Headphones vs. Earbuds


As a salesperson, a lot of customers ask me about whether they should buy headphones or earbuds.

I believe that at the end of the day, this is a matter of preference, but let me point out the differences between these two and help you decide which one might be more convenient for your needs.

And without further ado, let’s jump into it.

The Differences Between Headphones and Earbuds

To start with the obvious, you might have noticed the size difference between these two. Headphones tend to be bulky. On the other hand, earbuds take a little space. This is why I find it more convenient to use my headphones while running outside. However, if I am going to work, I prefer taking my wireless earbuds so that I can move freely and also avoid having big headphones over my ears for hours. Other differences like quality and portability are found between these two, and we will be discussing them in detail below.

Pros of Using Headphones

1. Reduction of the Surrounding Noise

It is no surprise that this is the number one reason why a lot of us like to use headphones. Unlike earbuds, headphones do better when it comes to noise cancellation. Noise cancellation is a technology in which your headphones detect the sounds outside your headphones and reverse or cancel them out. This is why when you have your headphones on; it’s difficult to realize the sound of the air conditioner in the background or the sound of the birds outside. 

2. The Sound Quality and Overall Experience

 We never see artists depending on earbuds in their studios, do we? Ever wondered why? Well, let me answer this one for you. Good quality headphones provide a much better sound in comparison to earbuds. Not only does it filter the surrounding noise, but also, it can provide a pure tune, especially when it comes to high sounds.

3. They Are More Stable on Your Ears

I know how weird this might sound to some people. However, one of the things I love about headphones is that I don’t need to pause every 10 minutes to pick them up from the floor. It is another reason why they are perfect to use at the gym or when you are running outside. I mean, who likes to stop their exercise to pick their headphones, repeatedly?!

Cons of Using Headphones

1. Expensive

Investing in high-performance headphones set is worthy. Yet, they will be a bit too pricey for most of us, especially when compared to earphones.

2. Limited Portability

As mentioned above, headphones are bulky and not practical to go around wearing them. If you are having a long day outside, it makes more sense to use your earphones instead.

3. Not flexible to use

Well, one thing quite frustrating about headphones is the fact that a lot of people find them painful because they wear glasses or earrings. Others don’t like them because they mess up their hair and so on.

4. Noise Leakage

Even though headphones are the best when it comes to noise cancellation, finding headphones that cover your ears completely isn’t such an easy task. A lot of times, people just get a set that they find appealing and has a good quality without paying much attention to whether it fits or not.   

Pros of Using Earbuds

1. Pocket-Friendly

Getting a pair of earphones with good quality is a piece of cake. There’s a great variety, and the price ranges are different, making it a lot easier to compromise. You can get weird earbuds or invest a little more and get wireless ones. The best of the best earbuds on the market can cost you less than 200 dollars. Meanwhile, high-quality headphones would cost you at least 300 dollars.

2. No Space Needed

You can carry your tiny bodies everywhere, literally. They’re light, and you can keep them in your ears for hours without having any issues. They won’t mess your hairstyle, and they won’t cause you any pain. It’s even better if they are wireless, and the portability is much better than that of headphones.

3. Sound Isolation

Sound isolation is a lot different from noise cancellation. Both headphones and earbuds are noise isolating. However, earbuds are better when it comes to keeping the sound only for you. Do you ever notice how you can tell what the guy sitting next to you on the bus is listening to? This is what noise isolation refers to. If your earbuds are of good quality and they fit perfectly in your ears, chances are, they have good isolation of noise.

Cons of Using Earbuds

1. Not Easy to Find the Right Ones For You

Because earbuds are inconsistent when it comes to size and shape, and so are our ears. It is difficult to find ones that fit. You might get a pair of earphones and find them quite comfortable to use, but if your friend gets the same model, he or she might find them irritable, and the other way around.

2. Noise Cancellation

We already talked about how headphones are better when it comes to this. If you are someone who uses both; headphones and earbuds, this particular point will be so annoying to you. However, if you are someone who is looking to get good earbuds, you shouldn’t be noticing any issues whatsoever although, it won’t be as good as headphones.

Final Conclusion

Headphones are impressive when it comes to noise cancellation. They provide a better experience than earbuds. They are more stable on the ears. However, they are expensive, possess limited portability, and noise leakage is common. On the other hand, the earbuds are less expensive. They are better when it comes to sound isolation. You can carry them around easily because they are light. Yet, finding earbuds that fit you can be overwhelming, and the noise cancellation is a little disappointing.