Ever since the release of the first MP3 players, it is easier for people to carry their music with them and listen to it through headphones without disturbing those around them. Using headphones also allows people to hear the music more clearly than they would if it was projected out of regular speakers. As music comes from the speakers, some of the quality gets diminished by the sound waves that are already in the air. With headphones, the music is sent directly to the ear drums with little interference.
Behind-the-neck headphones in particular are convenient because they do not get tangled in people's hair as easily and they allow users to wear a hat or helmet while listening to their music. The different models of behind-the-neck headphones vary in quality, comfort, and features.
Behind-the-Neck Headphone Specifications
Headphone models use different sizes and types of connectors, so it is important to see if it is compatible with the music storage device before purchasing one. Consider the following connector sizes.
Plug Size (mm)
Usually only found on professional audio equipment and some home stereos
This is the most common size used for computers and larger headphones
Mostly found on small devices such as cell phones and compact MP3 players
If the headphones are not compatible with the audio device, it is still not a huge concern because there are adapters available.
Shopping for headphones can be confusing when manufacturers use a lot of technical terms in their product description. In order to understand product comparisons, shoppers need to learn about the terms used in the audio industry.
Frequency response is used to specify the sound quality of the headphones. However, there is no set basis for determining the response and manufacturers tend to exaggerate their figures. The most common practice for companies is to claim that their headphones have a low bass response even on the lightweight, cheaper headsets. However, when listened to, the headphones have very little bass at all. Most experts recommend ignoring this product specification all together.
A headphone impedance is what characterises how high and low the volume can go. If the product description claims that the headphones have a lower impedance rating, then they technically can reach a higher volume. However, once again this is a rating with no industry standard, so shoppers are better off reading reviews from past customers about the capabilities of the headphones rather than paying attention to the manufacturer's claims.
Total harmonic Distortion
Look for headphones with a lower total harmonic distortion (THD). These sound better than the ones with higher THD ratings. The best headphones usually come with a rating of less than one per cent. However, the easiest way to find out how the audio sounds is to listen to a recording of an acoustic guitar. The headphones with a true lower THD rating should sound clear and undistorted.
Dynamic and Static Drivers
The drivers are the part of the speakers that make the actual noise. Headphones come with one of two types of drivers: dynamic or static.
Dynamic drivers, also called the moving coil drivers, have a cone-shaped diaphragm and they are usually the more affordable choice. They range in quality depending on the kind of material that is used for the diaphragm.
Rather than using a cone-shaped voice coil, electrostatic drivers use foil. They produce a higher quality sound and can reach higher frequency ranges with minimal distortion. They are usually only found on the higher priced headphones.
Behind-the-Neck Headphone Features
In addition to the various specifications, headphones may also come with some extra features such as wireless capabilities or noise cancellation. The following are some characteristics to consider when shopping for behind-the-neck headphones.
Some headphones have a noise cancelling feature which blocks out the external ambient sounds. They do not necessarily make it impossible to hear everything on the outside, but they do block out the noises that generally do not need to be heard, such as traffic or wind. Although this feature does cost more, it allows users to hear their music more clearly. Noise cancelling headphones also help protect the ears from damage caused by loud volumes, since too much outside noise usually makes people turn up the volume to block it out. Noise cancelling headphones reduce the need to crank up the volume.
Surround sound is a feature that is rarely included with behind-the-neck headphones simply because they have smaller speakers than full-sized headsets. This feature makes the audio sound directional. For example, one minute the drums may sound like they are behind the person, and the next they could seem to be in front.
Wireless headphones do not come with a chord because they are connected to the MP3 player, computer, or vehicle through Bluetooth. They allow people to listen to their music without the hindrance of a chord, and sometimes without carrying their music device around with them. Typically, Bluetooth has a fairly short range of operation, but it is usually still good enough that users can put the MP3 player down and move freely around a room. Bluetooth headphones come at a higher price, and there are sometimes issues with mediocre sound quality due to interference in the connection.
Probably the most important part of purchasing headphones is making sure that they are comfortable to wear for hours on end. They should fit well so that they are not continually slipping off, and they should not be too tight or they could cause a headache. Look for headphones with adjustable headbands because everyone has a difference sized head. Also look for interchangeable ear pads. Some products come with a few different pads so that users can select their own. For example, foam pads are generally more comfortable, but silicone ones block out noise better.
Reading other people's reviews is another good way to assess how comfortable the headphones are. When looking at the reviews, pay more attention to the ones from people who have owned their headphones for a while. It is hard to tell how comfortable they really are on the first day.
How to Shop for Behind-the Neck Headphones on eBay
Shopping for electronics on eBay is easy because there are thousands of products to look through, all of the reviews posted by past customers are readily available, and there are great deals on headphones and other audio equipment. Begin your shopping by typing a product name into the eBay search bar. For example, you can be general and look for something like "Behind-the-neck headphones", or if you know what you want you can be specific and look for a specific brand such as "Bose headphones". This produces a list of all the sellers who have that particular brand and model. By doing this, you can compare each seller and figure out who offers the best price. Be sure to include postage costs in the overall price.
Headphones are a great accessory to own for any audio device like an MP3 player, mobile phone, CD player, or radio. They make music more portable and help users listen to their tunes while on the go. Behind-the-neck headphones block out distractions and prevent others from hearing the music while still remaining comfortable and convenient to wear. There are multiple models to choose from that have varying sound quality and features. Shoppers can decide on the best models for their lifestyle by choosing the features that would benefit them the most. For example, people who fly a lot may prefer noise cancelling headphones, while those with Bluetooth capable devices such as the 7th generation iPod Nano should probably look for wireless headphones.
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