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Best Earbuds vs. Best HeadPhones:
What's The Real Deal?

As a music lover, you must have faced the dilemma of investing either in a pair of big headphones, or a pair of sleek earbuds at least once in your life. Despite of what’s the “in” thing or what’s trending, you must have found yourself contemplating over the matter.

At one point, maybe you were really tempted by the color and size of the huge range of headphones available for you to choose from. And the next moment, perhaps you gave that up and began looking at chic ear buds to take with you to the gym.

Regardless of what you choose, the one question that always remains is: are headphones better or ear buds? Which one provides better quality music? Does either of them have health hazards attached with it?

At some point, you are also likely to be influenced by what’s more popular and you might take a look around before investing in either of the two options.

Although both headphones and ear buds have their fair share of pros and cons, to make your decision easy for you, we have laid out a simple comparison between the two.


Headphones: Most headphones are designed in a way that they cover the entire ear surface and basically rest on the outer ear. But there are many types or models available in headphones like over-the-ear models that end up covering your entire ear and fully encircle both the ears.

While an obvious advantage with such designs is that they manage to deliver exceptional sound quality and also block out background noise that can interfere with your music, they are actually very bulky and heavy. Many such headphones are also not portable which is probably why many people don’t prefer wearing them especially when working out or running in the park.

They can also get really sweaty in very less time and get tangled with your hair.

Ear buds: In comparison. Most ear buds are supposed to be inserted inside the ear canal and some also cover your outer ear. However, they are lighter than headphones, smaller in size, and certainly less bulky than the latter. This makes them super handy and portable and there’s no wonder you see so many people with ear buds dangling over their necks almost everywhere from colleges and universities to workplaces and cafes.

However, a major downside with most of these ear buds is that they won’t deliver the high quality sound like headphones do and they are also not really good at cutting out external or background noise. They are particularly inferior when it comes to bass tones.

On top of that, wearing ear buds for too long can be quite painful and for many people, it hurts their ear canals.


A second most important aspect to consider is the amount of comfort that the respective audio device provides to its users.

Headphones: As mentioned above, headphones can tend to be bothersome especially when you are exercising.  When you are working out, you need to stay focused on that which is tough enough as it is, you don’t want to be worrying about your headphones too. Another thing with headphone is also that if worn for too long, they can create pressure on the ear lobes. For people who have very sensitive ear lobes, this can be a major problem since it can cause them great discomfort.

Ear buds: Similarly with ear buds, if you have a shallow or small ear canal, wearing ear buds can be extremely painful. Although majority of the people find it easier to just slide in a pair of ear buds, the size of your ear can be a real hindrance.


When investing in headphones or ear buds, you don’t just want top sound quality but also guaranteed durability. Sturdiness is a vital quality in audio-related devices because you don’t want to invest in them every now and then.

Headphones: if you are going to wear your headphones to the gym, you better ensure that they are made of robust quality materials. Because when working out you are probably moving too much and the chances of you dropping your gadget are far too great. Sweat resistance is also vital here because your headphones need to be able to provide water protection especially for people who sweat a lot.

However, it is a fact that headphones can cause increased sweat due to their size and bulkiness. And not all headphones are water resistant.

Ear buds: Like headphones, ear buds also have the same issue. Bad quality ear buds made from cheap material will eventually stop working. However, they don’t cause a person to sweat as much as headphones do. So, if taken good care even with all the sweat, ear buds can last you a fairly long time.


If you are going to buy headphones or ear buds, you will want them to be portable enough that you can carry them with you to work, gym, college, etc.

Headphones: Majority of the headphones are fairly large in size which makes it tough for you to carry them around. Let’s say if you were to travel from your home to gym and back every day, carrying heavy headphones with you might not be such a comforting idea. However, given that the headphones come with a decent carrying case, it might make things easier.

Ear buds: These, on the other hand, are super easy to carry and can easily be stashed in your jeans pocket or your gym bag. As long as you take care of the wire and not tightening it too much, they will last you a long time. You can also carry ear buds while wearing them since they are not so heavy and not as bulky as headphones either.


There is no black-and-white answer here as to whether headphones are better or ear buds. Both have their pros and cons and the decision basically depends on your needs. Either way, you will have to compromise on some aspects, be it sound quality or portability!