What are Supra-aural Headphones?

Supra-aural headphones

Supra-aural headphones (also called earpad headphones) are headphones that rest on the ear, but does not completely enclose or envelope over the ear. This is in comparison to circumaural headphones, which completely covers over the ears.

Supra-aural headphones are not as large as circumaural headphones; unlike circumaural headphones, they do not completely cover over the ears, but merely rest on the ears. Being that they are not as big, supra-aural headphones are easier to carry around and make for a more portable model than circumaural headphones, since they have less size and are lighter in weight. However, since they rest on the ear instead of completely enveloping it, they allow a great deal more noise from the outside into the earcup. They don't block out outside noise as effectively as circumaural headphones, since they are exposed more to the outside ambient noise, while circumaural headphones completely enclose the ears, allowing in much less noise. So while supra-aural headphones are advantageous over circumaural in portability, they are disadvantageous in noise cancellation ability, since they attenuate outside noise to a much less extent.

Supra-aural headphones can be a good choice for a number of reasons. For one, you can get decent supra-aural headphones for very cheap prices. Being that they don't have the size, weight, or noise cancellation ability of circumaural headphones, they are normally significantly cheaper. In fact, they can be found numerously at discount stores for $0.99, along with earbud headphones. Apart from price, supra-aural headphones are a good fit if the user isn't too interested in the cancelling of outside ambient noise and just wants a more portable-friendly headphones.

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