Gaming Headphones

Explained: What are the Different Types of Headphones?

6 Mins read
Different Types of Headphones

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Nirav Patel

All of the headphones have different designs and have it’s own performance. Different types of headphones are good for different – different situations, and each type provides its own collection of benefits and drawbacks. 

Different Types of Headphones

There are following different types of headphones that we discuss below :

  1. Earbuds
  2. In-Ear Headphones
  3. On-Ear Headphones
  4. Over-Ear Headphones
  5. Open-Back Headphones
  6. Closed-Back Headphones
  7. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
  8. Bone Conduction Headphones
  9. Bluetooth Headphones
  10. Waterproof Headphones


Let’s start the discussion about the headphones in detail.

1. Earbuds:


I guess all the people are familiar with earbud-style headphones. In the old Apple product (before AirPods), a pair of headphones was available with the device. These are the best examples of earbuds headphones. It is meant to sit at the ends of the ear, does not go inside the ear; it does not provide too much noise isolation.

These are classic earbuds that do not go inside your ear but are installed at the entrance of the ear then it does not irritate our ear; it is formal; It is the one of the older types of headphones. But you can also find it today. However, the In-ear type beat him in popularity a while back.

There is some confusion about its name. Since “earbuds” are considered to be the most technically correct names for them, we call it classic earbuds.

Benefits of classic earbuds: 

  • It has great portability (similar to in-ear headphones).
  • It becomes cheaper as it is less expensive in design and has become outdated.
  • It is comfortable compared to an in-ear monitor.

The drawback of classic earbuds:

  • There is Inferior passive sound isolation (but better awareness) than an ear.
  • It does not provide high-end models.
  • It does not provide the strongest bass and highest width.


2. In-Ear Headphones & In-Ear Monitor: 

In-Ear Headphones

In-ear headphones also sit inside our ears like earbuds, but these in-ear headphones have a squishy cover that goes deep into our ears and provides good sound quality.

It is available in the market in wired and wireless options. Genuine in-ear headphones are popular today.

The technical name of in-ear headphones is the in-ear monitor, but since very people know them as earbuds, we can call them earbuds.

The reason why it is called in-ear headphones is that a part of them goes to the canal inside your ears. Generally, a tube goes inside your ear canal so that the source of the music is closer to your eardrums.

In-ear headphones help a lot with noise isolation and sound quality.

It is available in the market in both wired and wireless options.

Benefits of in-ear headphones

  • It provides superb passive noise isolation privacy and superior audio quality.
  • It is considered the best headphone for portability due to its minimal design.
  • It is often available on the market in waterproof, making it perfect for sports.

The drawback of in-ear headphones

  • Some people do not feel well due to irritation of the ear canal.
  • It does not compare the sound stage to over-ear headphones in terms of sound quality.

Read More: Best earphone under 3000

3. On-Ear Headphones: 


It is also known as “supra-aural headphones”. The design of the on-ear is similar to that of open-back headphones, which allow some sound from the outside to get in and out, which is not the same as the over-ear design. On-ear headphones are usually quite comfortable.

On-ear headphones provide outstanding sound quality as they are larger than in-ear headphones, allowing them to close a wider sound range. However, the quality depends mostly on which company the headphones are and how much time it takes to make them.

Benefits of in-ear headphones

  • On-ear headphones provide the best portability compared to over-ear
  • Can provide great sound

The drawback of on-ear headphones

  • It is not comfortable due to pressure on the earlobe.
  • Some people are uncomfortable due to leaking more sound inside and out.

4. Over-Ear Headphones:

Over-Ear Headphones

It is a headphone that wraps around our ears. This is known as “around-ear” or “circumaural” headphones. You can get in both open and closed versions in the market. In the open version, we can also hear the external noise, while in the closed version, we cannot hear the external noise either.

Over-ear headphones have drivers that are larger than all fixed headphones, meaning that they generate the largest range of frequencies. With which you can hear everything from high to low bass. Since over-head headphones surround the entire ear, they are the best option if you prefer to isolate noise.

Benefits of over-ear headphones

  • This headphone has big and super airports which are very comfortable.
  • It provides good passive noise isolation, which improves the listening experience.

The drawback of over-ear headphones

  • Least portable
  • Unstable fit due to overweight

5. Open-Back Headphones:

Open-Back Headphones

As the name of the open-back headphones suggests, open in the back. There is no enclosure of the drivers so that the sounds can move in and out without stopping.

This helps in changing the audio quality. This makes for a better soundstage that you get about the place the sound is coming from.

Open-back headphones make it easy to imagine people listening to music live, basically in concert halls or studios.

  • The open-back allows for more sound leaking & more ambient noise, which is not good for noise isolation and privacy, but good for awareness.
  • Open-back headphones are completely different from closed-back headphones. Open-back headphones literally mean an open back.
  • These headphones are not great for use in sound isolation but have the power to provide a truer sound, which allows ambient noise to be heard.  

6. Closed-Back Headphones:

Closed-Back Headphones

The design of closed-back headphones is the most common and provides better passive noise isolation. It has drivers attached inside the casing, and this affects sound quality and prevents unwanted background noise from occurring. Where you want to keep your music in privacy, then it is better to use for you.

Closed-back headphones are very comfortable because they cover the ear as well as the small ear style that rests slightly above the ear. In terms of closed-back headphones design, they are larger than other headphones and are worn above the head.

These types of headphones are heavily used and worn by musicians in studios for recording settings; musicians have no need to reduce noise, where minimal sound escapes into the surrounding environment. Closed-back headphones are beneficial for those who like a personal listening experience. 

7 Noise-Cancelling Headphones:

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Noise-Cancelling Headphones provide a quiet environment by cancelling out noise; It has a microphone that detects external sounds and sends a wave opposite your ear to “cancel out” the noise.

The following types of noise-cancelling are:

1 Active Noise Cancellation: This type of noise cancellation headphones produce our own sound waves so that we can counter outside noise.

2 Passive Noise Cancellation: This type of noise cancellation headphones contain materials that are meant to block headphones noise.

8. Bone Conduction Headphones

Bone Conduction Headphones

These headphones offer a relatively new style compared to other headphones and have limited usage, but are becoming more popular this time.

Bone conduction headphones use our throat bones, while other headphones all transfer sound to our ears and other headphones “connect” to our skulls and send music to our ears through vibration.

The sound quality of neck bone conduction headphones is not as great, but more than satisfactory. They have become really popular as sports headphones due to the fit and resistance to water.

Benefits of bone conduction headphones:

  • Its design is an amazing fit, suitable for all sports.
  • It is easy to make completely water-resistant.

The drawback of bone conduction headphones:

  • It basically provides no noise isolation.
  • Its sound quality is a bit poor.

9. Wireless Headphones:

Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones have become very popular in the recent past. With Bluetooth supporting other latest versions, they have become better than ever.

Whereas wireless technology has many advantages as well as one thing to worry about, that is battery life. More things that need to be charged.

Bluetooth wireless technology

  • There are many wireless technologies at this time; the most prominent and common is Bluetooth.
  • Bluetooth is widely used, compared to the latest Bluetooth devices providing better features like the sound quality and low latency so that you can get pleasure from your music in the same quality.

Bluetooth-style headphones :

Bluetooth headphones are not connected to the wire. It is wireless headphones, connected to a sound source by Bluetooth instead of a wire. Bluetooth headphones can be a set of many types of headphones. Such as earbuds, over-ear Bluetooth-enabled headphones, in-ear Bluetooth headphones. The only difference is that they are all connected via wire, and Bluetooth-style headphones are connected to Bluetooth.

10. Waterproof Headphones

Waterproof Headphones

If you are a swimmer or prefer to listen to a song in the water, then waterproof headphones can be beneficial for you. All headphones are not able to withstand water, for use in water, you need a waterproof type of headphones if you really want to use submerged headphones, instead of just sweat and rain.

About author
Hey! This is Nirav, A Professional 📈SEO Expert & Digital Marketer. 🎧Music advocate. Internet fan. 🎮Gamer. Writer. 👹Extreme zombie lover.
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