Difference Between Earbuds and Headphones

In this internet age, smartphones became the new standard of interaction, and headphones or earbuds have become something of a fashion item rather than a technological tool.

These stress-relieving gadgets, which were formerly only available to athletes and trainers, have now become commonplace in modern society.

People nowadays spend a substantial period of time plugging in their preferred set of earbuds or headsets, and with the power to carry your tunes on the go, they are all the vogue amongst some of the urban youth.

This article will assist you in learning the characteristics of both types of ear-friendly speakers.

Earbuds vs Headphones

The main difference between earbuds and headphones is that earbuds are in-ear gadgets that provide better clarity and volume whereas, headphones are over-the-ear gadgets that are a bit bulkier but provide excellent noise cancellation and comfort. In general, headphones of just about any quality outperforms earphones because they employ larger and more powerful drivers than small earbuds. However, because they are over-the-ear, they may not be as loud.

Earbuds vs Headphones

Plastic earbuds are normally one-size-fits-all. These characteristics might be insecure and unpleasant determined by the shape of the ears.

As a result, they are prone to falling out regularly, particularly during activity. Earbuds allow in more background sound since they lie around the outside of your inner ear.

Headphones are a combination of tiny projector speakers worn well over the user’s ears on and around the head and sometimes the neck. They’re ambient soundscapes transducers, which translate an electric current into sound.

In contrast to a megaphone, which broadcasts audio into the open air for everyone around to hear, headphones allow a single user to enjoy an audio input secretly.

Comparison Table Between Earbuds and Headphones

Parameters of ComparisonEarbudsHeadphones
SizeEarbuds are smaller in size and are very compactly designed.A set of headphones is two basic speakers connected by a headband in their most basic form. This gadget covers your entire outer ear.
Drivers8 to 10 mm drivers are common in an ideal earbud set. The dynamic range of these drivers are average.30to 40mm drivers are much common in a mediocre headphone of a decent brand. Bigger drivers means better sound quality.
UsageDuring travelling, running and working out.For home and office usages only. These are great for gaming too as they can capture 360 surround sounds with utmost comfort.
Quality of SoundQuality of sound is decent and can be a little low when directly compared to headphones.In terms of sound, headphones are miles ahead from earphones and earbuds. HQ sound with latest amplifying technologies.
CompactnessEarbuds are very compact in design and structures.Headphones are quite bulky for portability.

What are Earbuds?

Earbuds, unlike headphones, are worn inside the inner ear. Instead of just outside the eardrums, their motors emit sound in them. Earbuds are all the latest craze for a smoother on-the-go audio experience.

They are small, convenient, easy to carry, and flexible enough to fit in almost any place, unlike those enormous large over-the-ear headphones.

Earbuds are hearing devices that sit on the auricle or plug into the inner surface of the ear, as the name implies. Earphones, earplugs, in-ear headphones, and other terms are used to describe them.

Earbuds, such as handsfree earphones, are the headphones’ genetic successors. The earbud is an in-ear speaker since it does away with the purpose of structural “cans” or cushioned ear muffs that snuggle the headphone’s drivers in.

Earbuds, which are implanted into the ear canal, allow a more clear correlation to the direct sound. They don’t move any more air than headphones do.

This is because they only need to vibrate a little volume of air only within the inner ear of the user.

Earbuds, often known as earphones, are far more compact than regular headphones.

As a result, they’re a popular choice among athletes, cyclists, and gym-goers who want to listen to music while working out.

What are Headphones?

Any audio sensors that you wear over your head are referred to as headphones. Earbuds plus headphones are included in this description.

When contrasting headphones to earbuds, however, they might have a more defined meaning.

A pair of transducers placed on the head having cups that push on or across the ears is a more precise (though still wide) description of headphones.

In some ways, headphones are the forerunner of anything else on this list. A set of headphones is two basic speakers connected by a headband in their most basic form.

The user’s skull is then crossed with this. This implies that the speakers are placed right in front of the outer ear of the user.

Their function is to let a single individual secretly listen to an audio input. Although each set of headphones does have a unique appearance, they all have the same fundamental makeup.

Headphones are often available in many styles but over the ear is the most used one.

They offer a superior audio experience by filtering out extraneous noise and giving exceptional audio experience, as well as being excellent at catching bass tones.

Although they’re not very portable as earbuds, they are ideal for watching movies and playing computer games.

They’re also comfy to wear thanks to the padding, which really doesn’t harm your ears and doesn’t degrade audio quality.

Whenever it comes to audio quality, earbuds are a better deal than earbuds, and they are better for your hearing wellness.

Main Differences Between Earbuds and Headphones

  1. Earbuds are much smaller in size when compared to Headphones.
  2. Earbuds are portable and flexible whereas headphones are bulky and not flexible when compared to the former.
  3. Earbuds are cheaper whereas headphones are very expensive.
  4. Earbuds have a smaller driver size which affects the quality of sound whereas drivers present inside headphones are quite large in size and the sound quality is High definition too.
  5. Earbuds are usually made up of alloys or plastic whereas headphones are built out of the metal base and cushioned earcups for extended usage without hurting your ears.
Difference Between Earbuds and Headphones


Earbuds are an excellent choice for long commutes because they are incredibly lightweight and flexible too.

Headphones are a good deal if you want to appreciate high-quality sound at residence without many bells as well as whistles, whereas earphones are an outstanding product if you are the “traveler” type of person.

Earbuds do cut off in the quality of sound but come with many other plus points to consider.

Headphones are excellent at catching bass tones, making them suitable for bass fans who aren’t willing to sacrifice sound quality. Furthermore, they effectively block out extraneous noise, resulting in rich sound quality.


  1. https://theworldofplay.com/blogs/play-stories/what-is-a-good-driver-size-for-headphones
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/marksparrow/2019/04/25/eight-things-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-pair-of-wireless-earbuds/?sh=73dad098204c
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