For audiophiles, buying headphones isn’t a purchase to take lightly. A lot of time and research goes into finding the perfect pair that will deliver exceptional sounds for years to come. Are you in the market for a new pair of headphones but don’t know where to start? Want to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for your money? If so, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of how audiophiles buy headphones. In turns, you can buy your next pair of headphones confidently!
As a lover of audio, sound is the most important factor to consider when buying headphones. There are several tests you want to do before deciding on a specific pair. First, listen to music that you typically listen to on a daily basis. This will give you an idea of what you can expect when listening to your favorite tunes. If you’re a fan of soft acoustic music, the ability for the headphones to produce live and realistic sounds is crucial. For electro and dance music fans, bass is extremely important.
To get a good idea of the headphones range of sound, listen to a few old tracks. You could even listen to some classical music to get a good feel of the headphone’s range. Older music works best for this purpose because it’s not as compressed. When testing headphones, keep in mind that most take a good 50-100 hours of wear before the true sound sets in, so ask how long the headphones have been on display. This way you can get a good idea if they’ve hit their sweet spot yet.
Headphones are no good if they aren’t comfortable. This applies for both over-the-ear and in-head designs. You want to enjoy your sounds for hours on end so comfort should be a deciding factor when buying headphones. If possible, try on headphones in person and wear them for a solid 15 minutes. How do your ears feel after having the headphones on for 15 minutes straight? Did they feel heavy on your head? Was the headband properly padded for maximum comfort? No matter how great of sound headphones produce, if they aren’t comfortable, they aren’t for you.
Headphones are designed to last for years but after constant daily use, headphones are vulnerable to breaking or becoming overly worn. When buying a pair of headphones one of the first factors to consider is durability. The headphones you purchase should look and feel durable. Headphones that feel cheap or flimsy are likely just that. Check the quality of the headband and ear cups along with the connectors and overall design. You’ll also want to look at the quality of the headphone cable wire. Headphones that come with a quality cable out of the box are more likely to be well-made.
Of course, even with the most durable of headphones, accidents happen. Things break when we least need them to! Be sure to purchase headphones that come with a warranty. Most companies offer a one or two year warranty to cover breaks, defects, and other issues.
Read Online Reviews
An audiophile will rarely purchase headphones without trying them out in person, but reading online reviews helps to narrow down options. These days there are hundreds of headphones to choose from and reading what others have to say is a huge help. When looking for online reviews, keep in mind that people are more likely to leave negative reviews versus positive ones, especially on online shopping sites like Amazon. If you want true and much less biased reviews, check out sites like CNET, Head-Fi, and Macworld. There you’ll find reviews that cover factors such as cost, sound, and everything in between.
Know Where to Buy
The safest place to buy headphones is at a local vendor that specializes in audio equipment. At these stores you’re able to try on all sorts of different pairs of headphones to find that ones that deliver the comfort and sound that you seek. Unsure if there are any stores close by? Check the headphone brand’s website to see if there is a retail locator available.
If you’re unable to find a local retailer where you can try on headphones in person, the next best step is to read tons of reviews and make your purchase online. The critical factor here is to ensure that the store offers a solid return policy. This way you can return the headphones if they don’t live up to what you’re looking for. Sites like Crutchfield, HeadRoom, and Audiogon, all of which provide reasonable return policies and warranties.
These days high quality headphones can be quite expensive. No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars only to be left underwhelmed with their purchase. Use these useful tips to help you make the best decision when shopping for new headphones.
What brand of headphones are you currently using to enjoy your music? Would you recommend them to other music fans? Leave us a comment with your experiences in the section below.