In-ear headphone is a micro size headphone that developed from semi full-size for the purpose of portability and convenience. Therefore, in-ear headphone dominates the market share of headphones as it is the best-seller out of all headphone types. There are various brands available ranging from low price and low quality to high price and high quality. The main feature of in-ear headphone is the short distance from the ears that enables the delivery of all sound dimensions. Meanwhile, it is challenging to develop a high-quality in-ear headphone, considering it has limitations of size and transducer. With its small size and limited distance, it is difficult to obtain all sound dimensions, especially for low frequency. Hence, there is not many outstanding brands and models for an in-ear headphone.
However, as mentioned previously, micro size headphone can be classified into 3 categories including earbud, in-ear, and hybrid headphones. A hybrid headphone is a combination of in-ear and earbud headphones. Therefore, let's take a look at micro size headphones ordered by the popularities in the market.
Earbud headphone is the first generation headphone that was launched in the market. It is suitable for a beginner because earbud headphone is regularly bundled as in a set when you buy any devices. Even a hands-free gadget that is used with a smartphone is also one of the earbud headphones. Earbud headphone is a primary headphone thus it is the first one that we will think of when we talk about the headphone. However, it is hard to develop a good earbud headphone due to the limitation of size and short sound distance driver. Therefore, earbud headphones in the market, especially the cheap or unqualified ones, regularly are unable to provide the high sound quality. Besides the sound quality, the quality of production is probably not good as well. This type of headphone usually has a short lifetime. Some of the reasons for the short lifetime of earbud headphones include cable wire that easily rips off and broken headphone as a driver depart from a housing. In order to choose a high-quality earbud headphone, it is worthwhile to choose from famous brands and check its quality before buying. This will reduce the risk of buying the low-quality earbud headphone.
In-ear monitor headphone
In-ear monitor headphone or IEM fits perfectly with this era. As nowadays it receives high popularity several brands turn to produce an in-ear monitor headphone rather than an earbud headphone. Recently, an Mp3 player from numerous brands starts providing an in-ear monitor headphone in the box. Soon an in-ear monitor is expected to dominate an earbud headphone market share. The characteristic of an in-ear monitor is its earbud made from rubber. It has a different size to suit an individual user. An in-ear monitor headphone delivers a sound quality in middle to high-pitched tone with a great detail and low distortion since the speaker is small and near to the eardrum more than other types of headphones. It is known as the headphone that presents the best sound dimension. Hence, a user can obviously classify each instrument sound. In-ear monitors are excellent for blocking noise disruption because a user has to put the earbud in his ears.
In the beginning, in-ear monitoring headphone was designed to be mainly used in the studio, stage, and public address (PA) as it can isolate sound from outside noise and work in a noisy place. Accordingly, it was called in-ear monitor or IEM at the beginning. Thus, it was used for sound work rather than listening to music because it has a great noise-canceling capability.
By the way, when buying a headphone, besides sound, design, and budget you should consider the usage as well.