Buying headphones can be a challenge for those who want to listen to music with quality sound, but do not understand much of the technical specifications of the device. Often, the purchase is made blindly, with the indication of friends, confidence in the brand, or simply because it is a beautiful model and with good quality at first sight. To help those who identified with the situation, we are going to clarify the main specifications needed to choose a phone and find out which ones actually meet your needs.
Sensitivity measures, in practical terms, the volume that the phone can reach. The number found on the package means that for every milliwatt of power, it delivers a certain number of decibels. This factor is measured in dB SPL (sound pressure level decibels) and it is good to keep in mind that starting at 85 decibels, the sound is already loud enough to cause hearing damage.
It is not necessary to plug the headphones into the outlet to make them work, but they work through electricity. That’s where the impedance comes in, acting exactly like resistors. This measure is not only responsible for protecting the internal systems of the device, but also for preventing the sound of the vibrating frequency of electrical energy from interfering with the sound of the music being heard. As a general rule, the higher the impedance, the better the sound quality.
Who loves to listen to the music as loud as possible, may have already gone through the unpleasant situation of the phone starting to break even with the wires intact? This is because, many times, the maximum volume capacity of the device asks for much more energy than the maximum power of it can handle – which causes the speakers to fail over time.
The diaphragm of a headset is basically the speaker. There are many types, each with its specific characteristics, but the goal of all of them, in the end, is to have the ability to perfectly reproduce any type of sound. There is no one diaphragm model that is better than the other in all of its features, but different people will like different types.
The dynamic diaphragm is the most commonly found. It is the cheapest among the existing types and has a good sound amplitude. It can reproduce various types of frequencies. This is the classic speaker that resembles a cone, usually found in earbud-style headphones. Called the ‘Moving Coil due to the movement of the speaker to produce the sound, they have the characteristic of maintaining a more linear sound than the other types.
Electrostatics, on the other hand, are the type of diaphragm present in the most expensive headphones, and it is not without reason. They are highly technological, consisting of a very thin film between two electrodes. They are delicate and need more energy than the other types to function, which also results in more expense for companies, which need to ensure that this extra energy does not harm the user.
In terms of sound, electrostatic diaphragms are known for their ability to achieve various types of bass and treble, to have a clean sound, and for the almost absolute absence of any sound distortion signal. A bad point is that precisely because they are thin and light, they cannot reproduce the bass very intensely.
There are also headphones with balanced armor diaphragms that, in most cases, make up the in-ear headphones, those with the silicon tips, which are actually placed inside the ear and help to cancel all the sound around. The reason for this is precisely the size of the diaphragm, which is the smallest of all. As they cannot safely reproduce very high or very low sounds and some models even have three or more in each earphone it has been slowly losing market share and has started to be used more in hearing aids
In short, the main items that should be observed when purchasing a headset are the type and number of diaphragms (also called drivers), impedance, and sensitivity. The other characteristics are important, but these three are the most responsible for the device to have the desired performance and the longest possible lifetime.