What is the difference between earbuds and in-ear headphones?
The difference is small, yet profound
Since smartphones started ditching the audio jacks, the popularity of wireless headsets has progressively risen. When it comes to the compact earbuds and in-ear headphones, there are options a plenty, but how exactly are they different? They may look similar, but they aren’t the same. Read on to understand the difference between earbuds and in-ear headphones.
What are earbuds?
Earbuds are basically a pair of small listening devices that go into our ears. But unlike the in-ear headphones, these rest on the concha, i.e., opening outside your ear canal. Depending on their design, they might or might not have a visible stem. Many earbuds don't have this stem which lends them a more discreet look.
They connect to the supported device via Bluetooth, and are extremely lightweight, portable, and functional. Almost every small or big manufacturer these days makes a pair of earbuds so there are a variety of options available in the market at varied price points as well.
What are In-ear headphones?
These are similar to earbuds, but are inserted into the ear canals. They can be wireless or wired, and just like earbuds, are extremely lightweight, portable, and functional. They are popular for their compact size, and these days there are plenty of options available across various price points.
Difference between earbuds and in-ear headphones?
1. Ear Placement: This is the biggest difference between them and the reason why they are known by different names. Earbuds sit at the opening of the ear canals in the place which is called "Concha", while the in-ear headphones are inserted into the ear canals.
2. Passive noise-cancellation: Due to the different placements inside the ear, they provide different levels of noise cancellation. Since earbuds sit outside the ear canals, they let in more burnt sound than in-ear headphones. In-ear headphones come with silicone tips, and they sit right inside your ear canals thus they are designed for optimal passive noise cancellation.
3. Comfort: This is highly subjective as everyone's noise sensitivity and ear shape aren't the same. That said, it should be noted that both have their pros and cons. In-ear headphones sit more closely to your eardrums and seal your ears canals thus after listening for continuous hours some might feel pressure. Earbuds, on the other hand, sit on the opening of your ear and hence can be worn for longer without much discomfort.
4. Sound leakage: Earbuds sit at the opening right outside your ear canals thus they tend to leak more sound than in-ear headphones.
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