Earbuds are very small headphones that are fitted directly in the outer ear but not inserted in the ear canal. They are one of the most portable and convenient things we use to listen to sounds and music. Earbuds help us in preventing other people from hearing the sound, either for privacy or to prevent disturbing them. They come in various technology and materials that’s why the best choice on earbuds depend on the purpose they will serve.
Earbuds are known to be intra-aural headphones. There are two types of intra-aural headphones. One is the earbud which sit just outside of the ear canal, and the other one is in-ear which is inserted directly into the ear canal and offers external noise suppression.
Earbuds are made up of different materials and technologies which gives us lots of benefits. These materials make it possible for us to enjoy good sounds and music. Here are some of the materials our earbuds are made of and the different technology they offer.
The earbuds that we use to listen to music, watch movies, and talk over the phone are made up of different materials. Here they are:
- Plastic: This is a commonly used material for the outer shell of the earbuds. It serves as a protective cover for the sensitive inner working of the device.
- Aluminum: The inside of earbuds is made of a small aluminum coil. This coil acts as a transducer that turns the raw data into an audible sound.
- Rubber: Today, most earbuds uses rubber around the earphone speaker. This adds an extra comfort for the user.
- Electrical Wiring: Electrical wirings are used to connect the earbud speakers to small chips inside it. Aside from that, it is also used to connect the earbuds to the TRS connector or audio jack.
- Copper: Most of the audio jacks are made of copper. It’s because copper is an excellent electricity conductor.
They are many kinds of earbuds available in the market and they offer various functions such as wireless connectivity, noise cancelling feature, and more. These functions are made possible by different technologies. Here some of the most common earbud technology.
Earbuds can be directly wired to the audio source device or they can be wireless. Wired earbuds have a higher quality compared to wireless ones, however, wireless earbuds are more convenient.
Wired earbuds come with a variety of connectors and the most common are the standard analog TRS connectors or audio jacks, and USB. Audio jacks have two major sizes, 6.5mm and 3.5 mm. The small size is often used for smaller personal electronics like smartphones.
Wireless earbuds on the other hand uses either RF transmission or Bluetooth. The difference is that Bluetooth can only be used in close proximity to the source sending the signal. But Bluetooth works great for many earbuds because of the low power consumption.
Transducers are responsible in transforming one kind of energy to another. In earbud speakers, the transducers get the electrical energy from the audio source and transforms it into the sound we hear. There are different kinds of transducers such as electrostatic, dynamic, orthodynamic, and electromagnetic.
There are five types of headphone drivers namely dynamic, balanced armature, planar magnetic, electrostatic, and bone conduction. For earbuds, the most common driver used is the balanced armature driver.
Balanced armature drivers are small drivers that’s why they work best in earbuds and in-ear headphones. This type of driver provides a better isolation which in turn gives out a more detailed sound. Balanced armature drivers can be tuned for optimal quality in specific frequency.
Earbuds today have two types of microphone designs, the external microphone and the voice tube. Earbuds with external microphones are those usually used in gaming. These are the microphones that extends from the earbuds toward the mouth. Voice tubes on the other hand are usually Omni-directional. They function similarly to speakerphone mics of cellular phones.
These materials and technologies are truly amazing. They made it possible for us to listen to music anywhere we go. As the years pass and as the technology improves, it’s likely that more advanced earbud technologies will emerge.