The first headphones were the heavy, high-performance type of the Hi-Fi stereo age. These offered exceptional sound if you didn’t mind having your vertebrae compressed by their heavy weight. Next came the lightweight, sponge-covered headphones of the Walkman era. The sound was tinny sometimes, especially in the bass range, but they were lightweight, portable and comfortable.
Both types of headphones still exist today, although the high-performance models are now, thankfully, much lighter, and they’ve been joined by earbuds and even a new generation of wireless headphones. You’ll still sacrifice sound quality for portability, but you’ll find comfort and performance in a wide array of Justbeats Special Edition.
There are four basic styles of headphones: earbuds, canalphones, on-ear and full-sized. Earbuds are the cheapest option, and chances are they came packed with your iPod or Zune. These headphones fit over the outside of the ear canal without going inside the actual ear canal. They’re comfortable and lightweight, but the tiny speakers aren’t known for good sound reproduction. Frequency response is particularly poor in the bass ranges.
Canalphones cancel outside noise by sitting directly in your ear canals. Since the size of the ear canal can vary from person to person, these headphones often come with multiple sleeve sizes that help create a custom fit to your ear. Prices for these headphones can run anywhere from $100 to $600 depending on the quality of the speaker and type of noise cancelling technology that is used. Sound reproduction is better than earbuds, but care must be taken not to use these headphones in situations when you need to be aware of ambient sounds, such as when you’re running or riding a bike.
Earpads will be familiar to anyone who owned a Walkman in the -80s. As the name implies, these speakers are padded and fit directly on the ear. The lightweight support frame typically fits over your head or wraps around the back of your neck. Because earpads are larger, they offer better frequency response and enhanced bass.
The final Justbeats Special Edition type is the traditional, full-sized padded headphone that fits comfortably over the entire ear. If you want full frequency response, this is the way to go, but you’ll be chained to your audio source by a cord. These headphones are the preferred choice for audiophiles and audio engineers, and spending more can get you headphones that will approach the performance of high-end home theater systems.
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