Earbuds or headphones. which is better?

If you want an option to satisfy your music listening experience, you must be confused between earbuds or headphones. You must be wondering what the difference is. For some of us, it serves the same purpose.

So, in this guide, we will explain the difference between the two so that you can make a proper and informed decision.

Headphones are mainly two mini loudspeakers that are connected via a band. They usually are worn over top of your head and rest over or on your ears. Headphones enable an individual to listen to any audio source privately. Every pair of headphones usually look different, but their function is the same.

On the other hand, earbuds are known to be compact devices, where each bud has its driver. They usually fit into your ear, or they’ll rest on the inner part of your ear. Earbuds can connect with audio devices via a wireless connection (Bluetooth) or through a cable, depending on the model of your earbuds. They have a small form factor which indicates that they’re unique when it comes to portability.

Sound quality

One of the significant factors that we look for is sound quality. Clear-cut audio is something that we want. This is because the poor sound quality hardly goes unnoticeable in any scenario.

Choosing between headphones and earbuds regarding sound quality is problematic because this depends on the model. Both earbuds and headphones have specific models that are better than the others at the same prices, but headphones usually stand out.

Therefore, earbuds and headphones both produce great sound.

 However, the physical design can impact sound, such as significant drivers producing good bass on headphones. Typically sound quality relies on the specific model you opt for.

Noise Isolation

Noise isolation checks how well the earbuds or headphones block the external noise. The better the noise isolation, the less you hear the external noise outside the headphones.

Moreover, on-ear headphones and earbuds are the worst options for noise isolation. This is because they are designed in a way that protects them from sealing your ears to restrict the external noise.

The closed-back over headphones are said to have excellent passive noise isolation due to their design. This is due to the earpads around your ears forming a seal that prevents ears from outside noise.


Portability is dependent on the type of lifestyle you enjoy. If you carry your earbuds or headphones with you all the time, they should be lightweight and small.

Both earbuds and headphones are designed in a way that they can be used on the go. But headphones can sometimes become a burden to carry and wear because of their weight and size. In contrast, earbuds are designed to be easy to carry and are generally lightweight.

When it comes to portability, both IEMs and standard earbuds are great options. They have a small form factor, making them subtle, lightweight, and requiring little storage space compared to headphones.


Both earbuds and headphones are safe, but the fact can change depending on your use. Your ears can be damaged if you listen at high volumes for prolonged hours. This goes for both earphones and headphones.

However, the risk is higher for the earbuds because of the design. This is because earbuds are known for transmitting the audio directly in your ear, so IEMs get closer to the ear canals.

Therefore, extended exposure to high volumes can damage the ears, be it headphones or earbuds. Ideally, headphones are slightly better as they aren’t inside your ears like earbuds.


When choosing an audio source, comfort plays a significant role as you wouldn’t want to be uncomfortable when listening to the music. If comfort is what you want, it’s better to opt for over-the-ear headphones, as they’ll rest around or on your ears instead of being inside them.

Moreover, it would be best if you considered using headphones padding as it prevents your ears from extra pressure, and they don’t rest in or on your ears, so you are safe from the unwanted pressure that comes with earbuds or on-ear headphones.


Price is a critical factor because we either buy the product or leave it on the shelf. The price here usually depends on the model of headphones or earbuds you opt for. Generally, earbuds are cheaper due to their size and required materials.

However, you can come across expensive and cheap options for earbuds and headphones. High-quality headphones usually have a higher price, and the same goes for earbuds.

These are some factors that play an essential role in deciding which one of the headphones and earbuds is a better option.

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