The celebrated Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie is famous for setting world records, while listening to the pop song “Scatman.” Most of us don’t have such heady goals when enjoying our tunes and conversation, but we still want our music and chat to sound great.
The best way to guarantee fantastic audio is by using a great smartphone, but what about the headset? If you’re not sure about the pros and cons of the different types read on.
Over-ear or circum-aural
First off over-ear or circum aural headsets. These have circular or ellipsoid earpads that cover the entire ear. This design means that music leakage is kept to a minimum and consequently over ear headset have the best bass. Over ear headsets can also be designed to fully seal against the head and so reduce external noise. The down sides? Well, because of their size they can be heavy and wearing them too long can be uncomfortable.
On-ear or supra-aural
Supra-aural or on-ear headsets have earpads, which sit on the top of the ear rather than around them. On ear headsets are renowned for their comfort and are less prone to overheating. Some models can also fold up for easier transport. The main disadvantages are that generally they have less impressive hi-fi and unless they have very good active noise cancellation, such as the Nokia Purity Pro Wireless Stereo Headset by Monster, you hear more of the surrounding world.
Intra concha or ear buds, like the Nokia BH-118 are very much smaller in size and are placed directly outside of the ear canal, but without fully enveloping it. Generally inexpensive, they’re also extremely portable and convenient. However, they don’t cancel out any external sound and due to their size their bass frequencies are more limited.
Finally, the fourth type, in-ear or canalphone headsets are placed directly inside your ear channel. They also act as earplugs and are ideal for when insulation from outside sound is needed. What’s more, universal in-ear headsets, like the Nokia Purity In-Ear, provide you with a selection of different sized earplugs to fit a wide variety of ear canals. The main issue is comfort. Some people simply don’t like things stuck inside their ear.
Updated October 1, 2015 5:59 am