Headphone Specification – Spot-on Things That You Need to Know


It happens that you need to purchase a new headphone. You sure want to get the best sounding headphone under $200, $500, or less. Nobody wants that cracky sound. Neither does anyone want to get that headphone with a very low sound? You surely do not want to pick the headphone with unclean bass so I will be working you through those items to look out for.


The Frequency Response.

In a chat between Steve Guttenberg and Axel Grell (who happen to have developed 23 headphones) of Senheiser, it was discovered that the frequency response (which is measurable which is measurable if the spec includes a -3 or -10dB tolerance) has a theoretical value.  This implies that a headphone that has a spec like 15- 28000Hz is more useful than a 15-28000Hz without the -dB.

The first number in any frequency response spec shows the deepest bass frequency the headphone can reproduce. The lower this number is, the better the sound. Meanwhile, the other number therein is the highest it can go and the higher the number is, the better the sound produced.

A headphone with a frequency above 23,000Hz is a very good sign as it stands a chance of being clearer than headphones with lower frequency. Though very few people get to use this high frequency, Grell believes that the best sounding headphones are those with high frequencies.

Open- Backed or Closed Back?

When considering headphones with closed back, it must have an airtight seal. This helps to guarantee that the best sound is being delivered. In this situation, the moment the seal is compromised, the bass of that headphone suffers for it.

Meanwhile, the open-backed headphones do not require a perfect seal to deliver a full bass response. The open-backed headphones have its bass sound’s consistency dependent on the ears of the listener.

The Headphone’s Impedance

The major factor that decides Sound quality is if it is Home-used AC powered receiver/headphone amplifier or a battery powered portable music player.

The Home amps produce better bass than the portable devices hence A.C powered amps produce more bass and sounds better with higher impedance headphones.

If the device is a portable music player or mobile device, it’s best to go with lower impedance headphones with 32ohms or less.


A headphone with more sensitivity plays louder on smartphones than those with lesser sensitivity. Grell believes that the inconsistency of the way the specs are created had made it difficult to compare the specs of one headphone to another.

Driver size

Large driver size does a poor job of producing sounds with high frequency. According to Grell, the maximum size of a driver for a full-size headphone should be around 42mm. Though it gives a cleaner bass, higher drivers change the diaphragm surface and give an irregular frequency response.

In essence, the overall design of the drivers and headphone is more important than its’ driver spec.


You surely do not want to buy a headphone you wouldn’t be comfortable on, so pick only ones you are comfortable with.

Above all, always note that the specs on headphones should only serve as guides. The best way to judge a headphone is by listening to it. Your ears will never deceive you.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Emily Brantly

Emily Brantly is a freelance writer and blogger who is passionate about music, movies and books. She enjoys writing reviews and covering stories related to the entertainment industry. Email: [email protected]