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High Quality Headphones: Perfect Your Listening Experience

How do you look for high quality headphones?

Well, the short answer is the Nuraphone. The long answer is the rest of this article!

Headphones come in all shapes and sizes. However, this is not a case of one size fitting all. There is a whole range of criteria that high quality headphones have to meet. This criteria plays into several key factors such as audio quality, convenience, size, comfortability, etc.

What are the key factors of high quality headphones?

Build Quality

First of all, build quality does not directly relate to audio production. Even if you had headphones with the best sound quality ever conceived, they wouldn't mean anything if they fell apart the moment you put them on.

You should also consider comfortability when choosing headphones. Imagine buying headphones with perfect tech specs, only to put them on and immediately want to take them off. You don't want listening to an album in its entirety to feel like a musical endurance test.

Drivers

The driver converts electrical signals to sound, thus making the headphones work.  In a microphone, the electrical current is passed through what are known as voice coils, which are then converted to sound waves by vibrating a transducer called a diaphragm. During this process, a magnet generates a magnetic field that enhances those soundwaves.

Good drivers rely on a variety of factors. Most of us are familiar with the size, but there is a more important factor: the build quality. Material quality affects the driver's ability to withstand higher power without distorting.

Drivers come in different types as well, such as:

- Dynamic Drivers
- Planar Magnetic Drivers
- Electrostatic Drivers
- Balanced Armature Drivers
- Magnetostriction or Bone Conduction Drivers
- Hybrid Drivers

Sensitivity

What is the maximum volume you want from your headphones? Sensitivity is measured in decibels of sound pressure level per milliwatt (mW). In general, headphones have sensitivity ratings between 90 and 105 dB SPL/mW, but there are some that surpass this point.

Taking this factor into account is particularly important, as certain levels of sensitivity demand more power than others, and excessive volume may also cause hearing damage.

Noise Cancellation

The process of noise cancellation ensures that audio is not distorted by background sounds when headphones are worn. In active noise cancellation headphones, a microphone and speaker record and generate inverse sound waves that cancel background noise while you listen.

Depending on how headphones are constructed, active noise cancellation technology may be used in the same way, but their quality may be different. Some are of a higher quality than others. If you want high quality headphones, then the Nuraphone is the best option, because it combines durable materials and sophisticated technology to provide some of the most effective noise cancellation available.

Active noise cancellation is ideal for low frequency noise, such as droning ambience, whereas noise isolation works better for high and mid frequency noise, which is more immediate. The Nuraphone offers comprehensive noise cancellation and isolation, simultaneously blocking high and low frequencies of sound. Noise isolation is the method of blocking out background noise by obstructing the ear canal to prevent the entrance of sound waves from the outside. For headphones, this is achieved because headphone cushions cover the ear, while earbud tips are built to rest inside the ear canal

It also has added functionality so that you have control over noise cancellation at all times. Social Mode is a setting in the Nuraphone that allows you to disable noise-cancelling, so you can hear the outside world perfectly without having to remove your headphones.

Impedance

Impedance is the measurement of the power requirements of headphones in ohms. In general, impedance is rated from 8 to 600 ohms. High impedance means better sound quality, but it also means more power required, which may translate into the need to purchase an amplifier for optimal performance.

It is important to find headphones whose impedance is similar to that of your device, but not identical. An impedance of up to 32 ohms will make your headphones compatible with pretty much any mobile device with no problems.

Battery Life

Headphones come with different battery capacities, from 10, 20, 30 to even 60 hours, so it’s up to you to decide which one you’re willing to spend money on. It is also worth noting that battery life is drained quicker when active noise cancelling is used.

Control

The Nuraphone contains touch dial controls, which you can dial, tap, or double tap to adjust ANC to social mode, volume, play, pause, and more. These controls can be customised from the Nura app.

Frequency

Music comes to life more when its frequency range is wider. Lower frequency represents bass; higher frequency represents treble. You won't be able to hear everything your music has to offer if you buy cheap headphones.

The typical frequency response of headphones is between 10 Hz and 25,000 Hz. Certain headphones will boast increased bass, but this can detract from the sound. Be sure to check reviews before you make your final decision.

Personalised Sound

The Nuraphone provides high quality sound and a build that is both comfortable and durable, but it also provides a listening experience that caters itself to you.

Through a sophisticated process, the Nuraphone monitors how you listen to audio by reading otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) that resonate from your ear drum when you listen to a certain tone. They then generate a personalised profile that caters its audio playback to you.

How do you judge the sound in high quality headphones?

High quality headphones should produce a clear, crisp, and detailed sound. However, sound quality can be objectively determined by using measurements.

We’ve already discussed frequency range, but there’s also:

Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) 

This ratio compares the amount of signal power against the amount of background noise, measured in decibels. Ratios greater than 0dB (e.g. a 1:1 ratio) indicate more signal than noise. In general, good headphones have an SNR of at least 60dB, while great headphones have an SNR of 100dB.

Spurious Free Dynamic Range (SFDR)

This is the ratio that indicates the strength of the fundamental electronic signal to the strongest spurious signal in the output. It sounds complicated, but it measures the distortion that occurs as an electronic signal is converted into sound.

Distortion Ratio (SINAD)

SINAD is a combination of the signal to noise ratio that then incorporates distortion, being summarised as the ratio of the total signal power level (Signal + Noise + Distortion) to unwanted signal power (Noise + Distortion). Much like the signal to noise ratio; the higher the SINAD, the better, as it essentially means that the signal is strong in spite of noise and distortion.

Percentage of Total Harmonic Distortion (%THD)

When an original electronic signal is converted to sound, it retains 5-6 harmonic components of its original frequency spectrum, as opposed to how much is subjected to distortion. THD typically ranges from less than 1% to less than 0.1% on high quality headphones.

Of course, if all of that sounds way too complicated, you could always just try the Nuraphone for yourself. If you have any more questions, contact us and we’ll give you the best audio listening experience, courtesy of some high quality headphones.

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