There are many ways that you can use headphones. For instance, you can use them with your laptop or mobile phone to watch videos online listen to music. Regardless of the reason, it’s imperative that the sound quality is top-notch, otherwise, your entertainment will be gravely affected and you won’t be able to enjoy the moment.
How, then, do you check the quality of your headphones? First off, the bass needs to be just right. Without it, you’re likely going to experience tiny sounds that are less deep.
Also, you may want to consider the type of headphones. Open-back headphones are great as they let in surrounding sound, which means that you’re going to be less distracted. One the other hand, you may want to consider closed-back headphones since these block out external sound and allows you to enjoy the quality of surround sound wherever you are.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can test the quality of headphones in order to make the best choice when shopping for one:
- Check the Build Quality
This is the first step you’ll need to make when checking the quality of your headphones – it needs to be of sound build and quality.
Build quality pertains to the type of materials that are used to develop the headphones. How thick and sturdy they are will affect how you perceive the headphones. Lightweight materials that are easy to break are a good sign that the headphones are of low quality. Also, check how the components are assembled to see if they can easily come off, especially if the headphones fell on a hard surface.
Keep in mind that the perceived build quality may be different from one user to another. However, generally speaking, headphones that are constructed from thick and sturdy plastic or have metal frames will often be durable.
You know there’s a problem when the headphones are worn out or seem cheap. They won’t probably last long, which is not a good investment for you to make.
Secondly, a poor build and quality may begin to rattle when you increase the volume or the base.
- Spectral Flatness
When choosing your headphones, you’ll also need to look for spectral flatness. This is where the headphones are fully capable of reproducing the frequencies between the higher and lower limit, without you noticing dips or peaks.
Since some people may not have perfect hearing, it’s acceptable not to choose a headphone that has perfect flatness. Instead, simply choose the headphone that sounds perfect through your ears.
To test that your headphones have perfect flatness, you’ll need to use sine sweeps or other specialized equipment, such as audio analyzers from www.ap.com.
- Understanding the Frequency Response
If you’ve paid close attention to sound equipment, you’ll likely see the frequency response written on the specs section. The frequency response is important since it’ll also help you judge the quality of your headphones.
Frequency response is the dependence of a device on the signal frequency of the input-output ratio. Think of it as the range of bass, mids, as well as trebles.
What you’ll be looking for is a headphone with a large range of frequency response since it’ll be able to clearly produce certain sounds and dynamics.
Note that you’ll only be able to pick the best frequency response if you understand the common frequency ranges. 20-20000Hz is average and you’ll find this on most headphones. This frequency response will provide at least a decent amount of bass.
However, if say you were to move up to 4-40000HZ, then this type of headphone will produce more bass and better sound. Hence, if you’re out shopping for the best headphones, a frequency response of between 20Hz and 40000Hz is often all you’ll need to enjoy your music and entertainment, allowing you to have smooth crisp sound without distortion.
- The Sensitivity
Sensitivity is also an important factor to consider when choosing top-quality headphones. It’s an underrated feature but one that has a huge impact on the quality of the sound.
The sensitivity of headphones will be measured in decibels. The higher the sensitivity, the louder the sound, and vice versa. You can find quality audio analyzers that can effectively test for sensitivity at Audio Precision.
Often, we resort to turning up the volume when the bass is limited. However, less sensitive headphones have enough bass, which means that you’ll not have to crank up the volume. As a result, you don’t have to worry about damaging your ears. Thus, sensitive headphones are actually safer for you.
- Choosing the Right Drivers
Have you ever felt the music rumble in your chest? How about that time you were at a movie theatre and you felt the sound penetrate right through you? That’s all thanks to good quality drivers. They allow you to experience a much more immersive sound, making you feel as if the music is part of you.
With quality headphones, the concept is the same. If you want quality sound, you’ll need to check for the right drivers. There are usually a couple of drivers to take note of. These are the 8, 10, and 20, up to 50mm. You want to choose the higher drivers since it’ll offer more quality.
Many times, the lower sizes are for earphones with headphones starting at 20mm. The best earphones, especially for bass, will come with drivers in the 40mm to 50mm range. These will work perfectly with the higher frequency response ranges, meaning that they’ll be able to offer the full effect without having the sound compressed or restricted.
This also means that while larger drivers mean bigger sound, it’s not to say that the quality of sound will be high as well. When looking for driver sizes, for the best experience, make sure to balance it out with a high-frequency response. The last thing that you want is headphones with a frequency response of 5-40000Hz only to come with 20mm drivers. Suffice to say, the sound wouldn’t be all that great.
- Understanding the Different Types of Drivers
Knowing the size of the drivers to look for is one thing, but you’ll also need to check the type of driver.
While there are many different types of drivers, the most common ones include:
- Dynamic drivers
- Electrostatic drivers
- Planar magnetic drivers
One of the reasons why dynamic drivers are popular is because they’re not that expensive to manufacture. Also, the dynamic drivers produce great quality sound through a coil system.
There are 3 main parts to the dynamic driver. These are the neodymium magnet, connector, and the voice coil. When it’s operating, a magnetic field is produced in the voice coil. There’s a current that flows over the magnetic field, which causes the air above the coil to shift in all directions. This results in a crisp clean sound.
If you’re searching for headphones that have plenty of basses, you’ll find that they’ll often feature dynamic drivers. Another major benefit of these drivers is that they save on power consumption, allowing you to use them on mobile devices for a longer time.
That said, while dynamic drivers are great and produce clean sound, they don’t produce the best sounds at higher frequency as the sound starts to become distorted.
If you’re looking for distortion-free sound, even at higher frequencies, then you may need to consider planar magnetic drivers. Take note that they’re also quite expensive. Plus, they’re heavy as they require an amplifier to work. Because of their high impedance, these will not be ideal for smartphones and other small devices.
- Bass Boost Feature
Modern headphones come with a system that allows you to choose your desired level of bass. The integration of computerized systems in headphones means that you can customize the sound to your preference. Another benefit of this feature is that you can push the headphones to their limits.
That said, keep in mind that other factors will tend to be affected when you crank up the bass. The result is a distorted and less pleasant sound.
Many people also find that they don’t require the bass boost feature since top brand headphones often come with a patented technology that allows them to reproduce a wide range of sounds.
- Check the Wiring
Quality headphones with proper wiring will feature the right channel connected to the right earpiece and the left channel connected to the left earpiece.
It’s also important to preserve the relative polarity between the drivers. To make ensure that this is the case, they should be able to move in the same direction instead of moving opposite of each other.
Getting the best headphones is so much more than just picking one off the shelf. There are plenty of factors to consider, such as spectral flatness, quality of construction, as well as features, such as the bass boost feature and the type and quality of the drivers. Only then can you choose the best headphones for your music and entertainment.
please elaborate on this or try to reword it based on your understanding. this is rather complicated