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If you’re shopping for premium headphones, you may wonder how to measure over-ear headphones. Each headphone type features a different frequency range and sound quality. Whether you’re a casual user or a headphone enthusiast, measuring top-tier over-ear headphones keeps you informed on their maximum output levels and frequency response. So, stick around to learn how to measure over-the-ear headphones.
Before learning how to measure your headphone volume, ensure you know how to wear over-the-ear headphones for the best sound quality. Additionally, you should learn what headphone driver size means for tonal balance and the actual noise level from your unit.
Your decibel levels will not be accurate if you place the measurement microphone too close to the headphone output.
Understanding the adequate noise levels for human hearing and ear shape can help you learn how to fix broken over-the-ear headphones. That said, you should learn how to carry headphones to prevent future damage to your tech.
Comparing Skullcandy vs. AirPods can help you find an ideal pair of headphones that match your preferred listening levels and fit. For further research, see how the Beats Studio Buds vs. Bose QuietComfort earbuds debate breaks down.
While you can purchase a physical decibel meter, the easiest route is to go to the app store on your smartphone and download a decibel meter app. You should be able to find one on Android and IOS app stores.
Pick a room for the volume test, and limit the ambient noise in the space. Turn off noise-producing appliances and devices, and close all openings to the testing environment. Some users recommend an interior closet to limit external noise.
The decibel meter app uses your phone’s microphone to listen to the headphones, but you shouldn’t place the headphones directly on the mic. Instead, place the headphones about half an inch away from the microphone.
Pick five to ten songs and play one at a time out of the headphones. Every audio file has a different decibel output, even at the same device volume level. Choose multiple genres for a good mix of volume levels.
Play a portion of each song at half-volume, three-quarters volume, and full-volume. Write each decibel reading on a piece of paper.
Average each decibel reading for half-volume, three-quarters-volume, and full-volume. You now have a rough estimation of your headphone’s decibel output at these set volume levels.
Strong bass frequencies can blow out cheaper headphone models at high audio levels.
STAT: A 2019 Noise Health survey showed that the preferred average volume for earbud headphones was 72 decibels. (source)