Explained: What are the Different Types of Headphones?

Explained: What are the Different Types of Headphones?

Headphones are a huge requirement for music enthusiasts. In order to fulfill this requirement, it is necessary to get a pair of good quality headphones for yourself.

The online/offline market is filled with a ton of choices offering different features from different brands.

Now, because of so many choices, it gets a bit hard to find the best one that suits your personality and fulfill your needs.

Research is really important before spending your money on a product that you will be using to listen to music whether it is speakers or a headphone.

There are various types of headphones available in the market which are liked/disliked by people with different usage.

Today, we will try to make your work easier by telling you about all the types of headphones that are available in the market as of now.

This will give you an idea for what type of headphone that you should get yourself. Let’s get started.

if you are going to buy headphone then look at headphone buying guide.

Different Types of Headphones

There are various categories in headphones market too. Different types of headphones have different types of features.

As different people have different requirements/likes, everyone can fulfill their own requirements by getting by that particular pair of headphones.

It is even possible that one type of headphone is liked by someone which can be also disliked by someone else.

For an example, everyone does not like wired headphones but some people like the plug and play functionally so their priority is always a wired pair of headphones or  wireless headphones which supports aux connectivity.

Let’s now waste more time and quickly get started with our list of all the types of headphones in the market that you can get for yourself.

Earbuds headphones

Different Types of Headphones

Now, these type of headphones known as earbuds bring a huge change in the audio industry as they can be replaced by huge pair of headphones because of a much smaller or portable form factor.

These headphones are so portable that you can put them in the pocket of your pants and even enjoy music on the go.

Portable form factor is not the only good thing about these pair of headphones they are also  the cheapest types of headphones that you can get for yourself.

So, everyone can easily afford them without any hassle.


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Of course, they were not as good as any good quality headphones. They don’t provide good padding or head band as headphones do so you can’t expect comfortability from them.

The audio quality is also not as good as a good quality headphone but at the end of the day, earbuds get the job done.

The worst aspect about these type of headphones is the comfortability. They are made of cheap/average quality plastic unless you pay higher amount for them.

So, using them for a long period of time is not recommended at all. Sometimes, ears also start pain after a long usage.

Philips and Sennheiser were the first companies to introduce these type of headphones in the market with a better design.

By better design, I mean the ear hook which make them look better and increased the fit.

In-ear headphones

different types of headphones-in-ear headphone

In case you hate the uncomfortable earbuds made by cheap quality plastic then you still have an option with exactly same portable form factor which are known as in-ear headphones.

These are known as in-ear headphones. You might have already guessed their highlight by the name.

They have a silicon earbud which goes directly inside your ear and gives a much better comfortability.

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They are as small and as portable as any ordinary earbud but as we have mentioned above the comfortability game is far better as cheap quality plastic is not used.

It definitely does not cause harm to your ear even in long term usage.

Comfortability is not the only good thing in these type of headphones.

You also get noise isolation technology and also noise cancelling technology, look at here for differences between them.

Let me know tell you that how this technology work. Basically, the silicon earbud goes inside your ear so that is very less space left for the environmental noise to enter inside the ear.

This works as a noise cancellation technology as sounds from animals, vehicles or any other annoying noise.

Hence, you get a clear sound without any annoying sound.

On-ear headphones

on ear headphones

These are the headphones that are very popular among music enthusiasts and this one is my favorite too.

So, basically these provide you a much better comfort than both the headphones mentioned above.

They offer a good padding which gives you a very elegant feel while listening to your favorite music.

You can use on-ear headphones for a very long time without feeling any kind of pain in your ears.

On-ear headphones don’t offer noise cancellation so you will notice a lot of unnecessary noise from your surroundings while listening to your favorite music.

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If you want the size of your headphones to be nor too large neither too small, then you should definitely consider getting these on-ear headphones because they are not as small as previous mentions and not as large over-the-ear headphones.

Over-the-ear headphones that are being released in the market nowadays are also pretty compact and portable because of their foldable design which looks pretty cool.

There is a problem too with these pair of headphones. Sometimes, the padding of both ear cups get wet due to water/sweat.

Basically the padding soaks your sweat so this can be a problem for people for whom hygiene matters that most.

Over-the-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones are very large and you might have guessed by the name that they cover your whole ear. They are the largest headphones that you can get for yourself.

Portability might be a concern in case of these type of headphones but they can be fit in your backpack.

Mainly, they are used in indoors only but you can also enjoy the music with these type of headphones on the go without any hassle.

The active noise cancellation technology works the best with these type of headphones.

There is very less space left for the air to enter inside because each ear cup covers your whole ear. Thus, very less unnecessary sound is able to enter your ears.

These type of headphones are much comfortable than any other headphones on this list.

The padding on this one is very good and the fact that it covers your whole ear makes it even better.

You can use these type of headphones for long term without any problem or pain your ears. These type of headphones are also used by professionals.

Over-the-ear headphones also comes in 2 different types. The 2 types of over-the-ear headphones are mentioned below:-

1). Closed back headphones

2). Open back headphones

Now, we will talk about both of these types in detail.

 Closed back headphones

closed back headphones vs open back

Closed back headphones are a very popular choice among tech enthusiasts as they offer a really good value for money by providing a great noise isolation and noise leakage at an affordable price.

The best part about the closed back headphones is the price. They are much cheaper than the open back headphones.

So, overall the value for money that you get is very good.

As we have mentioned above that they offer a great noise isolation which means that you will be able to listen your music without any kind of interruption because you won’t be able to listen to any unnecessary noise from your surroundings.

It will block all those noise and prevent them from entering inside your ear.

Another good thing about these type of closed back headphones is the design which prevents noise leakage.

It means that the people near you won’t be able to listen what you are listening. This is because of the huge sized ear cups that cover your ears completely.

Open back headphones

open back headphones best

Now, these open back headphones are very similar to closed back headphones in terms of design and size but there is a huge difference between these two types of headphones.

The ear cups on the open back headphones are open from one end. Most of the time, you will be able to see a grill.

This grill let’s ambient noise from the surroundings to enter

Your ears. This means that there is no noise isolation in open back headphones.

There is a good thing about open back headphones which is the sound quality.

These open back headphones sound better than closed back headphones which is a great thing for professionals who are concerned about audio quality and who work in professional quite studios so noise isolation is not a big problem.

The ear cups of both of these headphones have a similar size and the comfortability part is also good.

The main problem is that open back headphones lack features like noise isolation or less noise leakage but if your only priority is the audio quality then you should consider getting an open back headphone.

In-ear-canals headphones

types of earphones

 These are least popular and the weirdest pair of headphones on this list. There is a strong chance that you might have not used these headphones till now.

Very less people consider getting these in-ear-canals headphones and this is the reason why they are less popular.

They have a pointed design which goes deep inside your ear. They are very close to the eardrum and this may sound very weird to some of you but this is true.

These headphones produce the audio directly near to your eardrum which means that the audio quality that you get from these headphones is very good.

Even other features like noise isolation and less noise leakage are also present there which work perfectly fine because these headphone goes directly inside your ear.

You should not consider getting these type of headphones for yourself as they go deep inside your ears and can hurt your ears too.

Wireless headphones

bluetooth wireless headphones types - best wireless headphones types

As the time is passing, we are getting rid of long wires. Hence, almost every headphone launching nowadays have wireless connectivity options. These are the most popular headphones right now.

Now, no one wants to buy wired earphones with tangible wires. Everyone is looking for more convenient to use best wireless bluetooth headphones.

Wireless headphones are also much more comfortable then any normal wired headphones.

The only thing which I don’t like about these type of wireless headphones is the fact that you have to charge them in order to listen to music using it.

Most of the affordable wireless headphones do not offer a good battery life so you will get not so good music playback time as you want a good music playback time and a huge battery then you will be needed to invest in a premium wireless pair of headphones.

If charging is not a big problem for you then you can definitely get a wireless pair of headphones for yourself to get rid of long wires although wired pair of headphones sound much better than any wireless pair of headphones.

At the end, the decision is up to you.

Features of headphones

 Now, we will have a look on those types of headphones which have a special feature.

Clip on headphones

When fitness enthusiasts do fitness activities like running or exercising while listening to music through in ear headphones, they face issues like fallout of earphones from the ear.

This problem gets very annoying in some cases but some companies have figured it out and they have found a working solution to fix this problem.

You might have seen these type of clip on headphones named as sports headphones or workout headphones.

There is a clip type rubberized thing on these headphones which goes around at the boundary of your ears to give it a better grip.

While working out, these type of headphones do not easily fallout from your ears.

These type of Headphones is a very good choice for fitness enthusiasts who often listen to their favorite music while working out in the gym or running in the park. They usually don’t fall out even while jumping or doing push-ups.

Behind-the-Neck Headphones

Behind-the-Neck Headphones

These Headphones are also popular among tech enthusiasts. Their wire goes around your neck and they are a wireless type of headphones.

Brands like Mivi, Zakk etc. are making these type of Behind-the-Neck Headphones.

These headphones come with futuristic features.

Some of the features are very cool for example, if you don’t want to listen to the music with the headphones then just remove the Headphones and they will be attached to each other around your neck which does not even look cool but it is a very useful feature.

These type of headphones are extremely portable. You can just put them around your neck and you will be ready to go anywhere without any hassle.

Recently, we have seen that these type of headphones are getting very popular among college students who visit a lot of places while listening to music.

There are two types of Behind-the-Neck Headphones. These two types of Behind-the-Neck Headphones are mentioned below in detail:-

Behind-the-Neck In-Ear Headphones

best behind the neck in ear headphones

These are the In-Ear type of Headphones which goes behind your neck. We have already explained Behind-the-Neck in the above part of this article.

These earphones go directly inside your ears and the wire goes behind your neck. If you want less comfortability but more portability then getting these In-Ear Headphones is a good choice.

Behind-the-Neck On-Ear Headphones

These Headphones basically goes above your ear and provide a better comfortability and some additional features such as noise isolation and Less noise leakage.

The sound quality of the Behind-the-Neck On-Ear Headphones is also pretty good. You get a clear and crisp audio without any kind of noise leakage.

These are not as portable as Behind-the-Neck In-Ear Headphones but they get the work done.

You won’t notice any other problem than portability with these Headphones. The best part is that they don’t come for a hefty price tag.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise Cancelling headphones are always preferred by professionals who want the audio quality to be top notch.

These type of Noise Cancelling Headphones do block all the unnecessary noise from the surroundings to produce the best quality sound without any kind of annoying noise.


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Even these Headphones provide Noise cancellation in outdoor. You can listen to your music while your headphones will ignore the sounds of birds chirping and the honks by cars.

Most of the Noise cancelling Headphones belong from the premium category and they come with a hefty price tag which only professionals are able to afford. There are two types of Noise Cancellation Headphones.

They are mentioned below:-

  1. Activate Noise Cancelling Headphones
  2. Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones

Active noise cancellation work because of a separate technology inside the headphones which blocks the noise.

While, the Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones don’t have a separate technology that blocks unnecessary noise.

In Active noise cancellation, there is a mic in the headphones which listens to every type of surroundings audio whether it is by traffic, wind, people or animals.

It tracks that audio and then starts blocking it immediately. This technology is very cool and the Active noise cancellation is definitely better than Passive noise cancellation in terms of noise cancelling but there is also a problem with Active noise cancellation.

As the mic consumes a lot of power which is given to it by the inbuilt battery of the headphones, active noise cancellation based headphones have a very less music playback time.

In passive noise cancellation, there is no separate technology which cancels the unnecessary but it is the padding of the speaker which do not let the sound from the surrounding to enter your ears.

This way, very less amount of noise from the atmosphere is able to enter your ears. The passive noise cancellation does not work as good as active noise cancellation but it gets the job done.

One good thing about passive noise cancellation over the active noise cancellation is the fact that as there is no technology behind the blockage of sound, you get a long battery life and music playback time.

So, it clearly depends upon your choice.

If you want good noise cancelling with an okish battery life then you can go for active noise cancellation based headphones but if you want a decent noise cancelling with great battery then passive noise cancellation based headphones will be a great choice.

Headphones with Microphone

These type of Headphones are very popular among gamers and people who do a lot of voice/video calling.

You get an inbuilt microphone with these kind of Headphones.

This microphone lets you interact with your friends while listening to them at the same time through the headphones.

There is a huge variety of these type of headphones. If you go to the premium side, then you will find a lot of gaming headphones with microphones and other cool features like RGB lighting etc.

These are two types of Headphones with microphone. They are mentioned below:-

Extended Mic Headset

These are the popular choice of gamers. You actually get a microphone with an extended adjustable cable. It enhances your gaming experience and lets you talk to your team while gaming.

These type of Extended Mic Headsets are meant for indoor purposes and it is not recommended to use them in outdoors for accepting calls.

Inline Mic Headset

These types of headsets can be used in outdoors too to accept calls as they don’t have any sort of extended mic. The mic is present in the Headset itself.

If you want a headset with microphone basically for calling purposes then you should go for Inline Mic Headset.


These were all the types of Headphones that you can get for yourself. Each type of headphones mentioned in this list has a special feature which might be liked or even disliked by someone.

For example, if you want comfortability then you should get wireless well-padded headphones while if you want portability there is a different option.

At the end, it depends upon your requirement. You can select any type of headphones from this list to enjoy music freely without any hassle.