Difference between Headphones and Earphones

Key Difference: Headphones are a pair of loudspeakers that are very small in size. These are designed so that one can place them close to the ears. Earphones are also very similar to headphones and can be considered as just the alternate in-ear version.

 

Headphones are connected to a signal source through wires or though a wireless network. The signal sources include an audio amplifier, radio, CD player or 

mobile phone. They can be used with fixed as well as portable devices.

 

Earphones are a kind of headphones that are very small and are fitted directly in the outer ear. Unlike headphones, earphones do not have a band or any other arrangement to fit over the head. Due, to their small size, they are easily portable and considered to be very convenient.

 

Some of the differences are listed below:-

 

 

Headphones

           Earphones

Definition

Headphones are a pair of loudspeakers that are very small in size. These are designed so that one can place them close to the ears.

Earphones are the alternate in-ear version of headphones.

Cost

Generally expensive

Comparatively less expensive

Bulkiness

High

Less

Portability

Less

High

Sound Quality

Better

Inferior

Filtration of external noise

Yes

No

Common Types

On ear or supra-aural headphones which rest on top of one’s ears.

 

Around the ear or circumaural headphones which completely encompass the user’s ears

 

Headset headphones are headphones with a mic attached to them

Earbud earphones are inserted in the ear canal

 

In-ear earphones are placed just inside the user’s ear canal

 

Sports earphones are made custom fit and specially designed for athletes, runners and music lovers. 

 

Bluetooth earphones are wireless

Air flow

More

Less

Gear

The left and right speakers connected via a strap over the head

Kind of small headphones in which the left and right speakers are usually wired separately to each ear

Disadvantages

Expensive

 

Bulky

 

Less portable

 

Can be difficult to fit into the individual's ear canal size

 

Can fall out with a tug of a cable

 

Bass response may be weak

 

Image Courtesy: soundonsound.com

Image Courtesy: computerwarehousepricelist.com

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