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Earbuds or headphones: Which is better?


You have recently been wanting to buy headphones with good sound quality but not quite sure whether to get earbuds or headphones. When it comes to listening to your favorite tunes, really, what’s the difference, they both provide you with sound.

Earbuds or headphones

Considering to choose earbuds or headphones can, for many, be daunting with the range of choices available. Whether it be headphones or earbuds they both come in many varieties and there are some great options to choose from on; Rtings, Headphonecomparison and

This short write-up will go on to tell you about the difference between the two, the features of each, and our picks on which is better.

Headphones & Headsets

When asking this question what headphones are, simply put it is a pair of two smallish speakers that are connected together to fit perfectly over your head. The reason for headphones is to allow a person to listen to music, audio, or loud sounds by themselves.

Headphones & Headsets

There are a number of choices you can find, which I will go further into detail below.

Noise Isolation

This is the measure of how well ambient noise is blocked out. In other words you will be less likely to hear outside noise if your high quality headphones have good noise isolation also known as active noise cancellation or passive noise isolation. On the latter, earphones/earbuds let a lot more external noise enter in. This is as a result of their design as it does not seal around the ear.

Overall for superior sound quality with the best noise isolation is the closed-back over-ear headphones. This is put down to its design which is that the earpads fit so well to your ear it creates a seal blocking any noise entering in.

Closed-back Headphones

These headphones have a hard shell on the back of the speaker drivers. Having a closed-back better keeps the audio you are listening to from escaping whilst mixing. Along with keeping it from escaping, it also keeps outside ambient sounds from coming in. Another benefit to closed-back speakers is that bass tones are often better felt.

Open-back Headphones

Open-back headphones allow for air to flow through the headphones and onto your ear through their design. This design makes it less likely that your ears will sweat. Another plus side to your ears being able to breathe in that the sound is more neutral and gets rid of tiny echoes that may otherwise be heard.

Open-back or closed-back Headphones

It must be noted however, the most commonly found on today’s market is the closed-back style, so it really comes down to your personal preference and what they will be used for which I will go further into detail below.

On ear Headphones

These headphones are often lighter because of their design and sit on your ear rather than around your ear. Another name on-ear headphones are known for is supra-aural headphones. A downside to the on-ear style is that usually, they are more prone to have outside ambient sounds leaking in.

Over ear Headphones

Over ear headphones which are often felt by many to be a lot more comfortable, come with large soft cushioned pads that sit on around your ear. These headphones have a great seal for your ear, making it harder for ambient sounds to enter. Unfortunately though, if you are one to be on the go a lot, these headphones can be a lot heavier and larger making them less compact. Over ear headphones, which are more likely to give a better sound quality than on ear, are also known as circumaural headphones.


When looking at headphones and headsets there is minimal difference between the two. Their design is very similar, the difference is however, headsets come equipped with a microphone. Headsets can be quite convenient if using a mic is needed as well, such as for gaming. It is often cheaper to buy a headset when a microphone is needed over buying headphones and additionally a microphone.


In contrast to headphones whereby two speaker drivers are connected via a headband, earbuds are two separate drivers that connect to your device. Despite the speaker drivers not being connected to one another they can come as either true wireless earbuds or have a wired connection. Comparatively speaking, the audio quality of headphones or headsets can give out an excellent sound.


On the other hand, what majorly separates earbuds from wired and wireless headphones is how portable and compact they are. The reason this is, is because earbuds have very little room for the internal components. Earbuds vs headphones, is that headphones have  bigger drivers.

Standard Earbuds

Standard earbuds sit comfortably on the inner parts of your ears.

In-Ear Monitors

This style of earbud gives you sound that goes more directly into your ear canal. In-Ear Monitors are equipped with removable ear tips for better noise isolation.

The options available for earbuds are as follows;

Wired Earbuds, both earbuds are joined by a wire leading to a jack which plugs into your device.

Wireless Earbuds, your device is wirelessly connected to your earbuds that are joined together by a wire.

True Wireless Earbuds, this is where connectivity is wireless not only to your device but also from one earbud to another


When it comes to comfort, if you were to say earbuds vs headphones, headphones generally are more comfortable.  The reason for this is the extra padding of the ear which can be breathable for airflow and the material may be memory foam.

This however, is completely a personal preference. You may be the type that prefers to have your listening experience something that is compact and easy to tuck away when not used.


To make the right choice with whether headphones or earbuds would be better for you, you should greatly take into consideration what their main use will be. Things you may want to ask yourself are things such as, is a wireless connection important to your needs or is maximum volume what you want for you to enjoy music. Our prefered headphones is a closed-back wireless headset made out of premium materials and offers better bass.

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