Navigating the Maze of Buying Headphones, Earbuds, and Earmuffs

Purchasing a good listening device to use every day can be a daunting task. There are so many name brands and features to choose from it’s like a puzzle, and without a lot of research, consumers can get lost in the labyrinth.

There are many reasons people purchase listening devices, including leisure time at home and hearing protection at work. Some of the most important things to think about before purchasing a device are convenience, protection, and cost. This article contains some helpful information to help you explore some of these important matters when acquiring headphones, earbuds and earmuffs that you will be using every day.

Convenience: EarBuds vs. Headphones

There can be no doubt that convenience is the main reason anyone might purchase earbuds or headphones, but which is the most convenient?


Earbuds are more durable, easier to use and easier to conceal than headphones.  These lightweight devices can are transported easily to any venue be it work or play. Worn while running good quality earbuds will stay in your ears and not fall out. For running or working out in the gym, you can purchase earbuds that are sweat resistant. These earbuds are specially designed to block out the wetness of sweat. It is recommended by that earbuds which “nestle gently in the ear hole” are best and that you might want to consider rubber tips instead of plastic ones as they will not irritate the ears as much.

However, earbuds do have drawbacks. These include being quite annoying to the ear canal of some users and that once they start not to work properly, they become unusable quickly.


Here on Technie State you will find a wonderful resource to utilize to help you navigate the maze of different pros and cons of any electronic product. So, we decided to help make your buying experience of a new set of headphones a great one. We recommend sticking with corded headphones to have the best quality listening experience due to hissing and other background noises that can bleed over and deaden the sound.

Even with our help, finding a pair of headphones for your pleasurable use can be difficult. There are hundreds of brands on the market today, and they come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. One thing to think about when obtaining your headphones is whether portability is important to you. Some headsets come in foldable models and when purchased Bluetooth enabled for your cordless pleasure.  Headphones can last much longer than earbuds and are fantastic for use in a studio. They offer great sound isolation and can make the person feel like they are in their own little world.

Headphones have two major drawbacks, they can be dangerous to your hearing if used improperly, and they can cause headaches. To avoid these problems, the Mayo Clinic advises listening to headphones at a reasonable level and removing them often to relieve the pressure on the temples. One last con is that headphones aren’t as fashionable to wear in public as earbuds and can take up a lot of space when packing a suitcase or backpack.

Protection: Earmuffs

Many people do not realize that there are two different types of headphones, those worn as protective gear in a noisy work environment and those that enhance the listening joy of your favorite music.

Protective Gear

Employers of noisy work environments are required by United States law to supply their employees with training on hearing safety as well as headgear of different types. However, if you are going to buy your own set to use at work, then there are several things to consider in purchasing a good pair of earmuffs. Hearing loss is a leading cause of disability caused by employment, and this danger should never be taken lightly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines that all employers are required to meet to protect their workers from noise hazards, and it is important to consider them when acquiring your device.  One of the most important recommendations is those advising workers is always to choose earmuffs that fit properly. They need to cover your ears completely to minimize exposure to work noise and fit snugly around your head. They also should have their ear cushions replaced periodically to ensure a good seal. Earmuffs don’t have to be all work no play. Today’s styles include Bluetooth enabled sets and that offer the ability for you to answer your cell phone or talk on the radio with your team leader without using your hands.


By far the least expensive option of the three choices between earbuds, headphones, and earmuffs are earbuds. They range anywhere from $1-$10 or more and can be found at almost any store online or in person. Bought with the Bluetooth feature, the cost of these devices increases significantly to around $200.  You can have them custom made so that they mold for your specific ears, but again the cost soars with this option.  

As with purchasing any other product, headphones come in a wide range of prices depending on the quality you are looking for. Some are inexpensive with prices running from $10-$50 for standard models. This option offers adequate sound quality. The headphones offering the superb quality and longevity are reported to be Bose headphones (available at . The cost of this brand of headphones can be prohibitive, with prices beginning at $179 and ranging up into the hundreds of dollars. Although these devices can be very pricey, the listening experience has been described as miraculous.

Buying a listening device that is right for you is a matter of matching up your needs with how much you can afford. Do some shopping around and remember the tips this article has given in your decision making. The correct decision can bring you many hours of listening enjoyment and safety both at home and at work.

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