Inherently, each style is going to come with its pros and cons. We are going to break down these styles into three main categories: Sound Quality, Size and Weight, and Activity and Motion
One of the most important aspects of your new headphones is their sound quality. As a listener, you obviously want whatever you are listening to to sound good.
As a general rule of thumb, larger sound sources sound better. With that in mind, it’s a safe assumption that most headphones will sound better than most earbuds. Sound is created by vibrations in the air causing the air to move. That's why you can feel air come out of the back of a subwoofer speaker. There is not much air to move around inside of an ear bud. Because of that, they typically do not have the low end or bass response a lot of people desire.
Another thing to keep in mind is that headphones sit on your ear, whereas ear buds go inside your ear. The closer your sound source is to your eardrum, the more damage it could potentially cause. Earbuds sometimes need to be at a very loud volume in order to get the desired sound quality. This can damage your ears in the long run.
With sound quality aside, we now need to start thinking about how we are actually going to be using our headphones. If you’re like me, I’m almost always in a new spot, whether that’s working, exercising or just enjoying my time outside. Having headphones that easily transport is a very important thing.
Most wireless earbuds now come with a charging case that can fit right into your pocket. There’s no longer a need to deal with tangled wires from your earbuds being in your pocket for ten seconds. If you don’t have the case, however, the wireless earbuds can get lost pretty easily. I know from experience.
Headphones however are a bit more bulky. Even though most of them fold down, they usually require being placed in a bag to carry them, making them impossible to fit into your pockets. A good thing about a larger case however is that you can use that to pack other smaller items like cables or clips.
If you work in an office or a studio, with a dedicated desk space, packing your headphones every day might not be necessary for you. When I had my film studio, I would leave my editing headphones on a stand on my desk so that I knew where they were. They were only really used for work so keeping them at my editing desk was very easy.
Activity and Motion
One last thing to consider is what you will be doing while using your headphones. Like I mentioned before, I use headphones when I’m working or editing on my computer. I do this because I’m not typically moving around and I want to hear my sound at the great quality possible. I would not wear my editing headphones to go to the gym or go on a run for example.
Earbuds are great for when you need to be on the move. Want to go for a run? Earbuds are small, lightweight and you can barely even tell they are there. Headphones will have to sit and bounce around on your head, plus having a cover over your ear might not be desired.
Because headphones are usually larger, that means they weigh more. For a short period of time it might not seem like a big deal but over time, the weight will add up and will increase fatigue as well. Plus, getting all of that sweat and dirt in the ear cups and the leather can be a huge pain in the butt to clean out.
Today we looked at a few of the main criteria for choosing between wireless earbuds or wireless headphones. Before you make your purchase, be sure to sit down and really think about what it is that you need with your headphones. Is small and portable a concern? Is sound quality the most important thing to you? Do I want to be active in them? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you make your purchase. But at the end of the day, be sure to take time and enjoy your new headphones.