What are Headphone Guides about?
Headphone Guides show you how to choose and use headphones.
Everything you need to know on how to choose and how to use headphones, Bluetooth headphones, noise-canceling headphones and AirPods alternatives, are covered in our headphone guides.
Headphone Guides @GadgetGuideOnline is an online community for sharing news, reviews, updates and guides on choosing and using headphones.
Headphone Guides will help you if you have questions on headphones, both new and seasoned users.
List of recent headphone guides
Here is the list of most recent headphone guides. The complete list of headphone guides can be found in Headphone Guides section.
Galaxy Buds+ (Galaxy Buds Plus) may look physically similar (almost identical) to the 2019 version of Samsung Galaxy Buds. But there are many new features and improvements of Galaxy Buds Plus (vs Galaxy Buds).
This wireless earbuds guide explains the five best new features and improvements of Galaxy Buds Plus: longer battery life (11-hour non-stop playtime ), 2-way speaker. 3-microphone system, Spotify integration, and the Galaxy Buds+ app for iOS.
Although Galaxy Buds Plus was announced together with Galaxy S20, it works with all Android devices with Android 5 (Andriod Lollipop) or newer versions and most iOS devices. You can also use Galaxy Buds Plus as a universal Bluetooth headphone on almost all platforms with Bluetooth audio support.
Longer battery life: the best improvement of Galaxy Buds Plus
Samsung Galaxy Buds already has a decent battery time. You can use the buds for about 6 hours in one charge. The charging case offers an additional 6 hours of playtime.
Now, Samsung further improved the battery life for the Galaxy Buds+ for about 50%.
You can continuously use the Galaxy Buds+ for more than 11 hours in one charge. The charging base gives another 11+ hours.
In addition to the longer battery life, Samsung Galaxy Buds+ also charges faster. You can use the Galaxy Buds+ for one hour after charging it for 3 minutes. As a comparison, you need to charge the Galaxy Buds 15 mins to get a battery life of 100 mins.
Anyway, no other wireless earbuds can match the battery life of Galaxy Buds Plus currently. We consider the longer battery life is one of the best new features and improvements of Galaxy Buds Plus.
The tiny Galaxy Buds+ now features 2-way speaker, which is seldom found in other wireless earbuds.
The combination of a woofer for the low and mid-range sound and a tweeter for high-frequency sound technically can significantly improve the sound quality, if tuned properly.
It seems the best (balanced) sound quality can be achieved when you set the equalizer to dynamic for Galaxy Buds Plus.
If you choose the equalizer to normal, it is hard to differ Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+.
In short, the 2-way speaker technically will provide better sound quality. But it … Read the rest
AirPods Pro is the lastest wireless earbuds offered by Apple. It complements AirPods 2 in the high-end market with some useful new features.
This wireless earbuds guide explains the top 10 new features of AirPods Pro (compared to AirPods 2): active noise canceling (ANC), wireless charging, in-ear design, transparency mode, force sensor, adaptive EQ, Sweat and water resistance with IPX4 rating, ear tip test, secure fit, and a $249 price tag.
Please note, the direct competitor to AirPods Pro is Sony WF-1000XM3, which offers better noise cancelling and better audio quality (at $229). Samsung Gallaxy Buds+ offers better battery life and cheaper price.
#1.Active noise canceling (ANC): the best new feature of AirPods Pro
As explained in this guide in detail, active noise canceling (ANC) uses special sound waves to cancel the ambient noise and therefore gives you immersive and quite listening experience.
Bose and Sony are the indisputable industrial leaders in ANC for consumer headphones. It is unclear whether Apple licensed some technology from third parties or developed their own ANC technology in-house.
If you compare AirPods Pro with Sony WF-1000XM3, Sony is a clear winner in most situations. Please do NOT compare AirPods Pro with the first generation of WF-1000, whose noise canceling was a failure.
Anyway, for many Apple users, ANC is probably new to them. They will enjoy this feature gradually.
#2. Transparency mode
Transparency mode is the opposite of noise canceling. In this mode, you can hear clearly outside without removing the AirPods Pro from the ears.
You can use the force sensor (read on) to switch between noise canceling and transparency mode instantly.
In fact, all noise-canceling earbuds and headphones have this feature.
#3. New in-ear design
Unlike AirPods and AirPods 2, AirPods Pro will “stuff” your ears if you are new to in-ear buds. It may take you a few days to get used to it.
The advantages of the in-ear design include the better audio quality (by blocking some ambient noise) and secured in ears.
For some users, the AirPods Pro can … Read the rest
This wireless earbuds guide explains everything you need to know about Samsung Galaxy Buds (and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus): box contents of the buds, the layout of the buds, how to use the buds, how to charge the buds, how to check the battery status, how to pair the buds with other devices, how to use touchpad commands to control the buds. A concise review of the Galaxy Buds was also included.
Of course, some questions you may have on Samsung Galaxy Buds were also answered.
What is Samsung Galaxy Buds?
Samsung announced Galaxy Buds, a wireless earbud for Android phones, together with the Galaxy S10 in March 2019.
Prior to Galaxy Buds, Samsung already offered Gear IconX as a fitness (and wireless) earbud.
Galaxy Buds is smaller and lighter by removing the built-in storage and workout-tracking ability in IconX.
What devices are compatible with Galaxy Buds?
But this is for “quick” pairing.
In fact, you can use Samsung Galaxy Buds as a normal Bluetooth headset. Therefore, you can use the Samsung Galaxy Buds with most devices that support Bluetooth audio, for example, iPhone, Windows PCs, and laptops.
Unlike AirPods, Galaxy Buds does follow the Bluetooth standards. This means it is compatible with most devices that follow the Bluetooth standards.
In short, if your device can use other Bluetooth headphones, it can also use Galaxy Buds.
What is included in the Samsung Galaxy Buds box?
In most regions, you can find the following items in the Samsung Galaxy Buds box:
- Earbuds (L/R).
- Charging case (wireless charging dock).
- Wingtips (3 sizes, S/M/L, M is pre-installed).
- Ear tips (3 sizes, S/M/L, M is pre-installed).
- A USB cable (USB-A to USB-C).
- Quick Start Guide.
Please note, there is no charger (wall or wireless) inside the box.
Layout of Galaxy Buds and the charging case
To use Galaxy Buds effectively, you need to know … Read the rest
You need an active noise canceling headphone if you want to block the ambient low-frequency noise, like engine noise in the airplane. For example, AirPods Pro has ANC.
Active noise canceling (ANC) is different from noise blocking/isolating, which passively blocks both high and low-frequency noises.
This headphone guide explains what the active noise canceling (ANC) is and how the active noise canceling headphone works. It will not only help you understand ANC but also help you choose proper active noise-canceling headphones.
What is active noise canceling (ANC)?
Active noise canceling (ANC, aka active noise control) is a set of audio technologies that actively cancel the ambient noise.
Both the annoying noise and music reach your ear as sound waves transmitted through the air.
So, one simple way to reduce noise is to physically and passively block it. For example, there are many soundproofing materials and technologies.
In the airport, you may notice ground staff are wearing earmuffs to block the engine and other noises. In the shooting clubs, it is also common that earmuffs are used.
Active noise canceling (ANC), on the contrary, uses negative sound waves to actively cancel the noise.
This means ANC requires at least three components:
- Power source. Active noise canceling (ANC) always requires a power source to detect and analysis noise and then generate a negative wave.
- Noise detection. Normally, one or more microphones are used to sample the ambient sound.
- Anti-noise sound wave generator. Once the ambient noise is sampled, an active noise canceling (ANC) system must generate an inverted (negative) sound wave (with similar amplitude) to cancel the low-frequency noise.
When the ambient noise is canceled, you will get a quieter environment for your music.
Active noise canceling (ANC) is still evolving, especially on how to sample ambient sound, how to analyze the sampled ambient sound, and eventually how to effectively cancel the low-frequency ambient noise in real-time.
Please note, active noise canceling (ANC) currently is most effective for low-frequency noise only.
Active noise canceling (ANC) vs passive noise blocking
As discussed earlier, noise can be “blocked” (passive) and/or “canceled” (active).
Most headphones, in-ear or on-ear or over-ear, can block certain ambient sounds. For example, some in-ear headphones are designed to seal the ambient sound. Of course, over-ear headphones usually can block more ambient sound.
For headphones, some manufacturers may also refer to noise-blocking as noise isolation.… Read the rest
Normally, headphones are classified as in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear based on their sizes and ways of wearing.
This headphone guide explains the differences in size and sound quality among these 3 types of headphones. Then we explain whether you should get an in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headphones to meet your needs (and comfort).
Why do you need to know the differences among in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones?
When buying a new headphone, the first question you need to ask yourself is what “size” of the headphone should be.
In the market, there are roughly 3 types of headphones based on their sizes (both wired headphones and Bluetooth headphones):
- in-ear headphone (aka earphone, or earbud);
- on-ear headphone; and
- over-ear headphone.
The differences among in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones are NOT just about the size.
Quite often, certain type of headphone may be better than others for special group of users (e.g. people with glass), or better for special occasions (e.g., for running).
So, it is important to know the differences among in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones to get the headphone that is most suitable for you when you plan to get a new headphone.
Size matters: the obvious difference among in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones
Because of the small driver (aka transducer), a unit that converts an electrical signal into sound (air pressure), in-ear headphone is small enough to fit inside your ears.
The on-ear headphone usually uses larger drivers. But the padding is not large enough to cover your ears. Instead, the headphone sits on your ears without fully covering them.
The over-ear headphone has a large enough padding to cover your ear. Manufactures can put larger drivers in over-ear headphones thanks to the additional space.
Sound quality difference among in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones
When sound quality is concerned, size is NOT the major factor.
Many headphone buyers have the wrong impression: the bigger driver means better sound quality. This is wrong.
Large drivers generally can boost high volume (louder) with higher capacity for the bass. But unlike the volume or bass, the sound quality (audio quality) is NOT simply determined by the driver size.
For all headphones, sound quality (audio quality) … Read the rest
Wireless earbuds guides cover all aspects of choosing and using wireless earbuds. The detailed comparisons and reviews of wireless earbuds are also covered.
Why wireless earbuds?
Although Apple touted AirPods as the futuristic wireless headphone, they are essentially a pair of Bluetooth headphones, just like other wireless earbuds.
Of course, AirPods have a few special (but not revolutionary) features, including:
- The left and right pods are synced individually with iPhone.
- You can double-tap any of the AirPods to activate Siri voice assistant.
- The optical sensor detects whether the AirPods are in your ear, and therefore AirPods can pause the play automatically once they are removed from your ears.
- Simple pairing with iPhone.
- Noise-canceling for the microphone input.
Wireless earbuds including AirPods are facing some challenges, for example
- Pricey. Many wired in-ear headphones can offer batter sound quality at a cheaper price.
- Poor active noise canceling (ANC). Active noise-canceling requires additional power (and chips). Most wireless earbuds (including AirPods) do not have active noise canceling at all. A few wireless earbuds with ANC offer poor battery life and inferior noise canceling (compared to wired ones, or over-ear ones).
- Easy to lose.
- Volume control. Due to the small size, most wireless earbuds do not have volume control. You have to control the volume in the host device (smartphone, for example).
- Play control.
- Product-dependency. AirPods work on iPhone only. Galaxy Buds work best on Samsung phones. Although Galaxy buds and many other wireless earbuds (except AirPods) work just like normal Bluetooth headsets, you may find some wireless earbuds do not work well on some devices.
Anyway, there are plenty of options for wireless earbuds. But it is hard to find one that works well with your device.
This wireless earbuds guide section will cover all aspects related to wireless earbuds: how to choose your wireless earbuds, how to pair and use wireless earbuds, how to choose the best codec for your wireless earbuds, and reviews of wireless earbuds.
List of Wireless Earbuds Guides
We add new wireless earbuds guides regularly.
If you cannot find the wireless earbuds guide you need, or if you have any questions on using or choosing wireless earbuds, please do not hesitate to post your questions in the comment box below.
We will find the answer for you as fast as we can. A new wireless earbuds guide may also be released to … Read the rest
Sports headphone guides help you to choose a proper phone for your workout based on required features and your budget.
Sports headphone can help you enjoy your workouts
Fitness and health are important in your life. Now, almost all smartphones even have a fitness app helping you track your workouts.
And a lot of people like to enjoy music while exercising.
So, here comes the sports headphones, which are specially designed for your workouts.
But there are very a few sports headphone guides.
When using a sports headphone, you want to make sure:
- the headphone fits well and will not fall out.
- headphone cables, if any, do not cause distraction or inconvenience when you are moving.
- you can hear notifications and ambient alarms.
- sound quality is acceptable.
- for Bluetooth sports headphones, good connectivity between headphone and smartphone can be maintained.
This means choosing a sports headphone can be substantially different from choosing a normal headphone.
Sports headphone guides were therefore written to help you:
- choose a sports headphone within in your budget;
- compare different sports headphones;
- find the solution for any sports headphone problems you may encounter.
Although most sports headphones are wireless (Bluetooth headphone), there are some accessories making it easy to use wired headphones when exercising.
List of Sports headphone guides
We release new and updated sports headphone guides regularly and therefore, this is a live list.
If you cannot find the sports headphone guide you want, or if you have any questions on sports headphone, please let us know in the comment box below.
We will find a solution for you. We may also release some special guides addressing your questions and problems.
List of published and some coming-soon sports headphone guides.
1. What is sweat-resistant and waterproofing headphones?
2. How to choose a sports headphone for a workout?
3. The top 5 sports headphones in 2019 under $20
4. The top 5 sports headphones in 2019 under $50
5. The top 5 sports headphones in 2019 under $100
6. The best sports headphones in 2019
7. Review of sports headphones
8. and many more …
Other headphone guides
In addition to Bluetooth headphone guides listed in this page, there are a few other specialized headphone guides:
- Headphone 101. You can find detailed explanations on features, technologies, and usages of headphones.
- Bluetooth headphone guides. You can find detailed guides on how to choose
Noise-canceling headphone guides help you understand, choose, and use headphones with active noise canceling (ANC).
Why noise-canceling headphones?
Noise-canceling headphones were initially enjoyed by some frequent travelers. Such magic headphones can give you a quiet journey in the airplane without using the uncomfortable earplug. You can enjoy the music in a quieter condition at the same time with a noise-canceling headphone.
Now, more and more urban commuters find noise-canceling headphone a necessity.
Active noise-canceling headphones can effectively cancel out annoying low-frequency noises and bring you a quiet environment in an airplane, in the subway, or simply in office.
Active noise canceling (ANC) is different from noise blocking.
As explained in the differences among in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones, all headphones can block certain ambient sound (not just low-frequency noise) physically.
An extreme example of such physical blocking is ear muffs used in the shooting. Some in-ear headphones may seal the air inside your ear, but most of them are not effective. Over-ear headphones can offer better noise-blocking depending on the design.
On the other hand, active noise-canceling headphones can “filter” or cancel the ambient low-frequency noise, which is the most annoying and disturbing portion of ambient sound. An ANC unit can generate a “negative” sound wave to cancel the ambient noise. And the result is that you get music without ambient noise. Most active noise-canceling headphones in the market can cancel up to 80-95% ambient noise.
So, if you travel a lot, or use public transport frequently, or work in a noisy office, you will find out that a noise-canceling headphone can be your lifesaver.
But a lot of headphone users are not fully understanding the benefits of active noise-canceling headphones. They need some detailed guides showing how to get the best headphone with active noise canceling within their budget.
Some noise-canceling headphone owners may be still confused on the features in these headphones with ANC.
So, we created this noise-canceling headphone guides section to explain to you how ANC works, how to choose an active noise-canceling headphone, and how to use noise-canceling headphones.
Please note, active noise-canceling is a sound technology which can be used in all types of headphones.
List of noise-canceling headphone guides
More noise-canceling headphone guides are added regularly. The list will be updated once new guides are released.
Here is the list of published and coming-soon noise-canceling headphone guides.Read the rest
Bluetooth headphone has become popular since Apple removed the headphone jack on the iPhone in 2016. Samsung, the largest smartphone maker, also removed the headphone jack in Galaxy Note 10 in 2019.
The surge of the demands for Bluetooth headphone caused many confusions for consumers.
The Bluetooth headphone guides will help consumers to understand the technologies behind Bluetooth headphones and how to properly choose a Bluetooth headphone.
Do you really know Bluetooth headphone?
Bluetooth headphone can be found in almost all headphone stores. It can be as cheap as less than 20 dollars. Of course, some can be as expensive as $400-500.
Most Bluetooth headphone owners enjoy it without the tangling cable/wire. When you are driving or in a workout, you may find it is easier to make phone calls or listen to music with a wireless headphone than a wired one.
Some Bluetooth headphones can even pair to your mobile phone through a simple tap (NFC). And the new Bluetooth standard also allows you to pair one headphone to two devices at the same time.
Although it is not complicated to use Bluetooth headphones, you may find that you cannot connect (pair) your headphone to your smartphone.
You may not know that different Bluetooth headphones may differ dramatically: not only in price but also in sound quality, connectivity, and compatibility.
You may not know why some manufacturers tout aptX on their Bluetooth headphones.
Bluetooth is not a new technology, but it is evolving. Even some seasoned Bluetooth headphone owners may be not aware of some new features in the latest Bluetooth standards.
So, we created this special section for Bluetooth headphones.
You will be able to find answers on many questions related to Bluetooth headphones. And you can also learn to use some new features you may not be aware of in your Bluetooth headphone.
List of Bluetooth headphone guides?
Bluetooth headphone guide is a dynamic page. New guides are added regularly.
If you cannot find the guide you want, please let us know your question in the comment box below. We will help you get the answer. We may also release new guides related to your questions.
Here is the list of released and to-be-released Bluetooth headphone guides:
1. What is Bluetooth? What is the Bluetooth profile? What is Bluetooth Codec?
2. How Bluetooth headphone works?
3. When does aptX matter, and when not?
4. How… Read the rest
Headphone 101 includes guides of fundamental features that are universal to all types of headphones.
Why you should read guides in Headphone 101 section?
If you want to get the most of your headphone, you need to know your headphone better.
If you want to get the desired headphone matching your budget, you need to know what matters and what is most important.
Headphone 101 section was created here to help you in this aspect!
In headphone 101 section, you can find detailed guides explaining everything about headphones including:
- different headphone technologies, for example, differences among various headphone drivers.
- what are the most important factors you should consider when buying a new headphone? For example, should I get an in-ear headphone, or on-ear or over-ear headphone?
- advantages and disadvantages of wired headphones (and wireless/Bluetooth) headphones.
- how noise-canceling headphone works?
- how Bluetooth headphone works?
- when do you need a Bluetooth headphone?
- and many more…
Headphone 101 section is complemented with some other special sections in headphone guides community, including:
- Bluetooth headphone guide. You can find everything about Bluetooth headphones. Reviews of Bluetooth headphones.
- Noise-canceling headphone guide. Technical guides on how noise-canceling headphone works, how to choose a noise-canceling headphone, how to use noise-canceling headphones, and noise-canceling headphone reviews …
- Sports headphone guide. If you want to know about sports headphone, or if you plan to buy a headphone for your workouts, or if you are not sure how to use some specific models of sports headphone, you can get help here.
- Wireless earbuds guide. You can find guides on how to use wireless earbuds, how to get alternatives if you are not impressed by AirPods, and reviews of various wireless earbuds.
List of Headphone 101 Guides
All headphone 101 guides are added regularly.
This means this is a live page. If you cannot find the headphone guide you need, you may check back later.
You can also ask questions in the comment box below. We will try to get an answer for you. We may also release a new guide for you as well.
Here is the non-exhaust list of released or coming-soon headphone 101 guides:
1. What is the difference among electrostatic drivers, dynamic drivers, balanced armature drivers, planar magnetic drivers, and hybrid drivers, in headphones?
The differences among … Read the rest
Enjoy your headphone!