Earbuds vs. Over-the-Ear headphones

Which Should You buy

If you’re looking for anything to meet your audio demands, you might be thinking if over-ear headphones or earbuds are the best option for you. What’s the difference, after all? For some, they appear to fulfil the same function.

Aside from deciding between earbuds and over-ear headphones, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the numerous brands available and what they have to offer in terms of functionality and style.

Over-ear headphones

Headphones are made up of two tiny loudspeakers linked by a band. They are worn on top of the head, either on or over the ears. Their aim is to let a single individual to discreetly listen to an audio source. Each set of headphones may appear different, yet they are all made of the same materials.

Over-ear headphones (also known as circumaural headphones) have broad ear pads that encircle rather than sit on the ears. They also frequently have additional cushioning on the headband for comfort. However, due to their size and weight, they can be rather inconvenient when travelling. These headphones are ideal for noise isolation since they seal against the head.


Earbuds are two little gadgets that each have their own driver. They can either be inserted straight into the ear or rest on the inside of the ear. Depending on the model, they can connect to audio equipment through cable or wireless connection. Because of their tiny size, they are unrivalled in terms of portability.

Over-ear headphones outperform earbuds at the same price range in terms of audio quality. Earbuds have significantly less space for internal components, therefore design plays a key role in this. Earbuds can also be unpleasant for certain people, depending on how they fit in their ears.


Sound quality

Sound quality is one of the most crucial aspects to consider. Everyone wishes for crisp, clear sounds. Poor sound quality is unmistakable in any listening situation.

It’s difficult to compare the quality of over-ear headphones with earbuds because it depends on the model. Both over-ear headphones and earbuds have versions that exceed the other, but at the same price range, over-ear headphones typically outperform earbuds.


Portability might be a decisive factor depending on your lifestyle. If you intend to take your over-ear headphones or earbuds with you on a daily basis, they should be compact and lightweight.

On-the-go use is possible with both over-ear headphones and earbuds. Over-ear headphones, on the other hand, might be difficult to carry and use due to their size and weight. Earbuds, on the other hand, were created with mobility in mind.

Noise isolation

Sound isolation assesses how well over-ear headphones or earbuds filter out ambient noise. The stronger the noise isolation, the less noise you can hear outside of your over-ear headphones.

Standard earphones are thought to be the weakest in noise isolation. Their design prevents them from sealing against your ears and so blocking out outside noise.


When it comes to over-ear headphones and earbuds, comfort is crucial. Nobody likes to be uneasy when listening to music.

If comfort is a top consideration, over-ear over-ear headphones are the way to go. This is due to the fact that they lay on or around the ears rather than inside them. While certain over-ear headphones can still put strain on your ears, the ear cushions and headband include foam to assist alleviate the pressure. However, you should also examine the padding material of the over-ear headphones, as well as whether or not it allows for enough ventilation.


Over-ear headphones and earbuds are both technically safe, however this might vary depending on how you use them. Listening to music at excessive volumes for extended periods of time might harm your hearing. This is true for both over-ear and earbud headphones.

Earbuds, on the other hand, pose a somewhat larger danger due to their design. IEMs lie even closer to your ear canals than standard earbuds, which transfer sounds straight into your ear. As a result, in greater quantities, they might do more damage.


With both over-ear headphones and earbuds, the price may be quite similar. Each kind contains models that are on different extremes of the spectrum. It truly depends on the model, but earbuds are typically less expensive due to their size and the quantity of materials required to create them.

Earbuds or over-ear headphones? Which should you choose?

The essential question. Finally, the decision between headphones and earbuds comes down to your lifestyle and personal preferences. To assist you, here are some ideas for what can work well in each circumstance.

Over-ear Headphones can be used for a variety of purposes, including for children, air travel, audio mixing and recording, bass enthusiasts, and gaming.

Earbuds, on the other hand, may be used while working out, for commuting, at workplaces, and during online classes.

Choosing between headphones and earbuds may be difficult. You can confidently make an educated selection now that you understand their distinctions.

Author Bio – Vivek Roy is an enthusiastic Tech and gadget blogger from India. He loves to share tips and news from all around the world. For more information about him visit his website Leaf Studios.