How Can You Tell the Quality of Headphones

Higher prices don’t always mean better quality. That statement holds true with headphones. Sometimes headphone prices are raised simply because of the name, and not because of the quality. People always want to buy a flashy new thing on the market. Headphones can be marketed in a way that will drive the price up because more people will want them. 

They also can be more expensive because they are made for a different use than you need. Some headphones are specifically made for recording studios, broadcasting, or other professional fields. There are studio headphones, gaming headsets, and plenty of other types of listening devices. They might be great for those instances, but not for you. Especially if you just want to listen to music and relax.

In reality, the quality of headphones is all about personal preference. Some people prefer headphones that have a really strong bass effect, some like headphones with more of a natural sound. The real key to purchasing high-quality headphones for you is to listen to multiple pairs play the same song or instrument. That’s the only way you are going to be able to tell which one works best for you.

The other way to tell the quality is by the durability of the headphones. Nobody wants to go out and purchase a really expensive product, only to have it break in six months.

Know the Specs

Most headphones have all of their specific technology specs written somewhere on the box or online product descriptions. What do they mean though? If you’re a professional audio technician or producer, then obviously you would already know.

For the average person, it can be confusing. If you are buying headphones for their standard use, then there are only a few specs you really need to look out for.

Driver size is the first one. This determines the amount of deep bass that the headphones provide. The larger the size, the deeper the bass.

Frequency response is another important one to note.  Humans can hear sound from a range of 20Hz to 20kHz. When you see the frequency response on a box, it’s describing the tones that the product can reproduce. They can vary and be changed by adjusting the EQ on the music device you are using, but a good pair of headphones shouldn’t require much tinkering. They should be able to reproduce nearly all of the sounds needed to hear the songs. The higher the frequency response and frequency range, the better the quality of the headphones.


Is there a worse feeling than having something break that you spent a lot of money on? Yes, having something break that you spent a lot of money on because of something that shouldn’t have broken it. It’s one thing for a pair of headphones to break after being dropped from a great distance, or if water gets in contact with it. It’s another for a pair of headphones to break when adjusting the length of the speakers around your head, or the cushion falling off from removing the pair from your head.

Finding a pair of headphones with a really strong plastic is a good start. It’s lightweight, which makes it easier to transport, and it is also durable. Though we don’t recommend you test every pair by dropping them, the chances of them breaking from a fall is small. Some headphones have a metal or aluminum casing around the frame which is even more durable than plastic. It might make things more expensive, but also much harder to break.


The best way to tell the quality of a pair of headphones is actually really simple. Read the reviews! Don’t be fooled by flashy logos and important sounding amenities, do your own research. The best way to tell a good quality headphone other than actually listening to them is to read what others have to say.

Go online and look at reviews or talk to people who have purchased the pair you are looking at. With the internet and the connectivity we have to others, this is a key aspect. You can do research into all the specs you want, but the best way to tell is to simply research and see what other people have to say.

Yes, reviews aren’t always reliable which is why you should still listen to music with the headphones to see for yourself, but they can help you make a proper and informed decision before you purchase anything.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember when purchasing earphones is that price doesn’t equal quality all of the time. Other than durability, the quality of a pair is all about personal perspective and what you are specifically looking for.

If you like music that has strong bass effects, then look for that. If you want something that has a more natural sound than try finding a pair that specifies those qualities. Listen to multiple pairs and hear the difference, talk to others, read reviews, and feel the headphones for their durability. That’s the best way to tell what a quality headphone is.