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What is Frequency Response in headphones?

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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 Response

Have 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). Frequency Response
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 Response

In 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 Graphically

Let 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.
Nura headphones
Source

The Significance of Frequency Response

People 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.

Can wearing earbuds cause vertigo?

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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. earbuds cause vertigo review

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 earbuds

SoundSport There 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. earbuds

Dealing with this kind of Vertigo

If 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.

Conclusion

But, 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.

Is it illegal to drive with headphones?

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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? wearing headphones

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.
driving headphones

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 distracted

You 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 Situations

Some 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 Earphone

You 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.
  drivers who use a Bluetooth What Should You Remember if You Are Trying to Use Headphones while Driving? Even when it is illegal in your residing state, it finally boils to your conscience – the decision is yours whether you want to use headphones or would like to keep them away while driving. Let me help you with some food for thought. Let’s start by asking yourself a few questions.
  • 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?
Last but most importantly, it is required to know and acknowledge the fact that driving with your headphones on is a risk you take, even if you feel it will not distract you. After all, we have not yet figured a major part of how the human brain works and reacts! So, a final question to ask yourself – Is it really worth the risk?

How to Make Ear Buds Last Longer?

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We generally admit that right care for ear buds is significant after numerous cases of destroying our preferred earbuds. Be it that unlucky bicycle occurrence or a ditzy journey to the laundry, you will have same opinion that it doesn’t take much to tear down ear buds. Usually, it’s because we undervalue them – sadly, ear buds are quite delicate parts of tech, irrespective of if they’re costly or not. Finally, it’s some of the intolerably fine filaments of wire transmitting signals from your mobile phone to your ears. Sennheiser CX300I

How to Make Ear Buds Last Longer?

Here are some of the tips that can help you. Remember, these tips are easy but you do need to remember to follow them as it is easy to mess it all up otherwise.

Don’t carry them in your bag in a twisted clutter

We are past the time of the apes, and we must keep our ear buds tidily wound in a delivery bag – we do not pack them in our pockets or throw them in our handbags when we have stopped using them. There’s a justification for this. Even though the majority of ear bud wires and their pressure points were created to obtain some level of mistreatment, they would not last long if you continually mistreat them. The wire which links the 3.5mm jack and the ear buds is formed of fine copper wires covered with a rubber, which isn’t a lot hard. Hence when possible, don’t put excessive pressure on wires or the joints; also don’t wrap the ear buds around the music player. Rather, it is better to create a coil and put it in a bag or carry box. This will help in preventing any damage to the cord. This act will be rewarded by a long-lasting service provided by the ear buds.

Ear-hygiene is important

Earwax that accumulates in your ear cannot just get horded into the speaker opening on your ear buds and reduce its performance, but it can also affect your ear and raise your threat of ear infectivity. Keep your ears clean to avoid harm to both- your ears and your ear buds.

Frequently change the ear buds’ tips

When the tips or rubber end on the ear bud becomes old it is unable to hold noise resistance and accumulates dead skin cells that quieten the sound. This degrades the performance of ear buds so it is recommended to change these pieces when they become clearly damaged or when you see that you cannot simply clean them with a wet fabric.

Take good care of your ear buds

Your connection with the friend might be too strong, yet this does not mean that you will not transmit ear infections or germs. Rather, one can always make use of a jack splitter which makes it simple to utilize the same device for two sets of ear buds. Also, to increase the life of your ear buds much more cleaning is needed than expected. This is because ear buds are continually facing the dirt, germs, wax and other such elements. Particularly, with the white or colorful ear buds a usage of full one month can show you how much dirt can accumulate in this small span. For a longer life, you must not use ruthless cleaners such as alcohol unless you’re sure that the outer covering will not be impacted, anyhow, a wet fabric or a gentle wet tissue will be enough. It is also important to keep in mind that you must not make the inner circuits wet. earphones

Conclusion

In case the ear buds are handled in a rough way or if they are not maintained well, their sound performance gets worse in due course, or they fully stop working. There are quite a few dos and don’ts to abide when seeking to maintain a set of ear buds for a long period. Taking these necessary steps can considerably improve the verve of each pair of ear buds you have. The finest way to make the ear buds last longer is to carry out habitual maintenance and offer good care for the gadgets from the day you buy them.