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What To Look for when Buying Bass Booster Headphones

Posted by Jamie on February 18, 2019

Not all headphones are created equally. While price is an obvious differentiator, purpose is a less obvious but more important consideration. Sure, the more you can afford to spend, the better the headphones you can buy but if you’re looking specifically for bass, the characteristics of the headphones in question count for more. Here is what to look for when buying bass booster headphones.

You have a lot of decisions to make if you’re in the market for headphones. Do you buy wired or wireless? Earbud, on-ear or over-ear? Noise canceling, water-resistant or volume limited? Headphones designed for studio clarity or bass boosting? You get the idea. It’s as much about buying the right tool for the job as it is choosing the make and model.

So what do you need to look for with bass booster headphones specifically?

Headphone type

The type of headphone has quite an influence over how easy they are to live with. All types can have bass drivers and be configured for the lows associated with bass so that is less of an issue. More important is how you’re going to use them and what you find most comfortable.

Earbuds with a deep fit are good for bass reproduction. They also reduce ambient noise and can be comfortable to wear in any situation. You can also listen at a lower volume yet still get the full experience which is a long term benefit. If you’re going to be on the move a lot, these might be worth considering.

Over-ear headphones are larger and heavier but can be no less comfortable. They offer the space to add low drivers and for sound to resonate. They also do a good job of isolating exterior noise and providing a more immersive experience. If you’re going to listen while still or don’t mind the size, this type is worth a look.

On-ear headphones are smaller than over-ear headphones and in many cases, offer inferior bass reproduction. On the plus side they are cheaper and lighter. They are also more portable, so sit between earbuds and over-ear headphones in terms of convenience.

Frequency range

The human ear can detect sound at frequencies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). Bass tends to range between 20 to 250 Hz with midrange coming in at between 250 Hz and 4 kHz. Above that are presence frequencies up to 6 kHz and between 6kHz and 20 kHz is the brilliance range.

As you’re looking at bass booster headphones, you’re going to be more interested in lower frequencies. Good quality headphones will be able to reproduce sound between 5 Hz and 30 kHz. Any frequency below that 20 Hz detection range will be felt rather than heard, which is no bad thing.

If the headphones in question handle frequencies at the lower end of the spectrum, they should effectively reproduce bass to the level that you’re looking for.

Headphone drivers

The driver is the part of a speaker than moves along with the music. It’s the same within headphones only on a smaller scale. Most headphones have dynamic drivers which combines all frequency types into a single transducer to provide the entire range of sound.

You can get other types of driver, but they are less of a consideration than other elements of headphones. Still worth mentioning though.

Bass boost

As you’re looking for bass booster headphones, this is obviously going to be a primary consideration. Different manufacturers achieve bass boost in different ways. Some use the construction to increase bass such as over-ear phones with vent holes or pleather covers or they do it with an equalizer.

Many good quality bass booster headphones will be tuned to the low range and have an equalizer built in or as an app. You can then tune the frequency response and whether the sound is cold or warm depending on your tastes.

Comfort

Once you have tried on a few pairs of headphones, you will quickly realize that they are not all created equally. If you’re going to be wearing yours for hours at a time, comfort is obviously key. I would suggest that comfort is more important than design, brand and anything else as it will have the most influence over your experience.

If your headphones are so comfortable that you forget you’re wearing them, you will find it easier to immerse yourself if the music. If they get hot and sweaty or create hotspots on your skull or ear, you will quickly lose that immersion. All other things being equal, comfort is a primary consideration when buying any headphones, including bass booster headphones.

It’s all very well wanting a particular brand or type because they are cool right now, but a pair of headphones can be for life, not just for Christmas. They are an individual choice and what works for one, may not work for someone else. Buy the pair that feels right and sounds right to your individual tastes. It’s the only way to go!

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