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Edited out nonsense about amplification[edit]

I removed the following: "Both are voltage driven rather than current driven as moving-coil, orthodynamic, balanced armature and AMT drivers are." Any engineer will tell you that's BS. Voltage driven or current driven refers to whether one is making output voltage, or output current, of the amplifier be proportional to the input signal (whether voltage or current, usually the former). Virtually all headphones (and speakers) are designed for voltage drive--that is, the amplifiers driving them are voltage amplifiers (V->V), not current, transimpedance, or transconductance amplifiers (I->I, I->V, or V->I, respectively). I think what whoever wrote that was trying to say is that the first group uses higher voltage and lower current than the second one, but calling one "voltage driven" and the other "current driven" imposes an arbitrary and unjustified threshold, and confuses things with actual electrical engineering terminology. (talk) 14:27, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Merging HEADSET with HEADPHONES[edit]

Hi there, I am a key distributor of headsets, and many of my customers have often have misunderstanding of what headphones and headsets are. This is the reason I took the time to write up this article on Headsets. I think it's very comprehensive on all the types of headsets out there. As headphones really have a different meaning than headsets, especially within the industry I'm in. I think that more and more people are aware of what it means. I mean if you google the word Headset, you don't find Headset (Bicycle Seats or whatever), but you find Plantronics, the key headset provider. So I think it only make sense that in Wikipedia, we should have a clear explanation of what the word means.

Glad to hear your comments, and I hope my efforts wasn't wasted, thanks! Saintpako (talk) 12:45, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Pako.

[Added subsequently] In fact another user Nastajus (below) also enquired about what to call headsets. She mentioned about HEADSET MICROPHONE; I believe she added the microphone at the end because she believes that HEADSET=HEADPHONES, and in fact the product she(?) is refering to is a neck-wear (or Backwear) headset, and she isn't able to locate this because most users confuse headphones with headsets, so shouldn't we start using the proper terminology instead of merging them together? Thanks. Saintpako (talk) 12:45, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Pako.

Common Headphone Problem[edit]

My Maxwell headphones keep going deaf in one ear. Is there anyway to fix/prevent that or do i just need to buy a superior product? --Nightengale989 19:11, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

A lot of headphones seem to do that (like the one I have on right now), but the article doesn't state why this sometimes happens. Could someone answer our question and help us out? --Raimu, 9:59, 1/17/07.

I would like to know why it is that headphones do break so easily. I cannot think of anything else as faulty as headphones are. It's seems like a conspiracy between all headphone producing companies to produce really bad products so that we will just go out and buy more to replace them.

Headphones break for a lot of reasons. Can you explain what part inside them actually 'breaks?' I don't think there is much chance anyone can explain why the event occurred without more information about the event. Isn't there a better place to explain why they break than an encyclopedia? John 03:36, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
if it sometimes goes "deaf", but turns on and off intermittently, then there's probably a loose wire somewhere inside that keeps coming loose, and then re-touching where it came loose from. If it just stops working, then something's really broken. Ilikefood 21:19, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Possible Typo?[edit]

Not sure, but I think there is a typo in the Applications section ... but I don't know enough about this topic to feel safe doing a minor edit. The line "Therefore, professional phones are actually 1.4"" oriented and always include an adapter to 3.5 mm" ... should that read 1/4"? Or does this indicate something different?

This isn't the Battlefield 2 article![edit]

"A good example of this 3D positioning in action is the game Battlefield 2 for PC. Many players find headphones extremely useful as far as listening for enemies firing around their avatar, or someone sneaking behind it for a quick knife-kill."

Does anyone else think the above has no place in this article? It's about headphones, and I think someone let their love of Battlefield 2 get ahead of them. Seriously, this belongs in the Battlefield 2 article, because I could not care less about avatars or quick knife-kills.

Well, stereo or 3d or whatever sound helps alot of games, not just BF 2. The fact that some sounds are only on one side at a time helps people in many different games get a fix on their position or the direction of the sound and overall makes the gaming experience more realistic. I say keep it or keep something about video games in general. :-) Ilikefood 23:14, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


AFAIK this is never a singular... - Tarquin 11:13 Mar 5, 2003 (UTC)

Actually, yes it can be. DJs often use a single headphone, because the other is often hanging off the other side anyhow. This is how beatmatching is accomplished, by listening to the cue in only one ear and the current program in the other. (Often, they also have a microphone hanging off as well.) –radiojon 15:26, 2004 Apr 16 (UTC)

Yeah. Look at google--almost 3 million hits for the singular (admittedly there are 6 million for the plural). Also 'what links here'--many are looking for the singular. While plural may be 'most common use', I think singular is common enuf to move this back, based on the WP standard to prefer singular titled articles. Niteowlneils 01:00, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Any motion to talk about backphones? --Joshk 08:38, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I definitely think they're worth mentioning. I started by looking for an article on backphones, and finding none I ended up here. Much to my dismay nothing was said about them at all! It's a noticeable omission. PeterMottola (talk) 15:35, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Circumaura and supra-aural[edit]

Is is me, or are supra-aural and circum-aural swapped?

No its not, Supra-aural -> (above the ear)
Circum-aural -> (around the ear) which is what is written on the article
It's been changed. I made that comment before it was changed. Reub2000 10:15, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

why is the impedance of headphones significantly larger than speakers? - Omegatron 21:54, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

headphones have a higher impedance mainly in order to limit current draw from a source.. this is because headphones move less air around (therefore require less current) and if same amount of current was used, it'd probably break the coils..
This is misleading. They require less current only if the voltage is the same. You could make low impedance headphones and drive them with lots of current but low voltage. The point is that what is less is power--the product of voltage and current. (talk) 14:17, 15 February 2008 (UTC)[edit]

Seeing as more than 50% of the website is advertisements, does this qualify as a valid resource or a marketing ploy? Thepcnerd 06:28, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes it is a valid resource. Head-fi is mainly a forum, and I don't think any of the posters are swayed one way or another, since they aren't seeing any of the advertising money. Besides, this is one of the most major forums on the web for discussing headphones. I say the link should stay. Reub2000 10:43, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
I counted twenty seperate advertisements on the website. It seems like the main reason for the link is a marketing ploy. Since you say the forums are the real validity of the website, how about the link point to the forums rather than to the ad-fest homepage of nearly no value to users? Thepcnerd 08:20, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Reub200, Head-fi is a very helpful website for those who love headphones and the link should definitely stay. I'm glad somebody took the time to change the link to the forums page, too.
As an engineer, I have to say that head-fi is likely the biggest source of misinformation and pseudoscientific audiophile religion on the Internet. (talk) 14:18, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I've been a "head-fier" (member of the Head-fi forums) for several years. The website is a mine of information about headphones and headphone amplifiers, but I have to agree with the previous comment; it is also a large source of misinformation and pseudoscience with respect to audio. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Raulsaavedraf (talkcontribs) 20:25, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

FPS thing[edit]

Hello, I don't have any objection to FPSs, but the FPS section really stuck out like a sore thumb, so I tried putting it into the context of the 'the purpose of headphones is...' paragraph at the start. Acceptable?

Uh, why do you reject the term FPS? That's a feature of FPS games, but not all of video games. --Ypacaraí 23:47, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

I find that headphones give me a much better mental map of the world in any game with decent 3D sound, whether it's an FPS, 3rd person (eg resi 4), a driving game or whatever.

List of canalphones[edit]

I deleted the comprehensive list of canalphones, as it consumes a great deal of space in this article. However, if someone thinks it might be useful to create a List of canalphones article, then they can use the old version [1] to do so. --LostLeviathan 02:28, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

The "Prominent manufacturers of headphones" section has also gotten way out of hand and should be altogether disposed of. This is an encyclopedia, not a business directory. Femto 13:00, 27 December 2005 (UTC)


I updated some things on the dynamic and electrostatic drivers, adding some physics into the mix. Furthermore there are "electret" headphones, if anyone knows them well, update the electrostatic section with it. Also most headphones now use neodymium drivers, not ferrite (and thus Nd magnets are not only on expensive headphones). Take the stock iPod earbuds, for example.

Backing type[edit]

I updated the backing type section, added more details and fixed some not so professional wording. Also I took out the part where open headphones sound better than closed; this is very opinion based and thus controversial.

Are you sure this is opinion-based? I have heard from many sources that open construction tends to offer more accurate sound reproduction than closed phones in the same price range. Also, in my experience open phones are lighter and more comfortable (in the same price range). Can someone elaborate on why is this considered opinion-based? Perhaps we could at least say that "many people believe that open backed headphones generally offer better sound quality and comfort than closed headphones of a similar price", or something similar? (Also, even if someone can prove that this is nothing but a myth, I still think it's a myth worth mentioning...) --Aidan 03:46, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Currently, 17 Jan 2011, the article has no reference to open or closed back types. I believe something regarding closed and open back headphones needs to be added back to make the article complete. (Knt (talk) 16:43, 17 January 2011 (UTC))

bluetooth headsets[edit]

As 'headset' #redirects to here, and as bluetooth headsets have both a microphone and an output unit, i wonder if there could be a section devoted to them. Especially because bluetooth headsets in combination with mobile phones are often used in a car kit, i suppose we could mention at least some of these aspects in the article. My main point is: they also have a mike, but that is never mentioned bsod 18:44, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Wireless headphones?[edit]

Does anyone have any photos of this? I doubt that they exist..

Sorry, you doubt wireless headphones exist? Or you just doubt that photos of them exist? This image might do:
Image removed

--Aidan 04:31, 27 February 2006 (UTC)


If I plugged my earphones into the CD player in my computer. What are the chances I would get an electric shock? And how big an electric shock would it be? I know it sounds like a stupid question, but staff in my office are not allowed to do this purely because of this one sole reason!

That is ridiculous! It's impossible to get an electric shock from the voltage that headphones normally operate at. Even if you had a malfunctioning PSU with the fuses somehow left intact, it would burn down the equipment instantly and you'd be much more likely to die in a resulting fire than receive a shock from the headphones. -- intgr 09:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
The typical output power from headphone jacks is between 5 to 20 mW. That's mW, 1/1000th of a watt. Sometimes you can find outputs of up to ~100mW at the headphone jack in hi-fi receivers or dedicated headphone amplifiers, but I doubt they provide that kind of audiophilic electronics in the office (but, but, that's my red stapler). Bantering aside, reasonable headphone volume is usually achieved with less than 10mW of power, the occasional skater might use 15mW. At any rate, you can probably feel a small shock if you go out of your way and try, but you can't hurt yourself with 15mW. They really should hire engineers to make that kind of decisions in the office. =) Dept of Alchemy 23:16, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

"Prominent manufacturers of headphones"[edit]

I removed this section, which I feel is not appropriate for this page. The links to manufacturer articles should be handled through a separate list of headphone manufacturers, or create a Category:Headphone manufacturers as subcat of Category:Audio equipment manufacturers. Femto 15:49, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Grooving guy[edit]

How does the image of "a guy grooving to music" add anything to the article? 20:01, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

MV Headphones link[edit]

I removed the external link to [2] because I find much of what it claims to be misleading (e.g. noise canceling 'phones do not cancel baby cries or sounds from external conversations - at least not actively and not by much), and some of the information in the article is flat-out wrong (low impedance cannel 'phones tend to have better bass response than fullsize closed-back headphones when driven by low power consumer electronics, but the article claims otherwise). The article is clearly written by someone with a poor understanding of headphones and should not be listed as an authoritative reference in an encyclopedia as authoritative as the wiki. =) Dept of Alchemy 22:29, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

whats this?[edit] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

It's a mirror page (Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks) of this article. Wikipedia allows anybody to republish the content provided its license is properly credited. Femto 17:36, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

hearing loss[edit]

The article only addresses hearing impairment from loud music but doesn't talk about listening to music at a normal level for extended periods of time (hours a day for several days a week). Is there any hearing loss as a result of that? 17:48, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

In the dangers section "Sony's AVLS feature corrects" sony's active valve lift system? That link needs fixing/deleting —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:54, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Range of hearing[edit]

The human range of hearing is between 20 Hz and 22 kHz, so any headphones offering beyond these frequencies is not doing anything for anyone. This doesn't even take into the fact what is damaging to our ears after prolonged periods of time. This information should be included in the article. 14:52, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Picture of Headphones[edit]

To my knowledge, no one has mentioned this yet. The headphones article is in need of a picture at the top. Personally, I think it's too much trouble what with the copyright issues (for most pictures - granted, a picture of headphones should be free, but still, you know...)
-dogman15 16:25, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

headset microphones[edit]

I use the device in this picture to talk to my computer. Does anyone have any thoughts if the most proper name for this device is a headset microphone? Because it seems this is one of those uncategorized equipments pieces that cannot be found anywhere on Wikipedia. It's slipped through the cracks and received no love. Please help find it a well-phrased home. Thank you. Nastajus 03:44, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Pic please?[edit]

Could someone include a picture of the "balanced armature" type speakers? thanks. :-) Ilikefood 23:16, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


headphones are output devices for computers. they help produce sound for the computer and unlike speakers, they are not for multiple people but rather for a singular user

Pictures with "Fig. 1" in caption[edit]

Why do all the pictures of headphones have 'Fig. 1', 'Fig. 2' etc. in the captions. This is not in any other wikipedia articles. Yours Truly- DannyQuack (My name is Danny... and I Quack) 17:45, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Is This Really Necessary???[edit]

I searched this page curious of how many times they would mention ipods. Is it really necessary to say

"During the 1990s, earbuds became a common type bundled with personal music devices; for example, the headphones included with the iPod are earbuds."

I think the part after the semi colon should be taken out as it does not contribute to the article at all. Plus, it advertises a product I utterly detest. Does mentioning ipod somehow make it more clear to people what they are???PhorkPhace 02:49, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


The article currently mentions

"Canalphones, also known as interruptible foldback systems (IFB)...".

Is that so? I suspect it would be more correct to say something like

"Canalphones, often used in interruptable foldback systems (IFB)...".

-- 06:12, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

No, just leave it as it is. Canalphones is a bit more general-sounding IMO. Perhaps we want to make the article sound general and not too cliched. — Mark Kim (U * T/R * CTD) 15:17, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

What about the specs?[edit]

Since I'm just starting out in the tech side of music, I was looking for the numbers regarding headphones. Such as the resistance, and voltage inside a headphone jack. You know, the kind of stuff I need to know before I burn something up. Did I overlook it in the article, or is not in there?un4v41l48l3 16:53, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I second this. The two things you look at when buying headphones is style and spec. Style is covered to the point of boredom. Specs really needs a new section of its own. Some of the pitch range info is covered in "benefits and limitations" but the rest is not even mentioned. Wuku (talk) 03:40, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

over the ear[edit]

the by positioning section lacks a subsection about "over the ear" headphones --Notopia 07:57, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

airplane headphones[edit]

I remember back in the day aeroplanes used to have headphones that, near as I could tell, were just hoses to carry the sound directly to your ear and if you put your ear to the jack you could hear the sound coming out. Is that covered by this article, because it looks like it isn't though I may be imagining things (like the existence of that type of headphone) --Shadebug 11:09, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

This is true! They had these things up into the late 90s, and they charged ridiculous prices for them. I don't know if the hoses worked in exactly that way, I would figure they were simular in function to a stethescope (excuse my spelling). P.S. Oops, stethoscopes do work like that, silly me. (talk) 17:21, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

As a matter of fact Air-India AI314 still uses these air-type headphones (29-Jul-2009) while it's sister flight AI315 uses the wired headphones. So even currently not all headphones are wired based. (There is an air canal system in old commercial passenger planes that carry the sound to the seats.) I think either the word 'Wired' or 'Electrical' should be part of the article title to seperate it from mechanical or string-type acoustic medium. Preroll (talk) 23:38, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

This article[edit]

Needs some fairly serious attention. And I intend to give it the attention it needs. Just a heads up before I go out there and start being bold. This article seems to have a very high occurrence of vandalism. Just letting you know I'm not one the vandals! PiccoloNamek 03:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

There, I think it is already starting to look a little more professional, although there is still much work to be done. Personally, I feel that this article has far too many sections and subsections. Do we really need a separate subsection for each type of headphone wearing position? Or by impedance? It looks ugly, the sections inherently lack information, and it bloats the table of contents. All of this information and be collapsed into (and properly discussed in) just a few sections. There should never be a section unless it can be justified by filling it with useful information. A single poorly written sentence is not justification enough for a separate section or subsection, especially not as many as this article has.PiccoloNamek 05:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, I've done a great deal of work here. But I feel kind of odd having done all of that by myself. I hope I didn't step on any toes. I'd love to have some comments and discussion on the changes I've made. Personally I think it looks one hundred times cleaner and more professional, and almost all of the information was retained, except for that stupid positioning section. It was really terrible, I didn't even know what to do with it. Perhaps a short summary of the different types can be added to the new headphone types section.
Next, the history section should be expanded greatly, or as much as possible. There is a lot of useful information that could be added concerning the development of different kinds of headphone technologies and makers and whatnot. PiccoloNamek 07:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I know crystal (single) earpieces have a long history of use: were these ever used in pairs, making headphones? Tabby (talk) 02:41, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Electrostatic specs & mc issues[edit]

To explain the changed paragraph...

headphone membranes arent usually oscillated, they are driven without oscillating. (Even when used for single tone hearing tests the headphone itself is not resonating.)

Faster impulse response equals higher frequency response, and it is this that counts in audio.

"greater detail retrieval" is not really meaningful technically. The cause of improved clarity of electrostatics is hopefully now explained in the article. Moving coil drivers usually behave poorly at high audio frequencies, with very uneven frequency response, resonance and cone/dome distortion. MC manufacturers often print near-flat curves for consumers, which are never realistic, the reality is a very wobbly frequency plot at the top end. Tabby (talk) 02:20, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Bal arm diagram[edit]

The current pair of diagrams shows the early type of bal arm mechanism. Later bal arm devices were constructed somewhat differently, with no pivot and no rotating iron piece, thus less opportunity for things to perform badly. Tabby (talk) 02:39, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to clean up External links[edit]

Last time I cleaned up a lot of links on an unwatched article I got told off by somebody, so here I am being super-cautious. Per WP:EL and WP:NOT#LINK, external links in Wikipedia articles should be kept to a minimum; articles are not for collections of links. There's various sites here added by random passers-by wanting to push their personal site to the masses:

  • The Audio Circuit - Information on and user reviews of headphones [remove - adds nothing that isn't in the article or could be added to it]
  • Headphone Gallery & Archive - Database of Headphone Specifications and Images [preference to remove, but potentially the only remotely useful link here, in which case keep]
Headphone Forums and Chat
Headphone Reviews
  • A site where reviewers can rate their headphones on criteria like bass extension/quality, comfort, soundstage, etc. No reviews of common, low-cost headphones. [basically spam]

The point is that they add little or nothing to the article about headphones and could be found with a quick web search if people wanted them (and Wikipedia is not a web directory). I think the case is pretty clear-cut, but I don't want to start any edit wars. So hoping for other opinions. • Anakin (talk) 15:16, 18 February 2008 (UTC) is not a random forum, it is the source for headphone related information on the internet, and one of the largest Hi-Fi forums period. It has thousands of members with many years worth of experience between them. Once you sort through all of the subjectivist cruft, it is a wellspring of useful and helpful headphone information. PiccoloNamek (talk) 04:31, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I've tried to keep the most spurious links out (like blogs that keep being re-added). But I wasn't aware of the details of links policy for Wikipedia. Headwize contains the most plain factual information of the forums mentioned, there's a ton of great articles which are (unlike say, audio reviews) not just subjective opinion. Head-fi may be a giant wellspring of information but that does not per se, merit its inclusion. Its right up the top on any Google search for headphones, and factual information to be found at the site, devoid of individual opinion, can be replicated to provide content on the Wikipedia article itself.

I favour a cropping of the links. Maintain Headwize (but link to the articles section perhaps?). The info/pictures site is pretty thin on information, and also doesn't have a full breadth of information, but at least it doesn't seem to be for someone to make money out of (even the where to buy links for some headphones listen are not ad-referral links).

If there's a third one that should be kept, then I guess it should be head-fi. If anything, if it is removed, there'll only be a stream of people, probably IP address names, adding it in again. Duggeh (talk) 19:02, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I was not aware of the notability of some of these sites. So let's keep Headwize, Head-Fi. Can we definitely remove the links to the other chat rooms and forums? The WP:NOT#LINK guidelines say to remove lists of sites like this. The issue is that although they are related to the article topic, they don't really provide direct information about the article topic. I had not looked properly at before — I mistook it for corporate spam, but I still think it's inclusion is unnecessary here. It's easily found with a web search anyway. • Anakin (talk) 21:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Lots of time passed about this with no further discussion, so I've cleaned it right down to headwise, which is ultimately the most academic, least subjective, most firmly content moderated resource of all of those there before. The forum links, chatroom link and links to review sites and photo galleries were ultimately superfluous. Duggeh (talk) 00:34, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Wireless headphone specifications[edit]

Can we get more specific information about wireless headphones? I'm looking for exact frequencies rather than just the generalization of 900MHz, etc. Am I to believe that these headphones operate at 900.0000MHz exactly? Then why are there three different channels to choose from? Are there different types of wireless headphones other than 900MHz? How many watts do they operate at? This article doesn't even come close to mentioning anything about this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ShatBrickner (talkcontribs) 21:26, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Canalphones offering "greater high quality sound"[edit]

I removed the part that said that canalphones offered "greater high quality sound" because this is not true, maybe if it actually said something like "greater high quality sound than earbuds" but not even this is applicable because it dependes of the quality of the materials. I added "greater dynamic range" because they _actually_ add more low frequency (compared to earbuds) which is practically more dynamic range, if somebody think it's better to put "greater bass response" tell us why so. -"Gackt" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

You are confusing frequency response (the range of frequencies the phones can produce) with dynamic range (the loudness range the phones can produce). Canalphones often offer both greater frequency response and dynamic range, because they seal the ear canal, preventing sound energy from leaking out. The quality of materials has almost nothing to do with it.

Karlchwe (talk) 05:35, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Citations Needed...[edit]

What sort of citation would be suitable for the AMT/Piezo section? There have been three headphones to market that use piezo film drivers (the Pioneer 500 and 700, and the TakeT H2) four if you include the Taket H1 prototype. Theres also only been 2 Heil-AMT headphones, the ESS Mark 1 during the 70s and the Precide Ergo AMT which is still in production. The Plasmasonics ionisation drive headphone didn't make it to market insofar as I know.

What sort of citation would suffice for the proper and suitable conveyance of this information as fact? It's not as though theres a textbook that could be used, and I doubt that a reference to a head-fi page would meet with wikipedias requirements. Duggeh (talk) 00:27, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

My guess is that the statement that they are "uncommonly used" is not supported, and probably not even important. The way the article reads, each type is explained, except this type. If we don't know, maybe we should remove the AMF/Piezo section. We should not be using an undefined acronym, like AMT (Adv. Membrane Tech, I think??). Maybe the call for citations was a lazy way to say this section is too weak to keep, and should be deleted, or replaced with relevant knowledge.

Theres also a plethora of "CITATIONS NEEDED" plastered in other parts of this page in information for which there simply isnt readily available citation. And the one on the "prolonged exposure to loud volumes causes hearing loss" bit is just daft. Thats simply common knowledge. Would you want citations for the colours of the rainbow? Duggeh (talk) 15:09, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Had to add one for the bit about canalphones causing users to listen at lower volumes due to physically blocking the ear canal, I actually read a study that came to the exact opposite conclusion. That could be talking about cheaper canalphones that don't form proper seals (I know I can't stand the damn things). Either way, it needs to be clarified and properly sited. (talk) 10:17, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Moved the above citation request to the previous sentence where it addresses the concern regarding lower volume levels with canalphones vs. where it was originally at the end of the paragraph. It is a given a user could choose to operate a canalphoned device capable of dangerous levels at dangerous levels making a citation unwarranted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:23, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Is a citation really required for "Adapters are available for converting between 6.35 mm and 3.5 mm devices" in application section? Would a link to a webstore on radioshack selling these components be good enough. that seems like a dumb citation. (Bouncingmolar (talk) 14:39, 22 September 2013 (UTC))

Suitable Amplification[edit]

This section was a mess of misinformation, conjecture and uncertainty. It's best deleted entirely until someone can articulate a coherant version of the relevent information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Duggeh (talkcontribs) 15:11, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Earbuds and headsets[edit]

Well, I think that these 2 things should have a because earbuds are those little things that you put inside your ear (like canal-phones) and headsets are headphones with a mic. So...we shouldn't just write "also known as somethin'".-- Vintei  Talk  12:57, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Earphone resonance[edit]

This section was not entirely inaccurate, although the language used was not appropriate. The effect does exist, and I first learned of it while pursuing the "Reference Earphones" section of Sigfried Linkwitz's personal website. He describes the phenomenon thus: "The 7.5 kHz peak [in the earphones he was using] is due to the acoustic impedance mismatch between transducer, ear canal and ear drum causing a half wavelength resonance in the canal".

I have noticed this effect with every earbud, IEM, full-size headphone I have ever used. For example, in my current setup, the resonance occurs at 7400hz with an amplitude of approximately 5 to 5.5db.PiccoloNamek (talk) 20:46, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like a resonance of the air column in the ear canal when stopped at both ends by the drum and the bud. Whatever it is, Linkwitz can be quoted as an expert if you want to add something from his note. Binksternet (talk) 21:28, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


Perhaps some in-ear headphone brands can be named:

  • Philips SHE 9850
  • Creative Zen Aurvana
  • Shure SE 110

this as these headphones are only some 70 euro, while the really "good ones" are way more expensive; upto 200-300 euro —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

"Cans," known informally as[edit]

Does anybody really call headphones "Cans" I have never heard of this and think it should be taken out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lansey (talkcontribs) 18:06, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely they do. Walk into any Pro Audio store and ask to see their Sennheiser cans and they will take you straight to the headphone section. It's very much a pro audio slang term, just like stage monitors are called "foldback" and mains power is called "240" or "110", just to name a few. It may, however be difficult to find a ref from a reliable source though. Leave it with me and I'll take a look when I get a chance. For now you can tag it with a ref cite if you like, until a reliable ref can be found. Cheers, ABVS1936 (talk) 14:32, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Here's some refs of varying quality:
Maybe one of these is good enough. Binksternet (talk) 16:19, 16 May 2009 (UTC)


I removed a bit about soundstage being larger for headphones with larger drivers. Soundstage is such a subjective concept that mentioning it will need a reference and a note about who said it. Binksternet (talk) 23:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Weight vs. comfort[edit]

I removed a mention of how a heavier set of cans is less comfortable and less suited to long-term listening, as well as the corollary of lightweight headphones being more comfortable and better for long-term. This is original research on somebody's part, I don't know who, and it conflicts with my own personal observations. A lightweight set of headphones might have a skinny strap across the top of the head, and might therefore have the same weight-per-square-unit-size as a heavier set with a wide strap. In my work, I have occasionally spent ten or twelve hours in a day with headphones on, and the most comfortable cans are big circumaural ones that have padded earcups and a padded strap over the head, along with a neutral frequency response that isn't fatiguing on its own. Whatever... I think we will need to have a source cited for any mention of what's more comfortable. Binksternet (talk) 23:25, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Earbuds --> Earcup headphones[edit]

I moved "Earbuds" from "In-ear headphones" to "Earcup headphones". Earbuds rest outside of the ear, not inside the ear, and since in-ear headphones rest inside of the ear, earbuds are NOT in-ear headphones. -- (talk) 17:43, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Earphones ear attachment[edit]

Made these 2 images based on the earcups image:

Earphones ear attachment concept type 1
Earphones ear attachment concept type 2

KVDP (talk) 13:09, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Earbuds and bass[edit]

Michael Allard has inserted four times into this article his thoughts on why it is that earbuds do not yield good bass response. The first three were complete and utter original research, not allowed by the foundational Wikipedia rule at WP:NOR. The fourth time Allard's words were salted with references to, a website that is not working for me (it is timing out without allowing entrance), a blog on E-coustics, and a "How We Test Headphones" article on PCMag. The problems with these are that they are unreliable sources, and the authors are wrong. There is no requirement for a space to be large in order to have low bass sound in it; there is only the requirement that a driver be capable of changing the pressure within that space, some 20 cycles a second. There would be fantastic bass in an eardrum if a driver were made to pressurize and rarefy the air down to 20 Hz, at a sufficient sound pressure level relative to human hearing loudness contour. Tom Gideon at PCMag is wrong when he explains that complex reflections from the pinna can be reproduced with EQ. "Admin" at E-coustics is over-generalizing when he says "the laws of physics dictate that the box must be large" in order to get 20 Hz response. None of these sources speak directly to Allard's concern that earbuds are limited in their ability to deliver a "listening experience". If anything is said about earbuds, it should be from expert observers, not end-users casting about for reasons. Binksternet (talk) 20:48, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I totally agree that these edits should not be included in this article - as it stands the article itself contains a lot of OR and IMHO is in need of serious referencing. Michael Allard's edits only serve to increase the amount of OR and unref'd material. Not only are his sources unreliable - essentially being blogs, and (when it is working) seems to be a hifi manufacturer - but they are, as you point out, incorrect. Well picked up Binksternet - there is enough OR and unreliable sourcing on Wikipedia as it is! ABVS1936 (talk) 17:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)


Are there any reliable sources for the claims of some audiophiles and some earbud manufacturers that many headphones require about 40 hours of burn-in to reach there optimal performing state? For example, here"—which claims "The main purpose of the burn-in process is to loosen the diaphragm of a newly crafted headphone and to stress the headphone driver. Most audiophiles agree that the sound quality will be noticeably improved after burn-in."—and here. So clearly various folks believe in this. But is it real (verifiable) or merely the placebo effect and internet mythology? This is not merely a question of esoteric knowledge. If it is verifiable, then it ought to be mentioned in the article. N2e (talk) 02:23, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Evidence of burn-in: --Asfargs (talk) 00:50, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Earplugs improve hearing of helmet speakers?[edit]

With no reference, the claim that wearing earplugs, and listening to helmet speakers through ear plugs, looks like original research, or original conclusions from referenced info:

"Motorcycle and other power-sport riders benefit by wearing foam earplugs when legal to do so to avoid excessive road, engine and wind noise, but their ability to hear music and intercom speech is actually enhanced when doing so. The ear can normally detect 1-billionth of an atmosphere of sound pressure level,[9] hence it is incredibly sensitive. At very high sound pressure levels, muscles in the ear tighten the tympanic membrane and this leads to a small change in the geometry of the ossicles and stirrup that results in lower transfer of force to the oval window of the inner ear. Since earplugs reduce the noise in the auditory canal, this protective mechanism is less likely to trigger, and full sensitivity of the ear is maintained. With normal sensitivity, a listener has excellent hearing while listening to helmet speakers through the earplugs. This technique allows excellent hearing of speech, music and most external sounds at sustainable levels without hearing damage."

Also the reference shown above as [9] relates to ear muscles tightening, and not the "1-billionth of an atmosphere..." claim.

I have moved the existing reference, and put in a couple of "citation needed"s. FrankSier (talk) 16:58, 23 August 2010 (UTC)


What are open, air, dynamic, cushion earphones ? (I think earphones are smaller than headphones). These are mp3 earphones. -- (talk) 13:22, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Earbuds - really two different types[edit]

The article explains "earbuds" and classifies them under "in-ear". However, in fact that have been two kinds of similar headphones, and it is not clear which one of these is "earbuds" (and the other one is not mentioned at all): The original earbuds I've started seeing in the beginning of the 90s were tiny earphones which you would press *into* your ear, where it hung by the pressure. These were in some sense in-ear - although the earphone was only half-"stuck" in the ear, and not really inside it. But newer earphones (I think I only started to notice this 5 years ago or so) do not get pushed into the ear at all - rather they "hang" on the pinna (the outside part of the ear). You no longer feel any pressure in the ear you felt with older earphones, because the new ones are no longer *in* your ear. One side-effect of not being *in* the ear is that while earbuds used to be covered with spunge (to reduce the pressure on your ear), they now typically aren't.

Is anyone aware of a different name for the two types of earphones? If not, we need to move "earbuds" out of "in-ear headphones" because the modern earbuds do not sit in the ear. Nyh (talk) 11:57, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I think any 'phones that do not go into the ear should be headphones, not earbuds. Binksternet (talk) 12:59, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


"The electrical impedance of a pair of headphones depends on the model, and is in the range 25 ohms to 600 ohms." Totally not true, there are headphones ranging from 8 ohms up to more than 60 kohms, I'm going to delete that sentece, and if somebody wants to put it back then get sources for the information you place in here, and just don't write bs like that one —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:01, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Open-back & Closed-back sections need cleanup[edit]

The submitter seemed to just want to advertise their website so I changed their 2 links into 1 ref after merging the 2 sections. I don't know enough about headphones to properly clean it up, so added a cleanup tag. (talk) 09:16, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

In Ear Monitors Vs. Ear Buds[edit]

In the last few years, there has been a trend towards selling what this article refers to as in ear monitors to the general public as ear buds. This article talks about IEMs as if they were primarily pro-audio equipment, and the linked article talks exclusively about pro audio, but a trip to Wal-mart should be enough to show that these things aren't exclusively being sold to the pros anymore -- or that they're being called in ear monitors. The packaging I've seen refers to them as "Noise Reducing Earbuds" or something similar. For example, The following link is the first hit on an amazon search for ear buds:

Note that it doesn't use the term in ear monitors anywhere. To the best of my knowledge, that's a pro audio term that is used to distinguish the in ear variety from the ones that are gigantic physical speakers set up in front of the musicians, and not connected to the type of ear bud used at all. Any thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:03, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

I made this edit so that the article reflects this reality; tried to respect both sides... (All dictionaries (and encyclopedias) should reflect actual usage.)

Open vs. closed back[edit]

Could we maybe get side by side pictures of these two types of headphones, to give readers a better idea of the difference? Tad Lincoln (talk) 03:33, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Masking causes hearing damage[edit]

There was a line in the "possible dangers" section which said that hearing damage is caused by masking. I removed that part because it is false. I see the point that was being made i.e. because people turn up the headphones to mask background noise, they might get hearing damage, but to say that it is masking which causes hearing damage is incorrect. masking is just the fact that a louder sound covers up a quieter sound, this still happens even if you mask a very quiet sound with a slightly louder sound which would still never cause hearing damage. The cause of hearing damage is high sound pressure levels.

hughh 11 feb 2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:11, 11 February 2013 (UTC)