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In-Ear vs On-Ear vs Over-the-Ear: How to choose the best headphones for you

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In-Ear vs On-Ear vs Over-the-Ear: How to choose the best headphones for you

Which headphones are the proper pair for you?

When you're taking a look for a brand new pair of headphones, there is a large number of questions you will have to be asking of yourself. What do I would like to use them for? How lengthy to I be expecting to use them at a time? How essential is sounds high quality to me? Questions like those are going to be giant deciding elements when it comes to which form of headphone you need.

Buying the proper pair of headphones for you is usually a little bit of a frightening process, and deciding between in-ear, on-ear, or over-the-ear headphones is a an important step in the procedure.

I personal (and feature owned) a number of pairs of headphones of all 3 varieties, and each and every type has its benefits and drawbacks. I'm going to take you thru a few of the execs and cons of in-ear, on-ear, and over-the-ear headphones, so you could make an educated determination on what is best for you.

In-ear headphones

In-ear headphones are on occasion referred to as "earbuds" and nearly each and every modern-day phone you purchase will send with a couple inside of the field. Those small headphones may also be a few of the least expensive form of headphones to purchase; on the other hand, the sound high quality can range relying on how a lot you spend.


My favourite factor about in-ear headphones is the skill to use them discreetly. It is great to pop in my Apple EarPods when I am strolling down the side road, run the cable beneath my sweater, and no one's the wiser. Plus, if you have wireless in-ear headphones — like Apple's AirPods — it is even more uncomplicated to pay attention to your tunes, podcasts, and audiobooks with out any one noticing.

In-ear headphones additionally have a tendency to be the least expensive of the 3 kinds of headphones on moderate, which is not to say you can not get pricey ones if you need. You'll be able to almost definitely in finding in-ear headphones at your native drugstore for not up to $10, and in some instances, an affordable pair can serve a function.

As an example, I have a tendency to use reasonable in-ear headphones when I am flying as a result of in the event that they get misplaced, broken, or left at the back of, I am not going to be losing any tears. That being stated, reasonable headphones will usually supply reasonable sound, which is why I handiest ever pay attention to audiobooks when I am the use of reasonable headphones.

When it comes to enjoying sports activities or understanding, I additionally favor to clutch a couple of in-ear headphones when I am breaking a sweat. If you have a just right becoming pair, they're going to keep for your ears whilst you raise weights or run on the treadmill. In reality, there are many great sweat-resistant sport in-ear headphones which are in particular designed to be used throughout exercises conveniently.


The obvious destructive aspect to in-ear headphones is sound high quality. Even most sensible tier in-ear headphones like Beats X will nonetheless now not sound as loud or as just right as a couple of most sensible tier on-ears or over-the-ears cans. They're simply too small to give you the sound intensity and high quality that actual audiophiles be expecting. I might now not recommend the use of in-ear headphones to someone who needs to revel in complicated song.

Some other con to in-ear items is they may be able to be very uncomfortable to put on for prolonged sessions of time, making them onerous to use all day, on a daily basis. Some pairs of in-ears will have compatibility you smartly and a few would possibly now not, inflicting them to fall out sometimes, which can also be extraordinarily frustrating.

The Backside Line

In-ear headphones can also be a few of the least expensive headphones you'll ever in finding, however you too can spend the cash on an overly high-end type as smartly. They're very good at being discreet, and a few pairs excel at being nice exercise companions.

You'll be able to most likely by no means get the excessive depth-of-sound that an audiophile would revel in, and every now and then discovering a couple that matches into your ears very easily could be a problem.

If you're taken with a couple of in-ear headphones, take a look at Amazon's listings and notice what could also be a just right have compatibility for you.


On-ear headphones can significantly range in worth. You'll be able to in finding reasonable on-ear headphones that may sound simply k, or you can spend loads of greenbacks on a couple that may blow you away. On-ear headphones are a few of the maximum flexible headphones round, due to their measurement and functions.


Whilst you will not be able to put on a couple of on-ear headphones relatively as discreetly as a couple of in-ears, they nonetheless are rather compact in design and now not too cumbersome to bring round. That is extraordinarily helpful if you need to have compatibility a couple of respectable headphones into your carry-on bag on a flight, or do not really feel like dressed in one thing as heavy and hulking as over-the-ear cans.

On-ear headphones additionally would possibly not in most cases fall off your face whilst you're the use of them, making them more effective in scenarios that you know are going to get bumpy, and in contrast to over-the-ears headphones, they nonetheless permit you to listen what is going on round you. It is not all the time a good suggestion to utterly tune-out the global (regardless of how a lot you need to), and on-ear headphones give you the skill to immerse your self on your tunes whilst nonetheless being acutely aware of your setting.


Even though I see some other folks dressed in on-ear headphones at the health club, I don't believe they're as nice of a fitness center good friend as a just right pair of in-ears. When you sweat, the foam round the cans has a tendency to take in it, making your headphones stink over a time period. I've long past thru a couple of pair of on-ear headphones as a result of I spent an excessive amount of time sweating it out with them on they usually simply were given "over-ripe."

Whilst it's imaginable to get noise-cancelling on-ear headphones — like the Bang & Olufsen Play H8's — likelihood is that their over-the-ear opposite numbers will all the time outperform them.

On-ears can also be very uncomfortable to put on for prolonged sessions of time, as the take a seat without delay in your ears, they push your ears down rather which will reason some soreness after some time. Top-end fashions generally have higher padding to lend a hand alleviate this drawback, however in my revel in, dressed in on-ear headphones calls for a spoil each and every few hours.

The Backside Line

On-ear headphones be offering very good sound high quality at various other worth issues, making it simple to in finding one that is inside of your price range. Plus, despite the fact that they're large enough to be noticeable, they don't seem to be too cumbersome to convey round or have compatibility right into a bag.

The noise-cancelling generation of on-ear headphones would possibly by no means somewhat ship the similar revel in as a just right pair of over-the-ear cans, since you'll all the time be in a position to listen just a little of the global happening round you.

If you're all in favour of a couple of on-ear headphones, take a look at Amazon's listings and notice what could also be a just right have compatibility for you.

Over-the-ear headphones

The largest cans you'll ever see might be on over-the-ear headphones. Higher audio system normally imply extra energy and extra sound, that means a super listening revel in for all kinds of media.


When it comes to natural sound high quality, a high-end pair of over-the-ears headphones is 2d to none. If you're taking a look for implausible low-end tones that mix seamlessly with clean mids and crisp trebles, I might extremely suggest making an investment in a couple of over-the-ear headphones.

My band is in the strategy of recording an EP, and when it comes to listening to our demos and seeing what wishes to be fastened, not anything isolates all the other sounds of the tools higher than a just right pair of over-the-ear headphones.

Rather a lot of top of the range fashions include Bluetooth, which provides you the choice of listening to your song wirelessly, however they do not pressure it on you. Bose, Sennheiser, and different high quality headphone makers regularly come with a normal 3.5mm cable to use their headphones stressed out if you want.

Over-the-ears are through some distance the maximum comfy headphones I've had the excitement of dressed in, and if I do know I am going to be dressed in them for lengthy sessions of time, I'm going to all the time succeed in for my over-the-ear pair prior to any of the different varieties.


There is not any beating round the bush; they are giant. Despite the fact that maximum over-the-ear headphones will fold up, and a few even include a wearing case, it is nonetheless a work of hardware that you'll want to lug round. It is going to absorb some area on your carry-on, backpack, handbag, or tote bag without reference to how small it could actually fold up.

Over-the-ears additionally have a tendency to be the costliest out of the 3 varieties of headphones. That is not to say that you will not be able to discover a pair that is inside of your finances; on the other hand, it is not unusual for high-end pairs to move for $300 - $500. Those don't seem to be going to be a couple of headphones you need to lose or have broken, so stay that during thoughts when you're taking a look round.

The Backside Line

Over-the-ear headphones are going to give you the best sound high quality general when opting for between the 3 varieties; then again, you're going to have to shell out the additional dough for that luxurious.

They're the largest to bring round with you, and you may have an issue making room for them on your on a regular basis bag or backpack, however they're the maximum comfy headphones to put on for prolonged sessions of time.

If you're serious about a couple of over-the-ear headphones, take a look at Amazon's listings and notice what could also be a just right have compatibility for you.

Which form of headphones do you choose?

Let us know what your favourite form of headphones are and why in the feedback under!


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