Wowcher’s Guide To: Earphones

Before we begin, let me ask you a quick question. If you are reading this article at work, in front of a computer screen or on your mobile or tablet, are you doing so whilst also wearing earphones and listening to music? For many of us the answer will be yes. Indeed, as this blog is being written, the melodic sounds of Supertramp’s definitive album ‘Breakfast in America’ are being delivered to my ears via a pair of Sony earbuds.

In the increasingly hectic and noisy world we inhabit, we often find the best way to focus is to block out the world and let our personal choice of music be our only aural sensation. We have become modern-day solipsists, and the earphone is our device to separate us from the external reality. Getting the right type of earphone is crucial to fully enjoying our stolen moments of isolation, away from the invasive bustle of work.

With this in mind, let Wowcher offer you a brief overview of the myriad different kinds of earphone available on the market (and periodically as part of very attractive offers on Wowcher.co.uk), cutting through the jargon to let you know what type would suit you best.

There are three basic types of earphone. They are: circumural (DJ style), supra-aural (over-ear Walkman style) and earbuds (the most popular style):

CIRCUMAURAL

These phones incorporate circular or elliptical pads that cover the entire ear, trapping the sound waves for a more complete listening experience. This style also cuts out most ambient sound from your surroundings meaning all you hear is the music. Because of the high quality sound across the frequencies, this style is often favoured by sound-engineers.

Perfect for: Serious music purists, DJs, musicians and producers.

Chimp DJ headphones on Wowcher

SUPRA-AURAL

These earphones provide both gentle comfort to the wearer and a trendy retro look. This was the style of the original Walkman headphones from the 1980s. They consist of an overhead arch (usually adjustable) and comfortable foam pads that sit on the ears, but don’t envelop them completely. Usually costing less than circumaural phones, the supra-aural design is retro-cool, comfortable and affordable.

Perfect for: retro-hipsters (and wannabes), plus those who wish to still be aware of some of the outside world whilst enjoying their tunes.

Skull Candy on-ear headphones on Wowcher

EARBUDS

This style of earphone consists of two separate small ‘buds’ that attach to the MP3 player (or other device) via separate wires and sit inside the lobe of the ear. Some models will go further down and into the canal of the ear as a method of blocking out great levels of ambient noise, but the majority just sit inside the ear, held in by the friction of their silicon pads. These phones are recognised as being more comfortable for those who wear glasses and also for anyone engaging in any vigorous and sporty exercise such as running. Earbuds represent the most popular choice of earphones and have the greatest range of prices available, making them perfect for any budget, big or small.

Perfect for: Just about everyone. Joggers, bloggers, tube and bus-riders, walkers, sitters, baby-sitters… etc.

Zip-up earbud earphones on Wowcher

Finally, in addition to the design of the earphones, you will also come across important terms which can apply to each. Wireless means the product can be used without troublesome wires, usually controlled via Bluetooth signal from a phone. Noise cancelling refers to the ability of a set of earphones to respond to the influence of ambient sound by adjusting their own sound waves in real-time, correcting what the listener hears and taking into account the interruption of the ambient noise to make the listening experience more pure… clever stuff!

So there you have it, your Wowcher guide to the world of earphones. Don’t forget that Wowcher regularly has great deals on all sorts of different earphones, from sporty earbuds to Bluetooth DJ-style phones. Time to go back to our happy place where melodies and beats help us drift away. As Rhianna so famously sang, ‘please don’t stop the music’…