Headphones vs. Earphones: Know When To Use What

headphones vs earphones

Robust driver quality or active noise cancellation? Vivid soundstage or portability? These are important questions to consider when comparing headphones vs. earphones, especially since the driver is the most crucial part of any portable audio gadget. It converts electrical signals into sound waves that human ears can detect. Some may think that the bigger the driver is, the stronger the sound waves. However, stronger sound waves don’t necessarily equate to better sound quality. Whether you’re an avid gamer who wants minimal audio lag or an active runner who needs a sweat-resistant audio companion, we have you covered in this comprehensive guide that debates when to use headphones vs. earphones. 

Take note that headphones and earphones have their own advantages that make them suitable for different occasions! For example, both headphones and earphones are great for exercise but you’ll likely want the portability of earphones while running and the optimal headphone sonics while in the gym. Read on to find out the best ones for each activity!

For Working Out

Best earphones for exercise junkies

JBL endurance sprint

Credit: Audio Box

When it comes to headphones vs. earphones for workouts, there’s no shame in cutting bulkiness and sacrificing driver quality for added portability. Fortunately, with JBL’s Endurance Sprint, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. These water-resistant JBL earphones don’t compromise on audio quality either. Boasting IPX7 water resistance and eight hours of play time, you’ll never have to fret about them dying on you mid-exercise. If you’re a fan of low bass music, you’ll be glad to know the Endurance Sprint places adds emphasis for its bass and treble undertones! This synergizes with your workout playlist to motivate you during those intense workouts.

Other great earphone contenders for working out include Awei A920BL, Jabra Elite Active 65t, Samsung Galaxy Buds+, and Bose SoundSport.

Best headphones for exercise junkies


Credit: Plantronics

Who says headphones can’t feel comfy when exercising? Many users often disregard headphones when it comes to the fitness aspect of the headphones vs. earphones argument. With the Backbeat Fit 6100, Plantronics have gone the extra mile to guarantee a feel-good gym experience! Thanks to its hexagonal groove designed headband, your wireless headphones will stay put even during the most vigorous squat sets. Additionally, these lightweight headphones have IPX5 water resistance and are lined with unique sweatproof leather for a more comfortable gym workout session.

On top of these exercise-friendly features, the Backbeat Fit 6100 is certainly no slouch in its audio performance. From slim 40mm angled drivers to active noise cancellation features, this is basically everything you could want from a pair of value-for-money gym headphones.

For Listening to Music

Best earphones for musicheads


Credit: Shure Philippines

Whenever anyone brings up the headphones vs. earphones debate, you’re bound to hear how earphones with smaller drivers don’t produce the best sounds. While it’s generally true across most earphones for music, they compensate for this with increased portability. After all, there’s no better feeling and convenience than plugging in your premium earphones to enjoy your favorite song while on the go!

Need recommendations? The Shure SE215 is praised among enthusiasts for its vibrant and clear sounds. On top of its clear sonic production and extensive frequency range, the SE215 stands out from the competition thanks to its over-ear form factor so you won’t face your earbuds falling out. The Sennheiser HD1 Momentum also deserves an honorable mention for its noise-canceling abilities.

Best headphones for musicheads

audio technica

Credit: Audio-Technica

Dive into the wonderful world of studio headphones! If you’re intrigued by tracks with strong instrumentals, you’ll be in for a treat as studio headphones are great at highlighting the subtle nuances in your music! With Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50X, you can enjoy a host of additions to enhance your overall aural experience. From featuring an extended frequency range to ensuring minimal distortion across all frequency ranges, studio headphones are a huge upgrade when it comes to appreciating the finer side of your tunes!

Embrace the higher range of frequencies and amplified undertones with these other choices you can purchase on our platform: ZEALOT B19, JBL T450BT, and Bose QuietComfort 35.

For Gaming

Best earphones for gaming enthusiasts

razer hammerhead

Credit: Razer

When it comes to deciding between headphones vs earbuds for gaming, it’s difficult to not mention the Razer Hammerhead—a pair of earphones specifically designed for gamers! If you hate wearing thick and bulky headphones for hours while gaming, you’ll appreciate the lightweight Hammerhead. New to the world of competitive mobile gaming? Razer eases you in by granting these gaming earphones a heavy bass sound profile! This helps to amplify all kinds of ambient sounds so you’re more aware of your surroundings.

Curious about the sound profiles of gaming headphones vs earbuds? Razer has included a ton of cool features to win over users. Irked by audio input lag? Don’t fret—turn on the built-in Gaming Mode and minimize the sound latency. These earphones also offer up to 16 hours of usage when paired with its pocket-friendly charging case—perfect for gamers on-the-go.

Best headphones for gaming enthusiasts

steel series arctis pro

Credit: IT World

In competitive computer gaming, audio transmission speed and defined soundstages can often determine victory or defeat. There’s nothing that kills an in-game squad faster than miscommunication. Leveraging upon features like Bluetooth and enhanced sound accuracy, the Steelseries Arctis Pro packs one of the best microphones in the gaming space! Be prepared for studio-level vocal clarity and excellent active noise cancellation as you issue commands and lead your team to victory with the Steelseries Arctis!

Other gaming headsets like Kingston HyperX Cloud Alpha and Corsair Virtuoso excel by letting you pick up the faintest of mid-game footsteps and gunshots. Consequently, you can then use this information to crush your opponents before they even know what hit them. On a tight budget? Not to worry! Cheaper alternatives include Kotion Each GS9000, Razer Kraken, HyperX Cloud Stinger Core, and Havit Gaming Headset!

Settling The Headphones Vs. Earphones Debate

From Steelseries Arctis headphones to Razer earphones, there’s no shortage of the best brands for headphones and earphones with us! Regardless of which side you’re on, you can never go wrong with brand favorites such as JBL, Bose, Sennheiser, Beats by Dr. Dre, and Sony! We hope our headphones vs earbuds guide has been handy in helping you make your final decision. 

For gamers in particular, there’s more to a game than its auditory experience. To experience the best of gaming, here are some tips to Level-Up Your Gaming Experience With The Best Gaming Phones as well as a quick Guide To The Best Gaming Laptops For Optimal Performance.

If you’re here looking to buy these for someone special, here’s a quick Gift Guide: 11 Gadgets For The Man In Your Life! Happy shopping!

This article was first published by Shopee Singapore.
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