Why Headphones are better than Earphones? Answered

why headphones are better than earphones

Headphones and Earphones have become an integral part of our life. Whether you are travelling, working, or jogging, it is an unavoidable one. Most of the audiophiles and professionals prefer headphone over earphone. 

Do you know why headphones are better than earphones?

Before discussing why headphones are better than earphones, let us see what is the difference between headphones and earphones. 

Headphones and Earphones, same or different?

Most of us believe both are same. But there some fundamental design difference between earphones and headphones. If the earpiece can be inserted into the ear canal, they are called earphones while those are designed to wear around the ear are called headphones. 

Headphones, the best?

There are two types of headphones, on-ear and over-ear. Earcup of on-ear headphones just covers your ear, whereas over-ear headphones cover your ear entirely. Both the types of headphones perform far better than earphones in all aspect such as audio quality, noise cancellation, comfortability and safety.

Headphones are of two types based on connectivity, wired headphones and wireless headphones.

Audio Quality

If we compare earbuds vs headphones sound quality, the sound quality offered by headphones is supreme and audiophile quality. These are the favourite among music professionals and studio workers. The bigger earpiece let them use bigger drivers that ensure deep and controlled bass. 

Noise Cancellation

Have you ever thought, why do headphones sound better than earphones? The answer is the effective noise cancellation feature.

Noise cancellation is the most significant part of headphones. When coming to noise cancellation, no one can compete with headphones. Even an entry-level headphone can deliver a performance higher than premium earphones.

The courtesy for the high standard noise cancellation goes to design, to be precise the bigger earpiece. Most of the headphones come with an active and passive noise cancellation ability. In Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology, headphone produces audio which can cancel the noise before it reaching into the eardrum. The actual physics behind ANC is exciting.

Whereas in Passive noise cancellation, which uses in earphones also, the earpiece is specially designed to prevent the outside noise entering into the ear canal. Here also the bigger earpiece works pretty well compared to an earphone.


Which is more comfortable headphone or earphone? The fundamental question we all need to find an answer before making a purchase. Even though the headphones are bigger, they are very comfortable to wear—the earpiece of most of the headphone is made with a soft cushion that feels like a feather to your ear. Since the headband takes care of the weight, our ear would be free. 

The large area of the earpiece ensures more freedom, so it is recommended for long time use.


Portability is one downside of headphones. Even though the latest headphones come with a compact foldable design, still it is an issue compared to earphones.


Headphones are expensive than earphones. 

  • Recommended for audiophiles and real music lovers
  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Difficult to port compared to earphones

Earphones, too Bad?

No, absolutely not. Headphones are better do not mean that earphones are bad. Earphones also have its own benefits. They are easy to carry and best during workouts compared to headphones.

Just like headphones, earphones can also be classified into two, namely wired earphones and wireless earphones based on their connectivity. Neckband and TWS earbuds are two types of wireless earphones.

Audio Quality

If we compare sound and note precision of an earphone and headphone, the output by earphones is slightly inferior. But this problem can be solved by selecting earphones from a premium brand at a higher price.

Due to the compact size, an earphone can use only small drivers whose output will be lower. 

Noise Cancellation

Even though passive noise cancellation available with earphones, they can not claim the effectiveness delivered by headphones. Active noise cancellation is rare in earphones. 


If you want to compare earbuds vs headphones for gym workouts, then we would say earphones are comfortable, especially the one with a fin. But make sure that your device is water or sweat-resistant. The IP chart will help you to understand this.

Since earphones are designed to insert into the ear canal, we may feel discomfort after continuous use. Sometimes you may be forced to adjust the earbuds regularly to prevent from dropping off.


If you ask me what are the advantages of earphones over headphones? My first answer will be portability. They are too convenient to carry. Especially the wireless models like, neckband and TWS earphones are easy to carry. The TWS’s charger cum casing can be used as a charger and a protective pouch.


Earphones are cheaper than headphones. It is not a herculean task to find a quality earphone under a budget of 500.

  • Easy to carry and compact
  • Low cost
  • Recommended for gym workouts
  • Audio quality is inferior
  • Noise cancellation is also inferior compared to headphones


Audio QualityBestInferior
Noise CancellationExcellentAverage
ComfortabilityConvenientNot convenient

Safety Aspects

Both Headphones and earphones can lead you deaf if you continously listen at very high volume for a very long time. 

But do you know why headphones are safer than earphones?

The credit goes to noise cancellation. From the previous comparison of noise calling earbuds vs headphones, we found headphones are far better in noise cancelling. That is why headphones are better than earphones.

Since the noise cancellation feature of earphones is not adequate to prevent the ambient noise, you will be forced to turn up the volume to maximum to hear the song. This is gonna hurt your ear.

Headphones, the winner

The headphones are miles ahead compared to earphones in terms of sound quality, noise cancellation, and comfort. If you could manage to tolerate the portability issues, headphones are the best. The convenient foldable already negated the majority of problems associated with porting.

  1. What is better wireless earbuds or headphones?

    Both wireless earbuds and headphones have its own advantage. Wireless earbuds are easy to carry and light in weight. The charger cum case can ensure an extended battery life. If your primary requirement is calling and during workouts rather than listening to music, then definitely buds can do a great to you.
    But if you are an audiophile and you want to enjoy a music at its best clarity even in a noisy environment, then headphones suits you. Even though they are heavy, since the headband supports over your head, your ears will be free.

  2. Earphones or headphones, which is safer?

    The safety is depend upon two factors duration and intensity of sound. Listening at very high volume for long hours can create problems, irrespective of whether you are using an earphone or headphone.
    But the effective noise cancellation of the headphones can ensure a better feel to your favourite track even at a low volume. Since the sound coming from outside of the ear in headphones, eardrum enjoy more freedom.
    But always go for quality products from reliable brand.

  3. Which type of headphones are good for ears?

    Headphones are of two types, on-ear and over-ear. Both are good, but the latter one performs much higher in terms of performance and noise cancellation.

Sanil VS is a Chemical Engineer by Profession and he loves to write and review gadgets on his free times.

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