Headphone vs Headset

Headphone vs Headset: Comparison and Guide

Music lovers often spend a significant amount of time researching the accessories to make their listening experience better. This is exactly how you landed upon this post, looking for the differences between headphones and a headset.

Like most people, you may have been using these terms interchangeably, not knowing that these two devices are different!

When you compare a headphone vs. headset, differences occur in sound quality, performance, convenience, and comfort.

If you are a music enthusiast, knowing the difference between headphones and headsets can be instrumental in cultivating your music experience.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the headphone vs. headset debate!

Headphone vs Headset

What Are Headphones?

Headphones are designed with two simple speakers connected to a band. The speaker covers your ears when you put on the accessory. With headphones, you enjoy an impressive sound experience.

While recreating the sound, headphones actually vibrate many air molecules. However, the movement of the air is confined around the ears of the listener. As a result, you get a personalized musical experience.

With brand headphones, you’ll get exceptional performance, as they make the finest frequency ranges audible.

What Are Headsets?

Although a headset resembles a headphone, due to the attached microphone, it is functionally different. Depending on the make and use, you can also remove this mic.

While comparing headphones vs. headsets, you should understand their uses to purchase the right option for your needs.

Functionally, headsets are often used with telephones and computers. These days, you will come across wireless headsets that operate using Bluetooth technology.

Technically, headsets are speakers to be worn on the ear. Along with a microphone, users enjoy an interactive experience. Therefore, headsets are basically mic-integrated audio devices that you put on your head. These are often used for gaming as well.

Headphone vs. Headset Comparison

Now that you understand the basic uses of headphones and headsets, let’s take a closer look at the quality and features of these devices:

Sound Quality

Headphones: In terms of sound quality, headphones deliver a superior experience. Particularly, when they operate in the mid and low range, the sound quality tends to be better than headsets. Besides, people who love bass and beats find headphones to be the ideal accessory.

Some headphones also come with advanced features like noise cancellation. Headphones with noise cancellation are excellent for commuting, working out, or working.

Purchasing a brand headphone, music lovers will not experience any leakage in the quality of sound. Besides, the best headphones come integrated with a soundstage feature that delivers a superior experience.

Therefore, if you prioritize sound quality and want something to enhance your musical enjoyment, you should go for headphones.

Headsets: When it comes to headsets, the frequency typically isn’t too great in the low range. If you love gaming, though, you might want to buy a headset rather than headphones. Along with having a mic, these gadgets are capable of reproducing deep, clear sounds.

Headsets also have larger drivers. Gamers who love clear and crisp sounds should opt for headsets. An immersive soundstage is available in headsets so that you can lose yourself in the game completely.

Aside from gaming, people use headsets for voice and video calls, making them a great choice for work.


Headphones: When it comes to functional performance, it all depends on what you want to use the device for. You can use headphones outdoors if you like, and with the inception of wireless Bluetooth headphones, you can connect these gadgets to other devices to enjoy music while you travel.

People who spend significant time outdoors, exercising and jogging, generally prefer wireless headphones. Some of the advanced models come with noise cancellation and noise isolation features.

Therefore, headphones do not cause any deterioration in the sound quality in any department. In some headphones, an integrated mic is present, which serves the purpose of talking on calls.

Headsets: Headsets come with mics, making them ideal for calling, gaming, or text-to-speech applications. Headsets are often used in professional settings, such as call centers when working from home or communicating over the computer.

Headsets are designed to allow people to communicate back and forth without reduced sound quality.

With brand headsets, you’ll love the optimized sound quality. However, with an average headset, users often complain of cracking sounds. For gamers, there are dedicated gaming headsets available on the market. These are a little expensive but give the player an immersive gaming experience.

Convenience and Comfort

Headphones: As with anything, there are many different types of headphones on the market with varied comfort. If your headphones aren’t comfortable enough, you can always opt for extra-cushy accessories, which deliver a nice audio output.

The best headphones are light in weight. The manufacturers design them in such a way that the users can wear them for longer durations.

Some people use headphones in studios. In these cases, we suggest that you purchase wireless headphones. Although headphones are convenient to use, the size issue might be a problem for you. It is difficult to slip these accessories into your pocket, so you’ll likely need a bag.

In some headphone models, the integrated mic is not available. This makes it problematic for the user to engage in video calls. However, headphones continue to retain popularity among millennials.

Headsets: In terms of convenience, headsets score a point over headphones. Since they come with an integrated mic, calls are guaranteed, and you still have the means for fantastic sound quality. In some headsets, the mic is fixed, while you can remove them in other models.

Many users purchase headsets that come with detachable mics. When you put on the mic, you can take calls or talk using the device. Switching the mic off makes it equivalent to headphones.

Final Thoughts

After our headphone vs. headset comparison, you should be able to decide whether to purchase headphones or a headset.

These two accessories have some common applications. However, you need to be case-specific when you make the purchase. In a nutshell, headsets would be the right choice for professional settings, working from home, or gaming purposes.

However, if you prioritize the sound quality for a better musical experience, headphones would be your best bet.

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