Different Types of Earbuds

Updated: Sep 14, 2022 7:46 PM
types of earbuds

When looking for the best headphones, sometimes you can’t find what you’re looking for. If all the different types of headphones you’ve looked at felt too bulky, you might want to look into the best wireless earbuds instead. This might make you wonder, “Are there different types of earbuds?” The answer is yes, and we’ll go over them all below.

Insider Tip

Each earbud type is designed to give users a different experience.

The Different Types of Earbuds

From wireless earbuds to over-ear headphones, there are a ton of options out there for a great listening experience. Today, we’ll go over a few different types of earbuds. This should help you decide what type is best suited to you. For something to soften ambient noise, try comparing noise-canceling earbuds vs. headphones. If you want to block all external noise, just look at the best noise-canceling headphones.

Wireless Earbuds

Wireless earbuds are a type of earbud that you insert into your ear without worrying about messy wires. They usually charge using a case. Wireless technology is preferable to most people these days, but there are other options. We’ll go over their counterpart in the section below. This comparison is similar to the one between wireless vs. wired headphones.


Plain, old standard earbuds might not offer good sound quality.

Wired Earbuds

Wired earbuds are the opposite of the wireless versions. They’ll connect physically to your device using a headphone cord that plugs into an aux input which reads audio signals. The audio experience of a high-quality pair of wired earbuds can be a magical thing. In fact, audio quality is one of the main reasons somebody might invest in an expensive pair of wired earbuds.

Swimming Earbuds

Standard-type earbuds cannot go into bodies of water, or you might end up ruining them. However, there are some earbuds explicitly made for this purpose. This is where earbuds and over-ear headphones differ. Over-ear headphones would never be able to withstand water. For more comparisons between them, read our article comparing earbuds vs. headphones.

STAT: According to a 2017 Statista survey, 87 percent of U.S. respondents use their headphones to listen to music. (source)


What type of headphones is best for ambient noise?

Closed-back headphones will block more ambient sound than open-back models due to their design. Earbuds with noise-cancelation technology are great for blocking ambient noise.

How do I get the best sound quality possible?

That depends on the type of headphones you’re looking into. Generally, budget models aren’t going to have very good sound, so you’ll need to spend a bit more for better audio quality. In addition to price, audiophile headphones, for example, will provide clear, detailed audio that you won’t find in your basic computer headset. For example, open-back headphones aren’t known to have the best sound quality.

What types of headphones are there?

There are several different types of headphones out there. Here are a few:

  • Wireless headphones
  • Wired headphones
  • Bone conduction headphones
  • Open-back headphones
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Studio headphones
  • Audiophile headphones

Are high-quality headphones worth the investment?

If you want great sound quality, absolutely. They have far more advanced technology. Due to this type of headphone technology, expensive models block ambient noise and even provide more accurate sound.

Beth Huston Avatar

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