also have better call quality than TWS type because the microphone is in a better position to pick up voice. Better battery life since only one chipset is using Bluetooth.
On the negative side these earphones can break, their wires can snap quite easily. Overall battery backup is less when compared with TWS earbuds and their charging case. Handling a neckband is not easy and simple as storing wired earphones or TWS earbuds. Portability is a sore spot for these type of earphones.
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A note of caution: Using earphones, earbuds or listening or exposure to high sound pressure levels can lead to permanent hearing loss. So use your gear with great precaution.