Regardless if you are buying a headphone under 200 or the best headphone available in the market, here are a few terms you will hear and you need to be aware of.
a) Noise isolation – these headphones block out external noises and sounds. These are done either using over ear and closed back types where the whole ear is encased or else there are in ear ones where the ear canal is sealed. This does not need an external power or it does not have limitation to only limited frequencies.
b) Noise Cancellation – these headphones consist of electronic chips and microphones which are embedded. Ambient noises are recorded and an inverse sound wave is created and these are fed back to the headphone and so the sound is cancelled out. This however works on low frequencies the best and is effective for frequencies of the mid-range or above. This needs battery power.
c) Total harmonic distortion is the amount of distortion which will occur when the headphones is listened to at high volumes. The lower this is, the better it is.
d) Frequency response means the range of frequencies which are reproducible. The lowest number is for the bass and the highest number is for the treble. If you want to listen to more bass, choose one that supports low frequencies.
e) Impedence means the electrical resistance measure. The more the impedence, the more the resistance and the more the power which is needed.
f) Sensitivity as well as sound pressure level mean how loud the headphones can be
g) Drivers are those that convert electrical signals to sound pressure. There are different kinds of these drivers but they all have magnets, a diaphragm and voice coils.
h) On ear headphones rest on top of the ear. The in ear ones are to be in the ear canal.