Headphone designs

Headphone designs

Headphone designs

The headphone is an amazing product that allows the wearer to listen to music in comfort both at home and on the move. Whether through the stereo system, a smartphone or a music player - headphones are used on many devices and have taken an important place in the world of music in our modern world. Due to the high demand, different designs have emerged over the years, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In the following, we will explain how the different designs are related to each other.

The huge range of headphones on offer does not exactly make the choice easy for consumers. There are open, closed, semi-open headphones but also in-ear models. Of course, the products also differ in price: expensive products use correspondingly higher quality materials and technology, which can increase the enjoyment of music many times over. But also the wearing comfort is increased accordingly.

Shell headphones

The three main types of conch earphones can be distinguished:


In addition to these designs, there are the following designs, which we will not go into in detail:


The former have small auricles, which lie directly on the auricle. Around Ear headphones, on the other hand, have large ear cups that surround the entire ear.

Around-Ear headphones

The open version is the perfect solution for original, natural hearing. From a technical point of view, this cannot be fully realised because every construction hinders the unhindered radiance and vibration of a diaphragm. That is why headphone manufacturers try to come as close as possible to this ideal by using an “airy” construction and soft materials. To guarantee this success, a permeability of 30 to 55 percent is usually used.

Open headphones usually lie loosely on the head and shield the ear little, so that external noise can still be heard. The same applies, of course, to the sounds that the headphones themselves emit - outsiders can hear them. Open systems are not used in studios because of their “sound backdrop”, but they are a popular and recommended option for home use. This recommendation is reinforced by their great convenience, which remains unchanged even after long periods of use.

Closed headphones

Closed systems best seal the area between the sound generator and the ear, thus providing the best bass response while maximally eliminating external interference. The ring-shaped pads completely enclose the ear openings and the bow is pressed relatively tightly. Wearing some models can become uncomfortable after some time. This is intensified by the heat build-up around the ears. On the other hand, noise is perfectly shielded inside and out and little sound pressure is lost. The bass reproduction is accordingly punchy, dry and realistic.

Closed headphones are primarily used in studios, where perfect sound reproduction is of enormous importance. Due to the sound isolation, the use on the road is not recommended, but at home these headphones offer a special sound experience.

Semi-open headphones

Semi-open headphones are a result of headphone development. Due to their design, high frequencies are shielded as far as possible and do not reach the outside. Outsiders can hear the low frequencies instead. The advantage of semi-open headphones is that the low frequencies are emitted to the outside, making their reproduction more natural. In home use, this difference in sound makes the half-open version a real box-office hit, because the average petrol consumer prefers a good low-frequency sound.

Basically, half-open headphones are a compromise between open and closed models: They dampen and isolate ambient noise better than the open version, but worse than closed headphones.

In-ear headphones

These headphones are a product that was urgently needed due to the spread of iPods and smartphones. The small headphones are inserted directly into the ear canal. They are therefore practically closed headphones that do not let any sound out. The soundproof insulation is provided by a silicone adapter, which is available in several sizes and expands in the ear canal. The unadulterated sound experience is the big advantage of the in-ears, but they also seal off the listener completely from the outside world and may take some getting used to.

Earbud headphones

Not to be confused with in-ears, which are inserted directly into the ear canal. Ear buds are the classics of small headphones: they are inserted into the auricle and do not completely isolate the listener from the outside world. However, this also means that they allow sound to escape, which can be annoying for other people. Their biggest disadvantage is their uniform size, which can make them uncomfortable for some people.

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