Head-mounted speakers. Headphones have a strap that rests on top of the head, positioning a pair of speakers over both ears. For listening to music or monitoring live performances and audio tracks, both left and right channels are required. When used with the telephone, a microphone is attached, and only one speaker is required (see headset).|
Some of the Best Sound
Not only are headphones used by people who want to listen to music without disturbing others, but they have been used for years by critical audiophiles. Headphones can provide an extraordinary listening experience that is far more affordable than room speakers. Quality headphones can sound as good or better than room speakers costing tens of thousands of dollars because it takes a lot less power to drive headphones than it does regular speakers. Most important, headphones create a sealed listening chamber. Although necessary to get the best sound from floor speakers, people rarely configure their hi-fi systems to match their room acoustics. With headphones, there is little or no setup. See earbuds, earphones, virtual headphones and headset.
One of the most successful stereo headphones in the business, Grado Labs' SR60s came out in 1994 and were still going strong in 2007, when this picture was taken. Grado Laboratories (www.gradolabs.com) is a small, committed company in Brooklyn, New York that celebrated its 50th year in 2003.
Introduced in 2006, the GS1000 from Grado Labs (www.gradolabs.com) is the only set of headphones that uses mahogany wood speaker housings. Considered by reviewers and audiophiles to be one of the finest headphones ever made for long listening sessions, the GS1000 can even make an iPod sound like a theater hall.