headphones

headphones

Headphones (or “head-phones” in the early days of telephony and radio) are a pair of small loudspeakers that are designed to be held in place close to a user’s ears. They are electroacoustic transducers which convert an electrical signal to a corresponding sound in the user’s ear. Headphones are designed to allow a single user to listen to an audio source privately, in contrast to a loudspeaker which emits sound into the open air, allowing anyone nearby to listen. They are also known as earspeakers, earphones or, colloquially, cans. The alternate in-ear versions are known as earbuds or earphones. In the context of telecommunication, a headset is a combination of headphone and microphone. Headphones either have wires for connection to a signal source such as an audio amplifier, radio, CD player, portable media player, mobile phone, video game consoles, electronic musical instrument, or have a wireless device, which is used to pick up signal without using a cable. Headphones are made in a range of different audio reproduction quality capabilities. Headsets designed for telephone use typically cannot reproduce sound with the high fidelity of expensive units designed for music listening by audiophiles. Headphones that use cables typically have either a 1/4 inch (6.35mm) or 1/8 inch (3.5mm) phone jack for plugging the headphones into the sound source.

Vocabulary

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