Recently, there are various types of headphone that are suitable for different usages. In order to reduce the confusion and to understand the big picture, today we provide the conclusion of over-ear headphones including what they are, how to choose them, and which of them will mostly fit you.
Full-size headphone or Circumaural headphone
Full-size headphone generally has a large size, which apparently covers the entire or fastens over your head. It probably fully encloses or else incloses the ears. The outstanding characteristic is a large speaker that can cover the entire ears. Accordingly, it will deliver sound vibes and great dimensions and the quality will be close to a home audio system. A full-size headphone is typically suitable for private and immovable usages. It is unportable regarding the limitation of a large size and heavyweight. However, a headphone for monitoring usage is an exception as it is portable, but for a limited distance. Generally, a full-size headphone can be classified into categories below.
A full-size headphone with Open type
An over-ear open headphone is famous for listening with HiFi system. A sound will be delivered through the side of a headphone. The advantage is that you can have a longer comfortable listening session comparing with an over-ear closed headphone. It is suitable for listening to music in daily life rather than studio work. Since the external noise can sneak in a headphone, it is more suitable for use at home rather than a studio. The example of an over-ear open headphone is PS1000, a top model from Grado.
A full-size headphone with Closed type
The characteristic of an over-ear closed headphone is the side of a headphone, which is concealed to isolate external noise from entering. Therefore, the sound from a headphone does not sneak out too. This headphone suits for a monitoring job in a studio or concert especially for DJs as it has an excellent noise isolation feature. Recently, an over-ear closed headphone is increasingly available in the market for entertainment purpose. The example of an over-ear open headphone is DJX-1 from Beyerdynamic.
A full-size headphone with Semi-Open type
Mostly, an over-ear semi-open headphone are used in a studio for sound engineer tasks. It is not a good choice for DJs and concerts because the sound is probably audible from outside and inside. It can be used as a residence as well. The example of an over-ear semi-open headphone is DT880 from Beyerdynamic.
In conclusion, a full-size headphone can be classified into three categories. The closed type can isolate an outside noise. The open type allows the audible noise from both inside and outside. It uses the HiFi system and has a longer comfortable listening session. There is a ventilator available for in and out. Moreover, it can deliver an excellent sound on some channels. The last one is a semi-open type, which is in the middle of the two previous types. It is not recommended for studio work. Therefore, there are two subtypes, which are professional usage for studio work and sound mixing and home usage for general utilization.
The examples of the legendary over-ear headphone are the K701 model from AKG and the HD800 model from Sennheiser. These headphones typically have a large size because they need an amplifier to deliver a potentially high-quality sound. Lately, some brands started to produce a portable over-ear headphone, for instance, Beats Studio 2 Wireless and Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Over-ear.
In summary, the advantages and disadvantages of an over-ear headphone are here.
Advantages: It is comfortable to put on an over-ear headphone in a long session, it provides excellent sound quality, it supports a wide and natural range of sound, and it has high durability.
Disadvantages: It has a large size, therefore it is not portable. In the top model, it requires an amplifier.