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Take care of your ears – here’s how to choose the best headphones

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Do you need tips to find the best headphones on the market? We have a guide for what to look at to get good sound and to take care of your ears.

You must have experienced this on a flight, on the bus, train, metro or other public places. You sit in your own thoughts and maybe relax after a hard workday. Or maybe the flight is leading to a long overseas trip, where sleep becomes important. And then you hear noise. The first thought is often that it will probably pass. But the noise keeps going, and you look around to see where the annoying sound comes from. You discover that it is a person sitting next to you wearing earphones. The treble is terrible, and the earphones are so poorly constructed that they are completely inconsiderate of the user. The person might as well be playing directly from their phone. Welcome to hell with that kind of neighbour. Maybe the person is innocent. He or she has obviously just bought a cheap product and cannot hear that the music in the bad earphones is actually playing to the nearest surroundings.  For the most part unwanted by the others in the nearest surroundings. That’s where you get a dilemma. Do you say something? Should you be polite or irritated? It often ends with everyone staring angrily at the person and nobody saying anything. The person deserves to know that the earphones belong in the trash, and they should invest in something proper. Can we not just agree that earphones or headphones need to be proper? Of course, for one, your music should not be heard by the others, when you are in public, but even more importantly you only have two ears. If they are permanently injured, it can create problems for the rest of your life. Tinnitus, burst eardrums, deafness in one ear. There are many dangers for your ears related to constant loud music.

WHO (World Health Organisation) has made a number of surveys to prevent hearing damage worldwide. One of the conclusions is that if you listen to loud music in earphones or a headset for more than an hour over 85 decibels, there is a risk of hearing damage. If you go up to 100 decibels in earphones, you can only listen for 15 minutes. People often raise volume, if earphones do not really shut outside noises out. So one of the most important things when you are buying new earphones has to be that they are noise-reducing. If you are flying, for example, with good headphones you will not be bothered by the plane’s rumble, and so you do not need to crank up the volume too high.

Very nerdy and down to the technical details, noise-reducing headphones intercept the noise around. The noise itself then becomes integrated into your sound through a processor, and you do not notice the sound of the surroundings. Then you also ensured that your music is not too loud and spares your ears.

Not in all parameters is there a big difference between earphones and headphones, as all football celebrities swear. No big football match in Europe goes without the classic pictures of celebrities coming out of the bus with big headphones on. Experts say that you can feel that you get a better sound, when you can hear a low-frequency sound like bass very well. If you do not hear the bass sound very well, you will have a tendency to raise the volume. That’s where it usually goes wrong in terms of taking care of the eardrums. The earphones for iPhone, for example, have a looser contact with ears than the classic headphones that sit tighter. The earphones can have problems with the bass sound, because they sit looser. So be aware of that and make sure you are not just compensating for it by cranking up the volume. In the end, it is mostly you who can cause ear damage. No matter if you have the most expensive headphones or the classic iPhone earphones. You can take care of your ears by controlling the volume.

Regular smartphones and standard headphones can get the sound up to 100 decibels. That can be harmful, says professor from Aalborg University.

- “Headphones can actually play music as loud as music at a festival. It is because it is a small locked space, and because they are very effective in turning the voltage they get from the source to a sound pressure in the little locked space that are our ears”, says professor Dorte Hammershøj from the Electronic Systems Faculty. She recommends (for young people especially) to let the ears relax in the times where you are not listening to music. She compares it to an athlete that uses their muscles for a big run, and then relaxes and rests the muscles for the rest of the day.

It is super cool with new headphones. But it can also be a jungle to find your way around in, because there are just so many manufacturers and different types on the market. There are many important factors when choosing what to get. Many brands try making it exclusive by blowing up the price. In the fashion circles, headphones have also become an important accessory in your style. The budget for your headphones plays a role. It is important to think about how often you will use the headphones. Are they for a short cycling trip? A long trip by public transport? For running? Are they a part of your style?

If you use headphones daily and many times a day at that, you should set a budget a bit on the higher scale, without necessarily breaking the bank. You can easily find strong products for reasonable prices. At Coolshop we collaborate with an exciting brand on the market. One of many producers of headphones. It is KreaFunk with stylish headphones. The model is called aHead and it has received a lot of praise. It is a good product for an affordable price. Of course, they are cheapest to buy here at Coolshop. Already when you get your package, your gut feeling will be right. They are packed in an exclusive box from the manufacturer, and the presentation of the stylish headphones gives you a very good first impression. The buttons on the side work perfectly and are simple and easy. KreaFunk has also created a good technical set-up, where headphones easily connect to your devices, like smartphone or laptop. These headphones are also noise-reducing. As a strong extra benefit, you can also talk on the phone with the wireless headphones. There is an in-built microphone.

If you are more of a discreet in-ear kind of person, Coolshop can help you as well.

Bose is known worldwide for their sound, and they have produced some amazing in-ear models that are evaluated to be among the strongest on the market. The price is also for the discerning, but then you get these headphones for many years, and they won’t just quit. You can unfortunately experience that with the standard in-ear earphones you get with an iPhone, for example. With QuietComfort from Bose, you actually get two options in terms of noise reduction. You can activate it and let yourself sink into the music or podcast. But there is also something they call Aware Mode. When you press that button, you can instantly hear everything around you. It is especially important on a plane, if there is a message from the pilot, or if you are at a public place, where your attention is suddenly required.

Their StayHear earbuds are extremely comfortable to have in the ears. The quality is also comparable to the on-ear headphones. It is important to note though, before you buy headphones in any store, that they fit the products they are designed for. Most often it will be your phone or tablet, and there are also many that are made specifically for either Apple products or Android.

If you need earphones for running or training, it is best to search on the market for sports earphones. Sports earphones are produced with heavy focus on sitting better in the ear than other regular earphones. Many also come in a material that can absorb sweat more optimally than other earphones on the market. Here Bose also takes a high place in the market. Their products are more expensive than many other that focus on earphones for exercise. But then you also know that it is quality, and you will not be disturbed every second minute during you run because earphones fall out. They are also wireless, so you do not have the annoying cord connected to your phone. Instead, you can just leave your smartphone either in your pocket or on the arm in a smart phone holder. You have 6 hours of battery before they need charging and in-line microphone lets you change the volume or change songs on Spotify or other music service while you are on the run. They are also waterproof in terms of sweat and exercising in the rain. The only challenge is actually your own run.

If you have children, headphones are a must. When children learn to sit with a tablet or a smartphone, you will most often also need headphones for children. If you are on a long road trip, for example, it is not guaranteed that the rest of the car wants to listen to all Eurovision songs from all years, or if there is Peppa Pig playing on the iPad. Luckily, there are many alternatives for children on the market. When it comes to children, there are also some things you should be aware of. It goes without saying that children’s ears are not finished developing and so you should be extra careful and gentle with this. Google Eye has developed some competent headphones for children. At Coolshop you can get them with Minion figures on the ear parts. They are designed for children, because they have a sound limit technology. Children will often just raise the volume up if they are wearing adult headphones, so it could potentially be harmful. But with children’s headphones, you will already have a limit on the volume. They also have a very good fit for most children and the head piece is adjustable, so you can fit them better on the child’s head and ears.

Now that we are talking headphones for children, Hama has some super cool ones. They are equipped with light diodes that make very cool light effects, when they are used. They are also easy to fold together completely, so they fill up less space. They are recommended for children from 4 and up.

One thing you cannot get at Coolshop yet is the Orpheus headphones. They ranked as the world’s best in the headphones category, and they are produced by the sound expert Sennheiser. It was mostly an experiment on what you could get out of a pair of headphones, if you were not thinking of what it was going to cost for the consumers.

Let us say straight away – not many people will give 55.000$ for a pair of headphones. Or then you are definitely not lacking in coin. German Sennheiser has used this as their premium model, where they have not spared money on the costs of development. That is why they are also produced in a limited quantity. You get gold-plated ceramic electrodes and platinum membranes. You also get an amplifier which is one of the coolest in sound for headphones. The amplifier’s box is made of marble and you can say that even if you buy the headphones, most people do not use them enough. They are more for showing off at a luxury villa, if you want to be like Wolf of Wall Street.

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