Headphones influence music experience

Headphones+influence+music+experience

Julia Schaller

Beats Headphones are at a staggering price of $199. Photo by Aniqa Rahman.
Beats Headsphones are at a staggering price of $199. Photo by Aniqa Rahman.
We all have those songs that we feel couldn’t get any better. We all know of songs that are so beautifully crafted and executed with perfect musicality that we honestly believe nothing in the world could make the song any better, but I think people underestimate how much the type of headphones they use can actually change the song. I decided to delve into the world of earbuds and see how different types of earbuds actually affect the music.
For each brand of headphone, I listened to the same three songs: “Uprising” by Muse, “Arrival of the Birds & Transformation” by The Cinematic Orchestra and “I’ve Just Seen a Face” by The Beatles. I tried to take into account the treble and bass aspect of every song and consider how it affected the overall sound.

My quest started with the generic Apple earbuds everyone gets with their first iPod for free. Every single song lacked the soul they originally had. The earbuds completely cut the intensity and life of the music because there was hardly any bass or forceful, expressive beat. Each song was just a duller, higher and more annoying version of what it was supposed to be. Listening through the earbuds was like eating a luscious sandwich filled with all the things you love most, only to taste bread. It was highly disappointing. Don’t settle. Do yourself a favor and actually purchase better earbuds.

I continued testing earbuds with GUM earbuds, which cost $5.46 on Amazon. Listening to “Uprising” was enjoyable, but not the best quality. There was a lot of lower bass and a strong beat that drove the song, but with GUM earbuds, a lot of that vigor was lost because they really only focused on the treble of the song. Much like “Uprising,” with “Arrival of the Birds & Transformation,” the earbuds enunciated the treble, leaving the song without its full sound potential. I have to admit there’s an emptiness to the songs when listening through the GUM earbuds. You miss the depth that every song deserves.

Instead, I would suggest using these earphones if you’re listening to an audiobook during a long car ride. and need an entertaining variety or listening to radio podcasts. In these situations, no bass and treble contrast is really necessary or enhancing.

Going from GUM earphones to Skullcandy is like having horrible eyesight and seeing everything in blur, but then getting a pair of glasses and suddenly the world is crisp and divine. The sound quality was full, but even better, they were comfortable and easy to run in. Though the sound quality was fuller and more divine, they weren’t the best earphones to exercise in. The suction buds just ended up sliding and popping out of my ears during the run.

 The Skullcandy earbuds, which cost $10.54 on Amazon, really gave an expansive range between the bass and treble. The beat and drive in “Uprising” was much more exhilarating, and the instruments in “Arrival of the Birds & Transformation” were well-balanced and each resonated celestially. Listening to all the songs through the Skullcandys was the best, most satisfying sandwich meal I’ve ever experienced. One of the keys to the Skullcandy earbuds is that they are actually suctioned into your ears, blocking out all other noise. You find yourself almost in isolation; all you can hear is the music.
As far as all earbuds go, Beats are the king. They cost $199 on Amazon, and although they’re pricier, they command the throne when it comes to sound quality and bass and treble enunciation. Every voice and instrument resonates beautifully through Beats. Each song I listened to through these top-quality headphones was an ecstasy of balanced melodies and pitches. Although Beats produce the best sound quality, they’re not the most practical. Their expensive price makes them almost too fragile and worrisome. While Beats were in my possession, I constantly worried about taking care of them and making sure nothing went wrong with them.

For the best sound quality for being the most practical, Skullcandy are the right headphones for almost any setting. Skullcandy is convenient, and easy to pack and go. As far as exercising and mobility goes, Skullcandy is the most accessible and definitely produces an above average quality at the same time. While Beats resonated the optimum sound, Skullcandy produced a beyond satisfactory sound, as well as being the most utile.

By Julia Schaller