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HOW TO SELECT A GOOD HEAD­PHONE

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - DIY SPECIAL -

Most of us use head­phone on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, es­pe­cially with our smart­phones and mu­sic players. But do we think about whether the head­phone we use is the best at what it is do­ing. Kapil Gu­lati, Vice-Pres­i­dent (Sales & Mar­ket­ing) Sennheiser, ex­plains how to select a good head phone. There are 3 fac­tors to con­sider while se­lect­ing a head­phone:

AP­PLI­CA­TION / US­AGE: The type of head­phone will de­pend on the us­age. So you have dif­fer­ent head­phones for in­door, out­door, travel and so on. Each of th­ese has a dif­fer­ent USP. For travel you will need a head­phone with noise can­cel­la­tion; for sports one with a good fit, wa­ter and sweat re­sis­tant; for video con­fer­enc­ing and chats you need a head­set with good noise can­cel­la­tion mi­cro­phone. If you are an au­dio­phile you should look at a high-end head­phone; and for latenight TV, a wire­less head­phone is best. Gamers should look at head­sets with 3D/sur­round sound.

MU­SIC TYPE: Head­phones are of dif­fer­ent types based on their im­ped­ance lev­els. You have to match the im­ped­ance lev­els of the source de­vice with the head­phones. Im­ped­ance level is like re­sis­tance and a mis­match can af­fect the sound qual­ity. For use with mo­bile de­vices look for an im­ped­ance level of be­tween 16 and 64 Ohms, for home the­atres select be­tween 32 and 120 Ohms, and up to 300 Ohms if you want to use it on an am­pli­fier. You can also select mu­sic ac­cord­ing to your favourite genre. Ideally, the hu­man ear can hear sound be­tween 20 and 20,000 Hertz though it is bet­ter to buy a head­phone with a wider fre­quency range for bet­ter over­all per­for­mance. Fans of jazz and clas­si­cal mu­sic should look at head­phones that give more de­tail in midrange and highs. For rap and hip-hop, head­phones with more lows are bet­ter.

DE­SIGN: Open-back head­phones de­liver the best qual­ity and are more nat­u­ral. Closed de­signs are bet­ter if you need more bass and need to block ex­ter­nal sounds. If you want to lis­ten for long stretches of time then look for a head­band that is padded and ad­justs to fit to your head. Cir­cum­au­ral / Over the ear head­phones dis­trib­ute pres­sure over a wider area and are more com­fort­able. Supra-au­ral or On-ear-head­phones are smaller and bet­ter for trav­el­ling. In-ear head­phones are good for trav­el­ling and keep out ex­ter­nal sounds. Make sure the cord is long enough—ones that are con­nected to one side are less prone to tan­gles.

Don’t lis­ten at more than 70 per cent of the max­i­mum vol­ume if you use your head­phones through­out the day, or more than 80 per cent of the vol­ume if you use them for an hour or so.

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