How to Choose a Proper Headphone There are so many headphone and headset in the market, which one is supposed to be choosen, there are some guides about how to choose a good headphone. Earbuds are best for people who are short on space, but still want a way to listen to their music. The higher-quality earbuds, like from Sennheiser or Ultimate Ears, usually come with little cases to put your earbuds in when you're not using them, so they won't get ruined or dirty at the bottom of your bag. If you keep a very small purse and want to keep your iPod Nano and earbuds together in it, or you're a guy with limited pocket space, earbuds are probably a better choice. They're also great if you are on a limited budget, because there's a lot more to choose from and they tend to cost less. Cheaper earbuds often run into problems like falling out of ears, hurting ears, or simply making dents in them from the cheap plastic. With higher prices (but still low-end in terms of quality) ranging from $25-50, you'll get more comfortable 'buds, and they are well-worth the money you spend. However, if you're an audiophile, you should consider other options. A pair of buds from Sennheiser (like the CX 500, $130), Shure (SE 115, $120), EtyMotic Research (HF5, $150), or even Ultimate Ears (minimum Super.fi 4) will be preferable. Headphones are great if you enjoy putting them around your neck while you're walking from one place to another, or if you just carry your headphones that way. Headphones are great if you enjoy putting them around your neck while you're walking from one place to another, or if you just carry your headphones that way. You also tend to get beefier cords and fun options like wireless/bluetooth headphones. The drawback is that good headphones within your budget might be hard to find. They take up more space than earbuds, and the DJ-style headphones take up a ridiculous amount of space if you don't carry around a larger bag. They also are easy to get dirty because most don't come with cases for them. Durability and Warranty The reason we buy new headphones so often is because the old ones often break or get somehow destroyed. When you get to the store, see how durable each pair of headphones feel—if it feels cheap, it probably is, and might not last you as long as you'd like. More than that, though, check and see what the warranty is like. A lot of headphones will come with warranties for a year or two, which is really nice if you find that your headphones break. It might not influence your decision, but it's something you'll definitely want to be aware of—I once threw away a $100 pair of headphones less than a year after I got them because the cord frayed into oblivion, not realizing Bose had a great warranty service on them. Don't make that mistake! Comfort When you try the headphones on, leave them on for awhile—15 minutes if you can, even longer if you're able—because how they feel within the first five minutes and how they feel later will be quite different. A lot of headphones can feel fine when you put them on, but will make your ears hurt after awhile. Sadly you can't sit in the store for two hours with them on your head, but you should be able to get a pretty good idea of how well they fit by wearing them for a little while. Sound Lastly, you'll want to test the most important feature: how they sound. We've shared a few tips for this before, but they're worth noting again. Throw some of the Eminent speaker sound tests on your MP3 player before you head out. They'll play certain frequencies that you can match with a description of what they should sound like (e.g., "Pink noise" should sound like rain on a rooftop). If they don't match their descriptions, you probably want to pass on that pair of headphones. Next, listen to old music. Even if you don't usually listen to music from the 70s, listen to it in the store, as it's usually a better indicator of the headphone's range of sound. Modern music is usually compressed to heck, and older music will help you better test the frequency response. Classical music is even better, since it has so many different instruments that will really show you the range of the headphones.