A pair of head-mounted speakers that are positioned over the ears. For listening to music or monitoring live performances, both left and right channels are required. When a microphone is included for telephone or video calls, the device is technically a "headset" and not headphones.
Some of the Best Sound
Headphones allow listening to music without disturbing others, but they are also used by discerning audiophiles. High-quality headphones can provide an extraordinary listening experience that is far more affordable than room speakers. Headphones are driven by much lower amplification, and by creating a sealed listening chamber, they can sound as good as or better than stereo speakers costing many thousands. There is also no need to configure speakers for surround sound to match room acoustics. Contrast with earphones
. See virtual headphones
A Venerable Model
Grado Labs' SR60 headphones debuted in 1994 and are still offered as of 2023. Grado is a small, committed company in Brooklyn, New York that celebrated its 50th year in 2003.
One of the Best
Using mahogany speaker housings, the Grado Labs' GS1000 has been considered by audiophiles as one of the finest headphones ever made. It even makes a mobile device sound like a theater hall.
Numerous wireless models are also available such as this unit from Sennheiser. Wireless headphones use FM radio frequencies as well as the 2.4 GHz band and Bluetooth. See Bluetooth