Earbud Earphones vs. Full-Size Headphones: Which are better?

Handymen compare various TIG welders to find out what’s the best TIG welder for aluminum out there. Just like them, a music-lover also compares headphones to find out which one will suit their needs.

Earbud Earphones

They range from disposable to high-performance models. They typically come with your smartphone and are considered one of the most popular types of headphones. Earbud earphones have small earpieces which either rest on our outer ears or into our ear canal. Some buds even have wings and fins to make sure they fit anyone’s ears.


  • black-earphones-inside-ear-canalThey’re lightweight and compact, which means they’re easy to bring.
  • These buds mostly come with a microphone along with track navigation controls.
  • They are good, sometimes excellent, in isolating external noise.
  • They have little to zero interference with glasses, hats, earrings, and even hairstyles.
  • Most of them can fit inside any ear size.


  • The sound quality is usually incomparable with full-size headphones.
  • The bass is often not boosted as well.
  • They can be uncomfortable to use for a long time.
  • Some earbud models are laborious to insert and remove, making them less ideal for office use.
  • The wires can easily get tangled.

Additional features to look for:

  • Different ear tip sizes
  • Three ear tip materials—foam, silicone, and rubber
  • Five-button remote which can control volume
  • Over-ear guides

Full-size headphones

On the other hand, we have full-size headphones. They are also referred to as earcup headphones, over-the-ear headphones, circumaural headphones, and closed-back headphones. They fully enclose one’s ears and are recommended for home use because of their size. They are also used in music studios because they have excellent acoustic isolation.



  • They have higher bass and loudness levels.
  • They generate a larger sound stage thanks to the earcups.
  • They give off that surround-sound feel which isolates noise, giving that sealed music experience.


  • They are too large to bring, which means they aren’t portable.
  • Some models quickly build up the heat on the ears.
  • Because of the wide headband, they stand in the way of one’s glasses, earrings, hats, and some hairstyles.

Additional features to look for:

  • Detachable cord
  • Foldable headband
  • Microphone, track navigation, and volume controls (wire)
  • Replaceable pads


Depending on how they’re going to be used, each type of headphones can be better than the other at some point. For instance, earbud earphones are better for those who are usually on the go, and for listeners who don’t mind the capacity of the earbuds to produce not-so-loud with enhanced bass songs. However, for those who wish to cancel noise and hear that low pitch, the full-size headphones would be better.