Headphones vs Speakers

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When you’re planning to listen to some music, you’ll want to create the best listening experience that you can. Depending on the mood and genre, it might be lights out and candles on, or it could be headphones on and volume up if you’re listening to something a little more active.

But when you’re listening to music, should you listen to it through your headphones? Or would the experience be between if you listened to the music through a good set of wall speakers instead? Well, here are a few of the things that you’ll want to note down as differences between the two.

Headphones vs Speakers

The truth is that many people will have varying opinions on which is better. For audio quality, most people tend to agree that speakers are the better choice of the two. But of course, headphones have a level of portability and seclusion that makes them more attractive depending on what you’re looking for.

Both speakers and headphones have been around for a long time, and in recent years it seems like headphones have increased a lot in terms of popularity. But is their rise in use warranted, or should you be spending more time and investment on speakers instead?


Speakers – Audio Quality

Many people think that if you’re going to spend a decent amount of money on one of these two, then the better option would be to get a good speaker setup. And contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your own set of speakers at home.

The truth is though that to really make the most of your speakers, then you need to spend a bit of time getting everything in place. The positioning of your speakers in any room is paramount to the quality of it’s sound, and everything needs to be placed in the right position for you to truly benefit from a good speaker setup.

Whilst a set of headphones can be simply bought and used, this isn’t really the case if you want to get the best out of your speakers. Sure, a set of headphones might be better than a cheap wireless speaker alone. But, many think that headphones can never match the quality of a full sound system with many different speakers in place.


Can headphones cause ear problems? (Pain, Tinnitus etc)

One of the main concerns about people wearing headphones is that in the long term, it might end up causing permanent damage to your ears. Whilst you should be fine if you listen to music at a sensible volume, if you use headphones at a loud volume every day then this may have an effect on your hearing. But how loud should you listen to your headphones at?

It’s also worth noting that in the workplace, an employer must start considering the noise of the environment if it’s any louder than 80 decibels. So, this can give us a good reference point to say that you shouldn’t listen to music louder than this for any extended period of time. Whilst many people will probably be fine doing this, you don’t want to take any risks in damaging your hearing.

Headphones – Location

Another thing that you’ll need to consider with headphones is where exactly you’re going to use them. If you use you headphones in a quiet room, then you’re going to be able to take advantage of the silence that surrounds you. This is one of the benefits of headphones – you don’t need to worry about your location as much, as they’re so close to your ears that you aren’t generally bothered by an external sounds.

With speakers, you do need to think about your environment when you use them. If you live in a block of flats, then you’re going to be affected by noises from other areas. But this is true with headphones too. Although you can use them portably when you’re out and about, you’re definitely going to be affected by the environment around you – the train, for example.

Headphones – Portability

This bring us onto the portability that you get with headphones that you just won’t get with speakers. Obviously, because you need to be conscious of those around you. The only real area where I’d say headphones would be the beneficial option is if you’re going to be on the go a lot, as a good set of headphones is a lifesaver in this scenario.

In fact, this is one of their main uses nowadays – to stop other people hearing what you can hear with your headphones. And noise cancelling headphones have come on a long way in recent years, and we’re now at a point when they really can minimize any sound leakage out of your headphones, which is great.

Headphones – wired vs wireless

Another thing worth thinking about with headphones is the style of headphones that’s going to be used. With more and more wireless options being available nowadays, it seems like there’s going to be a massive shift in preferences, with many people not using wired headphones any more.

But the truth is that if you want the best in terms of audio quality, then a set of wired headphones is still going to be the way forward. Why? Well, because a wired connection still carries over a connected wire easier than it does wirelessly. So if you do decide to go with headphones, then for optimum audio quality, you’ll want to get a wired pair to enjoy your music fully.


In conclusion, it’s pretty fair to say that both speakers and headphones have their place in the world. If you want to listen to music when you’re at home, then it’s very difficult to beat a good speaker set up with a nice subwoofer to deliver the bass. But headphones can be good too, and obviously you get the added element of portability that you don’t really get with a set of speakers. In conclusion, both speakers and headphones can be a better choice, and it all depends on your circumstance.

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