ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Know Your Headphones

Updated on October 22, 2012

Don't Let Your Headphones Own You

What's in a Headphone?

There seems to have been an explosion of headphone manufacturers in the past few years and it seems that every musical celebrity, even Bob Marley, has their own pair. Don’t despair! We will help you make sense of all this technobabble so you can figure out which pair you like the best.

Your over-ear headphones come in two flavors:

Circumaural – These bad boys cup around your entire ear and prevent noise from getting in or out. These are your typical DJ headphones and are heavy but provide really awesome sound performance.

Supra-aural – Similar to the circumaural, except they sit on top of your ears. These headphones provide less outside sound isolation in exchange for being smaller and less weight.

But the over-ears can come in two different styles:

Open back – The ear cups are left with openings in the back. This provides two advantages at the cost of outside noise isolation: 1) they allow you to hear what’s happening in your surroundings (good for hearing traffic) and 2) to provide a better soundscape, or the perception that the sound is further away from you.

Closed back –The ear cups are completely enclosed and provided better noise isolation at the expense of worse soundscape (the perception that the sound is coming from the inside of your head).

Popular Styles of Headphones

Earbud – These little guys are the most common and typically the most inexpensive. Ear buds consist of little headphones that sit snuggly in your outer ear and not in your ear canal. They do not come with a headband and typically have wires that hang loosely out of your ears. The ear buds do not seal the ear canal so you are capable of hearing some ambient noise and also share the hi-hat and high pitches noises with the guy sitting next to you on the bus. These seem to be the most popular headphones to exercise with even though the cables can cause much frustration by flapping madly.

In-ear bud – These ear buds are either loved or hated by people, there seems to be no middle ground. These types of ear-buds are similar to the outer ear buds except they have a soft, malleable shell that will form to the inside of your ear. This provides a seal within your inner ear canal, inserted much the same way ear plugs are. They provide excellent ambient noise reduction but with an interesting side effect, something called the “occlusion effect.” All outside noise is reduced but all internal noise are enhanced. Try plugging your ears with your fingers, then you will experience the occlusion effect which will allow yourself to hear yourself breathing and your heart beat. Another major problem with this is that any movement or thud of your headphone cable will be amplified and heard.

Headset – These ones are the cheap on ear headphones with the headband. Picture a guy in the 80’s with a mullet and a Sony Walkman. They are still very common, just not very stylish.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)