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A pair of head-mounted speakers that are positioned over the ears. For listening to music or monitoring live performances, both left and right channels are required. Although often called headphones, when a microphone is included for telephone or video calls, the device is technically a "headset."

Some of the Best Sound
Headphones allow listening to music without disturbing others, but they are also used by discerning audiophiles. High-quality headphones can provide an extraordinary listening experience that is far more affordable than room speakers. Headphones are driven by much lower amplification, and by creating a sealed listening chamber, they can sound as good as or better than stereo speakers costing many thousands. There is also no need to configure speakers for surround sound to match room acoustics. See earphones, virtual headphones and headset.

A Venerable Model
Grado Labs' SR60 headphones debuted in 1994 and are still being sold more than two decades later. Grado is a small, committed company in Brooklyn, New York that celebrated its 50th year in 2003.

One of the Best
Using mahogany speaker housings, the Grado Labs' GS1000 has been considered by audiophiles as one of the finest headphones ever made. It even makes a mobile device sound like a theater hall.

Wireless Headphones
Numerous wireless models are also available such as this unit from Sennheiser. Wireless headphones use FM radio frequencies as well as the 2.4 GHz band and Bluetooth. See Bluetooth.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Pocket is the perfect mobile ear bud or charger carrying case.
They wouldn't have to pull the plug, so to speak, if they had the right ear buds.
It stands to reason that people at some point want a better audio experience than the ear buds you get in the box,'' said Ben Arnold, NPD's director of industry analysis.
Codenamed as W274S, the accessory comes with improved ear buds which have been specially made for swimming along with increased water resistance structure which will prevent water from entering the headphones.
With carry-ons, American Travel Suppliers recommend that travelers pack a sleeping mask, ear buds, and some comfortable socks.
Genius nifty little ear buds that zip together to prevent handbag entanglement.
These devices, when combined with attached ear buds and headphones, can generate sound levels up to 115 decibels, well above the highest level of 85 decibels recommended by most hearing experts.
SleepPhones are much more comfortable for falling asleep to music than ear buds, which can hurt ears when inside the ear canal for a period of time.
Each unit ships with a USB charging cable, an ergonomic ear hook, three comfort ear buds and seven acoustic ear in-ear buds to ensure a comfortable fit for users with different size ear canals.
We have got used to digging it out using ear buds and sometimes even sharper implements such as hairpins.
If you use iPods at work, remember to remove both ear buds when someone approaches you to speak to you.