Think about how you will be using these new headphones day-to-day. Will you be using them on public transport, for running, gaming, watching movies, or in the office? Some headphones are designed for a specific purpose, so this guide will help give you a headstart to choosing the right headphones for you.

Over ear headphones

Get the right type

In-ear: In-ear headphones are very portable and generally inexpensive, so are perfect for using on-the-go. They are ideal for exercise and come in specially designed sports versions. Noise cancelling and Bluetooth connectivity can be found on certain models, but this is less common compared to over-ear varieties. On portability and convenience, in-ear headphones can’t be beaten.

On-ear: On-ear headphones go over the ears, but don't fully cover the ear. These headphones are portable enough for on-the-go use if you’re after higher sound quality. Since they are not fully enclosed, they do allow sounds in from the outside environment, which is great if you still need to be aware of your surroundings, like on a run or in the office. However, they are less effective at blocking out ambient noise, such as on a plane, train or bus.

Over-ear: Over-ear headphones are certainly not just for real audiophiles anymore. When it comes to comfort and both sound quality and clarity, over-ear headphones have no rival. They are ideal for use around the home or at work, as they are not as portable or inexpensive as in-ear varieties. Many models come with noise cancelling, so are perfect for blocking out the outside world. Some also have ambient noise control, allowing you to control when and what you hear.

Sport: Sports headphones are designed to clip securely in place by wrapping around your ears so they are particularly useful when playing sports because they won’t come off easily. Some models come waterproof or sweatproof, and they are all wireless, giving you ultimate listening freedom. Some models can receive phone calls and track your heart rate too - so you never miss a beat.

Headsets: Ideal for gamers and regular Skype chats. A growing number of business and entertainment applications, such as voice-to-text dictation and online gaming, require two-way communications: headsets with built-in microphones provide you with an all-in-one solution, without compromising on style or comfort.

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Headphones for working out

Picking your style

Features to consider

Noise cancelling: Noise cancelling headphones reduce unwanted ambient sounds using active noise control and soundproofing. They include a microphone that measures ambient sound and then generate a waveform that negates the ambient sound - allowing you to listen to audio without having to turn the volume up.

Noise reduction: Noise reduction headphones use sound proofing to reduce sound and do not have noise cancelling technology but can still block out a significant amount of noise.

Wireless: Wireless headphones are widely common across a wide range of headphone styles, allowing the user the freedom of choice to use headphones they like without having to compromise on freedom of movement.

Bluetooth: Bluetooth is the technology which connects wireless headphones to the device you want to listen to audio through. It offers close-range wireless connectivity for mobiles, computers, tablets, and other electronic devices.

Microphone: A microphone connected to the headset or headphones will allow you to place and make calls, or communicate in a gaming environment.

Fast charge: Fast charge offers the user the ability to quickly part-charge their headphones so they can continue listening to audio without needing to wait for a full charge.

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Headphones comfort

Care & maintenance

Here are some top tips to keep your headphones as good as new:

  • Always read the instructional manual before use
  • Keep non-waterproof headphones away from water
  • Don’t expose headphones to extreme temperatures
  • Use a soft, dry, clean cloth to clean your headphones
  • Replace damaged or worn ear adapters 
  • Avoid extreme cable bending