Compare headphones: In-ears, on-ears & over-ears

In the subway, at work, while jogging or lounging on the sofa, headphones are a great way to listen to music. With so many designs, features and sound signatures to choose from, it’s a good idea to compare headphones to find the model right for you. Read on to learn more!

In-ear headphones: For active lifestyles

In-ears are the smallest type of headphones. They show their strengths especially when you are on the move. Even when you are jogging, the small earphones that are inserted into the ear canals usually have a good fit. They can also be stowed in your trouser pocket. The compact design of the earplugs is possible because the distance between the headphone membrane and the inner ear is very small. Accordingly, low energy input and small movements of the membrane are sufficient to achieve a volume that is clearly perceptible to the listener. Another advantage of the “in-ear” version is the good isolation against external noise. However, this presupposes that the in-ears sit well in the ear canal because only then do they close it. Otherwise, sound will escape outside.

And what about the sound quality? That depends on the situation: In-ears, which are often available as accessories for smartphones and MP3 players, are often not very good. But they can produce great sound even in a small headphone room. With high-quality products, even small drivers can reproduce the entire frequency range. Here, the closed system that is created in the ear has a particular advantage: a strong bass response can be produced with low membrane excursion.

Move BT in Ear
Move BT earphones with splash-proof protection

Test the difference for yourself with our headphones and earphones

Pamper your ears: Over- and on-ear headphones

The second subgroup is the headphones. These are not pushed into the ear canal but are placed on or around the auricle. Bow headphones can be divided into on-ears and over-ears:

•    On-ear headphones: As the name suggests, on-ear headphones are designed with smaller ear cups that rest on the ears instead of enveloping them. The headband exerts just enough pressure to keep the ear cups from slipping off and creates a seal for better noise isolation and sound quality. The ear cups provide enough space for on-device controls such as on/off and skip track buttons.

•    Over-ear headphones: These largest of headphone models envelope the entire ear. The roomier design allows room for larger drivers. Depending on the material used, the ear cups can also serve as a resonating chamber for the bass. Over-ear headphones come in three basic designs: Open, closed and semi-open. This refers to the amount of air that can pass into the ear cup and will influence the sound signature. Open over-ear headphones general produce wonderfully transparent sound and come the closest of all headphones to reproducing an authentic stereo image. Semi-open and closed designs can also produce a fantastic bass response. Larger ear cups leave room for on-device controls.

Teufel MASSIVE product image
Our MASSIVE headphones never disappoint when it comes to immersive sound experiences.

MASSIVE: The above-pictured headphones are over-ear, closed hi-fi headphones for DJs, musicians and everyone who appreciates deep, resonant bass. The new Massive comes with an even more powerful sound and new robust hardware elements.

MOVE BT: The sound of these in-ear headphones is differentiated, the basses are powerful and they fit in the ear is perfect – you could hardly wish for better companions for your ears.
AIRY: The AIRY from Teufel connects to all smartphones (iOS, Android, Windows etc.), PCs, Macs, MP3 players that have a Bluetooth interface. Everything that is played back will also sound in the AIRY. This works with iTunes, Google Play and other music players as well as sounds from all apps, with beeps, video sound etc.

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On-ear, over-ear or in-ears: Does size matter?

As so often in life, there is no clear answer here. It does and it doesn’t, which is why it’s so important to compare headphones individually. Quality audio manufacturers produce headphones in all sizes that offer outstanding sound. Different designs, however, will lead to differences in sound. In-ears can really shine when it comes to bass, a quality that is important with certain genres of music. They will be less effective when it comes to creating an “airy” sound.

On- and over-ears score points when it comes to creating a spatially differentiated sound. One of the reasons for this is that the sound waves move within the auricle as in natural auditory perception before they enter the auditory canal. This has a particularly positive effect on concert recordings as well as jazz and classical music recordings. Voice reproduction also sounds more natural when there is air between the diaphragm and the pinna, as with on-ears and over-ears.

If you want to learn more about our Bluetooth headphones, then have a look at the category Bluetooth headphones. There you can find information about all models and learn more about Bluetooth headphones.

More headphones from Teufel

Coda: Compare headphones to find the right pair for you

•    Headphone designs can be divided into three basic categories: In-ear, on-ear and over-ear
•    In-ear headphones are a good choice for active lifestyles thanks to a snug fit and easy storage
•    In-ear headphones are also a good choice for those who listen to a lot of hip hop and electronic music
•    On and over-ear headphones feature larger ear cups that either press against or cover the ear
•    Over-ear headphones can be open, closed or semi open depending on how much air circulates into the ear cups
•    Both on-ear headphones and over-ear headphones produce an airier sound than in-ears. This makes them excellent choices for classical music, jazz and some rock genres.

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