The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

Going Head-to-Head: A Review of Different Headphones

Everywhere you go, you can spot someone blocking out the world with headphones. While they can seem isolating, headphones serve a purpose in blocking out distractions, especially in noisy spaces like our library.

Wondering which pair to buy? Here are my opinions on a few of the most popular (and some lesser known) headphones. 

AirPods and AirPods Pro

AirPods and their newest version, AirPods Pro, have been my go-to headphones for a few years now. Ever since their first generation was released by Apple in 2016, I have loved AirPods. They are compact; not only are they easy to throw in a backpack or a pocket, but they do not cover your whole ear or have long wires that get tangled easily. Once Apple came out with AirPods Pro, I had to try them. While this model is more expensive than the original AirPods, they are a lot more comfortable due to the covers on the headphones. They also have different noise control functions, including noise canceling. I have had my AirPods Pro for about two years, and while I love them I don’t think they are meant to last years. The degree to which they cancel noise has begun to diminish; even if I play music loudly with noise canceling on, I can still hear a bit of noise, but this is the only way now that I can block out noise. Additionally, since AirPods Pro have a Find My iPhone feature, I’m always getting notifications that my “AirPods Pro have been left behind” but they will be sitting in my backpack. While this feature can be helpful if you lose your AirPods, it can sometimes be inaccurate. And sometimes, even if my AirPods are in the case and I am not wearing them, they will connect to the device I’m using. I love my AirPods Pro, but they definitely aren’t great for a device to last you a few years. I would recommend getting Pros over regular AirPods, as they are a lot more comfortable and have noise control features, but if you do choose to invest your money into them, know they might only last a couple years. 

Price: $129 (AirPods), $249 (AirPods Pro) 

AirPods Max

I understand why these headphones are so expensive. They’re extremely comfortable, and their noise canceling function drowns out all noise. The headphone fits completely over my ears, making for a very comfortable experience. Similarly to AirPods Pro, the Max has noise control functions, so you can choose whether or not you want to be able to hear noise from outside. If you go on the transparency function, which allows you to hear noise outside, you can barely tell you have headphones on at all. Unlike the AirPods Pro, the Max has two buttons, one allowing you to switch between noise canceling and transparency, and one allowing you to adjust the volume. These buttons are extremely helpful, especially if you are someone who likes wearing headphones while walking around and wants to be able to quickly adjust what you can hear. Though I understand it is hard to justify their price, these headphones are extremely useful, comfortable, and have amazing features. 

Price: $549

Beats by Dre

If you want a pair of headphones that are more long-lasting, Beats might be for you. I’ve had the Beats Solo 3 for many years, and they are still in perfect condition. I haven’t used them every day, but they still have a good battery life and are effective at canceling noise. What I love about Beats is how they have a Bluetooth function, but can also be plugged in. This makes them perfect for traveling, especially if you need to fly somewhere and want to be able to plug your headphones into airplane TVs. Additionally, they easily fold down into their case, and while they’re definitely not as small as AirPods, they’re not bulky. Sometimes when I wear them for a while, they can start to feel uncomfortable on my ears; the ends of the headphone rest on my ears instead of completely covering them. Other than this, these are my go-to over-the-ear headphones, and I definitely think they are worth the money.

Price: $199.95

Sony Headphones 

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Headphones are extremely comfortable. Like the AirPods Max, they completely cover my ears, so the headphones aren’t pushing up against them in an uncomfortable way. They also have a button allowing a switch on noise canceling. I think they cancel noise just as well as AirPods Max. With music playing, you might still be able to slightly hear what is going on around you, but it will only be a faint noise. While these headphones are still quite expensive, they are 200 dollars less than AirPods Max, and work just as well. 

Price: $349.99

JBL Tune 510BT

These are a relatively small pair of headphones that are not very popular.  While these headphones are not meant to cancel noise – and don’t – if you are actively listening to music, you won’t be able to make out any exact conversations that are happening around you. These headphones are pretty comfortable, and the sound quality on them is good and not fuzzy at all. If you are looking for smaller, cheaper, but still good quality headphones, the JBL Tune 510BT might be for you!

Price: $49.95

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