This is the design of the earpieces on the headphones. Some headphones go inside the ear, while others rest on the outside of the ear. This helps you know exactly what type of headphones you will be receiving.
In-Ear: The ear buds go into the ear. Most often, the right and left ear buds are two separate pieces.
Enclosed-Ear: Usually are found on the larger headphones. They rest on top of the ear and have padding for comfort, as well as enclosing the ear to the speaker. This type of headphone helps to filter out surrounding noise.
On-Ear: This type of headphone involves the speaker sitting gently on the ear without going in the ear or sealing it off.
Headphone type refers to the construction of the headphones.
Around the Ear means that the headphones wrap around the ear to provide a secure fit. This is most often seen in active and sports headphones.
Around the Neck means that the headphones wrap around the neck. This is also seen in active and sports headphones.
Earbuds means that the right and left sides of the headphones are separated and will fit securely into the ear. These are small, compact, and user friendly.
Over the Head headphones mean that the right and left speakers are connected with a support that goes over the head and rests on top. This is the typical headphone type.
Corded means that the headphones use a cord to transfer the audio signal.
Bluetooth means that the audio signal is transmitted from your device to the headphones via a Bluetooth connection.
Corded or Bluetooth means that the headphones can be used as corded headphones or as Bluetooth headphones. They have an input in one or both earcups for use as a corded headphone while they also have a built-in battery for use as Bluetooth wireless headphones.
Wireless means that the audio signal is transmitted wirelessly to the headphones.
This is the application that the headphones are designed for. Each application has unique features that make it perfect for particular uses.
DJ: These headphones are durable, loud, and will often allow for one ear listening.
Gaming Delivers explosive sound and allows you to communicate with others.
Home Hi-Fi: These audiophile headphones are engineered to produce high fidelity and accurate audio.
Home/Office: These headphones are designed to produce rich, brilliant sounds that the artists would appreciate.
Sports: Designed for active use. These headphones are made to stay in (or on) the ear during workouts.
Kids: Feature noise limiting technology so that your little ones don't damage their ears listening to music too loud.
On-the-Go: On-the-go headphones are lightweight and often fold up for easy storage and portability.
Student: Compact and rugged enough to survive life in a backpack; inexpensive enough to not hurt the wallet of a student.
Studio: Reproduce music perfectly without any coloration. Look here for reference quality studio monitoring headphones.
Traveler/Airplane: These headphones are compact, lightweight, and have a portable design.
The physical design of the driver in the headphones.
A balanced armature driver uses a coil wrapped around an armature which is held in between two magnets until it is stimulated by an electrical current. When stimulated, this armature is magnetized which causes it to rotate one way or the other around a pivot point which moves the diaphragm to create sound. Balanced armature driver headphones are generally earbuds and can have multiple drivers in each earbud.
Dynamic drivers are the most common driver type. They feature a permanent magnet, usually neodymium, a voice coil and a conical diaphragm to drive your music. A dynamic headphone driver looks pretty much identical to any typical home theater speaker.
Electrostatic drivers are made up of an extremely thin membrane, usually a coated PET film, stretched between two metal plates. An electrical signal is applied to the metal plates to create an electrical field which, depending on its polarity, draws the speaker diaphragm toward one of the plates which forces air through the perforations in the diaphragm which generates the sound wave.
A planar magnetic driver is made up of a large membrane suspended between two sets of oppositely aligned magnets. An electric charge is applied to the membrane to induce movement and produce sound waves.