The key difference between earphones and headphones is that earphones are inserted into the ear canal, whereas headphones are worn around the head and cover the outer ear.
Earphones and headphones are two devices that have similar functions. However, there is a distinct difference between earphones and headphones. Earphones, also called earbuds, are user friendly because of their portability. Headphones are bulkier yet comfortable to wear and have a high-quality sound.
What are Earphones?
Earphones are small loudspeakers and are worn very close to the listener’s ears or directly fitted to their outer ears. They are also called earbuds, earplugs, and in-ear headphones. Earphones do not have a band or any other method to be fitted over the head of the listener’s ears. They are portable, lightweight, easy to carry, handy, and can be fitted almost anywhere. Because of these features, they are convenient for all users. They also provide a better listening experience on the go. Because of their convenience, they are frequently used by people while working out in the gym, working, driving, or on morning or evening runs.
However, earphones do not filter external sounds, and there is no noise cancellation. This affects the sound quality emitted by the earphone, resulting in inferior sound quality. Therefore, they are not ideal to be used in public transportation or any other noisy environment. Earphones are generally less expensive. They are connected by a wire, and the left and right speakers are wired separately to each ear. But there are also custom-made earphones that are suitable for music lovers, runners, and athletes. In addition, there are wireless Bluetooth earphones, which are very convenient, but they may be a little expensive than the wired ones.
What are Headphones?
Headphones rest on the user’s outer ear. It covers the whole ear surface but doesn’t seal them entirely. Headphones are very comfortable to wear since they have cushioning and do not apply direct pressure on the ears. However, when worn for too long, they can be uncomfortable due to their size.
Headphones are connected to a signal source through a wired or wireless network. The signal source can be a radio, CD player, mobile phone, or audio amplifier. Headphones are oversized and bulky, and therefore not much portable. They can be used with fixed or portable devices. Since they filter the external noises, the sound emitted becomes superior in quality and is ideal for on the go usage. These are very good in emitting bass tones as well.
What is the Difference Between Earphones and Headphones?
Headphones are small loudspeakers, while earphones are the in-ear version of headphones. The key difference between earphones and headphones is that earphones are inserted into the ear canal while headphones are worn around the head of the user. Moreover, headphones possess noise filtering technology, whereas earphones do not.
The following infographic lists the differences between earphones and headphones in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Earphones vs Headphones
Earphones are smaller in size and are directly fitted to the ear canal. They are cheaper and can be found in both wired and wireless Bluetooth variations. Earphones are portable and very much user friendly. They can be used when driving, exercising, working and walking. As they do not have noise cancellation, the quality of the sound is less. Headphones are bulkier and therefore less portable. They are not much suitable for on the go usage because of their size. They can also be a little expensive. Because of the cushioned or padded style, headphones are comfortable to wear. They have noise cancellation and noise filtration, which makes a high-quality sound. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between earphones and headphones.
1. “Headphones.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 July 2021.