Headphones Specification – Read to Understand

There are many factors to consider when you would like to choose good headphones, whether a type of headphones such as over-ear, on-ear, in-ear. Or style: open-back, closed-back, or semi-open. Including the specs of headphones that music lovers need to understand. And another thing that you can’t forget is, of course, the price (though probably not 100%). Expensive headphones will have better built-quality and sound quality than cheap headphones. However, as I said, it’s not all. We can find a pair of affordable headphones with sound quality pleasing to us.

When it comes to the specification of headphones, what’s it?

How we should choose the specification of the best headphones?

First of all, we need to know how to read the specs of various headphones.

Normally, the specification should be on the box, in the manual and also appear on the manufacturer’s website and including website reviews.

Here is a list of specifications that buyers should know before purchasing a new set.

  • Frequency Response
  • Impedance
  • Sensitivity
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
  • Sound Pressure Level (SPL)
  • Maximum Input power

Frequency Response (kHz)

Frequency response is one of the headphone technical specifications that you must be familiar with. The frequency response is the range at which headphones can produce sound. This value indicates the frequency range of headphones.

Frequency response is one of the headphone technical specifications that you must be familiar with. The frequency response is the range at which headphones can produce sound. This value indicates the frequency range of headphones.

Usually, look at the lowest frequency (bass)

20 Hz +/- is the range that most headphones can do.
1-19 Hz is the range that some headphones (high-quality) can do and humans can’t hear as much as they feel it.

Next, high frequency (treble)
The frequency above 20,000Hz is not always detectable for someone

  • 20 Hz +/- is the range that most headphones can do.
  • 1-19 Hz is the range that some headphones (high-quality) can do and humans can’t hear as much as they feel it.

Next, high frequency (treble)

The frequency above 20,000Hz is not always detectable for someone.

Sometimes, you maybe see things like “dB” +/-. Don’t worry, the means is how the sound differs from a natural sound or sometimes call as “flat sound” (accurate original sound recording). This number is even closer to zero, the headphones can reproduce to closer to the original sound.

Impedance (Ohms)

Impedance is one of another term that is often seen and you should be known when you think about buying new headsets.

Is the sum of the resistance of the headphones. The meaning is so straight, the greater value gives more resistance.

First, the impedance between 5-40 Ω: These headphones are suitable for use with portable players such as iPod, iPhone, iPad, mobile, or portable music players.

Second, the Impedance between 30 – 80 Ω: These headphones that can be used with Laptops or mobile phones, but need to adjust to a bit high volume. If using with portable amp, The sound produced will with fully detailed.

Next, the Impedance between 50 – 300 Ω: These headphones will start with an over-ear style. It is a pair of headphones that are designed to be used with high-power players or amplifiers. Otherwise, the sound is strange and keen.

last one, Impedance: 150 – 600 Ω: Headphones in this group must use only the amp. The advantage is that if used with a compatible device, the sound will be great. The disadvantage is difficult to drive sound out or requires a lot of equipment and most are expensive.

Sensitivity (dB)

Sensitivity is another spec you should know about headphones. In a nutshell, It’s concerning sound power. The sensitivity rating, define as a decibel level (dB). And most headphones have a sensitivity-range between 85dB to 105dB. However; please be careful! the sensitivity above 100dB can damage human ears in a short time. So, this is what to consider if that sound is near your ear less than 1-inch. Normally, your ear will start damage after listening to music at 90dB for 8hrs, 100 dB for 2hrs, and 120dB for less than 8-min. However; headphones with higher sensitivity are more power and providing a lot of sounds easier for listening.

In truth, headphones with sensitivity are lower, the more difficult to use, and require a strong power amp to drive the sound when actually used. High sensitivity headphones produce better performance with less power. However; if you turn the volume to max, the result is may damage your ears.

Total Harmonic Distortion or THD

This spec, total harmonic distortion, or THD, less is better. The less of THD is the lower distortion of headphones. A high value of THD means that the headphones tend to be more distorted at low volumes.

Generally, headphones should have a total harmonic distortion level of less than 0.1% and most headphones have a rating between 0.1% – 0.005%. Even with noise-canceling headphones, you still hear some voices from the outside environment. In a nutshell, total harmonic distortion, lower is better. So if you buy a new set, consider THD to get as close to zero as possible.

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)

Nearby to sensitivity, the sensitivity is all about sound power, but the SPL is all about maximum dB level, which those headsets will output. The SPL will be shown as dB SPL/mW, or dB/mW. In general, currently most headset and earbuds with a rating between 85 to 125 dB SPL/mW range.

Maximum input power

I will explain easily to understand this spec. The maximum input power means the maximum power source that the headphones can support and is measured in kilowatts (or mW). Perhaps, the company not show the maximum input power on its product packaging or specs manual. But, you should be to find this information from the company’s website. So, you should know the maximum input power of products to be close to your source power supply.

Conclusion

What are we would like to here? The answer is we want to consider whether or not you need to use headphones amp with your headphones to get good sound results. Commonly, not. But sometimes you need it.

 

Leave a Comment