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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
More commonly known as in-ear headphones. Earbuds fit securely in your ear canal and are ultra compact and lightweight. They won't interfere with earrings, hats, or hairstyles. Most earbuds offer moderate sound quality and noise isolation. Higher-end earbuds can offer high quality sound with great noise isolation but at a higher cost.
Sports Headphones
These come in many different styles. They are built for the physically active or for those who just want a secure-fitting headphone while not compromising their ultra compact and lightweight design. Sports headphones are designed to fit comfortably around your ear, neck, or head and offer similar quality as in-ear headphones.
Ear-Pad Headphones
Ear-pad headphones or on-ear headphones rest on your outer ear and are designed for the comfort in-mind user. On-ear headphones can be purchased inexpensively but also can range to the high-end. Because on-ear headphones do not cover your entire ear, they provide better ventilation for you ear than full-size headphones. On-ear headphones offer more advanced sound quality than most earbuds and sport headphones. However, they tend to be less effective in noise cancelation.
Full-Size Headphones
More commonly known as over-the-ear headphones. This style of headphone completely encloses your ear. Because of this design, full-size headphones typically offer the best sound quality and noise isolation. We recommend over-the-ear headphones for the frequent home user because of their large size. Overall, full-size headphones offer the best sound clarity, bass, and noise cancellation.

Features

Noise-Cancelling Headphones
These headphones are great for drowning out background noises. This special technology uses what's known as "antinoise" to electronically filter out and help eliminate sounds from airplanes, crowds, trains, and more. Noise-cancelling headphones prevent you from cranking up the volume and causing strain on your ear.
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 you 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 surround 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. 
Wireless Headphones
Wireless Headphones - There are two types of wireless headphones: portable and home-based headphones. Home-based wireless headphones come with large base stations but offer superior quality through Infrared and radio frequencies (RF). Portable wireless headphones are perfect for use with iPods or other audio devices. They typically use Bluetooth or RF technology to deliver sound from the device to your headphones. With both home and portable wireless headphones, you won't have to deal with annoying wires anymore.

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