Electronics and Home Appliances

Types of Headphones and Earphones: A Detailed Guide

Types of Headphones and Earphones: A Detailed Guide

Unlike many other scientific inventions, headphones – first invented in 1910 – still retain their original shape. Though their usage has changed over the years. And if you think earphones and earbuds came much later, think again. “In-ear headphones” were initially invented in 1891 and were called “bi-telephone”. The present day IEMs resemble them.

Headphones and earphones are not just there to enhance your musical experience. Now, they’re a common carry-on accessory on airplanes for noise reduction and cancellation. Some cannot sleep without having them on, while others can’t play video games without them, etc. 

There’s no question that the headphones and earphones have enhanced our social experiences. Therefore, there are different types of headphones specially designed for different purposes. Hence, they differ in design, shape, specs, and features. 

So, which ones should you get? We are here with the most popular types of headphones and earphones. You can easily decide which one suits you the best after reading this blog.

So, let’s start!

Different Types of Headphones

Over the Ear Headphones – A Comfortable Type of Headphones

The earcups of over the ear headphones are directly in contact with the head. The ears fit inside the ear cups that make them quite comfortable. Due to this design, there is little to no stress on the ear. So, they are suitable if you want to use these gadgets for long periods. Also, they are a blessing for people who wear glasses because they don’t push ears against the frame of glasses.


Let’s see their pros and cons.


  • Most comfortable
  • Better noise isolation
  • More bass


  • Large size and bulky
  • May produce more heat
  • Expensive (generally)

Click to buy over ear headphones in Pakistan.


On the Ear Headphones – The Most Common Type of Headphones

As the name suggests, these types of headphones are designed to be put on the ears. While they are quite compact and come with better portability, they may not be comfortable when used for a long period. 


Here are pros and cons of on the ear headphones.


  • Better portability
  • Compact design
  • Lesser weight than over the ear headphones
  • Can be used during normal exercises


  • Poor noise cancellation
  • Might cause discomfort after long use
  • Less base as compared to over the ear headphones (in some cases)

Bone Conduction Headphones – A Unique Type of Headphones

These are relatively new types of headphones that are not placed in or on the ears. They are designed to be placed at the end of upper cheekbones. Due to this, ears are free. Wondering how they transmit the sound? Well, they transmit the sound through vibrations of bones to the inner ear. And it is done without needing any help from the outer or middle ear. 


They are mostly preferred by athletes and people who do intense exercises but want to stay connected with their phones. As they don’t cover the ears, a person can easily hear surroundings. It means they don’t disconnect the person from the environment. 

Checkout the pros and cons of bone conduction headphones.


  • Comfortable to fit
  • Stay connected with environment and music at the same time


  • Compromised sound quality
  • Long term side effects are unknown
  • Expensive

Click to buy bone conduction headphones.

Sub-types of Headphones

On the basis of different characteristics, headphones are divided into following sub-categories. 

Closed-Back Headphones

Closed back headphones are those that have closed ear-cups back. Due to this, they don’t let the air and sound pass through the back. They were designed to isolate the sound from the outside and empower the internal sound from the headphones. You can find both over the ear and on the ear headphones with closed back. 


Let’s see the pros and cons of Closed-back headphones.


  • Impressive noise cancellation
  • Better sound and bass quality 
  • Suitable for noisy environments


  • They might heat up the ears after long usage

Open-Back Headphones

You guessed it right! Opened back headphones have the earcups with grills or mesh that let the air and sound pass through them. Although they offer little to no noise cancellation, their benefits are quite important. Due to free flow of air, they don’t heat up much like the closed back headphones. They put less strain on the ears because of the less air compression due to open design. 


Here are the pros and cons of open-back headphones.


  • Far less heat production
  • Less strain on ears (due to less air compression)
  • Can hear sounds from surroundings


  • Dust magnets
  • Little to no noise cancellation
  • Compromised audio bass

Wireless Headphones

Not too long ago, headphones had cables attached with them. Nowadays, many of them come without the wire. They have a battery and Bluetooth that allow them to operate without needing a wire. Wire connectivity is optional in most of them in case the battery runs out.

Let’s see the pros and cons of wireless headphones.


  • Offer freedom of movement
  • Better portability
  • Wire damage is not an issue anymore


  • Battery life is a big issue
  • Latency issue is there (delay in sound output)

Click to buy wireless headphones in Pakistan.


In-earphones are not exactly a type of headphones, but many consider them as such. As their name suggests, they don’t need the head for gripping over the ears. They fit in the ear canal unlike the others that can be placed outside only. Due to this, they offer better noise cancellation and also offer good sound quality. In-earphones are available in both wired and wireless options.


Here are the pros and cons of in-earphones.


  • Fit for different sizes of ears (comes with different sizes of cushions)
  • Better Bass
  • Better noise cancellation


  • More intrusion in ear canal 
  • Might be less comfortable for some people

Click to buy earphones in Pakistan.



Ear-buds are a less intrusive type of earphones. They don’t go deep into the ear canal unlike in-earphones. But they come in pre-designed sizes that can’t be adjusted as per your ears. Also, their noise cancellation is not better. Most people don’t prefer them as they can fall out of the ear quite easily. They are available in both wired and wireless options.


Let’s see the pros and cons of ear-buds.


  • Less intrusion in ear canal
  • Can listen to others with noise cancellation feature off


  • Compromised Bass
  • Less secure

Click to buy earbuds in Pakistan.



These were some of the different types of headphones. Every headphone or earphone has its own pros and cons. You can pick the most suitable one as per your requirements and preferences. 


Which type of headphone do you like the most in this list? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Q) How many types of headphones are there?

There are 3 major categories of headphones (over the ear headphones, on the ear headphones, and bone conduction headphones). Their subcategories include open back, closed back, and wireless headphones.

Q) What are different types of earphones?

There are mainly 2 types of earphones (in-earphones and earbuds).

Q) What kind of headphone is best?

The best headphone is the one that fulfills most of your requirements.

Q) Are earbuds headphones?

No, headphones need a head for their grip whereas earbuds are attached with ears without needing the head grip.

Q) Which type of headphone is best for the ear?

There is no clear answer but over the ear headphones put little to no stress on the ears. So, they can be a better option if ear comfort is important.

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