Difference Between Headphone and Earphone (With Table)

Technology has become a dominant part of our daily lives. Headphones and earphones are no longer associated with being an accessory. They are ingrained into our daily lives. A few years back, athletes or trainers used them as a stress buster. It used to cancel the hustle and bustle of the environment, and they could concentrate on the training.

The headphones or the earphones are frenzy among the young and the old. The headphone and earphones are a blessing during long traveling hours, endless noise.

Listening to music has a serene effect on us. These devices give us the privacy to listen to our favorite musician without disturbing our fellow members. The compact casing and being less bulky has an added advantage to make this gadget everyone’s favorite. 

Headphone vs Earphone

The difference between headphones and earphones is that the model of headphones has two speakers attached within. On the other hand, an earphone is a small headphone in each ear.  When the headphone is worn, the speaker covers the ear. The sound quality of the headphone is superior and is extremely good in capturing the Bass tone.

Many headphones come with a noise-canceling feature that blocks the external noise. Wearing a headphone is comfortable. The extra cushioning provides better sound quality and protection to your ears. 

An earphone has choices available between wired and wireless. They provide a better experience listening to music. Being lightweight, easy to carry and, portability has made earphones extremely popular. The sound quality is affected as earphones do not filter all the external noise. But it is good in capturing the bass sound.

Comparison Table Between Headphones and Earphones

Parameters of comparisonHeadphonesEarphones
DesignHeadphones have a design that is accustomed to resting on your outer ear.Earphones are made to fit right into your ear canal.
MobilityHeadphones are large and not quite portable.Earphones are small, light, and hence easy to carry.
QualityHeadphones block out exterior noise, hence delivers a better experience.Earphones do not block external noises, which affects their sound quality.
CostHeadphones are expensiveEarphones are slightly economical as compared to headphones.
BassHeadphones deliver superior quality bass, enhancing the user experience.Earphones somewhat lack bass quality.

What is Headphone?

The initiation of headphones was at baby steps with the invention of the telephone. The experience of a headphone is similar to the telephone operator. John Koss initiated a crucial breakthrough in headphones. The first stereo headphones. These were luxurious, and the cushions made them comfortable to wear. The latest technology has many options in headphones. The alternatives are wired wireless and a Bluetooth option.

The Headphones cover the ear surface, but they do not seal them completely. It provides good sound quality by blocking the external noise. It is not as portable as earphones. They are a considerable choice for listening to a movie or while playing games. They are comfortable to wear. The cushioning on the headphone protects our ears, but the sound quality is not compromised.

Headphones are superior when enjoying high-quality sound. Wearing them for a long duration of time could be uncomfortable. The unnecessary noise that plays in the background is quite annoying. Being able to cancel all the background sound and enjoy the music is termed noise cancellation.

The noise cancellation feature of headphones is outstanding. It enhances the quality of the musical experience. Headphones provide a rich quality of musical experience. It encapsulates the base tones and gives the optimum musical affair for bass tone lovers.

What is Earphone?

Earphones are miniature loudspeakers worn close to the listener’s ears. It plugs into the internal part of the ear. Earphones are ideal while listening to music. While traveling or exercising, earphones are the best companions. They are handy and portable to fit into your pockets.

Earphones are a miniature version of a headphone. The portability is ideal while traveling or going on a morning run. The earphone keeps your hairstyle perfect. The earphone is self-powered through mobile phones or portable music systems.
Earphones do not filter all the external noise. The noise quality is affected while commuting as it does not have the noise-canceling feature.

Main Differences Between Headphones and Earphones

  1. The earphone design is to fit into your ear canal. It is compact and less bulky than the headphones. The headphones cover your entire ear surface.  
  2. The earphone does not filter the external noise. It affects the quality of the sound. The headphone has a noise cancellation feature this delivers better quality of music. It apprehends the base tones making it ideal while watching a movie or playing games.
  3. Earphones are ideal while traveling or working out as it is portable and easy to handle. The headphone is a great way to enjoy music, constantly wearing a headphone can become uneasy. Headphones are not portable to carry while traveling or working out in the gym.
  4. The headband of the headphones is an essential part of the device. It connects both the ear cups together and ensures it is in the proper position. The earphone generally does not have a headband as it fits into the listener’s ear canals.
  5. The simple difference is headphones are sizable and designed to sit on top of your ears. The earphones are small and intended to fit inside the ear.


The headphone is the ideal choice to enjoy superior quality music. Earphones are a perfect combination while traveling or gyming, and it is portable, lightweight, and easy to carry. The headphone is a better choice for bass tone lovers. The quality of sound is perfect in a headphone due to the noise cancellation feature.

The headphone and earphones are a significant innovation for music lovers. Both have advantages and unique features. It is best to understand the different parameters to decide on headphones or earphones. The performance level needs to be balanced based on the cost. A variety of headphones and earphones are available in the market to suit the needs and the budget.


  1. https://journals.lww.com/ear-hearing/Fulltext/2007/06000/Output_Levels_of_Commercially_Available_Portable.00002.aspx
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00206099509071915
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