Headphones Buying Guide | Go Argos

Headphones Buying Guide

Your guide to finding headphones that suit the way you want to listen.

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Types of headphones

In-ear Headphones

In-ear and ear-bud headphones are super-portable and sit just outside your ear, or firmly inside your ear canal.

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Comfort and style

Compact and lightweight, they are the most portable type of headphones. The wires run from your device to your ear, so they won't interfere with the top of your head or hair. Depending on the quality of the ear-bud, some models may be prone to slipping out of your ear and others may become uncomfortable if you've been listening for a long time.

Sound quality and noise isolation

The sound goes directly into your ears, resulting in good sound quality and noise isolation. Ear-buds that rest on your ears allow more outside noise in, handy if you want to remain more aware of your surroundings.

Durability

The buds for in-ear headphones may need replacing after a while. Models of a better quality are likely to have more durable wires and ear-buds.

On-ear Headphones

Larger than in-ear styles, on-ear headphones come in both on and over-ear designs.

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Comfort and style

Slimmer on-ear headphones are considered to be more stylish than over-ear, and can be great for travelling and commuting. Over-ear headphones can be bulky, with some only intended for use inside. Both types should be comfortable for long periods of use, with better quality pairs having softer ear cushions.

Sound quality and noise isolation

Over-ear headphones provide the most immersive experience as they cover your whole ear. On-ear pairs still provide good sound and isolation, but are more likely to have some sound escape.

Durability

Headbands typically offer a good lifespan, and the more you spend, the better quality of build you should receive. Some even come with a carry case, giving you extra protection when you're not using them.

Wired headphones or wireless headphones?

Wired headphones

These plug into most devices with a headphones (AUX-IN) port. This includes smartphones, TVs, tablets, laptops and more. Only a few models need to be recharged and wires make them harder to misplace.

Things to consider – Wires can be fiddly and some newer devices, like the iPhone 7, no longer have a headphones port.

Wirless headphones

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With no tangled wires and great portability, wireless headphones connect to Bluetooth compatible devices and are usually charged with a USB cable.

Things to consider – Battery life, sound quality, playback and connection range can vary. You can find more information about this in the specs for each product.

Headphones by use

Many headphones are designed with a specific activity in mind.

Sport and fitness headphones

Shop Jaybird Run

  • Designed for comfortable listening while you exercise.
  • Compact and lightweight so that you barely notice them.
  • In-ear stability, so they don't fall out easily.
  • Some models have extra features like heart rate monitor or voice coaching.
  • Some pairs are sweat proof or have a degree of waterproofing.

Noise cancelling headphones

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  • Designed to block out the noise around you.
  • Features specific noise cancelling technology that reduces the amount of sound that escapes.

TV/Entertainment headphones

Shop all TV/entertainment headphones

  • High quality sound, providing a cinematic feel.
  • Often wireless or with longer wires, allowing you to listen comfortably at home.

Children's headphones

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  • Designed just for younger children.
  • Volume limit to protect little ears.
  • Portable design to make travelling with children as easy as possible.

Gaming headsets

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  • Includes a microphone, letting you talk to other gamers when playing online.
  • Often in over-ear, headband style for greater sound quality and immersive gaming.
  • Bulkier build as they aren't intended for use on-the-go.

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