Earphones vs headphones: What’s the difference?

Planning to purchase an audio device? Don’t confuse your headphone with your earphone and find the right gadget for you. Despite having similar purposes, there are loads of differences between these two devices and that’s what we’re going to explore right here at Bluetooth Gears. 

Allow us to show you a comprehensive list of differentiating headphones and earphones from one another and help you find the device that works best with your style and everyday routine. 

What are headphones? 

Headphones are two small speakers connected by a band. Based on the name itself, this device is mostly worn over the head while the sound system rests over your ears. This kind of device allows you to listen to your music privately without anyone interrupting. 

What are earphones?

Unlike headphones, earphones are smaller and more compact devices that fit directly on your ear. It is usually connected with a wire that you can share with your friends to listen to music together without sharing your audio source with the rest of the crowd. 

Some newer models of earphones are called earbuds. It has the same design and function as earphones, but these devices are not connected with wires. Instead, it uses Bluetooth to allow you to listen to your music.

Difference between headphones and earphones

Below, we have listed some of the key points that make these devices different from each other. Using this list, you can identify which product works better for you and help you decide on the best option for your purchase.

Sound quality 

The most important factor in purchasing an audio device is the sound quality. It needs to produce a crisp and clean sound where you can hear all the instruments playing in your music without it sounding off. 

Although headphones tend to produce a higher quality sound compared to earphones, it still varies depending on the model and brand that you select. Perhaps the greatest difference is that headphones can keep the sound around you lower than earphones.


We have an obvious winner in this category and that is the earphones. These devices are small and you can fit them anywhere whereas the headphones are huge and often too vulnerable to simply fit in your bag. 

Noise cancellation 

Different models and brands offer noise cancellation for both headphones and earphones. However, headphones have a better noise cancellation effect due to their overall design. Meanwhile, earphones lose in this category because their fit in the ears often prevents them from properly sealing the noise outside.

The noise cancelling effect through noise isolation measures also tends to hurt the ears when using earphones because these devices are closer to your lug and therefore, the frequencies sent by your device affect your hearing directly. 

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