5 Factors to Consider when Buying Used Headphones

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5 Factors to Consider when Buying Used Headphones

Earbuds that come with most MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, and the like, often leave a lot to be desired, which encourages music lovers to look for better alternatives. The price of really good headphones, however, is looked upon as prohibitive by a number of buyers, and this is where buying used headphones enters the fray.

When buying used headphones, buyers have the option to turn to shops that deal in used electronics and they can also turn to online platforms like eBay, which tends to offer buyers more options than any single shop. In any case, before buying used headphones, buyers should consider five important factors, which include identifying the type of headphones they need, such as wireless connectivity or noise cancellation, the cord's length and design, and the condition of any used headphones.

1. Different Types of Headphones

Headphones are available in different styles and designs, and choosing between them is not as difficult as it may seem, especially when personal requirements are taken into consideration. Most commonly available headphones can broadly be categorised as earbuds, in-ear headphones, and on-ear headphones.


A number of MP3 players and mobile phones offer headphones as part of their standard orders, and more often than not, these are earbuds. These headphones simply sit on the edge of the ear canal, not entering it, and thereby, cannot create any kind of a seal. Earbuds are normally quite inexpensive and the inexpensive variants tend to offer poor sound quality and little, or no, noise isolation. However, sound quality does vary from model to model, with some models offering better noise cancellation capabilities when compared with some on-ear models. The bass response that is found even in good earbuds cannot match up to that found in good on-ear models, and prolonged usage of earbuds at high volumes can lead to hearing loss.

In-Ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are also referred to as canal headphones, and are among the most commonly sought after type. These headphones offer great portability given that they are light and require little storage space. They sit snugly in the ear canal, creating a seal, and most in-ear models offer reasonable levels of passive noise cancellation as well as noise blocking. Some users complain of in-ear headphones being uncomfortable when used for long periods, and if they do not fit properly, they can fall out of the ear. Variants of in-ear headphones, clip headphones, are ideal for people who lead active lifestyles or play sports, given that they stay in place by wrapping around the back of users' ears.

On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones sit over, or behind, a user's head, with speakers sitting outside of the ear, as opposed to inside of it. On-ear headphones are normally capable of producing richer low-end sounds given that they come with larger drivers, and a number of users regard them as more comfortable than their in-ear counterparts. On-ear headphones can be circumaural or supra-aural, and the table below helps to distinguish between the two.

Headphone Type



Enclose ears

Comfortable for prolonged use

Some models come with sound isolation and noise cancelling

Typically bulky


Sit on ears

Prolonged use can be uncomfortable

Smaller, therefore, more manageable

Good on-ear headphones, irrespective of the type, are capable of producing clear sound; although, when it comes to supra-aural alternatives, buyers should pay particular attention to matching the ear-cup size to their own ears, as this can have a significant effect on the overall experience.

2. What About Wireless Headphones?

When looking for used headphones, buyers in this day and age are bound to find wireless headphones, and before thinking about buying a pair, buyers should ask themselves if they really need them, given that wireless headphones are typically more expensive than their comparable wired counterparts. Different wireless headphones depend on different technologies, like Bluetooth, Radio Frequency or RF, Infrared or IR, and Kleer. This requires a buyer's attention, not only because of the compatibility factor, but also because these technologies come with different ranges and different levels of sound degradation. For example, models that rely on RF are prone to interference caused by other wireless devices but offer longer ranges, and Bluetooth headphones offer reduced interference and better sound quality, although their range is less than that offered by RF devices. Also, while RF and Bluetooth-enabled headphones do not require direct lines-of-sight, IR headphones require a direct line-of-sight to function.

3. Noise Cancellation and Noise Reduction

Noise-reduction or noise-cancellation headphones are sought out by those who do not wish to be disturbed by external sounds, such as the sound of construction, the drone of trains or aeroplane engines, or even the sound of air-conditioning units. Most in-ear models create some level of passive noise reduction by creating some type of a seal between the headphone and the user's ear. In-ear headphones, as well as closed design on-ear headphones, work better in this respect when compared to earbuds and open design on-ear models.

Headphones that offer active noise cancellation make use of miniscule battery-powered microphones that monitor and mimic sound frequencies in order to "cancel" them. The effectiveness of this technology does vary from model to model, and while some models let users turn this feature off, some others offer users this feature alone.

4. Length and Design of the Cord

While earbuds and in-ear headphones come with Y-cords, commonly referred to as double-sided wiring, a majority of on-ear headphones tend to come with single-sided cords that connect to the units' left earpiece. Some headphones offer users asymmetrical cords where the lengths of the two cords do not match, so that the longer cord can get to the other ear from behind the neck. The length of the cord, in itself, can vary significantly, and buyers looking for longer cords are better off looking for on-ear models.

5. The Condition of Used Headphones

When looking for used headphones, buyers can find headphones in different conditions, and while some may barely work, some others may be as good as new. Simply looking at a pair of used headphones should give buyers some indication of how well they have been maintained, and headphones that look worn out with torn or damaged ear-pads or frayed cords are best avoided. Being able listen through used headphones is a great way to tell just how well they have been cared for, and it can be particularly easy when dealing with local sellers.

Buying Used Headphones on eBay

eBay offers buyers a unique online platform that allows them to deal with local sellers quite easily. Sellers from all over Australia can be found using eBay, and finding local sellers wanting to sell used headphones should not be difficult. In addition, eBay users can expect to find just about all types of headphones made available in today's world, which include earbuds, in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, wireless headphones, as well as noise-cancellation headphones.

Home to scores of audio deals, eBay gives its users a simple way to look for headphones through the search box that can be found on every eBay page. Alternatively, users can turn to its extensive menu system when carrying out their searches.


People who like listening to music normally like to stay tuned while on the move, and with the wide variety of headphones on offer, buyers are truly spoiled for choice. Besides, the use of headphones is not limited to people on the move, with headphones also being sought by people who like to get their share of music without being a nuisance to anyone else at home or in the office. With MP3 players, tablets, mobile phones, and computers putting entertainment close at hand at any given time, investing in a good pair of headphones makes sense.

Thinking about buying used headphones can be a good idea, given that buyers have some great alternatives to turn to, and as long as buyers pay attention to certain factors, buying a good pair of headphones should not be difficult.

Used Headphones|Headphones|Earbuds|Wireless Headsets|Portable Electronics

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