Types of headphones In 2020

Truth is headphones comes in different shapes and sizes. What may fit one person may be different in your case. It is because of this reason you should know the different kinds of headphones so as to allow you make informed decision on which type of headphone fits you best.

Types of headphones.

  • Over-ear
  • On-ear
  • In-ear earbuds
  • Earphones
  • Bone conduction


Over-Ear Headphones

The Over-ear are in terms of size the biggest and chances are that’s the first thing that comes into your mind when the word headphone is mentioned.

These conventional modles are called over-ear as the name implies, as they feature earcups that are big enough to cover your ears. When it comes to sheer sound quality and refined sound, leave it to the over-ear headphones.

Wearing one of this is like carrying a woofer on your head. You get to enjoy all the base and subtle effects that would have gone missing with poor earbuds.


  • Sound is refined – it’s arguably has the best output when it comes to any product that goes over your ear.
  • The earcups are cushioned with soft super comfy materials that helps to have them on for long periods of time
  • Active Noise cancellation –This immensely improves your listening experience



  • Might be too bulky for most people
  • Not suitable for working out and other functions

On-Ear Headphones

On-Ear are similar to over-ear headphones. The chief difference is in the size. These units are portable and are also called supra-aural headphones. These are perfect for almost any activity. They are characterized by smaller earcups and light nature which makes for comfortable use.

In general, on-ear headphones are getaways for people that value function over quality. It’s a great headphone, nonetheless, still limited in terms of quality compared to the Over-Ear headphones.


  • Have great sound quality
  • Better suitable for different activities, like gyming, running, etc.
  • Portable and light



  • The don’t have comfortable earlobes as the over-ear
  • Allow sound to leak out which you may not want in public places.


In Ear Headphones

These are are the smallest headphones and probably the one most people are familiar with. Also called in-ear monitors they go inside the ear.

Characterized by a long thread and a tube that goes inside your ear carnal. This allows for better noise cancellation and improved sound quality.

The in-ear headphones also come in different types in the wired and wireless models.


  • Most portable among all buds that goes into the ear
  • Light and best for almost all activities
  • Can come as wired or wireless
  • Sweatproof and the higher models are waterproof



  • Might cause canal irritation
  • Sound quality is good but not as the over-ear models

Classic Earbuds


Classic Earbuds are the archetypal earbuds that tagged along ipods and walkmans (millenials know them all too well).  They don’t go inside your canal but rest around the entrance. Classic earbuds are the first type of earbuds that led to the production of the wireless in ear and wired. It’s in that light we call it the classic earbuds.


  • Cheaper as it doesn’t take much resources to make
  • Mostly water-resistant and sweatproof resistant
  • More comfortable than in ear buds
  • Extremely portable and light


  • Limited sound quality
  • Dying breed as it is difficult to find top quality models
  • Don’t have a strong bass

Bone Conduction Headphones


Bone conduction headphones are the newest version on the list. Bone conduction is oddly advanced as it transfers sound to your bones instead of the traditional ear transfer.

They use some kind of technology to connect to your skull and send music to your eardrums using vibrations.


Perfect for many activities

Most units are water resistant


Does not have noise cancellation

Sound quality is not great



There other kinds of headphones as well but most would fall into the types mentioned above, thus not added into the list. There’s no outright perfect model, it depends on your style and choice on what an ideal sound is to you.