Better passive noise cancellation. This depends somewhat on the type of headphone you have, but if you have closed, over the ear headphones they’ll quiet your surroundings even without music playing.
Hygiene. Would you rather lend/borrow headphones or earphones?
Better sound quality – usually, off the shelf headphone will have a more complete frequency response (i.e., more bass). Note custom-fitted in-ear monitors would potentially be an exception.
Ear warming. Seriously – it’s winter and if you live in a cold climate your headphones will keep you entertained and warm.
Better fit. It’s much harder to get ear buds fitting properly than headphones. At least for me – I rarely can get earbuds to “stick” in my ear.
I’m assuming you are only using these with a mobile device for casual listening. But if you’re using them for serious listening you might need a headset that works with balanced connectors or has certain impedance properties. You have a lot more choices with headphones than ear buds.
4k Views · View Upvoters · Answer requested by Michelle Andrade
Generally speaking about speaker drivers (that’s the parts that convert the electrical signal into mechanical signals which move air so your ears can detect this as sound), the larger a speaker, the more frequencies it can reproduce more accurately.
Headphones typically sound much better than in ear monitors, if you consider ones which have similar quality components. If you try to compare the cheapest headphone to the most expensive in ear monitor, of course, it will be the reverse. So keep that in mind.
Secondly, speaking in terms of ear health, headphones are better because they allow air to go in and out of the ear canal, minimizing anaerobic bacterial growth. In ear monitors do not do this, so if you use them for extended periods of time, you increase your chances of getting a bad ear infection, even if you clean the earpieces.
Headphones are bigger, usually with big foam ear-pads. They are durable and comfort so that you will be able to use them for a long period of time. They have much better sound response and less sound leakage than the earphones.Headphones provide much comfort in listening to music for hours rather ear phones cause pain listening for longer duration and also helps in growth of bacteria in the ear. Headphones gives best surround and 3D effect when compared to earphones. The only disadvantage with headphones is they cannot be put in pockets…
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Generally, a headphone of similar price within a same manufacturer will sound better than an IEM do to most people (there are people who thinks otherwise, but they are a minority). While microdetails, transients, and speed are better on an IEM, they can never have the imaging,depth, and layering of a sealed headphone, let alone the open back headphones which are the kings. Headphones are also generally more sturdy and harder to lost, you tend to notice it more immediately if it is not with you, unlike IEM. Personally, I like collecting headphones more than IEM, as they look cooler, have more variations and tend to sound more different to each other.
IEM can look cool too but they kinda a repeat of similar theme, particularly the custom IEM scene, where the variations in appearance are just “fresh coat of paint” and once they are on your ears, nobody noticed unless you point it out and have a short hair. To a regular headphone user, an IEM can feel like a compromise; It is something that you have to use because you are on the go, need more isolation, or when you need to listen to music to sleep.