Listen up! When it comes to personal music, you really need a good set of headphones. Here’s how to choose a set that will make sure you get the most out of your travelling, working, exercising and home entertainment experiences.
The days of Walkmans and ghetto blasters are long gone. For modern ears, music is all about mobile devices, MP3 players and personal listening. Whether you’re working in an office, working out in a gym, commuting by train or taxi, or simply chilling at home, you’re going to need a set of decent headphones.
Your buying choice will be determined by two main factors: style and purpose. When it comes to style, you’re looking at either in-ear, on-ear or over-ear options. Let’s have a closer look.
Earbuds and in-ear headphones are small earpieces that fit inside your ears: some in your ear bowl, others all the way in your ear canal. If you wear glasses or have been blessed with big ears, then in-ear buds are usually more comfortable than over-ear options. They’re portable and easy to wear on the go, with the in-ear units also providing some isolation from outside noise. This makes them perfect for noisy Metrorail, MyCiti, Gautrain or airplane journeys! Some of them tend to slip out of your ears, though – so they’re not always great for exercising.
Earpads were all the rage before MP3 players (and their free earbuds) hit the market… and they’re still a good option for certain circumstances. As the name suggests, these ones fit over your ears, but don’t cover your whole ear. They’re usually open, so you’ll get some leakage of your music going out and the outside noise leaking in. This means they’re not great for offices (some of your coworkers won’t fancy listening to your kickin’ collection of early-90s hip hop), but they are good for travelling, in that they’re not completely soundproof… so you’ll be able to hear flight announcements, hooting taxis and the sound of your cellphone ringing in your pocket!
These ones are big “cups” that cover your ears completely. They’re pretty big (and very on-trend), and they have excellent bass, sound clarity and isolation from outside noise. They’re good for exercising and for home use, because they fit comfortably and don’t slip off your head. They’re also great for work, if you’re hoping to cut yourself off from the racket of your workplace – but mostly, the sound quality means they’re ideal for home use. Swipe your RCS Card, and invest in a wireless set, so that you don’t get tangled up in cords and cables.