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Headphones vs Earbuds: Which Earphones to Buy in 2021?

Headphones vs Earbuds: Which Earphones to Buy in 2021?

Headphones vs Earbuds: Which Earphones to Buy in 2021?

Have you ever asked yourself, what is the difference between headphones, earphones and earbuds? Does it really matter which ones you buy? Are there better headphones for exercise? Are those fancy earbuds really worth the money?

Well, look no further. We have all the answers you need to make an informed decision.

Baseus has over the ear wireless headphones, a variety of true wireless earbuds, some earphones with active noise cancellation, as well as wired gaming headsets. We even have bone conduction headphones! (Have you even herd of bone conduction technology?)

Let’s find out what the difference in all these audio devices is, and how to choose the right one for your needs and lifestyle – because there is a difference.

Wired vs Wireless

Do you have a favorite place you listen to music at? A favorite cozy spot, a work desk, a gaming den? If yes, then it’s likely you won’t feel restricted by using wired headphones. And you’ll get to enjoy the benefit of extraordinary sound. Wired headphones work with an analog signal, which can handle more data than wireless connection.

This makes for better lag performance and that’s the reason that gaming headphones and earphones in Baseus Audio collection are all wired. They have exquisite sound quality, allowing you to hear tiny changes in the distance and direction of the sound. It gives you an unbeatable advantage in the game! Watch this YouTube video to see what people are saying after testing Baseus GAMO H08 3D Surround gaming earphones.

Wireless earphones and headphones are super comfortable. You can use them anywhere: walking in the park, going for a run, making yourself a cup of coffee. Be immersed in sound, no matter what you do and where you go. True wireless earbuds are especially compact – put them in your pocket and listen to your favorite podcast anywhere.

Most of the models are sweat and water resistant, so working out will not be a problem, although if you plan to work out with earbuds of sorts you’ll want to make sure the fit is snug yet comfortable in the ear. For this reason an over-the-ear earphone may be a better choice for work out activity with a lot of movement or impact – like running.

Headphones vs Earbuds vs Earphones

First, it’s worth pointing out that these terms are often used interchangeably, or one can be used as an umbrella term for all kinds of portable personal audio devices. Most people use the term Headphones to cover all over the ear devices and then drill down into earphone and earbuds (or ear pods).

Let’s see if we can find the logic here and distinguish one type from another.


Headphones go over your ears or on top of them.

Over-ear headphones have soft cushions so as to not hurt the ears. You can comfortably wear them for a long time. Sound quality is usually above average with softer bass. Battery life is usually impressive – you can have them on all day if you like.

On-ear headphones are a bit smaller and lighter, but the sound will be less immersive. And since they are on your ears, it may be hard to wear them for a long stretch of time. Headphones nowadays do usually have a built-in microphone, but that is something to check for if you know you will need them for work to take meeting calls.


Earbuds are those tiny things people have in their ears on your Zoom calls. They come with a charging case. Battery life is usually around 5 hours, but charging case provides additional battery, which can bring the total battery life up to 35 hours (check our favorite W06 True Wireless Earbuds).

Some earbuds come with wireless charging cases, which is hip and convenient on the go. Dual wireless charger would be perfect to charge your phone and earbuds at the same time. Just put them on the charger overnight – and you’ve got one less thing to worry about during the day. Earbuds are lightweight, they won’t feel heavy in your ears. And the charging case is compact and easily fits in your pocket. Take them wherever you go. They can be used to exercise if they fit snuggly enough in your ear. More about that feature below.

What kind of earbuds will work best for me?

Good question! There are two types of wireless earbuds out there. There are some that have special silicone rubber pieces to fit snuggly into the ear. These ear tips also work good in isolating outside sound (if sized and inserted properly), that some call them passive noise cancelling earbuds. For example, AirPods Pro are just like that. See if you like Baseus W07 True Wireless Earbuds, or SIMU S1 with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).

Other earbuds come simply as is without fitting tips. They don’t isolate sound as well, but you don’t have to push them into your ear canal (…some people find that very uncomfortable.) So, it all depends on what you prefer. They feel like your wired earbuds that used to come with a phone (way back when!) No need to figure out how to insert them correctly, but the sound is a bit less impressive as well.


When it comes to earphones, people have different opinions. We call earphones anything that can’t be considered headphones (going over your head) or earbuds (they come in a case, they aren’t connected to each other by a cord). For example, Encok S12 wireless earphones featuring dual batteries and allowing for 6 to 8 hours of music.

Earphones are connected with each other; they can be wired or wireless. When not listening to music, you can have them rest over your neck. They usually contain a microphone located on the cord that connects them and provide for good voice pickup. Earphones like this are really good for work to take conference calls without having to wear a bulky set of headphones.

You have probably seen people using earphones while jogging. They have a band around the neck, and earbuds in the ears. They are convenient – you don’t have to put them away in your bag, just keep them hanging loosely around your neck when not in use. They are also easy to pair with multiple devices. See if you like Baseus S15 Active Noise Cancelling earphones. Get top quality sound and ergonomic design without breaking the bank!

Bone Conduction Headphones

Bone conduction headphones stand apart from all the rest. Somewhat new to the market, they have already won the hearts of many. Listen to music AND be able to be fully aware of your surroundings as you move. Great for running or biking on the street so you can hear all traffic around you. It is also a good choice if you don’t like to have anything in your ears. These bone conduction headphones rest directly on the listener’s cheekbones.

They use a new technology, which transmits sound by vibration to your cochlea. Bone conduction headphones can also be a good choice for hearing impaired people. You will love this model if all in-ear options you’ve tried ended up hurting your ears and being uncomfortable.