Headphones vs Earbuds | Review & Comparison

While purchasing something that fulfills your music listening requirements, you might be confused about selecting earbuds or headphones. You might think that what the dissimilarity between the both is. Most people consider them identical and have no difference.

For this, we are here to give you a comparison of headphones vs earbuds that would clarify both terms in your mind. Also, you would be able to decide which one is better for you.

Earbuds & headphones both comprise benefits & drawbacks. So, deciding between the 2 depends on your particular likings as well as how do you want to use them.

For example, if you need something compressed & convenient that would remain comfortable in your ear while exercising. A compact set of wireless earbuds is a good option for that.

On the other hand, if you want great-quality audio and just want to hunk out the whole external world proficiently, you must choose the over-ear headphones.

So, without wasting time, let’s go-ahead to recognize the comparison of headphones vs earbuds.

Types of Headphones

headphones vs earbuds

Headphones comprise on 2 little loudspeakers attached with a band. You can wear them on top of your head placing them over or on the ears.

A single person can enjoy the music listening experience privately without disturbing the other people around him. Every set of headphones might appear unalike, however, their overall construction is identical.

Commonly, headphones arrive comprising 2 basic varieties:

  • Over-Ear
  • On-Ear
  • Open-Back
  • Closed-Back

On-Ear Designs

On-ear models have a design that positions on the ears relatively than around your ears. Moreover, they are small in size as well as lightweight as compared to over-ear models.

On the other hand, you might suffer uneasiness while wearing them for extended music listening sessions. It happens because of the stress of the headphones placing on the ears.

Since they stay on your ears, they are extra inclined to sound meddling from the external world. It as well defines that high-volume audio might drip outside the headphones.

Over-Ear Designs

Over-ear models contain bigger ear cushions that cover your ears pretty than stay on them.

Moreover, they as well frequently arrive comprising additional stuffing on the circlet for coziness. On the other hand, because of their bulk & mass, they are pretty burdensome while you go on travel with them.

This kind of headphones is excellent to cover against the ear to offer noise isolation.

Open-Back vs. Closed-Back Designs

Apart from choosing between over-ear or on-ear designs, you must have an idea about whether you need an open-back or a closed-back model. For that, put a glance at the dissimilarities of both.

Closed-Back Models

Closed-back models comprise a dense enclosure on the external casing. This enclosure preserves sound within the headphones, leading it directly to the ears. Also, the sealed design as well supports trap deep tones.

Open-Back Models

Open-back models comprise a breathable & ventilated design on the external casing. It assists the air to pass through as well as guarantees that the ears don’t get perspired.

It correspondingly services to generate extra natural audio, since it removes trivial echoes. Because of their open style, though, noise isolation turns to be an issue since there isn’t any closure to preserve the sound inside.

Mostly, there are closed-back and over-ear headphone models available everywhere in the market. Still, your priority is the whole thing. We suggest you check particular dissimilar kinds of headphones to discover a set that satisfies your requirements.

Headphones vs Headsets

Looking at the design, headphones aren’t different from headsets. The single main variance is the microphone.

Similar to headphones, headsets might arrive corded or wireless. Also, they comprise a microphone connected straight to them. Besides, you can have a detachable microphone, however, it depends on the headphone type.

According to your requirements, possibly, a headset is the superior choice for you. you can use headsets while you want to practice the headphones and a microphone simultaneously. They are inexpensive as well as less massive also a substitute to practice headphones along with an outside mic.

Types of  Earbuds

Earbuds comprise on 2 compressed devices, both with their driver. They fit straight into your ear or stay on the internal portion of your ear.

You might connect them to audio instruments by a cord or through a wireless connection. It all depends on the earbud model. Their little size defines that they are matchless in words of transportability.

headphones vs earbuds

While concerning their sound quality, headphones leave behind earbuds within a similar price tag. Moreover, the design performs a major role in this respect, since earbuds consume too little space in the inside constituents.

On the other hand, particular people find earbuds very painful, but it depends on how earbuds position in your ears.

Earbuds consist of 2 types:

  • In-Ear Monitors (IEMs)
  • Standard Earbuds

IEMs fit straight into the ear canal, however, standard earbuds stay on the internal portion of the ears. Each one anticipates delivering sound straight into the ear.

In-ear monitors as well arrive including separate ear tips that provide better noise isolation. Moreover, these ear tips let you alter the fitting to regulate the size of your ear.

Additionally, they are available in the following 3 dissimilar types of connections:

  • Wired
  • Wireless
  • True wireless

Wired Earbuds

The wired earbuds connect through a wire that wads straight into an audio device.

Wireless Earbuds

Wireless earbuds connect through a wire to one another however, they wirelessly connect to an audio device.

True Wireless Earbuds

True wireless earbuds connect wirelessly to an audio device.

Comparison  | Between Headphones vs Earbuds

Headphones & earbuds both comprise their solid facts. While deciding to select one of them, firstly, you must reflect concerning your requirements from them.

You must always check the user reviews to get a good idea about the product that you want to purchase. Keep in mind that the reviews always help a lot.

Audio Quality

The most significant feature regarding a headphone or earbud is to check the audio quality. Crunchy as well as flawless sound is what everyone expects from a headset. Pitiable audio quality is certainly obvious in a listening setup.

It is difficult to give a comparison of headphones vs earbuds in the aspect of quality since it depends on the product model. Headphones & earbuds both have models that might beat the other. However, at an equal rate, headphones would commonly execute better.

So, earbuds & headphones might create perfect audio quality. Though build design might affect audio, such as larger drivers generate improved bass on headphones.

Noise Isolation

Noise isolation defines how effectively the earbuds or headphones might hunk external noise. If you have superior noise isolation, you might hear less amount of external noise from your headphones.

Usual on-ear headphones or earbuds are deliberated the poorest for noise isolation. They have a design that inhibits them to cover your ears to avoid external noise.

Over-ear, closed-back model would frequently provide the finest passive noise isolation because of their design. As the ear cushions enfold around your ears, it forms a closure that supports avoid noise from dripping in.

If over-ear models are too huge to ensemble your priority, just go for IEMs. They provide better-quality noise isolation cheers to the tips that mold as well as cover your ear canal. 


Transportability is another important factor that you must check in the comparison of headphones vs earbuds. If you like to take your earbuds or headphones with you habitually, you must purchase the small & lightweight models.

You might take your earbuds or headphones with you while on travel. But, headphones might be annoying to transport & wear because of their weight & bulk. Whereas, earbuds are manufactured to keep easy transportability in mind.

Consequently, earbuds are the finest choice to carry around and excellent for transportability. Moreover, they are small in size as well as lightweight and consume less space than headphones.


To be precise, earbuds & headphones both are harmless and safe, however, it differs depending on the way you practice them. Music listening on loud volumes for extended durations might reason injury to the ears. It happens on both earbuds & headphones.

Still, because of their design, the threat is fairly greater for earbuds. Standard earbuds convey sound straight into the ear and IEMs fit even nearer to the ear canals. For that reason, they might root extra destruction at upper volumes.

Consequently, the extended experience of upper volume levels might harm your listening ability. On the other hand, headphones are commonly the healthier choice since they are not as near to your ear canal as the earbuds are.


Comfort is another supreme feature while doing the comparison of headphones vs earbuds. Everybody likes to be comfortable during the music listening experience.

If relaxation & coziness is your preference, we extremely suggest proceeding for over-ear models. The reason is that they stay on or cover your ears rather than fixing inside your ears.

Although particular over-ear models might lay stress on the ears, their ear cushions & headband contain foam to lessen it.

For extra stuffing in the ear cushions, over-ear headphones are the finest option. Moreover, they normally arrive comprising stuffing on the headband as well that joins both drivers. It supports to lessen their heaviness while wearing on your head.


Headphones & earbuds both might have a similar price range. Moreover, both types have a different range of models. It depends on the brand & model. However, commonly, earbuds are less expensive due to their size as well as the number of constituents utilized to prepare them.

Since the cost is mainly centered on the particular model. So, you might get low-priced & costly types of earbuds & headphones both. However, great-quality headphone models are normally expensive.

Hope you recognized the comparison of headset vs. earbuds.

Headphones are Suitable for Kids     

The eardrums of a kid are in the procedure of developing at a growing age.  So, the headphones are better for them because they are safe for the gentle constructions of the internal ear.

Still, it is vital to make sure that they enjoy music listening at the volume of 82 decibels or less than that. The reason is something exceeding 85 decibels injurious for your ears.

A good substitute for that is volume-controlling headphones. These models commonly control the volume level at 85 decibels, regardless of how high the kids might try to take it up.

Earbuds  are Good for Workout

Enjoying the music during the workout might support you to make your exercise extra enjoyable. For that, we suggest you go for the true wireless earbuds as they are convenient to use for working out than headphones.

Moreover, as they are wireless & lightweight thus, you don’t need to care for wires confining your movement or pulling on your outfit.

Headphones for air travel

Air travels are long tours and might be tiring as well. Therefore, to make your journey enjoyable you must get a good set of noise-canceling headphones while going on air travel. 

Headphones are extra comfortable to wear for longer music listening sessions because of their stuffing. Moreover, apart from comfort, they as well provide noise cancellation.

Noise cancellation is an amazing feature that effectively stops the external noise.  So, you enjoy extra peaceful travel either by air or by train.

Monitor Headphones for Recording

A decent set of closed-back headphones are the finest option for recording as they present perfect noise isolation.

Monitor headphone model is a particular type of professional-level headphones that permit you to discriminate every tool. It supports instrumentalists to monitor while they play. It as well avoids sound draining which otherwise would disturb your recording.

However, if you want to do mixing, then open-back models are good because of their capability to deliver extra natural audio with noise isolation. Just make sure to do mixing in silent surroundings while practicing open-back models.

Earbuds for Commuting

For music lovers who are commuting to school or going to work, earbuds are an excellent option. It’s a preferred choice for youngsters because of its small size as well as lightweight design.

Headphones would also work, however, they are not convenient to carry around because of their large size & weight.

Headphones & Earbuds for Workplaces

Earbuds & headphones both are best to wear in workplaces or for online sessions. The choice depends on your liking as well as preference.

But, in professional situations, headsets are good options due to their built-in microphone.

Headphones for Bass Fans

You can experience the best bass using closed-back, over-ear headphones including large drivers. Big drivers produce deeper & better bass.

Headphones for Games

While analyzing the comparison of headphones vs earbuds, we come to know that for games, decent quality headphones are compulsory. Moreover, for extended usage, over-ear models provide extra comfort.

Furthermore, good communication is also essential while playing games with your mates. Consider purchasing a gaming headset including a microphone for gaming.  They comprise output & input functionality all in one.

Consequently, while deciding on earbuds or headphones for gaming, you must go for headphones.


We described a comparison of headphones vs earbuds comprehensively. Currently, you are aware of their dissimilarities as well as their features. so, make a knowledgeable verdict self-confidently.

Hope this informative article about the difference between earbuds and headphones helped you a lot. Still, if you have any queries, drop them in the comment section below. We would love to answer you as soon as possible. Enjoy your music listening experience.

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About the author

Tabi is a full-time blogger and Digital Marketer. My aim is to teach others so they can become successful entrepreneurs. I share my exclusive knowledge and experience on my Blogs.