My Headphone Preferences

I wear headphones a lot at work. Specifically for three or four hours a day, five days a week, for the past 8 years.

I prefer headphones rather than earbuds. I find earbuds to be uncomfortable for long periods of time. Headphones are easier to slip off and on, which is important because I want people to feel like they’re not bothering me when interrupting me to talk. Also earbuds get gross and slimy.

I prefer circumaural (“over-the-ear”) instead of supra-aural (“on-the-ear”). My ears get sore from supra-aural headphones pressing my ears against my head.

I prefer closed-back instead of open-back for two related reasons. Closed-back headphones don’t leak as much audio into my surroundings, which means I don’t bother my co-workers (I hope). It also means they block out a fair amount of ambient noise, which allows me to listen at a lower volume which allows me to worry less about hearing damage due to having speakers next to my head for many hours. They don’t block out as much ambient noise as well-fitting earbuds, but I’m ok with that.

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