How wisely you should choose your next earphone?

By Ashiqur R.
19 March, 2022
2 years ago
7 Mins Read

Earphones! Probably it is the most important and essential thing for everyday uses. We use different earphones for different purposes. Such as we use specific earphone when exercising or running. When it is about working then the earphone is different, when we design music then we use more different types of earphone or headphones, when it is only about communications then it is different and in general we use one type of earphones. So, each of the earphones structure and working principles are different from each other. But what this article is about to clear out the basic confusion and struggles that we face every day when buying an earphone or using it. Because everyone is a society are not tech specialists. Today we’ll know which type of earphone we need actually for which purposes. So, any further delay let’s get into it.

Specification: First thing first! We know there are some specifications every kind of earphone has. But what those parameters denote that what we need to know exactly. Let’s just add an image so that it can be used as example.

earphone specification sheet

In this picture, there are several parameters. These are:

Type- Dynamic: This is the driver type of the earphone. A driver is an electrical transducer which converts variation of physical quantity into perspective electrical signal or vice versa. A driver converts electrical signal into audible sound energy. There are five basic types of driver are available such as: Dynamic or moving coil, Balanced armature, Planar magnetic, Electrostatic, Magnetostriction or boneconduction. Among all these dynamic is the easiest and cost effective method. So, this became very popular in terms of sound drivers.

Driver Diameter-9mm: The diameter of the driver/speaker is 9mm in this earphone the amount can be smaller or larger. But it doesn’t mean larger will be the better. i.e.: it doesn’t mean 50mm diameter will give better quality output than a 40mm one. Because, the engineers who designed the earphone, already tuned the best sound output from the product. So, it actually doesn’t matter at all.

Impedance-32 Ohm: This is a very important parameter but usually we have barely things to do. Some people believe that the more the impedance, more quality sounds will be experience where others say vice versa. But in reality, none is correct. Driver impedance is a parameter which denotes how efficiently the power will be delivering via the driver. If the number is lower the more efficiently the electric signal will be passing through the coil of a driver. But it has nothing to do with the quality. Only speaker impedance doesn’t work alone, here the input signal impedance is also counted. Like the best combination depends on both driver impedance and circuit impedance of the amplifier. But it was observed that higher impedance drivers deliver better quality sound, heavy bass and tuned channels. But you also need a high power amplifier for that. Otherwise, if your amplifier low impedance and driver has high impedance or vice versa the output will be very poor. The impedance should match in both cases. But usually from my very personal opinion impedance in between 16Ohm-32Ohm should deliver better output for all devices. It isn’t officially proven but EarPods are having around 40+-2 Ohm of impedance. If the source is having also that much impedance then it’ll rock the earphone with very neat and clean sound.

Sensitivity-95+-3dB: This is like the strength of the driver. The unit is measure in dB/mW, decibel per miliwatt of power. The more the sensitivity the more the signal strength becomes. Such as: Earphone A is having 90dB of sensitivity and Earphone B is having 120dB of sensitivity. Which will deliver stronger sound? Obviously, Earphone B but if connected with the same device/sources. If the sources output doesn’t match then the output will also vary. Some low budget device have very low quality audio chip/driver installed inside, it can’t deliver such higher amount of power through the audio output. But all the good quality products such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi and so on having much powerful chipset can deliver plenty amount of power through the aux output. But always remember, higher sensitivity can damage the driver and your ear in such faster way. So, according to my suggestion, from 90db to 110dB is enough sensitivity if you’re a heavy user of earphones.

Frequency Response-15Hz to 22,000Hz: This is very interesting among all. We all know an adult’s audible frequency range is 20Hz-20KHz. But it seems this earphone can go much lower and upper from the audible range. Why is that? Actually, musicians who produce music use A-class quality earphones/headphones so that every single tune can be listened and felt at the same time. Theoretically, as an adult, you can’t listen to the frequency lower than 20Hz and higher than 20 KHz but you can feel the presence of the signal playing through the drivers or speakers. Some of the Sony earphones are having frequency response of 4Hz-24 KHz. So, the wider the range is the better the earphone becomes.

Maximum Power input-5mW: Here, it is saying it can take up to 5mW of power from a device. If more than 5mW comes via an aux output such as if a laptop/desktop computer is connected with the earphone then it might get damaged because of over power. In my opinion it should be 10mW-50mW for wider range of compatibility.

Cord Length-1.2m: It denotes how long the earphone is: the length of the cord or wire of the earphone.

Plug-3.5mm Stereo (L-Type): The jack of the earphone is having is a 3.5mm regular TRS/TRRS plug. And it is L Type because the jack is look like letter L. TRS means Tip-Ring-Sleeve and TRRS means Tip-Ring-Ring-Sleeve. If there is no microphone on the earphone then it should have a 3.5mm TRS plug if it has a mic then it’ll have a TRRS plug. From down below we can easily visualize the both type.

Findings: In the last, it is suggested that always keep your volume within 60% and must use better quality original product. Because, earphone harms a lot to ear. Instantly it is not measurable but in the long run you might have to suffer a lot. And one more thing, never just buy a cheap roadside earphone, it might damage your ears instantly. If some of the names have to be mentioned then these should come in front of all: Senheiser, JBL, Sony, Audio Technica, Bose, Beats by Dre, Marshall, AKG Acoustic, Apple, Shure, Phillips, Harman Kardon, Razer and last but not the least Panasonic.

That’s it. The more about advantages and disadvantages of using earphone will come with another article someday. We’ll also discuss about the types of earphone and their applications in that article too. Till then stay safe, keep listening.