Almost everyone has a smartphone. Though we don’t use them the same way. You may be news or social media junkie, or maybe you like to play games, or you just want a way to stay in touch with the people you know.
One thing all of our phones have in common is that they have replaced the portable media player. The way we listen to our music has evolved and streaming services have replaced the USB cable for almost everyone. And no matter how you get the music on your phone, you need a pair of headphones to listen to it best.
We have a bunch of headphone-buying guides that you should definitely check out.
Over-Ear or Under-Ear
Bigger and usually better suited to listen to music, over and on-ear headphones have fallen out of vogue as of late. Because they are a little larger than something like a set of earbuds, they have some advantages: awesome noise cancellation, long battery life, and a more “premium” sound with plenty of bass. They make for an excellent companion while traveling or listening to your favorite music or other media at home in your easy chair.
Earbuds are awesome. They usually do not offer the best sound quality so they may not be the right choice for all kinds of listening, but they more than makeup for any shortcomings with their small size and great prices.
Earbuds also come in wired or wireless and you will find that most sets will not let you add a cord on the fly like many over and on-ear headphones will. Wired models come in versions for a 3.5 mm audio jack as well as the more modern USB-C, while wireless models can have a wire between the buds or truly wireless, with each individual bud connecting over Bluetooth.
If you are looking for earbuds without the tangle of wires, you still have plenty of options. You can have a great sound and even some pretty good active noise cancellation if you do not mind paying a little extra, or you can save a few bucks and still be happy with your music or other media.
USB-C can carry the same amount of audio information as a 3.5mm analog jack as well as support digital audio and some awesome accessory modes. If you are still rocking a phone with a traditional headphone jack you will find more options than you can shake a stick at. With so many to choose from it can be hard to sort out the good from the bad.
No wires at all
Getting true stereo sound without a wire between two earbuds can be a little tricky, but there are some headphones that are able to pull it off. You will pay a little extra for truly wireless earbuds, but the convenience and extras like charging cases make up for it.