Weighing the lighter vs heavier
Choosing the right tool for the job can help you be more productive, save time or money, or in the case of school headphones, can make a world of difference for student learning. Just as you’d choose a finishing hammer over a sledgehammer for completing a cabinet, headphones are similarly made with different features and construction for varying purposes.
For the purposes of comparing apples to apples, bear in mind that the 3060 series are stereo headphones, while the 2924 series is available in stereo or monaural models. While each is used in classrooms, libraries, language & computer labs, consider how often they’ll be used, and expectations for their overall durability. In general, more material means a stronger and longer lasting headphone (which is also reflected in the length of their warranties; 3 months for the 3060 vs 2-years for the 2924).
Beginning with the cord connection with the earcups of each headphone, consider the differences of the earcup itself to highlight their designs and purposes by looking at each headphone (without their respective earpads) in the images below. The larger earcup on the 2924 is beefier than the 3060, and the speaker itself is protected by slotted grilles to prevent accidental perforation by a pencil or unfolded paper clip. Since the 3060 is lighter and smaller, some find this more comfortable, or less obtrusive. The trade off however is since its earpads sit “on” rather than “around” the ear, not as much ambient noise will be blocked out. Reducing ambient noise is an important consideration with hearing protection.
Earcups and speaker grilles of the 2924AVPV (left) and the 3060AVS (right).
Another point of differentiation between the two is how the cord is connected with the earcup itself. The cord on the 2924 (below left) is reinforced with “flex points” at the junction with the earcup to alleviate wear on the cord itself by repetitious bending. There is also an additional flange in the cord of the 2924 to trap the exterior casing of the earcup, preventing it from loosening or pulling out. Inside the earcup of the 2924 itself, the wire is then tied off in a granny knot to ensure wires won’t be loosened. The cord on the 3060 is not as thick as the 2924, which helps keep its cost down.
Triple reinforcement on the cord of the 2924 and 3066 series (left) helps avoid loose wires or eventual pull out from the earcup.
So which is the “best” headphone? It depends on your budget and how it will be used, or staying with the hammer metaphor, if you’re building a tree-house or a cabinet will determine if you use a framing hammer or a finishing hammer.
Click here to read the second article in the series, which focuses on the importance of slotted earcup baffles. To read about performance features to look for (the third installment in the series), click here.