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Headphones & Earphones

Headphones and Earphones Below $50

Popular - Sports Earphones

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There’s more to choosing the right headphone than simply picking your preferred colour. Which type of headphone will suit your lifestyle? In-Ear, On-Ear, Over-Ear? What’s the difference between open and closed-back headphones? Wired or wireless? How does active noise-cancelling work? If you’ve go...

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Headphones & Earphones Buying Guide

Music has a way of captivating us, drawing us in and inspiring us to push on, as well as relax. There are a myriad of musical genres, suiting a variety of different people, and in the same vein, there are a plethora of headphones designed, again, for a variety of different people.

The way your favourite audio is heard can affect your mood; bright tones spiriting you into the most positive of feelings, bass-heavy audio making you feel as if the world is yours, and perfectly balanced sound allowing you to sink into the deepest relaxation. What we are trying to get across is that headphones are as varied as the listener themselves.

Earphones vs Headphones: The Main Difference

Essentially, the difference between earphones and headphones boils down to the physical structure of the unit. As the name most likely suggests, earphones are designed to go in your ear, while headphones rest over or on your ear. However, to prevent any potential confusion, it is important to note that earphones can also be referred to as in-ear headphones.

Headphones generally fall into two categories; wired and wireless, with some models boasting the ability to switch between them. There is no absolute winner between wired and wireless as they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones provide you with a liberating freedom from cables, allowing you to instead connect to your devices via Bluetooth. Bluetooth works by compressing audio signals at the source and transmitting them to your headphones across common audio frequencies.

Basically, this means that while using Bluetooth headphones you can occasionally experience interference with your audio signal, especially if the source of your audio is between a few solid objects such as walls. However, this can resolved by simply keeping your device, such as your phone, nearby.

Wireless Bluetooth headphones utilise batteries, either AAA, AA or rechargeable lithium-ion, which not only allows the Bluetooth to function, but also any built-in noise-cancelling functionality. Depending on the price range and quality of headphone, battery life can range from eight hours all the way up to 40 hours.

Wireless headphones are an ideal choice for individuals on the move; optimal for commuters, workouts or errands that can fill a whole day.

Wired Headphones

Wired headphones, as the name may hint at, make use of wires to connect your headphones to computers, smart devices and more. By virtue of the physical connection, audio that is heard through wired headphones will generally benefit from higher-quality sound than their wireless counterparts.

Adding to this is the fact that wired headphones do not require batteries to be used; simply plug them into your chosen device and press play. On the flip side, the cords can get in the way as you go about your day. Almost everyone has a memory of your headphone/earphone cord getting caught on a door handle or other object and pulling it violently out of your device or off your head.

Wired headphones are a great choice for those who aren’t going to be moving around a lot and/or those who want a supply of high-quality sound at all times. People who work at a desk, or those in a studio will benefit greatly from wired headphones.



Wired models will have no need of Bluetooth functionality, but if you are looking at purchasing a wireless or hybrid unit, then BT is very important. It’s important because not all Bluetooth is the same. Bluetooth is an audio compression system; sound is compressed, transported and unpacked.

Higher versions of Bluetooth, such as Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0, offer increased range, higher-quality sound, increased security and easier pairing.

Codec Type

Sample Rate 

Bit Depth

Max Transfer Rate 


48 kHz


352 kbps


48 kHz


576 kbps


96 kHz


990 kbps


96 kHz


250 kbps 

Put simply, a codec is a way that Bluetooth transmits audio from the source to your headphones. Here is a quick outline of the above codecs: 

  • AptX: A simple codec that is designed to transfer “CD-like” quality audio over Bluetooth.
  • AptX HD: An enhanced codec that has been designed to improve signal-to-noise ratio, thus reducing background noise. This allows the transmission of higher-quality audio without an increase in delay. 
  • LDAC: Sony’s proprietary audio codec, LDAC enables the transfer of High-Resolution content over Bluetooth. 
  • ALAC: Standing for Apple Lossless Audio Codec, ALAC is Apple’s proprietary codec that works seamlessly with iTunes and iOS devices. This is a choice codec if you use a lot of Apple products and program


Open and Closed Back Headphones

Terms you will notice quite a bit when looking at headphones are ‘open-back’ and ‘closed-back’ designs. Which one is right for you comes down to how and where you are using them.

Open-back headphones allow air to pass through the ear cups right through to the speaker element, preventing any build-up of air pressure that could negatively affect your sound. Open-back designs, particularly evident with the higher-end models, deliver a more natural and clear sound than their closed-back counterparts.

On the flip side, sound leaks both in and out of open-back headphones. This means that you will hear everything that is going on around you, and your favourite tunes will be heard by everyone around you. For this reason, open-back headphones are at their best when used for home listening, or when listening to high-quality audio files.

Closed-back headphones on the other hand, seal the back of the unit, preventing sound from leaking anywhere it is not meant to; sound only exits closed-back headphones from where it is meant to reach your ear. By virtue of this, closed-back headphones are excellent noise-cancellers, optimal for commuting, listening to music while working and general enjoyment.

The sound of a closed-back headphone may not be as natural as an open-backed one, but you can truly immerse yourself in audio. Additionally, wearing closed-back headphones for long periods of time can cause your ears to get quite warm, due to a lack of ventilation.


Features to Look Out For

Headphones and sound-quality are notoriously subjective; what sounds amazing for one person may not be what sounds amazing to someone else. But here are some features to keep an eye out for.

Noise Cancelling

Split into active and passive, headphones that can isolate and eliminate external sound are a desirable piece of equipment. Optimal for commuters, travellers and even for some kinds of work, noise-cancelling headphones allow you to focus on what’s important; the sound.

Passive noise-cancelling is primarily achieved through the physical design of the headphone unit itself. In-ear models cancel ambient noise by blocking the ear canal, while over-ear models eliminate noise by covering the entire ear.

Active noise-cancelling utilises specific frequencies to cancel out external sound, for a more comprehensive form of audio elimination. Particularly with over-ear and on-ear designs, both passive and active noise cancelling work together to immerse you in your favourite audio. Some models, such as the Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Headphones and Beats Studio3 Wireless, even feature Adaptive Noise Cancelling which adjusts the level of noise cancelling to the level of ambient noise. With both wired and wireless noise-cancelling headphones, you have a little more flexibility and control over your personal audio experience. 

In-Line Controls and Microphone

Having in-line controls, either for the answering of calls or the control of your music, provides a great deal of convenience, in ways you probably don’t expect. If you are unfamiliar, in-line controls refer to buttons, either on the cable, or on the ear-cups that allow you to control phone functions.

With in-line controls, you can answer calls, change tracks, adjust volume, play and pause music, all while your phone rests comfortably in your bag or pocket.

If you wish to answer calls while wearing your headphones, it’s important to note that not all models come with a built-in microphone, so that is something you will need to keep an eye out for. 

Water Resistance

Some headphones benefit from varying degrees of water-resistance. Particularly prevalent with headphones designed for sport or working out, water-resistance is a beneficial feature for general music listeners as well. The last thing you want is a couple drops of water severely impacting your headphones.

If you’re a swimmer, or love splashing around at the beach, there are even headphones that are designed to be used in the water. 

Here are some common water-resistance ratings:

         IPX2 - Protects against vertically dripping water when the unit is tilted fifteen degrees from its normal position.

         IPX4 - Protects against splashing water from any direction.

         IPX5 - Resistant against a water stream up to 6.3 millimetres in width, from any direction.

         IPX7 - Protected from the intrusion of water when submerged up to one metre. 

Fast Charging

An exclusive feature for wireless headphones, fast charging functionality allows you to gain a few hours playback from a short time charging. You’ll come across units that can fully charge a twenty-four hour battery in three hours, or some that can grant you five hours playback from fifteen minutes charging.

Fast charging depends on the brand, quality and price of the headphone in question, and is a good thing to look out for. 


Headphone Style: The Best Fit for You

In-Ear, On-Ear and Over-Ear; three phrases that broadly encompass the wide world of headphones, and a choice that is deeply subjective. Some individuals love the bulkier design of over-ear headphones, while others like a style that allows them to listen to music without hardware getting in the way. 

Let’s help narrow down your choice. 

In-Ear Headphones

Earphones, earbuds, in-ear headphones - all words that essentially mean the same thing. Designed to sit within the confines of the ear, earphones are one of the more common types of headphone; almost every major phone is supplied with a pair in the box. Placing the earbud directly into your ear has the wonderful benefit of effectively blocking out ambient sound. With a variety of fins, tips and wings, you can find your optimal fit, which increases the noise-cancelling effects. Of course you also have a more compact and portable version of earphones which are also known as earbuds. Being wireless in-ear headphones, earbuds take up little space when in use. Earbuds also have another advantage in that many models come with a portable charging case to top up battery life on the go.

One of the best things about in-ear headphones is the portability factor. They can easily fit in your backpacks, handbags, pockets and small spaces in general, until you need them again. Based on how how easy they are to store, move and setup, in-ear headphones are one of the most popular choices of portable audio.


On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones are, as the name suggests, designed to sit on your ear. Providing a great-sounding headphone model that still remains highly portable, on-ear headphones are a good middle-ground between in-ear and bulky on-ear models. Since they don’t completely shut out external sound, they allow you to be more aware of your surroundings while listening to music.

On-ear headphones are a fair deal smaller than over-ear models, so they are ideal for people who want amazing sound, but still maintain portability. Folded down, they will still fit comfortably in backpacks and handbags but will take up a lot more physical space than in-ear models.

Over-Ear Headphones

The largest of the three headphone designs, they completely cover the ear and immerse the listener in high-quality audio. Packing more hardware into their shells, over-ear headphones tend to deliver higher-quality sound. Over-ear headphones are commonly utilised in music studios and production studios; anywhere where the focus needs to be almost entirely on the sound.

Since they aren’t required to sit within or on your ear, over-ear headphones are typically very comfortable, often bolstered by soft cushioning on the earpads and headband. The more comfortable a pair of headphones are, the longer they can be worn and if you choose a pair of Bluetooth Over-Ear headphones, the lack of a connecting cable can boost your comfort and convenience. And with over-ear models, comfort, convenience, and amazing audio technology are front and centre.

Headphones Style


Features to look out for

Ideal for:

In Ear Headphones

Sit inside the ear

Light, portable and discreet

Earbuds, round-the-neck, clip-on

Sports / exercise

On Ear Headphones

Sit directly on the ear


Comfortable listening experience over longer periods of time

General activities

Over Ear Headphones

Completely surround your ear

Generally most comfortable due to largest ear cup size, can have passive noise-cancelling benefits

Open and closed back

Long distance travel, home use, audio production, DJ use, audiophiles

Let’s Get Physical: Sports Headphones

Let’s Get Physical: Sports Headphones

Sports headphones are designed to be unobtrusive companions on your workouts, pushing you harder through the power of great music. For these purposes, in-ear headphones are often the best choice.

When looking for a wonderful set of headphones for your workouts, it is important to pay attention to the physical shape of them, and whether they include hooks or other features to hold them in place. The last thing you want is for your earphones to keep falling out while you are running, cycling or lifting weights.

In the same vein, wireless headphones, or headphones that connect to each other via a short cable behind your neck are great for workouts, because they don’t get in the way. They simply rest in your ear, you don’t have any cables or bulky ear cups getting in the way or causing distraction.

Water-resistance with your sports headphones is not only practical, it is incredibly important; especially if you are an individual who pushes themselves hard at the gym. You don’t want sweat interfering with the delicate headphone electronics. Depending on your routine, headphones that boast an IPX2 or IPX4 rating may be an ideal feature to seek. 

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Hi, I'm Kuda, Product Expert  at The Daily Sale Shop. If you have any specific questions about anything in our store, please feel free to get in touch with myself or the team here at The Daily Sale Shop on +263 779 402 129 we'll be happy to assist. To view product simply click on any of the banne...

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