Earbuds are old fashioned earphones which snugly fit outer ear. Previously we compared headphones and earphones. In previous article, we clearly informed the readers that good headphones delivers the best sound. But for practical reasons, we do need to think about earbuds, in-ears/in-canal earphones. Many people are not sure about whether earbuds or in-ear earphones are right for them. Both has own set of pros and cons from the point of cost, function, environment, ergonomics, comfort and styling. In this article on Earbuds vs In-Ears/In-Canal Earphones we will discuss the technical and practical matters around them.
Earbuds vs In-Ears/In-Canal Earphones : Basic Technology
Basic technology not exactly the same. Earbuds works with pretty simple technology and they may feel terrible around reducing environmental noise. As they just hang in front of ear canals, there is no acoustic seal to the ear canal. Who needs sound isolation probably will not find earbuds great. Earbuds are simply a set of small speakers which rest in the outer part of the ear. Their one-size-fits-all design makes inconsistent sound which leads to some saying “I feel my earbuds great”. Earbuds usually cheaper (compared to high end headphones and high end In-Ears). Probably since ’90s, not much latest advancement happened with earbuds till date.
In-Ears sit deep inside the ear canal. That avoids sound leakage. The speakers of in-ears are actually smaller compared to size of speakers of earbuds. Many of them comes with various sizes and shapes of eartips to find best fit. A decent in-ear with good fit and good seal is capable of delivering quire good sound quality. But sound will not feel as spacious as headphones, even some earbuds. Good in-ears cost as high as good headphone. Many has issues with keeping in-ears deep inside the ear canal specially when trying out for the first time. In-ears, definitely need a trial before buying.
In-Ears Offer Latest Technology
Most of the decent in-ears offer interchangeable eartips of different sizes, shapes, and even materials. It is tricky getting getting the correct in-ears.
There are even custom fitted In-Ears for the professionals. Those are made after taking mold of ear canal (usually by an audiologist).
Even few years back, entry-grade in-ears were bad around bass. These days they are not a complain. Affordable, under $100 in-ears use dynamic drivers (drivers means speakers). Some of the expensive in-ears has balanced armature drivers. Balanced armature drivers seem to be capable of delivering detailed sound.
It is not easy to conclude. Neither everyone listens to sound in noisy environment nor like something inside their ears. An standard headphone gives a wider sound which is probably difficult to compare the sound with an in-ear. On the other hand, earbuds have little change in technology.