A great pair of headphones can make a massive difference to your gaming experience. You might not realize when you are in the middle of playing your favorite game, but the way you perceive the sound can actually alter the way you go about it. There are different kinds of headphones available in the market, and you need to do your research and make a choice according to your needs.
Looking to buy a new headphone but wondering what frequency you should be looking at when making the purchase? There are a few things that you need to note here, including the fact that you may have different taste to music than others. Before coming to that though, we will take at how frequency matters.
Frequency ResponseHave you ever heard a dog whistle? well, no, I wasn’t referring to a ‘whistling dog’. My inquiry was about those whistles which dog owners/trainers use to summon their dogs. Yes, that. Chances are, you haven’t. Neither have I. And I am pretty sure that none of us has. Nothing wrong with our hearing then. That’s how we are built and wired. The human ear can only hear frequencies in the range of 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz (Hz), because the universe did not intend us to hear how it is scheming against us. And so, even our headphones have to reproduce sound within that range for us to be able to hear it. But you will frequently find headphones boasting of reproducing sounds of extremely low frequencies (as low as 5 Hz or lower!) to extremely high frequencies (as high as 35,000 Hz or more).
When we just cannot hear them, do such low and high frequencies really matter? Let’s find out.
What does Headphone Frequency Response mean?How a device responds to sound across a range of frequencies denotes its frequency response. In other words, it is the measure of a headphone’s ability to reproduce all frequencies equally. (Now you realize what that stereo equalizer in your music player is for)
Wideband Frequency ResponseIn the above range, 20 Hz represents the bass and 20,000 Hz represents the treble. The mids, or midrange frequencies, lie between them. Frequencies below 20 Hz and above 20,000 Hz form the wideband frequency response. Though these frequencies cannot be heard, they can definitely be felt and add to the overall listening experience. However, a wider frequency response does not necessarily translate into better sound quality. Most headphones deviate within a range of + /- 3 dB from the ‘flat’ response (explained below). Though this is common, the lower the number, the better.
Speaking GraphicallyLet us plot these sound frequencies on a chart/graph paper.
- Take frequencies on the X-axis and amplitude on the Y-axis.
- Then, for headphones with a true flat sound signature, this should be a straight line at zero decibel sound.
- Here, the left end of the line would represent the bass, whereas the right end would represent the treble.
- For headphones which are considered bass heavy, the left side of the line would be high, but the right side would be low.
- High on the right side but low on the left side would mean the headphones give more weight to the ‘highs’ and have lower bass.
The Significance of Frequency ResponsePeople have different tastes in music. By this, I do not mean different genres only. Two people listening to the same song may prefer to emphasize or suppress different frequencies of sound. While I may prefer strong vocals, my colleague may prefer a heavy bass. Sound purists often emphasize on a neutral, or flat, frequency response. This means there is no over, or under, emphasis on any particular frequency. You can listen to the music just as it was recorded and intended to be heard, without any change in the reproduction. Two different speakers/headphones may have the same frequency specifications, yet, sound very different. This may be a result of some particular hardware, or software (used in the manufacturing of the speakers/headphones), that favors a particular frequency more than others. Manual tuning the stereo equalizer may come in handy here.
Frequencies matter!!How many times have you been annoyed by your dog barking in the middle of the night for no apparent reason? Remember, they might be hearing (and / or seeing) something that you can’t. Ghosts, anyone? Oh! You don’t believe in them. But they are supposed to be just another spectrum of frequencies, aren’t they? However, that’s a topic for another sunny day. Over and Out.
Have you ever felt a rotating feeling when you alter the place of your head? It may be due to music you listen to with your earbuds. Yes. I attempted wearing earbuds at the time of sleeping. Like this extended use of earbuds led to vertigo attacks. On discontinuation of the use of earplugs – vertigo was gone. Once again, when I put on my earplugs use – vertigo came back. Following some cycles, the link was obvious. The question was, how did it happen? So, I began to research about it online.
When Can a Vertigo Happen?Normally, the condition of vertigo happens because of the following.
- Meniere disease
- Inner ear infections or diseases
- A viral infection which can cause your nerves to swell up
- A significant skin growth in the middle layer
What is Vertigo Anyway?Little calcium carbonate crystals are believed to be in the rear of vertigo. As these crystals, occasionally known as stones, slack off from their average house in the utricle (an element of the ear’s balance method) and tour to the interior ear’s fluid-packed channels, their faction forwards the fake communication to the brain, leading to that circling sensation or feeling of being tilted. For a few individuals, this inside ear issue also causes sickness and queasiness and short-term equilibrium troubles. And as the feelings usually resolve fast (an incident can last for 3 to 5 days), vertigo may appear and exit for around a couple of weeks, throughout which it is a risk to drive too.
Overcoming symptoms of vertigo caused due to earbudsThere are cases when vertigo did not come up only because of use of earbuds; rather there are many other common reasons too. But, if you believe you might be having vertigo for the initial time, here is what you need to do. 1. Sit as soon as you can. Yes, it helps you get back on your feet. Try to sit silently for some minutes. This offers vertigo an opportunity to reduce and permits you to consider the feelings you’re experiencing and act appropriately. 2. Call in a Physician In case you are able to find that the main cause is just earbuds, and the spinning sensation appears to be activated by a shift in the positioning of your head, you can perhaps linger on for some days prior to calling the physician—the vertigo is expected to settle in that phase. Yet if your vertigo occurs along with the signs like a stern headache, binary vision, weakness of one side, inaudible vocalizations, chest pain, or heart tremors, you’re probably facing something extremely serious than vertigo—like a heart attack or a heart problem—and must get instant and emergent care. You must also seek to keep away from nerve-racking circumstances since anxiety can lead to worsening of the symptoms of vertigo.
Dealing with this kind of VertigoIf the stressful signs go much beyond some days, one must see the doctor, who will check the warning signs and might put the sufferer in positions that lead to vertigo to prove that one has vertigo—there are different kinds of vertigo too. The use of earbuds can cause severe situation due to an exceptional situation that influences the inner ear, known as Ménière’s disease. This can lead to vertigo, in addition to hearing loss, tinnitus and auditory completeness (a sensation of pressure in the ear). It is thus a good idea to buy a pair of headphones that is comfortable to wear over a longer period of time so that you do not have to worry about things like these anymore.
ConclusionBut, still, one must quit earbuds’ excessive usage, and adapt to speakerphones so that there isn’t any such problem. Putting in headphones or earbuds has been recommended as a possible influencing aspect for exterior ear canal infectivity as their use can raise the warmth and moisture of the canal, produce the possibility of skin abrasion and give a medium for the opening of germs into the canal’s membrane. Though, there is no substantiation of earbuds causing vertigo.
Headphones are the best companions of the cosmopolitan folks driving back home after a full day’s hard labor at the office. Most of the times, you hit the road in the hope of a good drive and there you are, caught up yet again in the city traffic. The tired fingers start searching for every city driver’s best friend- your very own headphones! But is it illegal to drive with your headsets on? Moreover, ever thought how safe it is for you and your loved ones?
What does the Law Say?The law differs according to States, but there is one consensus in all – that driving with headphones can be dangerous and one that you should avoid as far as possible.
- In most of the US states, driving with headphones is legally permitted, with of course some exceptions.
- In New York, there is a prohibition on driving with more than one earphone.
- In Certain states, there are restrictions for specific categories like school bus drivers.
- Washington permits you to use hands-free wireless systems.
- Even in States like Ohio and Florida where headphones or earbuds are prohibited while driving, hearing aids are allowed. Some other states like Illinois permit motorcycle helmet audio systems, and one ear earpieces.
Why do Most Governments Make it Illegal To Drive with Headphones?These provisions were in the limelight in the last few years after many accidents including fatal ones were reported due to the use of gadgets. Here is what can go wrong.
1. It is easy to get distractedYou could be casually chatting with someone over the phone or even just listening to music. Many of you may feel that concentration in driving does not really take a back seat by using headsets. Well, the law has one pure logic- anything that could divert attention is a violation, and hence strict action is warranted.
2. Delays your Response Time in Emergency SituationsSome of you could very well argue that using headphones do not distract them. Most of the states do not differentiate whether you use a hands-free device or blue tooth set up. We would probably act sooner when it comes to updating technology in our legal clauses.
The Top Tips to Help You If You Need to Put on An EarphoneYou could keep some safety tips in mind, in case you are an everyday headphones user while driving. Let some noise in, so that you are aware of your surroundings.
- Consider leaving one ear free, so that you do not miss out on the relevant outside noises.
- You do not want to miss out on an emergency siren or an accident on the road.
- Take extra care than a four wheeler, if you are a biker or bicyclist.
- Refrain from browsing through your phone or changing songs while driving.
- For all I know, you could probably fix up a playlist in advance.
- Are you the kind of person who will get lost in the music and wander away to another world in your thoughts?
- Are you able to concentrate better or less with music in the background?
- Are your reflex actions as strong as they are otherwise while drinking with headphones on?
- If you are the type of person who takes serious work or personal calls over a drive, do you want to risk your emotions taking over if the conversation doesn’t go smooth?