A Complete Guide To Buying The Best Headphones 2021

When you think about essential tech items everyone should own, a good pair of headphones is right at the top of the list. We all need a decent set of headphones to listen to music via our smartphones or to just watch TV or Netflix without bothering anyone else. You’ll use them every single day, so this is something that gets a lot of use and is therefore worth investing a decent bit of money on. 


People with bad headphones don’t realize how bad they are until they’ve tried a good pair. Today, we have a guide that will tell you how to buy the best pair of headphones you can find on the market right now. We won’t list or advertise any specific products; this guide is about educating you on what to look for to find the best headphones for your needs and budget. 

So, let the fun begin!

Guide To Buying The Best Headphones 2021

How will you mainly use your headphones?

What will the primary purpose of your headphones be? Are you going to wear them when you’re walking to work or sitting on a train, or are they going to be used when you’re out running? This decision impacts the type of headphones you buy, namely if they are over-ear or in-ear. For the most part, in-ear headphones work best if you are working out and doing lots of physical activities. They’re lighter, and many are designed to not fall out while running or exercising. 

For just general recreational headphone usage, you can really choose either type – we’ll get into some of the pros and cons of both in the next section!

Should you choose in-ear or over-ear headphones?

In-ear headphones are the earbuds that you literally insert into your ear. Sometimes, they rest just outside of the ear canal, but it depends on the product’s design. 

Over-ear headphones are all the headphones that have a band going over your head and the cups resting over your ears. They come in different shapes and sizes but the key thing is that they fit over your ears, not in them. 

To understand which one of these types might suit you the best, you have to see the pros and cons. So, we’ll start with the pros and cons of in-ear headphones:

  • Pro: A lightweight and portable design
  • Pro: Provide excellent noise cancelation
  • Pro: Provide excellent quality sound
  • Pro: Provide less sound leakage
  • Con: Can be uncomfortable to wear
  • Con: Not good for your ears to have something inserted in them for too long
  • Con: Easier to break

Now, let’s see the pros and cons of over-ear headphones:

  • Pro: Far more comfortable
  • Pro: Much better for your ear health
  • Pro: Do have great noise cancelation as well
  • Pro: Tend to be sturdier and harder to break
  • Con: Harder to bring with you everywhere as significantly larger
  • Con: Can produce a lot of sound leakages
  • Con: Can mess up your hair!

Really, you have to weigh up these pros and cons and decide which ones matter the most to you. This should help you understand which headphones are worth looking at, and which ones you shouldn’t bother with. 

Pair of ear bud headphones

Do your headphones need noise cancelation?

In all honesty, yes, yes they do. 

Poor-quality headphones don’t cancel out any background noises from around you, which leads to a very big problem. You are compelled to turn the volume up on your headphones, which is awful for your ears. It won’t be long before you look to find a local audiologist and get a hearing test that confirms you’re suffering from hearing loss. Listening to anything via headphones at too high of a volume for too long will damage your hearing health. Noise cancelling prevents this!

Alongside this, you want headphones with good leakage prevention. The less sound that leaks from your headphones, the louder and clearer it will be. Combined with noise cancelation, it’ll mean you can listen at a lower volume and still hear everything clearly. 

While this may seem like a luxury feature, noise cancelation is actually just a basic thing that good headphones should have. It is good for your health to ensure your pair has this feature. 

Are wireless headphones better than wired ones?

In truth, this comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer wired headphones as they don’t use up any of your device’s battery power and you don’t have to worry about connectivity issues. In all honesty, wireless headphones rarely have connection problems and the sound is typically just as good. Still, it’s understandable that you might prefer wired ones as they will be cheaper. 

However, if you are one of those people that needs headphones while you’re exercising, wireless ones are your best bet. Having a wire hanging from the headphones is simply off-putting and possibly dangerous at the same time. So, this decision is somewhat based on personal preference and budget, but also on the conditions you’ll wear your headphones in. 

Is it worth buying Apple headphones?

We need to briefly mention Apple headphones as they are a popular choice but come with some caveats. Generally, the quality of some Apple headphones is just as good as others in the same category. Nevertheless, as with all Apple products, they are typically only designed to work with Apple devices. They can connect to other devices, but it is usually much harder to go through the connection process. 

Also, in some cases, the headphone sound quality will deteriorate when using non-Apple devices. For instance, you can’t use Airpods with a Windows PC as the sound is distorted. So, unless all of your products are Apple-based, you might want to think twice before buying headphones from this brand. 

To conclude, let’s talk about your budget. Generally, headphones are worth the investment as they get used enough to justify the price. If you want a good pair of headphones that will last for a long time and provide great noise cancelation and other features, you should be prepared to spend around $100. Any less than that, and you will still have good headphones, they just won’t last for that long and won’t be of that high quality. 


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