A Guide to Buying New Speakers and Headphones

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If you are looking to buy new speakers or headphones, you’ll probably find yourself swimming in a sea of terms. You’ve may have heard many of these terms and not known what they mean. If you are looking for the most affordable headphones, then you should pick a great brand and buy the most affordable ones. However, if you are looking for the best headphones, you’ll need to investigate some of the different terms. Knowing what they mean will help you determine the best headphones for you.

The Plug

The plug on your headphones is measured in millimetres. A 3.5mm headphone plug fits a standard headphone jack. That is what is installed on most phones, tablets, computers, and everything else. Some companies are phasing out the 3.5mm jack, but it is still the standard for now. Some older computers use a 2.5mm line jack but 3.5mm is likely what you will find. 6.25mm are the very large jacks that were used on older headphones and are still used some amplifiers.

The Driver

The driver is the actual part of your headphones that makes noise. The driver is a small vibrating piece of material not unlike your own eardrum. When the electrical signal hits the driver, it moves around and creates the sound. The size of the driver is expressed in millimetres. Oftentimes, it is thought that larger drivers make for better bass but that’s not always true. You want to have a dynamic driver that has a wide range of sounds it can reproduce. Then, you want to make sure that it can reproduce sound efficiently. The size of the driver is not as important as whether or not it is dynamic. JBL speakers and headphones sold in Australia often have dynamic drivers. Speakers often have actual subwoofers instead of drivers.

Impedance

Impedance is the ability of a conductor to resist electrical conduction. This means that an electrical component with the high rate of impedance resists electricity better than one with a low rate. The higher the number the more power you will need to power your headphones or speakers and produce quality sound. Impedance is measured in ohms. If you’re trying to power your speakers or your headphones off of your smartphone, you’ll likely need something below 32 ohms. Between 33 and 100 ohms, you’ll likely be able to produce quality sound but it will require you turn the volume up higher. Above 100 ohms will likely require an amplifier. The ability to resist more electricity also means the ability to conduct more electricity. That means that higher impedance speakers will require more power but they’ll produce better sound.