Home Blog

Most Comfortable Headphones – Best Pick in the Market

most comfortable headphones

With people spending more time hooked up to many devices either at work or home, headphones needed to be more comfortable. Headphones have come a long way over the past several years. There is truly no need to settle for a set that ends up hurting your head or ears after hours of use. With the newer headphones, you also do not have to sacrifice sound quality for comfort.

There are dozens of headphones on the market right now claiming to be the most comfortable with the best sound quality. Luckily, you don't have to spend hours reading hundreds of reviews to pick out the best headphones.

woman using the one the most comfortable headphones available today

Most Comfortable Headphones Frequently Asked Questions

What Qualities are Shared by the Most Comfortable Headphones?

What Specifically Should I Look for in Sound Quality?

How Does it Work?

Where Can You Buy It?

How We Reviewed

They reviewed the following products based on the following parameters: comfort features, pros and cons, price, where to buy, and warranty. We invested much time and effort to research all the products included in this list and tested each of them to ensure the accuracy of our best comfortable headphones list.

girl listening to music with headphones

Overall Price Range Of Headphones

While it is possible to get a decent pair of comfortable headphones for very affordable price, but these are not the highest quality as far as sound goes. With each price step, there come added features meant to increase customer comfort for the headphones. This may include open-back designs, memory foam, noise canceling features and more.

What We Reviewed

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
  • Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an...
  • Improved frequency response is 10 - 39,500 Hz (-10 dB)
  • Hand-selected matched driver elements; Highly optimised magnet systems for minimum harmonic and intermodulation...

Features

Beloved by audiophiles from all over, they can not match Sennheiser regarding their price or performance. The comfort is also over the top with velour oversized pads, open-back design for better air circulation and a thick headband bumper for better wear. An open-back also helps to deliver amazing sound.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Open-back design
  • Velour covered ear cups
  • Long-wearing made to last

Cons

  • Cost may be out of the budget for many people
  • The thick headband may not be comfortable for all users

Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7GM SonicPro Over-Ear High-Resolution Audio...
  • Newly designed 45 mm True Motion Drivers deliver Hi-Res Audio reproduction
  • Multi-layer Air Damping Technology
  • Ultra-comfortable, soft, memory foam ear pads and headband

Features

Key Features of this product include memory foam filled ear cups they designed for comfort. Even though there are a few customers complaints on Amazon that report the headphones slipping while walking overall the fit is great. They also offer a solid studio feel with a closed-back design and 45 mm diaphragm.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Memory foam for comfort
  • Made for studio use
  • Sleek design makes them not only sound great but also look great

Cons

  • Not budget friendly
  • Closed-back design may not be as cool as something open
  • Being closed-back may also bring down the sound quality

Sennheiser HD 598 SR Open-Back Headphone
  • Audiophile-grade over-ear, open back headphone delivering exceptionally natural and balanced sound. Connectivity...
  • Padded leatherette headband and luxurious velour covered ear pads provide extreme comfort for long listening sessions
  • Compatible with virtually every audio device including phones, tablets, computers and stereo components

Features

When reading through customer reviews and even lists on consumer websites about the most comfortable headphones on the market, this set is bound to be at the top of the list. Just as the HD 650 focus on comfort, Sennheiser has again hit it out of the park with the HD598.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Half the regular retail price of the HD 650 model
  • Made for comfort and long-term wearing
  • Padded ear cups and headband

Cons

  • Not as luxurious as the HD 650 model
  • The sound is not as high quality as the more costly models from this maker
  • Closed-back design

Status Audio OB-1 Open Back Studio Monitor Headphones
  • Open back design for intensely natural sonic experience
  • 42mm drivers deliver exceptional clarity and detail
  • Ergonomic over-ear design, built for hours of comfort

Features

There is a reason these headphones can be harder to get than some others on the list. They price them for a bit expensive but deliver the sound for much more expensive headphones. They design them to fit for long periods of time but may not be as comfortable as higher-end items. With the open-back design, the sound quality is off the charts.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Open-back design delivers high-quality sound
  • Budget-friendly but does not cut corners on quality
  • Memory foam ear cups are safe to wear for extended amounts of time

Cons

  • Often sold out on Amazon and other online retailers
  • It is not as durable long term as other more pricey products

RAZER KRAKEN PRO V2: Lightweight Aluminum Headband - Retractable Mic -...
  • To provide you with greater audio immersion, the 50 mm Razer custom tuned drivers have been designed and tuned to...
  • The unique sound signature of these impressive drivers produces crystal clear highs and rumbling lows that will put you...
  • Optimum form has been an integral focus in the design of the Razer Kraken Pro V2. No matter how long your gaming...

Features

Key Features of this product include lightweight at 11.6 ounces with a collapsible microphone. The 50 mm specially tuned drivers result in amazing sound quality. They have a microphone, and extra padding makes them great for long-term gaming use.

Warranty

Limited three-year warranty

Pros

  • Open-back design delivers high-quality sound
  • Budget-friendly but does not cut corners on quality
  • Memory foam ear cups are safe to wear for extended amounts of time

Cons

  • Often sold out on Amazon and other online retailers
  • It is not as durable long term as other more pricey products

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II, Noise-Cancelling, with...
  • Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
  • Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up

Features

The comfort, classic styling and sound quality you expect from Bose are all great features of this headset. Customers return to this brand because the sound canceling features are something they know them for and they wear effortlessly. Not only do these most comfortable headphones feel amazing on, but they also allow you to adjust things like the level of noise canceling so you can be even more comfortable. They are also wireless which helps.

Warranty

Limited three-year warranty

Pros

  • Wireless headphones
  • Top level noise canceling technology
  • Customers recognize this brand for its high-quality sound

Cons

  • Pricing out of budget for many customers
  • Closed-back design does not allow air circulation
  • Adjustable features may be harder to master for some customers

OneOdio Adapter-Free Closed Back Over-Ear DJ Stereo Monitor...
  • Superior sound quality: Enjoy supreme comfort with the Oneida Studio monitor headphones. Large, 50 millimeter speaker...
  • Built to stay comfortable: The high quality padded ear cushions are specifically designed for monitor headphones...
  • No more adapter: a long, do-style 9. 8-Foot cord easily reaches from the TV or stereo to your favorite chair. A...

Features

Key Features of this product include the lightweight materials that do not compromise sound quality. At 8.3 ounces you could wear these padded most comfortable headphones are comfortable enough to wear all day. They also have over the ear cups that are flexible enough to flip out of the way for single-sided listening. These are professional level headphones that even collapse for easy storage and travel with an extra long cord for further ease of use.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Extra padding on flip-up ear cups
  • Flexible one-sided listening
  • 8.3 ounces

Cons

  • Having to plug in headphones may bother users
  • May not be as durable as more expensive brands

Audeze iSINE10 in-Ear | Semi-Open Headphone | Standard/3.5mm Cable
  • MAXIMUM CLARITY: Hear every beat with maximum clarity. These headphones are built using our proprietary technology,...
  • GREAT AUDIO EVERYWHERE: The lightweight, modern industrial design of the iSINE10 is exceptionally durable, delivering...
  • SUPERIOR RESOLUTION: Our innovative planar magnetic drivers use NASA material to provide lower distortion, better bass...

Features

Over the ear design is preferred by some users but hard to get used to for others. For those that like it, they love the high-end styling of this pair. While the price tag may seem steep for some customers, this is one of the lower priced models from this maker. Cheaper knock-offs do not use the light-clamping pressure or breathable ear cups to increase comfort for the end user.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Over the ear design preferred by many users
  • Vented for a cooling feature of covering the ears
  • Stylish appearance and high-end sound

Cons

  • Can be hard to find online as they often sell out quickly
  • Many knock-offs on the market
  • Design of ear cup may not be comfortable for everyone

Sony Premium Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone, Black (MDR1000X/B)...
  • Isolate yourself from external noise with industry-leading noise cancelation. Connectivity Technology: Wireless
  • Frequency response - 4Hz-40,000Hz
  • Diaphragm:Aluminum coated LCP

Features

Earlier models of this wireless headphone set were riddled with sound issues that included crackling. Sony has worked hard to fix that, and they have surpassed expectations. The technology has improved, but the headphones have gotten a bit lighter. The noise canceling quality rivals Bose and the over the ear design is a favorite among Sony fans.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Wireless
  • Huge improvements over previous models
  • Over the ear design for added comfort

Cons

  • Customers may be leery of trying this pair due to earlier issues
  • Must have wireless tech to use

Razer Adaro Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
  • Featuring the advanced Bluetooth 4.0 standard with aptX technology, the Razer Adaro Wireless easily connects to your...
  • Packing high performance, custom-tuned 40mm neodymium magnet drivers, the Razer Adaro Wireless delivers crisp, natural...
  • With its brilliant Razer Adaro sound, wireless portability and comfortable form factor, the Razer Adaro Wireless are the...

Features

Key Features of this product include a retro feeling style with removable ear cups for easy upkeep. While they lack the full padding on the headband that more costly model feature, the design is lightweight at 7.2 ounces for those looking for less bulk. They are also wireless and great for traveling.

Warranty

Limited two-year warranty

Pros

  • Light at 7.2 ounces
  • Wireless
  • Retro feel with easy cleaning feature

Cons

  • Some customers report a small wireless range
  • Headband lacks full padding
  • Not as sleek as some others on the list

Comparison Table

The Verdict - Which Are The Most Comfortable Headpones?

The most affordable OneOdio headphones are still worth an honorable mention. They are comfortable for customers not wanting to invest in higher quality sound. They offer a surprising level of sound for the price. While they do not deliver the noise canceling features of Sony or Bose, they offer a budget-friendly option.

Bose is among the best comfortable headphones on the list as they continue their focus on both sound focus and comfort year after year. Sony has made huge steps towards competing with the pair by Bose. They have fixed many of the issues tied to earlier models and also improved the overall weight of the headset. Every once counts with ease of wear.

Sennheiser also made a great showing with both the high-end HD 650 and then the mid-range HD 598. This brand is usually at the top of the list for style, comfort, and design. The fact that they also offer the same quality we expect from them in several price ranges is also a huge plus. Customers can make their own choice as far as which features are worth the extra investment if they want to buy the higher-end pair.

While many customers only focus on features like ear cup design and padding as far as comfort goes, there is also something to be gained when factoring in things like wireless technologies and the ability to adjust noise canceling features. This also adds to the overall comfort level.

Open Back Headphones for Great Quality of Sound

open back headphones

Open back headphones are known for being some of the best-sounding headphones on the market. This is because there is little to no resonance because the drivers are not covered or sealed in. While there usually is a screen to protect the drivers, there is not a cover to interfere with the deep and authentic sounds users enjoy.

While the higher-end products on this list offer a fully open design, the more budget-friendly models turn to a hybrid between an open and close back. This allows for a better level of sound quality without the cost.

Open Back Headphones Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Open Back Headphones?

What Do They Do?

How Do They Work?

Where Can You Buy Them?

Price Range

open back headphones

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the following products based on the following parameters:

  • Features & Quality
  • Pros & Cons
  • Price
  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

When comparing these models, we wanted to give readers a full range of prices for a great sounding open back headphone. We also wanted to make sure these sets were relatively easy to find and have a solid warranty since many are a sizeable investment.

Because the fully open back designs run at a higher price point, we also explored reliable brands that offer a hybrid between a closed and open back design. These products are significantly lower priced. The warranty for the lower-priced products also varied significantly.

Overall Price Range Of Open Back Headphones

No matter which price point you settled at, buying an open back headphone is a wise buy. They deliver some of the best sound around, but there are trade offs for buying the lower-priced models. Each pair will deliver great sound but the higher-priced models take sound to the next level. This can be the difference between hearing a fantastic piece of live music and being able to hear in detail each instrument on its own.

What We Reviewed

HIFIMAN HE-400I Over Ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Headphones
  • Intended for high performance listening in the home or studio
  • 30 percent lighter than comparable headphones
  • The FocusPad, new beveled hybrid ear pads made of pleather and velour

Features

Key Features of this product include a stylish design made to wear for extended periods of time. The new design is 30% lighter so these headphones are easy to wearing for watching television or listening to music. This pair stays true to the quality one expects from this brand as they deliver amazing sound that includes being great for listening to live music.

Users report these open back headphones have a wide sound base that means music sounds even better as each instrument stands alone. They balance the sound at 93 dB. They also designed them to deliver a higher level of both treble and base quality due to a larger diaphragm.

Warranty

The manufacturer offers a one year repair or replacement warranty for typical use.

Pros

  • 30% lighter than many other headphones in this class.
  • Recent redesign for comfort and long wearing.
  • High-quality sound with a budget price.

Cons

  • May not be as durable as more costly models.
  • Price fluctuates.

HiFiMan HE1000 Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones
  • World's First Diaphragm in Nanometer Thickness
  • "sounded remarkable and may motivate me to do a lot more headphone listening" -Jim Hannon《The Absolute Sound》
  • Advanced Asymmetrical Magnetic Circuit offering perfect reproduction of live music

Features

You can tell just by looking at these headphones they are high end and something special. The combination of wood and metal set them apart. While the 4001s deliver some amazing sound, this headset fine tunes each part of the sound experience. This is due to the "Advanced Asymmetrical Magnetic Circuit" design that produces live music samples you can not tell apart from being there. The design also has the first diaphragm measured in nanometers to support superior sound.

This is the only headset of the list to carry a zero distortion label and back it up. They are the top of the line and not something users soon forget. The drivers are open but still protected by a window shade weave that was years in the making.

The problem with this headphone is not that there is anything wrong with them, but instead once you try these you may not settle for anything else. They are an investment but many customers report it being one of the best purchases they have ever made.

Warranty

One-year full warranty for either repair or replacement of headset under normal use.

Pros

  • They design the circuit for flawless sound.
  • Fine-tuned diaphragm.
  • One of the top open back headphones in the market.

Cons

  • Pricing puts them out of range for many customers.
  • They can fill the market with imposters.

Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-ear Headphones (Black)
  • 50mm neodymium Drivers Deliver Full Spectrum of Sound
  • 1.5m cable gives you freedom of movement for indoor use
  • Comfortable double layered headband cushion, Breathable ear cushion for longer wearing comfort

Features

This headset is one of the best budget-friendly open back headphones around. While they may lack the flash of the HiFiMan headphones, they do the job in delivering quality sound. They use a 50mm neodymium driver to support a higher sound quality. The overall design is comfortable enough to use for a few hours at a time. They are also highly sensitive in picking up a variety of sounds so you are not missing anything with this product.

Many online reviews point to this being one of the most comfortable headsets Philips makes. The double padding and breathable design helps makes these headphones something you can wear all day.

Warranty

Any warranty work goes directly through Philips with no upfront promise of a year-long warranty like some other headphones.

  • Big sound quality on a budget.
  • 50mm neodymium driver.
  • Built to last.
  • Pros

    • Big sound quality on a budget.
    • 50mm neodymium driver.
    • Built to last.

    Cons

    • May not compare to the HiFiMan in sound quality.
    • The design looks like just an average headset.

    Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones
    • Natural, spatial and accurate sound. Connectivity Technology: Wired
    • Silvery, clear cymbals
    • Pleasantly natural trebles

    Features

    While this headphone set delivers decent sound, they are actually only partially open. There is a section of the driver that has more protection as you might expect in a closed design. It balances the sound but not really anything special compared to an open back design.

    The overall look of this set also leaves a lot to be desired. They make them to match the sound quality of an open back without the higher price.

    They make these headsets durable through long-term usage. They come equipped with a flexible cord connection. It can be swapped out for personal or studio use. They are adjustable and look like a standard headphone.

    Warranty

    One year replacement warranty.

    Pros

    • Improved sound quality when compared to a closed back headphone.
    • Under fifty dollars.
    • Easy to find at most electronic stores.
    • Not as fragile as some other designs.

    Cons

    • Not fully open-backed.
    • A little clunky in design.
    • Sound does not compare to higher end open back headphones.

    Koss UR40 Collapsible Over-Ear Headphones
    • Frequency Response - 10-20,000 Hz and Impedance - 60 ohms
    • Wide, 15 to 22,000 Hz frequency response
    • Titanium-coated, high-polymer diaphragms deliver accurate sound

    Features

    This is another hybrid between a closed and open back headphone. The inner magnetic structures add to the sound quality without being as easy to damage as some open designs. The overall look of these headphones is standard, they make them to deliver a partially open sound experience. They are a better sounding headset than something that is fully closed.

    This design relies on titanium diaphragms that produce a true and accurate sound. The internal working of this headset are a high quality despite the low cost.

    A meshy type design and the flexible sizing makes this a good fit for anyone that doesn't want a tighter band on their head. It is sturdy enough for work use but also adaptable for use by kids at home.

    Warranty

    Limited warranty as expected at this price point. Shipping paid by customer and almost makes it worth it to just buy a new pair.

    Pros

    • Hybrid design.
    • Budget priced.
    • Decent quality sound.
    • More portable than some other products listed.

    Cons

    • Not truly an open back design.
    • The overall look of the product is fairly plain.
    • Not the best quality, but this is expected at this price point.

    Samson SR850 Semi-Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones
    • Professional studio reference headphones
    • Over-ear design for maximum isolation
    • 50mm drivers for exceptional reproduction and wide dynamic range

    Features

    Samson has been in the business for 80 years, and this dependable studio headphone set shows it. They do not make them to be pretty, but they make them to get the job done. They used a hybrid between the closed and open back to bump up the sound from an average pair of headphones.

    A wide dynamic range is supported by the 50 mm driver. The over the ear design also helps to isolate sound while in the studio. They are fully adjustable and a solid go-to headset for studio use. They also make studio use easier as they ship with both the 1/8 and 1/4 inch adaptors.

    The comfortable fit makes them easy to wear to work or play. They also have a frequency response range that goes from 10 Hz to 30 kHz. This is one reason their sound range is so good.

    Warranty

    Limited 90-day warranty.

    Pros

    • Durable.
    • Good studio quality headphones.
    • Offers some of the best studio range and stereo imaging.
    • Brand dependability.

    Cons

    • Not a full open back.
    • Lacks the quality of the higher end headphones.
    • Shorter warranty.

    Comparison Table

    The Verdict

    For buyers looking to invest is an amazing set of open back headphones, the HiFiMan HE1000 Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones deliver on every aspect of sound. In a perfect world where price is not a deterrent, this the best choice for sound quality you will duplicate nowhere else. Getting beyond the sticker shock is the worst part of these headphones.

    The other HiFiMan headphone to make the list, the 4001, is much more friendly to the budget. It still delivers amazing sound you expect from the open back design. The hybrids on the list offer the average shopper a chance to enjoy the more authentic sound of an open back design without the initial investment.

    The hybrids on the list have about the same level of sound. Any of these headphones would deliver a higher level of sound quality than an average close back design. Each had a slightly different take on overall design and comfort but the sound was the same.

    Beyond the sound difference, the styling of the higher-priced made them stand out. For the price they appeared very different from any of the hybrids down to the way they look. The available warranty for the top end models also supported the investment to get that quality.

    Bose Bluetooth Speaker Models to Check Out

    bose bluetooth speaker

    Have you ever wanted to hear sounds that help to set the right mood - bringing back memories of a favorite camping trip, a day at the beach - without having to relive those experiences? We often want to be accompanied by our favorite tunes whether we are on the move or taking a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Bose Bluetooth speakers transport us to happier times without the hassle of wires and cumbersome cords. Bose offers quality sound equipment through innovative technology. Using Bluetooth enabled technology, portable speakers can easily transport us to happier more relaxing times. We have found some of their products that will help fill your life with the sounds you love no matter where you are. After quite a bit of research and fact checking, we have compiled a list of the best Bose Bluetooth Speaker products for you.

    The Product

    Bose Bluetooth Speakers are speakers that are wireless and portable. They are the perfect solution for those who want entertainment, whether found in music, movies, or online books, anywhere they go. Because they are speakers and not headphones, they are less ideal for public spaces. However, they are great for rooms without outlets, outdoor spaces, or for situations where the hassle of cords and wires is less than ideal.

    bose bluetooth speaker

    What The Product Does

    The Bose Bluetooth Speakers connect with other devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc., through the Bluetooth technology enabled on each. Using the Bluetooth technology, you may play your favorite music and other forms of audio entertainment wherever and whenever you would like.

    How It Works

    Using the Bose Connect app, any Bluetooth enabled device can then seamlessly play your favorite music or entertainment through the Bose Bluetooth Speakers. The app also offers tips to make the most out of your speaker and will personalize your settings. All your speaker's connections are controllable by a single swipe. No matter where you house your music, movie, or book library, these Bose Bluetooth speakers can play from it.

    How We Reviewed

    We used several factors to determine the best Bose Bluetooth Speakers. These included: 

    • Size: Smaller speakers are more portable while larger speakers are more cumbersome and not as easily transported.
    • Ease of Use: If a product is too difficult or complex to be understand, most people will not purchase the product.
    • Battery life: Because the speakers are wireless, they must hold their charge fairly well. The longer the battery lasts between charges, the longer you can listen to your favorite sounds.
    • Charging system: Some charging mechanisms limit where and how easily you can charge your device on a day-to-day basis.
    • Price: The cost of any product, as we all know, heavily affects if and who will buy it. Some products may be far too expensive for some and therefore limit its clientele. It also needs to be comparable to other similar products offered by competing companies.

    Top Bose Bluetooth Speaker Models

    Bose Soundwear Companion Wireless Wearable Speaker - Black
    • Comfortable and wearable, so you can enjoy music, take calls and access virtual assistants and still stay connected to...
    • Patented waveguide technology, digital signal processing and upward facing speakers surround you in deep, rich sound,...
    • Three-button control lets you make calls, play and pause tracks and access your phone’s Siri or the Google Assistant

    This futuristic speaker is the embodiment of the strides technology has made. If you want to listen to music but not shut out everything else around you as do with headphones this is the speaker for you. This wearable speaker offers you both comfortability and convenience allowing you to engage with both the music and your surroundings. The speakers sit right below your ears, offering sound to only you or those very near to you.  There is a three-button control that allows you to turn the volume up or down, play or pause, talk to Siri or take a call easily. It has 12 hours of battery life and can take up to three hours to charge completely. It has a micro-B USB port to charge when needed. And is compatible with Bluetooth for up to 30 feet.

    Pros

    • This model has a great sound quality, is convenient, comfortable, sweat and weather resistant, and comes with a padded cover that is static free to prevent hair and clothing from clinging to it.

    Cons

    • The SoundWear Companion is only made for one person. It is also fairly expensive compared to some other models that offer a lot more for a lot less.
    Bose SoundLink Revolve+ Portable & Long-Lasting Bluetooth 360 Speaker...
    • The best-performing portable speaker from Bose; delivers Deep, loud, jaw-dropping sound with True 360-degree coverage
    • Flexible fabric handle makes it easy to grab and go; seamless aluminum body is durable and water resistant (Ipx4)
    • Enjoy up to 16 hours of play time from a long-lasting, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery.3.6 inches Full-Range Driver

    The Sound Revolve+ Bluetooth Speaker was engineered to spread sound in every direction. With a downward facing transducer that works with an omnidirectional acoustic deflector, 360 degrees of sound is delivered with no dead spots. It has a flexible fabric handle so you can easily carry it wherever you wish. And with a weight of only two pounds and a height of 7.25" it is even easier to take with you on the go. It has a soft bumper like exterior that prevents it from breaking if you accidentally drop it. It is water-resistant, has speakerphone abilities and has a multifunction button for easily access Siri and Google Now. The SoundLink Revolve+ has a battery life of up to 16 hours and has a USB port, USB power cable, and AC power adapters.

    Pros

    • As one of the best Bose Bluetooth speakers it has a great sound quality and is durable and water resistant. The fabric handle makes is extremely portable as does its size.

    Cons

    • This is the top of the line for Bose's Bluetooth speakers so they are expensive.
    Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker - Dark Blue
    • CRISP, BALANCED SOUND and unmatched bass for a Bluetooth speaker its size, plays loud & clear outdoors-for beach days or...
    • WATERPROOF speaker from the Inside out (Ipx7 rating), with soft, rugged exterior that resists dents, cracks and...
    • EASILY PORTABLE with a tear-resistant strap to bring it wherever you go, strap to your backpack, cooler or handlebars

    This speaker produces unmatched sound for its size. It is a mere 3.87" high and wide and only 1.37" deep and only weighs 1.5 lbs making it the most portable Bose Bluetooth speaker available. You can take it anywhere. It has a tear resistant silicone strap allowing you to attach it to just about anything. It is also not just water resistant but waterproof. The exterior is a seamless rubber silicone made to protect it from any falls or drops it may take. The custom-designed transducer and silicone passive radiators work to maintain a higher sound quality better than any other speaker of its size. It has a battery life of around 6 hours and uses a USB port for charging. It also has all the technology that the larger Bluetooth speakers have including the multifunction button that allows for voice recognition apps connection and speakerphone.

    Pros

    • This small model seems to have it all: quality sound, is waterproof, durable and has more technology built in than most speakers three times its size. It is also very affordable for all that it seems to offer.

    Cons

    • Since it is smaller, it may not offer sound as loud as some other models.
    Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II (Carbon)
    • Big sound--with deep bass--for a full-range listening experience
    • Wireless and ultra-compact so you can take Bose sound anywhere, Bluetooth Transmission Range Up to 30'
    • Built-in speakerphone lets you take calls out loud; Lithium-ion battery plays up to 10 hours on full charge

    This speaker's small size of only 1.5 lbs and only two inches tall lets you take and place it about anywhere. It's low profile and center of gravity make it hard to topple over. It has a built-in microphone that can be used for taking calls, connecting to voice recognition app and switching between your devices. This speaker will remember up to eight Bluetooth compatible devices. It is water-resistant and has a tough exterior for durability. The rechargeable battery gives you up to 10 hours of playtime. It comes with a charging cradle and a wall charger. Bluetooth is available to to 30 feet away. The SoundLink Mini II comes with a protective case in five different colors.

    Pros

    • We like that this is small and water resistant, and that it can remember devices for easy use.

    Cons

    • It is a little expensive, especially compared to some other speakers that Bose offers and it is not as rugged either.
    Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II - Soft black
    • Innovative Bose technology packs bold sound into a small, water-resistant speaker
    • Rugged, with a soft-touch silicone exterior that makes it easy to pick up and go.Bluetooth 4.2 Wireless. 3.5mm Auxiliary...
    • Voice prompts talk you through Bluetooth pairing so it's easier than ever-or even quick-pair with NFC devices

    The SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II has been made using dual opposing passive radiators that pump out sound while maintaining vibrations to a minimum. Its soft-touch silicone exterior also helps with the vibrations so you can play it as loud as you want without it rocking it off of any surface it is sitting on. This also makes it water resistant. The SoundLink Color can remember up to eight Bluetooth-enabled devices and, like all the other speakers listed here, it has a built-in microphone to take calls and connect to a virtual assistant. As one of the lightest Bose Bluetooth speakers, weighing in at only 1.2 pounds, it easy to carry, supported by its rounded design. The rechargeable Lithium ion battery gives you up to 8 hours of sound without missing a beat. It is charged with a USB cable and also has a 3.5mm auxiliary port.

    Pros

    • We note that this model is small, light and has a great sound quality and all the other great technology we have come to expect from Bose.

    Cons

    • This model has a shorter battery life than most of its companions.
    Bose S1 Pro Bluetooth Speaker System w/ Battery
    • Big sound from a rugged speaker that goes where you do
    • Wireless Bluetooth pairing and inputs for a microphone or musical instrument such as a keyboard or guitar
    • Built-in sensors and multiple aiming positions for optimal sound in any nearly position

    This speaker is designed for DJs, musicians and for general PA use. It is the ultimate all-in-one PA, practice amplifier and floor monitor ready for use on nearly every occasion. Therefore, it is much larger than all the other Bluetooth speakers from Bose at 13" high and 9.5" wide and nearly 16lbs. But it is, in fact, Bluetooth compatible and for up to 30 feet. And much lighter than your average speaker/PA system/floor monitor/practice amp in one. It is durable with a rugged enclosure and a built-in handle for easy transportation. And has a rechargeable lithium ion battery for a long life. Just in case your battery runs out there is a 3.5mm auxiliary input for a wired or wireless connection. It contains a three-channel mixer with signal indicators and volume control. It also has built-in sensors and multiple aiming positions for optimal sound in any position

    Pros

    • It has a long battery life, is durable, has quality sound, and has multiple functions for a speaker that is smaller compared to most on the market for its purposes.

    Cons

    • While it is designed for travel and personal use, it cannot compare easily with the other Bose Bluetooth speakers because it is made for professional use as well. It is large and not nearly as portable as most of its counterparts. It is also expensive.

    Comparison Table

    Verdict

    After careful consideration and extensive research we have concluded that the SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth speaker is the best Bose Bluetooth speaker for its sound quality. While it does everything the slightly larger Revolve+ does, it is almost cheaper. Other models may be cheaper but as the price goes down so too does the size and therefore the amount of sound it can put out. This speaker produces high-quality 360 degree sound, it is lightweight, has a long battery life, durable and water resistant. Its accessibility to the Bose Connect App, virtual assistants, and a speakerphone are important qualities to note. For the price we believe you will get the most for your money with this Bose Bluetooth speaker.

    Best Bluetooth Speakers For Quality Sound

    bluetooth speakers

    Do you love great music? Music shouldn't be confined to one room in your house. How can you be expected to perform your Risky Business routine in the confines of a single room? Bluetooth Speakers cannot only accompany you in every room of your house but can also provide a soundtrack when on the go.

    While many people will argue that there's no way to achieve top quality sound from wireless Bluetooth speakers. Considering advancements in wireless technology, each new generation of Bluetooth speaker so comes an increase in sound quality. We have compiled a list below of our favorite Bluetooth speakers.

    bluetooth speakers

    Frequently Asked Questions on Bluetooth Speakers

    1. What are Bluetooth speakers for?

    Wireless Bluetooth speakers are great for listening to music on the move. Whether you're in the backyard, miles away in the mountains, or sitting by the pool, these speakers allow you to keep the music going.

    2. What do they cost?

    These portable speakers are a little bit costly, varying in sound quality, durability, size, weight, and overall quality.

    How We Reviewed

    bluetooth speakers

    Portability and size

    If you're looking for a speaker you can tote around in your backpack, you may have to make concessions when it comes to sound quality. That's not true across the board, but in general, it is a sacrifice you will have to make. If you're having a large party or gathering, on the other hand, a larger Bluetooth speaker may be just what you're looking for.

    Battery life

    This can be one of the most important facets of a Bluetooth speaker. After all, if you're paying for portability, it is reasonable to expect that a Bluetooth speaker can maintain a quality sound for hours while being unplugged. However, if you're just planning on having a Bluetooth speaker plugged into a wall most of the time, this might not be a deal breaker for you if the price and sound quality meet your expectations. 

    Bluetooth Speakers

    Durability and water resistance

    Durability is crucial. It doesn't matter if you can bring your speaker to the great outdoors if a little splash of water kills the party. There are several speakers that can range from providing rugged protection from drops to speakers that at least have some durability to scuffs, scrapes, and splashes.

    Sound quality

    This is where you want the best bang for your buck. The end goal is sound quality, and the rest of the considerations are compromises that you (ideally) don't have to make. Sound quality can be measured by how high you can crank a speaker before it gets distorted, to overall sound quality and clarity. 

    Below you'll find some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market, designed for those who want great sound paired with either portability, durability, or long lasting battery life. Keep in mind, this list is not complete, but it will definitely help you narrow down the best Bluetooth speaker for your specific needs.

    Top 7 Brands of Bluetooth Speakers

    RIVA TURBO X RTX01S Premium Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (White)
    • 26+ hour battery playing time
    • TRILLIUM sound technology
    • USB charge port for charging other devices

    RIVA's Turbo X delivers an unmatched musical experience from an audiophile Bluetooth® speaker that complements modern audio listeners lifestyles. By utilizing ADX Trillium Technology with premium audio components, you can immerse your movies and games experience with TURBO mode for 100dB of pulse-pounding rhythm. 

    The internal rechargeable battery provides over 26 hours of playback as well as the ability to power your smartphone or tablet through the full-sized USB port. With 45 watts of power, speakerphone, and lightweight the Turbo X is raising the standard for premium wireless audio. Reminiscent of the lacquer-coated musical instruments it can reproduce with ease, Turbo X stuns in the gloss black finish with gunmetal silver accents. 

    Turbo X is engineered from the world's premier audio components for use indoors or out. The speakers are protected by a soft touch aluminum mesh grill, includes dust and water seals, and LED illuminated touch-sensitive controls. Connect more to the Turbo X with a variety of inputs for your external wired audio sources including, Auxiliary 3.5 mm Input, USB Data Input, USB Charge Out 19V DC Power Adapter. 

    Take full control of your Riva Turbo X wireless from your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. Riva's Ground Control gives you the ability to change tracks adjust the volume with all the top plate touch sensitive controls displayed on your device screen. 

    Pros

    • A fantastic sound at full volume
    • An immense amount of connectivity options
    • Portability
    • Long lasting battery

    Cons

    • Might be a high price point for some

    Specifications

    Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 9 inches
    Weight: 6.45 pounds

    Rating

    Incredible sound, portability, and price point.

    Bose SoundLink Revolve+ Portable & Long-Lasting Bluetooth 360 Speaker...
    • The best-performing portable speaker from Bose; delivers Deep, loud, jaw-dropping sound with True 360-degree coverage
    • Flexible fabric handle makes it easy to grab and go; seamless aluminum body is durable and water resistant (Ipx4)
    • Enjoy up to 16 hours of play time from a long-lasting, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery.3.6 inches Full-Range Driver

    Meet the SoundLink Revolve+, the best-performing portable Bluetooth speaker from Bose. It delivers deep, jaw-dropping sound in every direction. Place it in the center of the room to give everyone the same experience, or set it near a wall and sound will radiate and reflect around the room, immersing you in that same feeling you felt at your favorite show. The tapered cylindrical shape with a flexible handle makes this wireless speaker easy to grab and go. 

    Its durable aluminum body provides worry-free protection, and its water-resistant design lets you keep the party going, even if it starts to rain. The rechargeable, lithium-ion battery plays up to 16 hours—for full-day listening. Voice prompts talk you through wireless Bluetooth pairing, and you can easily take calls with the built-in speakerphone. 

    You can even access Siri or Google Now right from your speaker. Pair two SoundLink Revolve speakers in Party Mode for more performance. Or put them in Stereo Mode: Instruments and vocals will naturally separate and spread across an immersive soundstage—making your music sound and feel as you know it should. The Bose Connect app also helps you manage your devices, unlock features and access future updates. 

    You can easily charge the speaker via Micro-B USB port. And the auxiliary input allows you to connect to other audio sources. This mobile speaker is available in Triple Black or Lux Gray.

    Pros

    • 360 sound, unique feature
    • Extreme portability

    Cons

    • A little pricey

    Specifications

    Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.1 x 7.2 inches
    Weight: 2 pounds

    Rating

    Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Phantom Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker...
    • Insanely good, loud 360 degree sound with deep bass
    • Portable design so you can bring the music anywhere
    • Waterproof*, shockproof, designed for adventure (* IPX-7 rated waterproof up to 30 minutes and a depth of one meter)

    Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 is the 360-degree wireless speaker that blasts loud, insanely great sound with deep, powerful bass in every direction–everywhere you go. It was designed to get wet, muddy, and beat up, so it's definitely portable. PartyUp allows you to connect wirelessly with up to 50 Ultimate Ears speakers and takes your party where no other sound system can go. 

    Lakes, pools, or out in the woods, it's perfect for any environment. In addition to being portable, it's waterproof, shockproof, and crafted from premium material. With Siri + Google Now voice integration, you can use your voice to control your music — so instead of reaching for your phone, you can pick up BOOM 2, so nothing comes between you and the music. IPX7-rated waterproof (up to 30 minutes and a depth of 1 meter.

    Pros

    • Waterproof
    • 360-degree speakers
    • 14 hours of battery life

    Cons

    • Some reports of not holding a charge

    Specifications

    Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 7 inches
    Weight: 1.2 pounds

    Rating

    Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Built-In...
    • The portable P2 Bluetooth speaker provides quality audio when and where you want. This splash and dust-resistant speaker...
    • This wireless speaker personalizes audio with smart features like snooze and voice activation, accessible with a shake...
    • A mini speaker with big sound, P2 delivers Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound for a clear audio experience. This speaker is...

    The lightweight Beoplay P2 wireless Bluetooth speaker is a portable companion for your audio adventures. Featuring Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound, this mini Bluetooth speaker provides you with big immersive sound whenever and wherever you like. The P2 portable speaker packs rich sound character and superior bass definition into its small and stylish package. 

    While the Beoplay A1 is designed for sharing, the P2 is a personal, fully portable wireless speaker that's ideal for listening to podcasts and amplifying your favorite music. The audio speaker is made of premium materials that are as attractive as they are tough. An anodized aluminum grill is paired with a strong polymer frame for a long-lasting and great-looking finish, and the rich leather strap makes for effortless transport. Durable enough for outdoor use, this rugged little speaker is ready to move. 

    A built-in microphone keeps calls clear and allows for voice activation. The portable speaker also comes equipped with smart features which you can customize through the Beoplay App. When your speaker is lying flat, tap or shake it to access these smart features, which include playing and pausing music, skipping tracks, voice activation, and speakerphone, wake-up alarm with snooze and ToneTouch for matching sound profiles to activities. 

    The P2 is always in standby mode, so there's no need to turn it on–activate it using your phone as a remote. The powerful battery delivers up to 10 hours of playtime on a single charge so you can keep your tunes, podcasts or calls going while you’re on the go. An included USB-C cable ensures you can always plug in if you outlive the battery before you recharge your speaker. 

    Amplify anywhere with this premium Bluetooth speaker that puts the power of music in the palm of your hand, or in your pocket, so you’re always prepared for a high-quality, personal audio experience.

    Pros

    • Extreme Portability
    • Built-in microphone and voice activation

    Cons

    • Good sound, but could have better bass
    • Charge up to 10 hours

    Specifications

    Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 2.1 inches
    Weight: 7.2 Ounces

    Rating

    JBL Flip 4 Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker Bundle with Protective...
    • This Bundle Includes: (1) JBL FLIP 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and (1) Portable Hardshell Case
    • A full-featured IPX7 waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker with surprisingly powerful sound
    • This compact speaker is powered by a 3000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery that offers 12 hours of continuous,...

    JBL Flip 4 is the next generation in the Flip series; these portable Bluetooth speakers deliver surprisingly powerful stereo sound. This compact speaker is powered by a 3000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery that offers 12 hours of continuous, high-quality audio playtime. Sporting durable, waterproof fabric materials available in 6 vibrant colors, Flip 4 is an all purpose, all weather companion that takes the party everywhere. 

    It also features a built-in noise and echo-canceling speakerphone for crystal clear conference calls, and JBL Connect+ technology that can wirelessly link with over 100 JBL Connect+ enabled Bluetooth speakers together to amplify the listening experience. With a simple button press, you can activate and talk to Siri or Google Now from your JBL Flip 4. It's portable, technologically advanced, and sounds great. 

    Pros

    • Extreme Portability
    • Great price
    • Echo canceling speakerphone

    Cons

    • Could have a better bass
    • Battery life not great

    Specifications

    Dimensions: 2.8 x 6.9 x 2.7 inches
    Weight: 1.14 pounds

    Rating

    DOSS SoundBox Bluetooth Speaker, Portable Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Touch...
    • Capacitive Touch Control: DOSS touch portable speaker makes it easy to control the mood and energy of any party by...
    • Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Enjoy a high definition stereo sound with an impressive volume whether you're...
    • Bluetooth 4.0 Technology: Equipped with advanced technology and compatible with all Bluetooth compacity devices. Speaker...

    The DOSS Touch Wireless v4.0 makes it easy to control the mood and energy of the party by allowing you fingertip control of the tracks you're playing, their volume and more. Enjoy a high definition stereo sound with an impressive volume whether you're lounging around the house, or partying, walking out, camping, hiking, biking. 

    These Bluetooth speakers are equipped with advanced technology and compatible with all Bluetooth capacity devices. The Bluetooth speakers automatically reconnect to the last device used. Enjoy your music in 12W full-bodied stereo realized through dual high-performance drivers and a unique enhanced bass. A built-in Li-Ion 2200mAh rechargeable battery guarantees up to 12 hours playtime in 75% volume. Recharge in just 3-4 hours with included micro USB cable.

    Pros

    • Syncs with Alexa
    • Decent Sound
    • Very low price point

    Cons

    • Bass could be better
    • Bulky size

    Specifications

    Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.9 x 2.7 inches
    Weight: 1.23 pounds

    Rating

    Two Room Set with all-new Sonos One - Smart Speaker with Alexa voice...
    • Enjoy great sound and Alexa voice control in up to two rooms. 379 when sold together, or 398 separately.
    • Start and control music with your voice, with Amazon Alexa built right in.
    • Fill two rooms in your home with rich, crystal clear sound, the perfect way to begin your Sonos system. Or pair together...

    This is a great choice when you are deciding between different Bluetooth speakers. There is not much else that has been said about the Sonos One. It allows you to start and control your music with your voice with Amazon Alexa built right in. Play songs, check the news and traffic, control your smart home, and enjoy all those other Amazon Alexa conveniences using a single Sonos speaker. Ask Alexa to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and SiriusXM. 

    Listen to hundreds of other streaming services with the Sonos app while connecting wirelessly with other Sonos Home Sound System speakers to play music in every room of the house while enjoying a rich, room-filling sound from smart Bluetooth speakers.

    Pros

    • Easy Setup
    • Excellent sound
    • User-friendly

    Cons

    • There have been problems reported with Alexa

    Specifications

    Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.7 x 6.3 inches
    Weight: 4.08 pounds

    Rating

    Comparison Table

    Verdict

    When it comes to overall quality, the Sonos One takes the cake! When choosing between different Bluetooth speakers, there are several things to consider. It is important to make sure you can find Bluetooth speakers that supports the audio platforms you use most, and that is offered at a fair price point. Start enjoying all of your favorite music on the move and in the great outdoors with your new amazing Bluetooth speakers! 

    Catch The Wave!: What You Really Need To Know About Sound

    what is ound

    If someone asks you, “what is sound?” could you answer the question?

    Most of us, if we're honest with ourselves, may know a few fundamental things about sound.

    However, at the end of the day, the majority of us have only skimmed the surface or recall bits and pieces from elementary school.

    I know, you're nodding your head right now.

    THE KNOWER OF THE MYSTERY OF SOUND KNOWS THE MYSTERY OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE. – HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN

    Now, whether you are a musician, an audiophile, or someone who is merely obsessed with sound, you are in the right place.

    We are about to break it all down and finally answer the question, “what is sound?” in its entirety in a way that everyone can understand.

    After you read this article, shopping for new sound equipment will be a piece of cake.

    What Is Sound?

    To answer the big question, we are going to have to start small.

    So, let's start with the basics:

    Sound is a wave — to be precise; it's a pressure wave that, “creates a mechanical disturbance in the medium in which it is directly adjacent to.”

    sky-sound-waves-blue-white-background

    Generally, the “medium” that ends up disturbed by the wave is the air, but sound can also travel through solids and liquids as well.

    Check out this short video for a more detailed explanation:

    An essential thing to remember here is that just because you can't see a soundwave, doesn't mean that it isn't physically there.

    How Humans Hear

    Now that you understand what a soundwave is let's talk about how the human ear manages to pick up those sounds.

    Soundwaves consist of regions of compressions and rarefactions that occur as the sound travels away from its source:

    • Compressions: areas of high pressure
    • Rarefactions: regions of low pressure

    The change in pressure hits the human ear, and that's what produces a sound.

    The human ear

    Our ears consist of three different sections:

    • Outer ear
    • Middle ear
    • Inner ear
    outer-middle-inner-ear-black-white

    Source: NASA

    Sound hits your outer ear first.

    Then, the outer ear works to funnel that sound through your ear canal.

    “GET RID OF THE SHITTY SOUND. LIFE’S TOO SHORT.” – HANS ZIMMER

    Once the soundwave hits your tympanic membrane (eardrum) in the middle ear, it causes it to vibrate.

    But we're not done yet!

    There are three bones in your middle ear:

    • Malleus
    • Incus
    • Stapes

    Once the soundwave hits those bones, they transmit vibrations from your eardrum to your inner ear.

    Then, the soundwave gets into your inner ear, and the cochlea there convert the vibrations into nerve impulses.

    Finally, your auditory nerve receives those messages, already translated into nerve impulses, and carries them into your brain which is where your brain turns them into sound.

    Check out the video below:

    As you can see, the human ear is capable of an astounding number of processes, and they all happen almost instantly.

    The Power Of Sound

    Next, it's imperative that when someone tries to answer the question, “what is sound?” that they also understand the power of sound.

    You should never underestimate the power of sound.

    Here's why:

    Sound and shapes

    Amazingly, Hans Jenny, a Swiss medical doctor, pioneered research that showed each sound produces a unique geometric shape.

    Called cymatics — it's the study of “sound and vibration made visible.”

    Check out the video below:

    And if those shapes weren't cool enough, let's talk about Doctor Masaru Emoto:

    Author of the book Messages from Water, Dr. Emoto studied the formation of crystals in water as he exposed the water to different sounds.

    The results:

    When Dr. Emoto played nice things like Mozart, prayers, and positive affirmations, beautiful crystals grew as a result.

    “TONES THEMSELVES CORRESPOND WITH AND AFFECT SPECIFIC AREAS OF THE BODY. THE ANCIENTS UNDERSTOOD THAT A SIMPLE SOUND COULD REORGANISE THE BODY’S STRUCTURE. SOUNDS THAT ARE HARMONIOUS, ACTIVATE THE BODY AND CREATE HEALING.” EARTH: PLEIADIAN KEYS TO THE LIVING LIBRARY – BARBARA MARCINIAK

    However, when Dr. Emoto played or yelled mean things like, “I hate you,” and, “I will kill you,” the resulting crystals were deformed and ugly.

    Check out the video below:

    So, as you can see, sound effects every human daily in more ways than most of us can imagine.

    The Speed Of Sound

    Now that you understand the power of sounds let's talk quickly about the speed of sound.

    Check out the video below:

    While the speed of sound is a constant, certain variables will affect how fast the soundwaves can move.

    Those variables are:

    • The type of gas (air, oxygen, carbon dioxide)
    • The temperature of the gas

    On average, though, the speed of sound through air is around 1,130 feet per second or approximately 750 miles per hour.

    Measuring Sound Waves

    Next, when it comes to measuring a sound wave, how fast it's going is not quite as crucial as other measurements — like volume and pitch.

    Let's find out how you measure those.

    Amplitude

    First, the amplitude is the measurement of how powerful the wave is — which translates into how loudly the human ear hears that sound.

    In other words, amplitude equals volume.

    amplitude-elephant

    You measure the amplitude of a sound wave in decibels or dBA, and it defines the amount of pressure emitted by the wave.

    You may also hear it called Sound Pressure Level or SPL.

    For example:

    • 0 decibels: the softest level that a person can hear
    • 65 decibels: normal speaking voices
    • 120 decibels: rock concert

    For humans, sounds that are 85 decibels or higher have the potential to damage your ears permanently.

    As the sound pressure (amplitude, volume) goes higher, the time it takes to damage your ears goes down, so be careful.

    girl out in the field in a shiny day

    For example, sounds at 85 decibels will take up to eight hours to cause any damage while sounds over 100 decibels can cause damage after only 30 minutes.

    Understanding Decibels Isn't As Hard As You Think

    Now, for recording artists and musicians, understanding decibels on your equipment is a little more involved than just understanding what they measure.

    First, most of us understand units of measurement on a linear scale, and decibels don't work that way.

    Check out this video for a detailed explanation:

    You can find the chart from the video if you click here.

    Frequency aka pitch

    If you want to answer the question, “what is sound?” the next thing you need to understand is the frequency of the sound wave — or the pitch.

    The frequency of a sound wave is the measurement of how far it is between the peaks of the wave.

    dogs can pick up sounds up to 50000 hertz

    To measure the frequency, you want to measure the number of sound vibrations in one second.

    The unit of measurement used to define the frequency (pitch) is Hertz.

    Check out this short video on frequency and amplitude:

    Let's break it down:

    • The lowest A key on a piano is 27 Hertz
    • The highest key on the piano is 4186 Hertz
    • A human can hear sounds as low as 20 Hertz

    Instruments used to measure sound

    There are several different instruments you can use to measure sound including:

    • VU meter
    • Spectrum analyzer
    • Microphone
    • SPL (sound pressure level) meter

    However, since it is 2019, instead of getting all that expensive equipment, you could just download an application like dB Meter to your smartphone.

    People Started To Manipulate Sound Electronically Over 100 Years Ago

    Starting from 1880 to the 1920s, Thomas Edison, Magnavox, and Victrola all used horns as the earliest means of manipulating sound.

    an old style speaker

    Photograph of an old-style speaker: Image CC BY-SA 2.0 from Javier Kohen via Flickr

    Unfortunately, the horns alone could not amplify the sound all that much.

    So, In 1906, a man by the name of Lee De Forest invented the first audio amplifier using a triode vacuum tube.

    For a detailed explanation of how tube amplifiers work check out this video:

    Then, in the 1970s, silicon transistors replaced the vacuum technology used in amplifiers.

    For a detailed explanation of how a transistor amplifier works, check out this video:


    While you can still find tube amplifiers today, most people prefer the transistor types because they are smaller and more efficient.

    On top of that, the transistor types of amplifiers are also better at reducing distortion levels, and they are much cheaper to produce than the tubed versions.

    What's A Watt?

    Now that we are starting to answer the question, “what is sound?” we need to dig in and find out how wattages affect different equipment.

    First of all, let's find out the answer to the question, “what is a watt?” 

    Check out the video below:

    Generally, you can compare watts to miles per hour — watts measure how fast the electrons move “down the highway,” or the circuit.

    Speakers And watts

    Concerning the wattage readings on speakers:

    Unless the speaker is self-powered, the wattage rating listed there is the maximum number of watts that the speaker can handle.

    bronze-black-speakers

    For example, if you have a 200-watt speaker and you attach a 250-watt amplifier to it, you're going to blow the speaker.

    Amplifiers

    Amplifiers process sound and you measure the output with watts.

    You can find the output of any amplifier listed right in the specs.

    vox-amp-specs-brown-yellow-bronze

    Again, make sure that your amplifier isn't pushing more power than your speakers can handle, or you risk damaging your equipment.

    How Speakers Work

    Speakers work by translating an electrical signal into an audible sound.

    Now, that electrical signal can be an amp, stereo, microphone, or even these days a Bluetooth connection.

    Speakers contain a permanent magnet as well as an electromagnet placed beside it.

    The electromagnet is a metal coil that generates a magnetic field when the electric current flows through it.

    The coil doesn't act exactly like a regular magnet, however.

    guitar-terms-acoustic

    Instead, as the pulses of electricity go through this electromagnet, the direction of the magnetic field changes rapidly.

    Then, as the electromagnet's field changes, it alternates between attracted to and repelled from the permanent magnet, which causes rapid vibrations.

    Those vibrations create a soundwave.

    However, to get the sound outside the speaker, you need a few more parts.

    The electromagnetic coil is also attached to a cone made from a flexible material like paper or plastic.

    That cone amplifies the magnetic vibrations and pumps out the sound waves into the air and then into your ears.

    Check out the video below:

    Finally, concerning the cone the magnet uses to get the sound out there — many speakers have more than one.

    To reproduce the many different frequencies of sound within a piece of music faithfully, high-quality speakers have different sized cones in them.

    You see, with a different cone assigned to the high, mid, and low frequencies in a track, you are going to hear much more than you would from a speaker with only one cone.

    Bass, Mids, And Highs

    When you hear people speak about music equipment, you will often hear the terms bass, mids, and highs (treble) — those words describe the frequency.

    Let's break it down:

    • Bass: the frequency for bass is between 20 and 300 hertz
    • Mids: 300 hertz to 4 kilohertz
    • Highs (treble): anything above 4 kilohertz

    Please note: 

    Frequency ranges are not an exact science, so those numbers are estimates only.

    Understanding Frequency

    To answer the question “what is sound?” you must first understand how frequency works when it comes to your sound components and equipment.

    When you are shopping for sound equipment, you will often see the term “frequency response.”

    Let's find out what that means.

    Frequency response

    You will see frequency response listed in the specifications for a ton of different products like speakers, headphones, amplifiers, receivers, and CD players.

    To put it simply, the frequency response, “describes the range of frequencies or musical tones a component can reliably reproduce.

    In other words, the frequency response is how well that particular component can reproduce the sounds we are capable of hearing.

    Check out the video below for a detailed explanation:

    Please note:

    While he was talking about headphones in the video, frequency response works in generally the same way across all equipment.

    gain and levels

    Additionally, while many purists go for a flat frequency response, some people prefer things like a bass boost, and that's okay too.

    Drivers and crossovers and what they do

    Before you can honestly answer the question, “what is sound?” you have to get a few more things straight concerning speakers.

    dynamic-range

    First, it's vital that you understand that when you hear the term, “speaker,” that's describing the entire piece of equipment, housing and all.

    However, when you hear the terms, “driver, box, and crossover,” those describe the critical stuff that produces the sound.

    Let's break it down:

    • Box: the box holds the drivers as well as the crossover network (when available)
    • Crossover network: a device inside the box that divides the audio signal up between the different drivers
    • Driver: these convert the electrical audio signal into sound waves

    Sometimes, a speaker will contain many different drivers in one box, and at other times there are only one or two.

    port

    However, depending on what you need the speaker for, that's very much on purpose.

    The Different Types Of Speakers And How You Should Use Them

    Next, we are going to find out what the different types of speakers are as well as the best uses for each of them.

    Passive, active, and powered speakers

    As you learn and read about speakers, you will see them called passive, active or powered.

    Check out this video that explains the whole thing:

    • Passive speaker: does not contain an internal amplifier
    • Active speaker: includes amplifier also includes an internal crossover system — in an active speaker the crossover system splits the frequency into different parts
    • Powered speaker: has an amplifier built into the system

    Dynamic speakers

    First up, we have the most popular type of speaker on the market: the dynamic speaker.

    A dynamic speaker is usually a passive speaker.

    A dynamic speaker also:

    • Includes one or more woofer drivers
    • Produces low-frequency sounds
    • Has one or more tweeter drivers
    • Might occasionally include rear drivers to amplify the sounds it's producing

    Subwoofer

    Next, another favorite type of speaker for audio enthusiasts, especially the ones that like those low frequencies, is the subwoofer.

    What is a Tweeter

    A subwoofer generally has one large woofer driver that produces low-frequency sounds as well as a port on the box to enhance them.

    If you are shopping for a general speaker that produces a full range of sounds, a subwoofer isn't the one for you.

    However, if you need to add a little more bass into your life, you're looking for one of these.

    Horn speakers

    Next up, let's talk about horn speakers.

    You might recognize the most common type of horn speaker from places like sporting events.

    They look like this:

    horn speaker

    Photo of horn speaker. Image CC BY 2.0 from Michael Rhysvia Flickr

    Horn type speakers have a lot in common with dynamic speakers when it comes to the drivers they contain as well as the frequency ranges.

    Horn speakers also:

    • Improve efficiency
    • Eliminate the resonance caused by the materials used to make the speaker boxes
    • Increases directivity: sound doesn't spread out from horn speakers like it does from other types

    Electrostatic speakers

    Electrostatic speakers feature one driver and a super-fine membrane over two conductive panels.

    This setup results in a crisp, detailed sound for mid and higher frequencies — not so much for the lows.

    equalizer

    This type of speaker comes with an outside power source, and you keep them plugged into a power outlet.

    An ideal setup will contain both electrostatic speakers as well as dynamic speakers or a subwoofer for added bass.

    Planar magnetic

    Finally, we have a speaker design that produces quality highs and mids like the electrostatic speakers — planar magnetic.

    A planar magnetic speaker uses a long metal ribbon suspended in between to magnetized panels.

    mixer

    This type of speaker is ideal, again, for producing precision high-frequency sounds, but if you need some bass, you will need s subwoofer or a dynamic speaker as well.

    The Different Types Of Speakers Continued

    On this mission to answer the question, “what is sound?” you have learned the different types of manufacturing techniques for speakers.

    Next, let's take a look at the most popular speakers on the market and find out what they' do.

    Studio monitor speakers

    Now, we talked earlier about how many audiophiles prefer a flat frequency response.

    Well, for a musician or music producer working on recording and mastering music, a studio monitor is essential.

    Here's why:

    Like we already discussed, most speakers have components in them that will enhance some of the frequencies.

    However, you also learned that every different type of speaker has different settings.

    So, when you are recording a track, you need to make sure those levels are as close to precisely what we hear with our ears as possible.

    That way, when those other speakers play that mastered track, the levels are where they need to be.

    configuration

    So, to do that you need to listen to the soundwave on speakers that will reproduce the sound as flat as possible and that's what studio monitor speakers do.

    Check out this video:

    Please remember:

    Some manufacturers sell studio monitor speakers as a set, and some of them sell one at a time — so keep that in mind when you're shopping.

    Computer speakers

    When computers first popped on the scene, they came with tiny little internal speakers attached to the motherboard.

    Well, the current generation of computer speakers come these days with a 2.1 system.

    A 2.1 system means the speakers include two loudspeakers as a subwoofer.

    Computer speakers are plug-and-play and often attach to your computer using a USB.

    Floor standing speaker

    Next up, if you are designing a home theater or other home sound system, you want to think about a floor standing speaker.

    Provided, of course, that you have enough space.

    You see, these speakers are around four feet tall, so if you live in an apartment, you may need something a little smaller.

    You can get floor standing speakers in many different configurations with different drivers and such depending on your needs.

    receiver

    The majority of these speakers are passive or unpowered, so you're going to need a receiver or an amplifier.

    Bookshelf speakers

    Now, if you don't have room for those floor speakers, don't worry.

    You can always get yourself some slightly smaller bookshelf speakers.

    Bookshelf speakers are medium sized speakers that come in many different configurations.

    This type of speaker is directional, which means that to get the full effect, they must face you and you will need an amplifier or a receiver to make them work.

    Surround speakers

    Finally, we end our list of the most popular types of speakers with the creme of the crop — surround speakers.

    If you want to have your home theater system sound like you are at the movie theater, a surround system is for you.

    Terms You Need to Know

    A surround system places several speakers in the room and works to create a 360-degree sound environment.

    These types of speakers use multiple channels as well as different drivers to deliver sound to every corner of a room.

    Common Problems With Sound

    Of course, at some point, you are likely going to run into some issues with your equipment.

    Let's discuss a few common sound issues and what they mean:

    • Clipping: an audible distortion you can hear, and it happens when a circuit is overloaded
    • Distortion: a difference between the source material and the sonic output of a sound system
    • Acoustic feedback: the squealing sound you hear — it happens if the mic is too close to the speakers (you can stop it by turning down the mic)

    Ways To Manipulate Sound Waves With Your Computer

    Finally, we will round out our lessons helping you answer the question, “what is sound?” with a short chat about manipulating sound waves on your computer.

    So, you finally got all the speakers and recording equipment you need, so what's next?

    Well, if you want to record at home, you are going to want to grab a software program so you can master your work before you send it out.

    There are so many of these programs out there, check out this video for more information:

    These days, you can even get a ton of audio editing programs for free.

    Now You're Ready To Blow Their Minds

    And there you have it, folks.

    Now, the next time someone asks you the question, “what is sound?” you are 100 percent ready to blow their minds.

    Most importantly, the next time you're reading the specs on a piece of sound equipment, you're going to know exactly what those numbers mean.