Having an amplifier also allows you to pick from a wider range of headphones, ranging from studio monitoring headphones with a very neutral sound signature, to “lively” sounding audiophile headphones, with varying sound signatures.
What About Noise Cancelling?
Up to this point, we have been talking about headphones that isolate you from the external noises. Noise cancelling headphones on the other hand, are headphones that use electronic processing to analyse ambient sound and attempt to generate an inverse signal which “cancels” out the sound.
Despite the strong marketing terms, noise cancelling headphones merely reduce noise, and only in certain situations where there is a constant low-pitch sound, such as the roar of jet engines on a plane or the rumbling sound of a loud air conditioner. As noise cancelling requires the audio signal to be manipulated, it might sound a tad worse than non-noise cancelling models.
Just Name Me The Best Headphone Already…
It is hard to recommend the perfect headphones as musical tastes are as diverse as the shapes of our heads. We recommend that you create a playlist of songs that you listen most to, and head down to a headphone store to try different models out.
Pay attention to features such as materials, cup shape as well as fit, as these go a long way to ensure that you’ll be comfortable wearing them for hours on end!