Are Headphones Better Than Speakers?

Are Headphones Better Than Speakers

I am really excited to answer this question, “are headphones better than speakers? The main difference between speaker and headphone is mostly the speaker sound, which in reality outperforms a headphone bass. The headphone produces deep bass more accurately but the speakers give you that bass feeling all around you. Another difference between headphones vs speakers is that speakers have a more realistic stereo imagine than headphones. I have written a complete headphone buyer guide I believe will guide you when trying to purchase some of the best headphones.

To come up with the answer to the question “are headphones better than speakers” there are a lot of considerations one needs to look at and understand. The way speakers deliver sound is totally different from the way that headphone sounds are delivered. 

Headphones deliver the sound directly to the ears whereas the speakers deliver sound to the ear indirectly and it comes from all surfaces. This article will help you find the strengths and weaknesses of headphones and compare them to the strengths and weaknesses of speakers. Both headphones vs speakers have transducers in them. Transducers are there to change the audio signal to sound waves.

Are headphones better than speakers?

What are headphones?

Generally, headphones are speakers that only generate sound directly to the ears. It is different from speakers in such a way that the sound produced by speakers can fill the whole room while also others can hear it.  With headphones, the room does not have any impact on the sound, this makes it possible to hear all subtle details. So, headphones provide great accuracy when listening to sound like the open back headphones vs closed-back headphones.

Headphones that have high-quality audio and fidelity allow you to hear every single detail because there is less interference. Headphones allow you to be immersed completely in your sound and give you the privacy and the concentration that you need. When listening to sound on the headphones, you do not get the amazing bass that only speakers produce.

Headphones come in many various kinds and types. Some of these include in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, over-ear headphones. Some headphones are wired headphones whereas some are wireless and use Bluetooth for connectivity. The sound that headphones produce allows you to concentrate and completely get lost in the sound. Some headphones also have a noise cancelling feature that cancels out all background noises and gives you maximum concentration. 

In-ear headphones are headphones that fit in the ear canal and these headphones are ideal for daily use, they are not the most comfortable and may cause damage when used for very long.

Over-ear headphones are very comfortable and are ideal for listening for long hours.

On-ear headphones are also another kind of headphones that have a very comfortable fit. Other headphones use wireless technology whereas some use wired. Wired headphones use a cable to connect to your device and produce sound.

When choosing headphones, there are certain things that you need to consider:

The impedance.

This is the power that will make your headphones work. You should look for headphones with an impedance of at least 16 ohms. 

The type of headphones.

There are many kinds of headphones, therefore before buying headphones you need to be sure of the type of headphones you want and if they are suitable for your ears. 

The sensitivity.

This is measured in decibels and it determines how loud your headphones can get. For people that like loud music, this is something you should look for. Headphones that have a sensitivity of above 85db are good. 

Wireless vs wired.

Wireless headphones mostly used Bluetooth for connection, whereas with wired headphones you use a cable to connect them to a device to produce sound.

Advantages and disadvantages of headphones 

Advantages of headphones.

  • High-fidelity headphones allow you to hear all the details hence they are very accurate than speakers are. 
  • Headphones are not affected by the rooms acoustic design.
  • Headphones that allow active noise cancelling help in blocking out all background noises allowing you to be completely immersed in the sounds. 
  • Most headphones are portable and can be used when traveling, unlike speakers.
  • Headphones also help in offering you privacy.

Disadvantages of headphones

  • It doesn’t offer the bass that you can feel in your body like the speaker.
  • When using wireless headphones with low fidelity you may face interference.
  • Headphones isolate you. 
difference between speakers and headphones

What are speakers?

Speakers generally play audio in the room, the sound produced by speakers projects to the walls, floor, as well as ceiling than going directly to your ears. Speakers are different from headphones in such a way that with speakers the acoustic design of the room also has a major impact on the sound. 

There are 3 most commonly used sound radiation systems:

  • Cone driver
  • Dome driver
  • Horn driver

When using speakers, they give a feel of a life-like performance that you cannot get when using headsets. Speakers also provide a bone-chilling bass that cannot be provided by headphones. With some speakers, the bass can be felt through your body like the floor standing speakers.

Speakers also come in various types, there are floor-standing speakers, bookshelf speakers, Bluetooth portable speakers, ceiling speakers, and many more. Floor standing speakers are good for wide spaces, bookshelf speakers are good for small spaces, and portable Bluetooth speakers can be used anywhere. The portable speakers are good for indoors and outdoors activities and are also good for traveling. Most speakers have many drivers and hence they produce loud sounds. There are some speakers that have subwoofers and tweeters to help in controlling the low and high sounds.

What are the types of speakers?

According to wiki, the below are the most common types of speakers:

  • Woofer
  • Tweeter
  • Transmission line loudspeaker
  • Coaxial drivers
  • Horn loudspeakers
  • Full-range drivers
  • Subwoofer
  • Mid-range driver

When choosing between speakers, there are certain things that you need to look for:


The impedance is simply how much current the speaker will use. It is measured in ohms; the standard impedance is 8 ohms. If you get speakers with an impedance of 4 you may need to also get an amplifier. 

Type of speaker.

You need to know the kind of speaker you are looking for and if it will fit in well with your space. For example, if your space is small then floor standing speakers may not be a very good option, but if your space is big floor standing speakers are a great option. For small spaces, speakers like bookshelf speakers can work. 


This is measured in decibels and it determines how loud a speaker can get.  This is a very important factor to consider when you are looking for speakers that produce very loud sounds. When choosing speakers, it is important to keep in mind that speakers with more sensitivity are very good, as these best soundbars under 500

Total harmonic distortion.

Total harmonic distortion tells how a speaker can convert audio on the hard drive into sound. When the number is low it means that distortion is less, therefore choose speakers with a low total harmonic distortion. 

Advantages and disadvantages of speakers


  • Speakers provide a great bass
  • Speakers give a real life-like performance
  • Realistic stereo imaging


  • The sound produced is affected by the room’s acoustics

Speakers vs headphones 

Speakers produce a bass that is way better than the one headphone’s produce. The bass that headphones produce is more in the ear while the one produced by the speakers can actually be felt on the body. The bass produced by speakers in a room can even reach your feet. 

Also read: Best Soundbar With Subwoofer 2020

Speakers as compared to headphones have realistic stereo imaging. What this means is it produces a sound that is similar to real life-like sound than what you hear with headphones.  Most headphones produce unrealistic stereo imaging. 

When it comes to accuracy, headphones are more accurate as compared to speakers. Because when listening to sound using headphones you may hear all the subtle details just like I have compared Audio-Technica ATH-M50X vs Skullcandy Crushers headphones.

The difference between speakers and headphones, as mentioned earlier is how the sound is delivered. Speakers produce a sound that can be heard even from far away, whereas the sound produced by headphones is only audible to your ears. 

Because headphones tend to be much closer to the ears than speakers, the volume is mostly louder than when you listen on the speakers. 

Read also: Which Is Better Beats or JBL headphones?

 Headphones are good for private listening since the sound is only delivered to your ears. Some features like noise cancelling also make private listening good without any disturbances. Headphones are very good for listening when you are using public places whereas speakers are not. 

When it comes to affordability, headphones tend to be more affordable than speakers. Therefore, if you are choosing according to the budget then headphones could be a good choice too. 

When listening to music using headphones that are wireless, you worry about moving around a lot away from the device that the headphones are connected to as the sound becomes distorted. With speakers, you can easily move around your house and still be able to hear the music. 

Read also: Best Home Theater Speakers Under 300


Are Headphones Better Than Speakers?

In order to come to a decision to the question, are headphones better than speakers, or not? The answer would depend on what you are looking for because in some way headphones are better than speakers and in some way headphones are not. For instance, when we talk about accuracy, headphones are better than speakers. When it also comes to portability headphones are also better than speakers. 

When we look at a more realistic sound, we see that speakers take the first place. In conclusion, we see that headphones provide more accurate sound while speakers produce more realistic sounds. So, if you want accuracy then headphones are recommended, it is better than speakers. If you are looking for more realistic sounds, then speakers are better than headphones and the best option for you. 


Charles is passionate about blogging and technology, he studied Marketing and Computer Science, worked with other companies like Data Race Hero. Charles also manages few websites including He likes Working with Gadgets, Music, and Football.

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