The answer for most of us is one. I myself at times just use one headphone for practicality but most people do because they only have one headphone or earphone which is perfectly understandable. But for enthusiasts, how many are you actually using in a day or in a week? And how often do you switch depending on the genre and perhaps your mood? I’ll tell you more about mine and you tell me about yours through the comments, OK? 🙂
While I review headphones, the truth is I don’t own a whole lot of them. The most possession that I’ve had at one time is 14 headphones/earphones and now I have just 7. So what headphones am I using on a daily basis? And how many am I using per day?
At most I’m using a combination of 2 headphones/earphones a day. I do have a long commute every day going to work so I usually need a handy in-ear monitor and then when I’m at work I like to use a full-size headphone which I also just leave in the office. I can say 3 headphones if I include my headphone at home but I don’t really listen to music at all when I arrive from work so I won’t count it.
Note: I’ll be linking to the full reviews of the headphones/earphones mentioned below. For those that don’t have a link, it just means I have to review them soon. :p
In the office, I either have the NAD Viso HP50 or Beyerdynamic DT880 while I always have the Etymotic ER4PT in my bag pocket as my commute IEM. If I don’t feel like using my Etymotic, I do replace it with the Hifiman RE400. Then at home, depending on which headphone I left in the office, I have my beloved Audio Technica ESW9 and my Focal Spirit Classic. The ESW9 sometimes is used as a commute headphone however gone are the days where I’m wearing headphones consistently for the commute. In-ear monitors are just more practical in so many ways.
Headphones and Genres
One thing I truly believe in is that you can’t really listen critically when in the office working so I don’t really try to nitpick on the tracks but rather just enjoy them. That being said, I do try to enjoy them by using headphones that I believe are best suited for the track based on its genre. So here is the list of my headphones along with when I’m using them.
- NAD Viso HP50 – This is a very good multi-genre headphone so I use this a lot. If I’m too nitpicky, I don’t use this for progressive and fast rock where I sometimes feel like they’re too warm or slow. They’re definitely not but please keep in mind I’m splitting hairs here.
- Beyerdynamic DT880 – I don’t use this in the office as often as my closed headphones for obvious reasons. But if I’m craving for some airiness and soundstage while listening (mostly live concert tracks and acoustics), then this is what I use. This is also very good for rock although it tends to be too bright sometimes. I don’t use this for modern pop and alternatives as it is pretty sterile/dry sounding. I want that warmth and emotion sometimes and DT 880 won’t provide that for some genres.
- Audio Technica ATH-ESW9 – Like the Viso HP50, the ESW9 is a flexible headphone. It has a sweet upper bass and lower midrange that makes me use this for Taylor Swift listening and genres related to her. This one has the least clarity among all my headphones but is one of my all-time favorites.
- Focal Spirit Classic – I mainly use this at home due to its hefty construction and long cable. I like using it for watching YouTube videos and movies (which I don’t do that much). That doesn’t mean it’s not good for music listening. Just like the HP50, this headphone also suits multiple genres but without losing the clarity at all. My biggest issue with this is perhaps comfort which lags behind the three headphones mentioned above.
- Etymotic ER4S – This is a very good sounding, transparent, and neutral IEM which is why it’s understandably my most used one. This earphone has horrible comfort due to super deep insertion but I’ve gotten used to it already. Another thing is the microphonics from the cable so this one is bad to wear when you have to do long walks. Unlike the DT880, it is not sterile sounding mainly due to the midrange being coherent with the rest of the spectrum. If any, the bass lacks body and is too fast for modern music. Finally, this isolates exceptionally well which explains why it’s my go-to commute earphone.
- Hifiman RE400 – This is a very competent IEM and one that is sweet-sounding without losing great detail, punch, and sparkle. I’d say I use this as much as my ER4s and the only edge the latter has is noise isolation which is what I need for the commute. Also, this earphone is my go-to sleeping headphone due to its superior comfort.
- Other IEMS – I also have two others from Etymotics, the HF5 and the ER6 which I sometimes use, and I also have Vsonic VC02 and a Meze 122 IEM. They don’t sound bad, but I just don’t get to use them at all anymore these days.
And that’s it! How many headphones do I use in a day? Two! Sometimes three. Do I switch headphones during the middle of the day or precisely when my work shift begins? Yes, sometimes and it’s mostly due to genre changes but also external factors such as needing more isolation or not wanting to mess up my hairdo, hence IEMS!
How about you? Tell me more about your headphones and how you use them in the comments below!