Many people find it difficult to differentiate between headphones and earphones.

These terms seem quite similar as they also serve similar purposes.

However, these two are different products.

If you want to know the difference between headphones and earphones, keep on reading.

The difference may help you understand your personal preferences too.

Headphones vs Earphones:

What are Headphones?

Headphones refer to a pair of speakers that are attached to a band. The band goes at the top of the head of the users.

Headphones are more expensive compared to earphones. That’s why you’ll find many of them offering high-quality performance too.

The quality of earphones might not always be as good as headphones. It allows users to enjoy music by converting electrical signals to sound.

This pair of small loudspeakers are an excellent way to enjoy listening to anything that you like. They make it possible for us to enjoy some alone time with ourselves while being with others.

Headphones are available in the market in different sizes and prices.

All of them offer features according to users’ demands. Here are some of the features you can look for while buying the headphones:


The headbands are among the essential parts of your headphones. It can connect the ear cups together and help in keeping them in a position.

If you are looking to buy new headphones, don’t forget to consider the headbands. They may impact the performance and the overall quality of the headphones.


Though they are mostly ergonomics, cushions are important for damping /tuning the headphones.

They can provide the sealing around your ear in numerous headphones.

Moreover, cushions are made of various types of materials. Some may be good for bass response and isolation. Additionally, others may be effective in feeling on the skin and breathability.

Ear Cups:

The ear cups are responsible for hosting the drivers and electronics of your headphones.

Active noise-canceling headphones have microphones in the exterior or interior of the ear cups. Within the ear cups, there is also an active circuit for producing “anti-noise” signals.

The cups can be designed with either closed or open backs. They let the air enter or exit easily.

What are Earphones?

The earphones are designed quite the opposite of the headphones. They are made for sitting in the ear canal.

They are known for providing an even more direct connection to the source of the sound.

They can move less air compared to headphones. That’s because they are required to vibrate a small amount of air within the auditory canal.

Earphones are quite different from traditional headphones. Many people prefer buying earphones instead of headphones due to the convenience they offer. Mostly, they are preferred by gym-goers, athletes, and runners.

On the other hand, however, some users consider them uncomfortable to wear. Hence, it’s all about personal preference and comfort. Here are some of the features that you can consider while buying the best earphones for yourself:

Acoustic System:

The acoustic refers to the earphones’ design. A closed acoustic system can prevent the sound from passing through the earphones outside.

However, in the case of an open acoustic system, it doesn’t stop the noise from passing. It means that others might be able to hear what you are listening to.


Impedance means the resistance of the earphones’ circuit to the electrical signals. If there is more impedance, the electric signal will be less.

As a result, the level of production will also be lower. In many cases, less impedance is preferred in earphones. It is measured in Ohms.


Sensitivity tells how much sound can be produced by the earphone for one milliwatt of the electrical signal. You will experience higher sound if the sensitivity is higher.

Generally, the sensitivity of earphones ranges from 80 to 110 dB. It is one of the important features that you should consider while buying earphones.

Difference between Headphones and Earphones:

Below are mentioned some more points to help you understand the difference between headphones and earphones. So, keep reading:

Headphones are designed in a way that they cover the users’ outer ear.

However, the design of earphones is quite different because it goes inside the ear. However, using earphones for a long time can be harmful to the ears.

Compared to earphones, headphones are at a lower risk of harming you.

Since they can actually go inside our ears, which may cause more harm to our health. Because of the design of earphones, the sound can increase from 6-9 decibels.

Another difference between the headphones and earphones is the volume of both. If you are using headphones, you may not want to increase the volume.

Furthermore, the outside noise would also not disturb the users due to effective noise cancellation. You may not find the same level of noise cancellation in earphones.

When it comes to convenience, though, earphones are a better choice. Many of the earphones include a mic as well.

The users who prefer listening to music while doing their tasks may find earphones more feasible. They are easy to handle while working, walking, running, etc.

Size is another important feature that distinguishes earphones and headphones. Earphones are very less in size, regardless of the brand.

Headphones, on the other hand, are quite big for the users.

The size of headphones is among the reasons why they are not preferred by users.

Many people may not use such a big device that may hurt their heads if not designed comfortably.


We hope that you learned the difference between headphones and earphones.

Both of the products are designed to serve the same purpose, a good sound quality.

However, they offer different features and convenience levels. If you want to listen to music while exercising or running, you may consider buying earphones.

However, they may not provide as good noise cancellation as headphones. They may also be harmful to the ears as they go inside them.

Headphones come with a lot of different features. They let you enjoy music with quality performance.

However, they are quite big and may not be effective for a workout session.

They are said to have a small amount of air around our ears. They can help you enjoy music outside and keep it to yourself only. 

Thank You. Happy Listening!