Do you need the most pricey headphones out there? Certainly not, but everyone agrees that the audiobook experience depends on the quality of your headphones. Do they have a pristine sound quality? Do they cancel the background noise? Are they comfy enough to wear for hours straight?
If you want to answer ‘Yes!’ to all of those questions, then no AliExpress or TKMaxx headphones will satisfy you. You need something more than just decent audio quality.
Electronic stores offer a bunch of different varieties, from full-sized headphones to true wireless. They all vary in performance, sound profile, and price point. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, check out top headphones under $50 list.
Our guide discusses what you need to look for in your new headphones’ properties and attributes. Let’s get to it!
Did you ever feel like your ears are going to fall off after two hours of wearing low-quality headphones? That one pair you bought on a gas station or someone gave you on an airplane? Yes, this one. They might have been OK for a short plane ride but can’t give you a decent listening experience. So remember, first of all – headphones have to be comfortable to wear.
Frequency response is a technical term used to specify which range of sound frequencies headphones can produce. Different frequency response matches different music types. For bass – choose headphones supporting bass frequency. For listening audiobooks, a perfect pair is the one with more neutral sounds.
On the packaging, you will find it in the “sound pressure” section. It indicates how loud the headphones will be. The higher the sensitivity, the clearer we hear a tone and volume changes in the reader’s voice without continually shoving the volume button. The standard headphones range is 85-120 dB, while human speech is 60 dB, and a plane taking off is 130 dB! Want to know more?
In our active lives, there is always some background noise. The near construction, traffic noise, or store jingles are all ambient noise that headphones help us reduce daily.
Instead of turning up the volume in a pair of your old headphones – invest in the ones with noise reduction. But remember to be careful when you bike or cross the street – some headphone manufacturers take active noise cancellation to the next level!
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Difference Between Noise Isolation and Noise-Cancelling
Those two noise reduction aspects might sound similar but have fundamental differences.
In noise-isolating headphones, you have a physical barrier protecting your ears from ambient noise. You can find in-ear headphones that seal the ear canal or over-ear and closed-back models that encase the whole ear.
On the other hand, we have noise cancelation. It works a bit more multidimensional – with electronic chips and microphones. To cancel out the sound, they first record the ambient noise. Then they inverse the sound wave and send it straight to our ears. Here the SciShow experts show how it exactly works.
Which Ones To Choose?
Noise-isolating headphones are on a lower end of a price point, so they are perfect budget headphones if you want to save a few bucks. But if the price range is not your obstacle, then noise-canceling headphones are what audiobook lovers should look for.
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They will eat more battery life, that’s true. But you won’t have to stop the story in the middle of a significant plot twist just because someone is shouting at some other Mary on the street. Unless you are the Mary in question and want to know what is happening around you (which, in our opinion, is still lower on the priority list than finishing a book).
In-Ear or Over-Ear Headphones?
Over-ear headphones are the best in terms of sound quality. Most audiobook lovers use them mainly at home – in the cozy environment, they let you immerse yourself into the story universum.
Some over-ear headphones sit on top of your ear. They may leak sounds to those seated nearby. We don’t recommend buying them – your book is your experience, so let’s not bother non-fiction enthusiasts with fantasy audiobooks!
According to research, over-ear headphones are also the best way to reduce noise-induced trauma for your ears. It can lead to hearing loss. The solution can be as simple as changing your headphones.
In-ear headphones enter your ear canal. These do an excellent job with active noise isolation – just like conventional earplugs you buy when you have some drilling to do.
The comfort and audio performance will depend from one brand to another, but most will be perfect for running. You have to find a model that will fit your ear. Some models are also water-resistant and wireless so that you can wear them no matter the weather circumstances and how many layers you’re wearing.
Does the Brand Matter?
No, it doesn’t. Any brand will do just fine, as long as the quality is top-notch. So be sure to check out the no-brand earbuds in the electronics section – their specifications may surprise you.
In terms of game set headphones, ensure they sit on top of your head and fit all-around your ears. With that, your ears will feel comfortable for many hours.
What Are the Headphones for Me?
The best headphones are the ones matching your ears, lifestyle, and budget. For listening to audiobooks in your living room, choose over-the-ear headphones, and change them to wireless headphones when you’re going for the run. Bluetooth headphones will be convenient if you’re on phone calls all the time.
When looking for the best audio quality, look first for the best headphones under $50. Make sure what suits you before you reach for the high price point. And remember to look at the specification carefully. Balanced sound, active noise cancellation, and battery life are all critical. Sticking with some that offer “decent sound” should never be the goal when finding the best headphones is a matter of several clicks. Don’t look at the famous brand names, but strive for comfort and audio quality.
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