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Headphones Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy headphones.
Getting Started
Here at Abt we pride ourselves on delivering you the best quality audio products, so we offer a large variety of headphones with almost every color, style, and feature available. To make sense of all the different models available, we've put together a simple guide to help you choose the perfect pair of headphones.
Style
Earbuds
Earbuds
Earbuds are a very common style of headphones and rest inside the ear. Earbuds are ultra compact and lightweight, so they won't interfere with earrings, hats, or hairstyles. Most earbuds offer decent sound quality and comfort, however noise isolation is not a typical feature offered. Higher-end earbuds offer better sound quality and some form of noise isolation, though they are more expensive.
In-Ear Headphones
In-Ear Headphones
In-Ear Headphones are similar to earbuds, however instead of simply resting in your ear, they feature a design that fits inside the ear canal. With this design, in-ear headphones are the only small headphones to offer some form of noise isolation. Most in-ear headphones have some sort of material, typically made of soft silicone, which wraps around the part of the headphones that sit inside the ear. These headphones are lightweight and durable, which is why they are great for any type of headphone users.
Sports or Around-The-Ear Headphones
Sports or Around-The-Ear Headphones
Sports or around-the-ear headphones are available in a few different styles. These styles are designed to fit comfortably around your ear, neck, or head and offer a sound quality that is similar to in-ear headphones. Around-The-Ear headphones are built for the those who are physically active and for those who want secure-fitting headphones.
On-Ear Headphones
On-Ear Headphones
On-ear headphones rest on your outer ear and are designed for the users comfort. On-Ear headphones do not fully cover your ears, which helps provide better ventilation for you ears, when compared to full-size headphones. On-ear headphones also offer more advanced sound quality than smaller headphones, however they tend to be less effective in noise cancelation.
Over-Ear Headphones
Over-Ear Headphones
Over-Ear headphones completely encloses your ear, which provides utmost comfort and sound quality. We recommend over-the-ear headphones for frequent commuters or at home users because they provide better noise cancellation than smaller headphones. Overall, if you are looking for a pair of headphones that offers the best sound clarity and quality, bass, and noise cancellation, than Over-Ear headphones are the best option.
Features
Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones are great for drowning out background noises. Their special technology uses one or more tiny microphones to capture ambient sounds in what's known as "antinoise" to electronically filter out and help eliminate sounds from airplanes, crowds, trains, and more.

Noise-Isolating Headphones
These headphones are different from noise-cancelling headphones. Instead of electronically filtering out sound, noise-isolating headphones block out ambient noises before they ever reach your ear canal by using a thick piece of foam. On the upside, noise-isolating can do an equal if not better job at blocking out ambient sounds. However, noise-cancelling headphones tend to be more comfortable.

Surround Sound Headphones
If you want to feel the home theater experience without the whole house hearing it too, then choose a pair of surround sound headphones. These headphones electronically produce a sound effect in your ear. They are highly effective at delivering the best possible audio quality without purchasing an expensive home theater system. If your AV receiver or device supports Dolby Digital, you will feel a surround sound effect on any pair of headphones. If not, make sure you grab a pair of surround sound headphones.

Bone Conduction Headphones
Bone conducting headphones completely bypass your eardrum and deliver sound straight to your inner ear through vibrations in the bones in your head. These are ideal headphones for those who want to hear music clearly but don't want to drown out background noise, such as joggers who still want to be able to hear traffic when running.

Wireless | Bluetooth Headphones
There are two types of wireless headphones: portable and home-based. Home-based wireless headphones come with large base stations but offer superior quality through infrared and radio frequencies (RF). Portable wireless headphones combine style and comfort with functionality. They use either radiofrequency or Bluetooth technology to connect to the device at hand. With both home and portable wireless headphones, you won't have to deal with annoying wires that dangle and get in the way.

Microphones & Controls
Portable headphones designed for use with smartphones and MP3 players include a small cord-mounted (or "in-line") microphone, along with controls for volume, mute and track advance. However, some headsets such as the ones designed for gaming, often feature a boom-mounted microphone to facilitate voice communications during multiplayer gaming sessions.