11. Headphones and earphones

Headphones and earphones consist of a pair of small loudspeakers which are worn over or in the ears.

headphonesThey are connected either by cable or wirelessly to a device such as a computer, radio or MP3 player.

A transducer converts the electronic signals from the device into sounds which can then be heard by the user via the phones.



  • The sound can only be heard by the user (mostly)
  • Portability - lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Can listen to music on the move
  • Although prices vary, many headphones and earphones are inexpensive


  • If music is played too loudly or for long periods of time there is a risk of permanent hearing loss
  • Often not aware of surrounding noises such as cars in traffic or people talking
  • If the music is too loud or the headphones not fitted correctly then others can hear an annoying sound from them.
  • Can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
  • If the device is large e.g. a computer, it is not easy to move about the room while wearing the headphones


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Headphones