Size & Portability- Earbuds and Sport Headphones are by far the easiest to travel with because of their lightweight and size. However, there are some benefits to traveling with fully sealed or noise cancelling headphones. Some problems I’ve encountered with clip on headphones while traveling is they don’t seal out enough of the ambient noise (especially on airplanes). Many of today’s larger model headphones are collapsible and also come with carrying cases which make them much easier to travel with. So the best wireless earbuds may help you to enjoy your journey.
Weight & Comfort- Another big consideration when choosing headphones is the weight and comfort of them. I personally dislike heavy headphones as they become uncomfortable much faster than a lighter pair. Often quality is equated with weight and thickness of the materials used, be careful to not go overboard here and end up a pair of headphones that is too heavy. Also remember, it is very hard to judge the comfort of a set of headphones within 10 minutes of wearing them, it generally takes much more time to realize they are not going to be comfortable.
Impedance- Without going into too much detail, a pair of headphones with low impedance will sound louder when used with a device with low output voltages, such as ipods, iphones, smart phones, etc. Headphones being used with portable devices such as these should have a maximum impedance of 64 ohms.
The lower the impedance, the more efficiently the headphones are able to convert the incoming electrical energy into audio sound. Inversely, the higher the impedance the more electrical energy is required to drive the headphones little speakers.
Plugs & Jacks- I’ll keep this section very simple. Just make sure the headphones will be able to plug into the device or devices you are planning to use with them. Keep in mind there are adapters available if you have devices with varying audio jacks. If you are an avid gamer then you should focus on this to get the best gaming headset from market.
Open or Closed Back- Headphones generally have an open (mesh screen usually on the back of ear cup), or closed back (solid plastic, or metal ear-cup backing) design. Open back headphones are generally considered to have better audio fidelity. The reason, closed back headphones typically suffer from music back-waves being reflected back into the ear-cup, instead of being able to escape out the open back. Closed back headphones also tend to have just that, a more closed feel when it comes to your music.
The problem with open back headphones is they leak sound, and provide little to no isolation from ambient sound. This can be a problem is you are trying to listen to music in a loud environment, or if you are listening to your music in a quite place. Generally for listening to music while you are on the “go”, closed backed headphones are going to be a better choice.
Audio Quality- This is probably more of a necessity than a feature; however there are many headphones that don’t exactly live up to the promises of the manufacturer in terms of audio quality. I find the best to way to determine if headphones and speakers have good audio quality is to compare many different models against each other at the same time, this way you have a point of reference. It is very difficult to determine good audio quality in a pair of headphones or speakers when comparing in isolation.