Headphones & Earplugs: 10 Facts You Might Not Know

Headphones have become a kind of basic necessity in our everyday routines. With the evolution of technology, they have been upgraded and have reached different levels of technology. From wired to wireless to earplugs to noise cancelling, you will get a variety of shapes – all working with different technologies.

In this article, we are going to share some unknown facts about headphones that you might not know. Let’s give a quick glance over the fun facts that every good quality headphone has and which one would be the best.


Here are 10 Facts You Might Not Have Known About Headphones

They have come a long way since 1880’s and got customized with the advent of technology. Here’s proof.

1. When headphones were first invented, they were used by telephone operators and had only one ear piece and a mouth piece instead of a mic.

2. The first working headphone was created by Nathaniel Baldwin in 1910 in his kitchen.

3. In 1970s they were only used for home-listening records. They were not meant to be portable at that time as they could weigh anything between 1 and 2 kg.

1970s headphones - kids

4. Noise cancelling was introduced to protect people’s ears against the sound generated by airplane engines. This technology was piloted by the Bose Corporation.

5. The ones that have a microphone in them are not headphones, they are headsets.

6. To prevent users from untangling cables, wireless headphones were invented. Connectivity is provided via Bluetooth.

7. The Apple iPod was the reason why earbuds that look like earplugs became widely popular.

8. Wearing them or any other earpiece for 2 hours straight can not only weaken one’s hearing ability but also increases the growth of the bacteria in your ears.

9. Low quality earbuds can give you ear infections.

10. You can test the quality of them by playing an old song on them.

These facts are probably not known by many people. Many individuals only check the sound quality by just connecting them with their smartphone and ignoring the rest of their important features.

Wireless headphones and earplugs are in demand because it spares you the hassle of untangling wires. Bluetooth technology helps you to stay connected by offering a signal range. They became popular (thanks to their portablility) and were further sub categorized into different types.

Types of Headphones and Earplugs


Appearance wise these ones are large and fit completely over your ears.


In-ear headphones are small earplugs. Because they get fixed in your ears, they are way closer to your ear canal. This is what makes them noise cancelling.


On-ear headphones are supra-aural. The ear-cups of these headphones are small compared the over-ear ones. They are not only portable, they are stable and fit properly on your ears and head.


These headphones are becoming very common. They have bone conduction technology. If you are a runner, then these ones are for you.


These are the classic ones that we all get with our smartphones. These ones are wired.

The above mentioned are some types that you will generally find. This will make buying the right kind easier.

Here are some key facts you should know if you are going to buy a new set of headphones

Sound Quality

That is something very obvious. The new wireless technology used in earplugs is aptX. The Bluetooth ones are not preferred as they compress the audio files and this decreases the quality of the sound. Secondly, it consumes your cellphone battery significantly. However, the sound produced by aptX technology is clear and crisp. Go for headphones that have aptX technology.


Drivers are the main reason for generating the sound produced by the magnet diaphragm or the voice coils. Large drivers provide better sound compared to small or the medium sized drivers.


The sensitivity range of quality headphones is between 60 decibels and 80 decibels. In some cases, you can also find 90 decibels, but that’s actually an exception. The average quality ones have a rating of 100 decibels. The most sensitivity that the headphones produces is around 110 decibels / mW. These headphones plays loud music in high quality.

The Impedance

Impedance is the power of required by them to work. Many of them produce high quality sound by just using low level of impedance. Headphones requiring high impedance are mostly unable to fulfill the 100% if there is not any other power source. The kind with low or medium impedance are suggested for a better hearing experience.

Battery life

Battery life is an important thing (especially if you are considering using Bluetooth). Good quality earplugs can give you anything from 8 to 10 hours playtime on a single charge. The charging time can range between 60 and 90 minutes.

These are the main key facts that might help to find the right headphones that look live earplugs or other headphones.

Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Staff Writer

Running Wolf's Rant's correspondent who chooses to remain anonymous...

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