Headphones or earbuds?
Back to the JBL Blog overview

JBL Blogs

Help me choose

Headphones or earbuds?

Listening to music can be better with headphones or earbuds? We will explain exactly what the advantages of both options are. Do you find it hard to make a choice? No problem, because our decision aid will help you out. You will soon be able to enjoy music the way you want to.

Headphones – Over-ear and on-ear

Headphones are relatively big, but their larger speakers are better able to reduce outside noise. Do you like extra-large speakers that completely surround the ear? Then over-ear models are perfect for you. On-ear headphones are just a bit smaller and are placed comfortably on the ear. It's up to you to decide which model you like best.

In addition, many headphones are equipped with useful extras, such as noise cancelling. You'll be able to work in absolute silence, always and everywhere. Is it important for you to have freedom of movement when listening to music? Then consider choosing a wireless model that works via Bluetooth.

 Headphones – Over-ear and on-ear


Earbuds are a lot smaller than headphones. However, this doesn't mean that you have to compromise on sound quality. On the contrary, a good earbud can easily match the sound quality of headphones. Here's another benefit - you can hardly feel (and see) them. Most models are placed in the ear, but there are also so-called in-ear models available too. The name says it all these earbuds really enter your ear canal, and therefore stay in place really well.

Do you want to always have your music in your pocket? Then earbuds are the best choice for you, because thanks to their small size they can fit in any bag and pocket. Make life even easier by choosing true wireless earbuds. They don't have a cable to untangle and connect to your phone via Bluetooth.


Decision aid

With the right gear, you'll enjoy your music even more. But what's the best choice for you? Headphones and earbuds both have their own qualities. Whether you're an athlete, listen to a lot of music in the office or like to make hands-free calls, there will always a model for you. This decision aid will help you choose, so you can enjoy your favorite playlists carefree.

For home, the office or on the road?

For long listening sessions, headphones are the most popular choice. Shut yourself off from the world completely and hear nothing but your favorite songs. Noise-cancelling headphones also provide some well-earned rest, especially when in the office or if you're on a noisy plane. Are you a fanatic gamer or do you want to watch television without disturbing anyone? In these cases, headphones are the best choice for you.

Are you always on the go? Then maybe earbuds are more suitable for you. They are small, fit in your pocket and weigh very little. They'll come in handy on a long journey. They're also very useful during a walk or bike ride. And when you’re done listening to music, you can easily store them in a case or bag.

 For home, the office or on the road?

Battery life

Just when you're mesmerized by a song, suddenly the sound disappears - the battery has gone flat. Good battery life is essential for a true music lover. Therefore, when buying earbuds or headphones, pay close attention to the battery life of the device, as this can vary greatly from model to model. Some headphones will last twenty hours or more, while other models will need to be recharged after ten hours.

Do you travel a lot and never want to be without music? Then earbuds might be the best choice for you as a good number of models don't need to be charged. Another solution are wireless earbuds with a charging case. If you store your earbuds in their case, they recharge. How great is that!


A good beat can motivate you throughout your workout, but your headphones will need to stay in place. Over-ear headphones are very suitable for walking, but are not recommended if you’re going to move around a lot. Do you like to cut yourself off from the world while exercising at the gym? Then on-ear sports headphones (with noise cancelling) can be a good choice. Please note that wearing a model with such a function is unsafe when exercising outdoors or on the street. Are you a fanatic runner? Then earbuds are your best friend. Sport True Wireless models can also prevent you from getting caught on something while exercising.

When you buy headphones or earbuds for exercising, special sports headphones and earbuds are always the best option. These models have a secure fit and always stay in place, no matter how fanatical you are about exercising. These models are also often sweat and/or water resistant, which is very important!



Listening to music wirelessly gives you unparalleled freedom. You don't have to keep your phone with you all the time and you will never snag your cable on something. Wireless headphones and earbuds are handy when you're exercising or on the road a lot, and simply connect to your phone via Bluetooth. Do you want to really enjoy music wirelessly? Then true wireless earbuds are a better choice – so that you can listen to music, manage your phone calls and exercise without getting tangled up in wires.

Earphones or earbuds with a microphone

Hands-free calling is ideal when you're in the car or on the bike (same issue with bike again!!). Thanks to headphones with a microphone you'll never miss a call from your friends. A headset with a microphone is also very handy for gamers. This way you can always keep your teammates up to date and your gaming will become more social.

Often the microphone on these headphones and earbuds are hidden in the cord. Check in advance if a model is equipped with talkthrough function. Is your phone ringing? Then the headphones immediately turn your music down, so you can take a call without being interrupted.

Take a look at the products of JBL

Earbuds or headphones: what suits you best? Earbuds are small, so you can take them with you anytime and anywhere. They stay in place during your workout and are handy when you want to make hands-free calls. Have you got wireless earphones with a charging case? Then you'll never run out of batteries.

Headphones are a lot bigger, which for some people means more comfort. At the same time, size is not always convenient when you exercise or are on the road. Do you enjoy silence as well as music? Then noise cancelling headphones are your thing. These headphones are also available with a Bluetooth function and built-in microphone.

Related Products

JBL Live Pro+ TWS
True wireless Noise Cancelling earbuds
A$ 179.95 each
A$ 249.95
JBL Tune 225TWS
True wireless earbuds
A$ 119.00 each
A$ 179.95
JBL Tour One
Wireless over-ear noise cancelling headphones
A$ 349.95 each

More from JBL

Start exercising: Our five tips Start exercising:
Our five tips
Starting to exercise is the perfect challenge for your body. Going for a nice run outside, boxing or working out in the gym: there's nothing like some extra movement.
Headphones or earbuds? Headphones or earbuds? Listening to music can be better with headphones or earbuds? We will explain exactly what the advantages of both options are. 5 tips to make the most of your time at home 5 tips to make the most
of your time at home
Right now a lot of us are suddenly sitting at home and cant go to the office to work. There are many advantages to working from home, such as not having to travel, working in your pajamas and setting your own time table.
Help me choose Help me choose You want the best portable speaker for your unique situation. So does JBL! For every situation there is a JBL portable speaker. Want to bring your portable speaker to the beach? Or perhaps take the speaker to the park? No problem! JBL got you covered. Read more about the best portable devices for each situation. Music in the shower? Go for Waterproof! Music in the shower? Go for Waterproof!

Would you like to have your music in the shower? Or do you want to listen to a podcast in the bath?

The Best Soundbar For Your TV & Home Audio Soundbars have become commonplace in many homes and offices thanks to their premium sound quality, ease of use, and sheer aesthetic appeal. Listening to music via Wifi or Bluetooth? Listening to music via Wifi or Bluetooth?

Do you want the best music experience at home (or at work)? Then the way you stream music to your speakers is certainly important.

Tips on choosing the best gaming headset Tips on choosing the best gaming headset Whether it’s Call of Duty, Fortnite, Red Dead Redemption, or something more under the radar, choosing the right gaming headset can make all the difference to your performance.

The best outdoor speaker The best outdoor speaker

As soon as the first rays of sunshine appear, we all like to sit outside and enjoy the sun. With a drink in your hand, you can sit in your garden, in a park, on the beach or on a terrace.

What is the best way to clean your earphones? What is the best way
to clean your earphones?

Wallet, phone, keys? Check. Earphones? Of course. Because having a day away from home without your favorite tunes is unthinkable.

Noise-cancelling headphones: what are they and how do they work? Noise-cancelling headphones: what are they and how do they work?

ant to enjoy your music despite the noisy sounds around you?

All about wireless headphones All about wireless headphones

Wireless headphones give you freedom.

The Best Portable Speaker For Your Lifestyle A portable speaker is one of those items that, once you have one, you’ll never know how you managed without it.

Choosing the best headphones for kids Choosing the best headphones for kids

Children have delicate ears, so it’s vital to find the right headphones to protect their hearing. Find how to choose the best headset for your child with JBL AU.

All about DAB+ radio All about DAB+ radio DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting. So basically, it is just digitally transmitted sound.