Audiophiles 101: A journey into the world of headphones

Whether you are craving high energy tunes to juice up your workout, or private listening at home or at work, an adrenaline-pumping gaming experience or are just looking for an amazing sound system or accessory to express your personal style, we have something for everyone. The first aspect you must narrow down to when searching for a pair of headphones is deciding which form factor you want. This decision should be based on not only where you will be using them but rather what type of music you are listening to. You may choose full size headphones or in-earbuds, wired or wireless, that’s up to you. But this guide will help familiarize you with the features that you need to look at for before you buy a pair of headphones.

We understand that the size, type and technology of the headphones are all crucial to your decision but it’s extremely important to demystify the features and get accustomed to the headphone-vocabulary. Here we have a list of the key features you need to consider when finding the perfect pair of headphones.

  • Bass: Even at its very best, headphone bass is never the sort of heavy hitting experience you literally feel from massive speakers or subwoofers, but many manufacturers do custom tune their “signature sound” to emphasize the lower frequencies, however at the cost of instrument separation and natural delivery. Earbuds are tiny and portable, but except for a couple of high-end models they can’t compete with full-size, over-the-ear headphones for deep bass response or visceral dynamic range.

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  • Comfort and weight: Assessing sound quality is always a subjective exercise, but the only way to judge comfort is to put them on and listen for at least 10 minutes. Do the earpads exert too much pressure on your ears? Headphones that enclose or cover your ears can get uncomfortably hot, but you’ll have to wear them for a while to find out. Some of the bigger sealed models with cushy leather pads are the worst offenders. Pro-style headphones are comparatively beefier and can feel uncomfortably heavy after hours of use. Lighter headband-style headphones are almost always more comfortable than heavier ones. Even if they’re not, they’re at least less of a hassle to carry around.

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  • Durability: There’s no reason a headphone should be treated as disposable technology. Unlike almost everything else in the realm of consumer electronics, this year’s headphones won’t be obsolete six months or a year from now. In fact, there’s no reason a good pair of headphones can’t last for the better part of a decade. Be sure to assess the build quality of your prospective headphones. Some earbuds and portable devices are relatively fragile, for instance. If the headphones fold up for easy storage, are the hinges robust, or will they fall apart in a month or two? Don’t forget to examine that the earpads and earbuds will get extensive wear and tear over the life of the headphones.

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  • Cable dressing and length: Most stereo headphones have just one cable, usually attached to the left earpiece (sometimes called single-sided cabling). Some models and all earbuds use a Y-cable that connects to both earpieces (double-sided). The actual cable plug, meanwhile, is usually one of two designs: a straight I-plug or an angled L-plug; the latter may be useful if your portable player has a side- or bottom-mounted headphone jack.

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If you are an audio-freak who is looking to buy a decent pair of headphones, do keep all these aspects in mind and don’t forget to log on to our website at http://www.bengalurudutyfree.in/Index.aspx and find yourselves a pair of headphones that will certainly fit into your requirements and cover all these aspects.

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