Learning About Headphones & Headsets

Everybody uses headphones. They’re easy to use – just put them on and listen right? Using them should be and usually is that simple, but not always. While their use is probably more common than any other piece of audio equipment, there are subtleties behind the design of many features found on headphones and headsets which can help determine what’s “best” for your expected needs. While some features may not be readily apparent, they can have an effect on day-to-day classroom uses, so make sure the most appropriate model is selected for the job at hand. Think of it as choosing the most right tool for the job. You wouldn’t normally choose to use a high-performance race car to go off roading or wear sandals to go hiking in the snow just as you wouldn’t select expensive active noise-canceling headphones for story time in a pre-k listening center.

This series of articles explores some of the knowns and not so well known aspects to help you make a more informed decision about your next set of headphones or headsets. (A headset is simply a headphone with a boom microphone. Or in describing the biggest difference between a headphone and a headset, a headphone is used only for listening while you can listen with a headset, but you can also speak into it.)

If reading this series of articles was useful to you, read another series of articles about Portable PA gear and how to operate them.










Helping teachers and students with educationally appropriate classroom AV equipment since 1947.