Though large headphones can often provide the best sound quality because their size allows for larger and better speakers, mini headphones are often preferable because of their portability. In many cases, this portability does not need to come at the expensive of sound quality — some mini headphones actually have very good sound quality. To choose the best set, a consumer must first know exactly how he wants to use them. Cheap headphones to be worn while running will be quite different from headphones meant to combine portability with the best possible quality. Upon determining the purpose of the headphones, it is important to compare the many different options that exist to fit the desired purpose.
One may want to buy mini headphones for a variety of purposes, which will affect the choice. Headphones for running, for instance, must be able to fit securely to the ears or they will fall off constantly. Headphones for easy transportation, such as those meant to be carried in a pocket, should be particularly small or should be able to fold up. Determining exactly what one plans to use the headphones for is an essential step in making the best possible buying decision.
Upon determining how the headphones will be used, the next step is to compare the available options. Looking at descriptions and user reviews on the websites of Internet retailers is a great way to do this. Additionally, many physical stores actually allow customers to try headphones in the store before they buy them. This is an excellent way to check comfort and sound quality. Conducting sufficient research is a good way to ensure that one chooses the best option for a given purpose instead of simply choosing the first or easiest option.
There are several other considerations that one should keep in mind when buying mini headphones that are not necessarily issues for full-size headphones. Mini headphones, particularly ear buds that fit directly into the ear canal, tend to lack the sound isolating abilities possessed by full-size headphones. Some mini headphones, though, have active noise-canceling systems that allow one to listen to music at a low volume even in noisy areas, presenting less risk of harm to the ears. Many small headphones, particularly inexpensive ones, have cheap cords that can short out easily. It is important to make sure that the cord appears robust enough to withstand bending and twisting if one intends to regularly carry the headphones around.