Growing in popularity, promotional earbuds and headphones are being used for tradeshow giveaways to high end holiday corporate gifts. Why is there such a dsiparity in cost? Basically, quality and features. Not all earbuds or headphones are created equal.
Quality of your Earphones, Earbuds and Headphones
Earbuds come in a variety of styles and quality. As you have likely experienced when using low end earphones given out by an airline, these are not made with the highest quality materials. Earphones can range from under a dollar to over $100. This puts into play a lot of different factors.
- Quality of materials - the better quality of materials, the better the range of sound and type of sound. Making your own headphones is very possible and a fun experiment. You can actually buy the material you need at a Radio Shack - but the result will be very dissapointing. This is due to the frequency range, the response due to materials and the circuitry. A tinny sound is the result of inferior materials, cord, etc.
- Frequency range - basically, a wider frequency range means you can hear more. Large ranges such 10 Hz to 25,000 Hz are often recommended - anything within that range will be fine. The lower quality earbuds may not have the full range.
- More importantly, notice the sound curve, frequency response curve, sound signature, etc. If the low end is higher on the line graph, there will be more bass. This does not mean that the bass will be better. The curve can show a big bass response, precision, etc. This is really tweaked with on higher end headpones and earbuds.
- You generally get what you pay for. Low cost materials, engineering, sound curve, etc mean low cost to you. These do have their purposes - for example tradeshow giveaways or travel items that people are not scard of losing.
There are many types of cords. One of the best types are flat cords as they do not get tangled and usually involve a higher gauge of wire.
Many headphones and some earbuds come in bluetooth meaning no cords. They typically have a 30 foot range and have the advantage of freedom to wander. The disadvantage is that they have to be charged seperately and have their own battery built in. The biggest complaint is running out of charge while listening.
This feature is best used for noisy situations and it does add considerable cost to your headphone or earphone purchase. These are really useful for airplane travel or on noisy commuter trains. If you are simply using these in your house, this may not be a necessary feature.
In Ear vs Over the Ear
Headphones and some earphones are typically over the ear. This is a matter of preference. Some people have odd shaped ears and earbuds fall out or will not fit.
Earbuds are typically in ear and the material used to form the seal really matters. If you get a truly superior seal, they will eliminate a lot of background noise and sound more crisp. Silicone is a very good material as it has better flexibility than a simple rubberized plastic.
Built In Microphones
Simply put, this is to use your headphones for both listening to music and as a headset. This is a feature that will add to the cost of any headphone or earphone.
We do carry brand name audio equipment like Brookstone and JBL. Retail brands typically spend more on development costs and engineering, and a good rule of thumb is that you basically get what you pay for!
If you need help in choosing the right headphone, earbud or earphone for your next event, please call us at 888-332-ADCO (2326) as our sales staff can guide you through the choices available.
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