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Sound – how to pick the best mic and headphones 

What to keep in mind when buying headphones 

Headphones are a piece of equipment that many of us can’t imagine life without. Their enclosed form closely envelopes the ear and does a great job of blocking off the ambient sound. This makes them great for gaming or taking a walk and, for the models that come with a mic, chatting with your friends or a video call at work. To choose a pair of headphones that best suits your needs, consider the following: 

  • Purpose of the headphones – headphones for running are somewhat different than work headphones. The former should, for instance, have ear cups made of a breathable material that will not cook your ears after a long jog. So, it’s a good idea to consider where and how you’ll use the headphones before making the purchase. 
  • Wired vs. wireless – this is directly related to the headphones’ purpose. In simplest terms – the more you move, the less you want a cable. 
  • Parameters – such as driver size, impedance and headphone sensitivity. These are among the factors that influence how clean the sound is, so it’s good to give them more thought. 

It’s also a good idea to take into account the availability of additional accessories, such as swappable ear cups, a detachable microphone or an external sound card. Even if you don’t need those on the day of the purchase, one they just might be indispensable. 

Earphones vs headphones 

One of the first questions to ask before buying headphones is related to their construction. At first glance, earphones are a clear winner – they’re small, they weigh little, and they don’t stand out when you wear them out on the town. Unfortunately, they offer lower sound quality compared to headphones and can even damage your hearing in the long run. 

When making this choice, buying headphones may be worthwhile. They have no equal with regard to sound quality. On top of that, they muffle ambient sounds well, so you can fully immerse yourself in your favorite music (or a chat). However, they are slightly larger than earphones, so you might need a dedicated stand for them on your desktop. 

Streaming microphone – the most important features 

Are you considering launching an Internet career? Thinking of buying your first mic for steaming? Or perhaps you’ve had an online presence for a while now and you’re looking for a new model that will meet your rising expectations? If you said “yes” to any of these, we suggest you take a look at the checklist below before you buy. We specified what we consider to be the most important features of a streaming microphone. These are: 

  • Sensitivity – how accurately the equipment records sound waves. The principle is simple – the more sensitive the mic, the softer the sounds it’s capable of recording. 
  • Directionality – some microphones are capable of capturing sound around the membrane (or at its selected spots), which makes them ideal for recording a group of people.  
  • Pop filter and shock mount – they help you reduce the amount of noise (such as the sound caused by vibrations through the mic’s handle) in the recording. 

See all ENDORFY products in the SOUND category 


How do I increase the volume of my headphones?

Contrary to popular opinion, increasing the volume of your headphones is not restricted only to the volume controls of the device they are connected to. Selected models include an integrated volume knob or a dedicated sound card with volume control options. It’s also possible to amplify the sound with dedicated apps, so it’s worthwhile looking closer at all available options and choosing whichever seems the most appropriate. 

How do I clean the headphones?

If you use your headphones frequently – for example to listen to your favorite tunes or podcasts – you need to know how to properly clean their surfaces. Not only will you keep them clean, but you’ll extend their lifespan as well. If nothing else, dirt on the membranes significantly distorts sound. This is why it’s a good idea to give your headphones a proper cleaning at least once a month. Below we compiled the most important things to keep in mind before you do just that. 

  • Use water sparingly, if ever – washing headphones with water may damage the sensitive internal systems of the headphones. 
  • Read the producer’s instructions – some models may require special treatment, so before you clean them, read the instruction manual or the guidelines published on the producer’s website. 
  • Use correct materials – for example a soft toothbrush (or a microfiber cloth), cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol.  

How do I connect a mic to my laptop?

If you have a USB microphone, connecting it to a laptop is very straightforward – just plug the cable into the proper port and the system will guide you through the installation process. Bluetooth mics are a similar case, they just require pairing with the computer. Just make sure your hardware works with Bluetooth. 

Things are a bit trickier with laptops with the so-called “combo” port, which is used simultaneously for microphone input and headphone output. In this case, the best solution is to buy an adapter that splits the signal from such a port. This allows you to plug in your mic easily while leaving an open port for your headphones. 

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