This is where we answer any niggling questions you might have about headphones. If you still can’t find the answer you want, you may want to check our forums, where your questions may have already been answered.
- Which headphones should I buy?
- How much is delivery to …?
- What method of delivery do you use?
- What happens if my headphones are lost or damaged in transit?
- What are the conditions of your 20 day trial period?
- What happens to headphones that are returned from the trial period?
- Can I come in and listen to headphones with my own CDs?
- What do the product measurements mean?
- What’s the difference between open and closed?
- What’s the difference between circumaural, supra aural and intra aural?
- What is burn in?
- What’s so good about headphones anyway?
- What’s a headphone amplifier?
- How loud do headphones go?
- How come I haven’t heard of some of these brands?
- What is your returns policy?
- What warranty do you offer?
Which headphones should I buy?
This is a question we get a lot. To make it easier for us to recommend you the right product, please provide us with a little information. What’s your budget, what are you going to be using the headphones for (portable, home use or a bit of both), what is your source (portable mp3 player, home cd player, computer etc), what kind of music do you listen to and if there’s any particular style of sound you prefer (energetic, warm etc – don’t worry about this if you’re not sure). Please don’t tell us you just want your headphones to be loud and bassy!
How much is delivery to (wherever you are)?
If you’re in Australia or New Zealand delivery is FREE for all
headphones and most other products. Check with us on products that don’t have “free delivery” listed.
What method(s) of delivery do you use?
All local (Australia) items are now being sent out via Startrack courier which means that everything will arrive within 3 days AT MOST.
For New Zealand customers we ship via standard AIR MAIL (1-2 week delivery) on all orders.
FREE SHIPPING still applies to almost all of our items, but there are still a few exceptions for the larger, heavier items such as record players.
Headphonic can cover items lost or damaged in transit.
For more information on delivery procedures refer to our forum topic here.*
What happens if my headphones are lost or damaged in transit?
All products above $100 include insurance. It can be a slow process recovering insured products, but you will get your order eventually. If your order is below $100 and you’re concerned about your order being damaged or going missing, it’s a good idea to choose the express delivery option as it includes insurance, and it’s faster!
What are the conditions of your 20 day trial period?
We offer a 20 day trial/credit period. If you’re unhappy with the headphones you can return them within 20 days for current market value store credit, we will not refund returns from change of mind/exchange. Any free delivery offered with a product only applies to the first purchase so products purchased with store credit will incur delivery charges. All postal exchanges incur a $15 handling fee.
NOTE: This has nothing to do with warranty, this is simply a trial period offered on products. All products bought from us have FULL warranty, which is a minimum of 12 months.
Return freight costs must be paid by the customer and any outgoing freight costs from us are non-refundable. Please include all packaging and accessories if possible. If you are a smoker, please do not smoke while using the headphones, the headphones must be 100% resalable to non-smokers! Any goods lost or damaged in transit will also void the credit, so an insured carrier is recommended for goods above $100 in value. Lost packaging or accessories may incur a restocking fee.
All intra-aural products such as earbuds and canalphones as well as wireless headphones or products with destructible packaging and special orders or sale items are exempt from our 20day trial period, please check with us first if you aren’t sure if the headphones you are ordering fall into one of these categories. Some products with high return/dissatisfaction rates are also exempt.
We are in no way obliged to accept headphones back if they are in working order and reserve the right to refuse return if you have simply changed your mind.
What happens to headphones that are returned from the trial period?
We sell them at discounted prices in the specials section of our forums or in-store. We do not sell returned headphones as new, so all headphones sent out are brand new unless specified.
Can I come in and listen to headphones with my own CDs?
Yes! You can even bring your own source equipment in if you like, we’re more than happy to let you audition products.
What do the product measurements mean?
Generally it’s a good idea to ignore most of the specifications listed with headphones. It may sound a little unusual and you might consider it hard to choose headphones without something to go by, but the only product information that really matters are details like whether the headphones are circumaural or supra-aural, whether they’re open or closed, how heavy they are, how long the cable is (or range if they’re wireless) what kind of earpads they have and perhaps impedance.
It’s a common misconception that the wider the frequency response the better the headphones will sound. Unfortunately this is a long way from the truth, it also makes choosing products more difficult as some models have the exact same frequency response yet sound completely different. For example the Beyerdynamic DT831 quotes a frequency response of 5-32000Hz while the DT770pro quotes 5-35000Hz. From this measurement you could assume that both have low bass but the DT770pro has more high end. In reality the DT770pro is one of the bassiest headphones Beyer has to offer while the DT831 is one of the least bassy and the high end detail on the DT831 is better than that of the 770pro.
Why is this? Because a frequency range only tells you theoretical maximum and minimums, it doesn’t tell you how even that response is. Coupled with that the range of human hearing is only 20-20000Hz, and most source equipment isn’t even capable of reproducing those ranges (certainly not most portable players or PC soundcards).
The only technical measurement that may help is impedance, generally the higher the impedance the harder the headphones are to drive, however there are some high impedance headphones that are very efficient and some low impedance headphones that are very inefficient.
So, in other words, better frequency response doesn’t mean better sound?
No, not at all. 5Hz may seem like an impressive low, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a “bassier” headphone than one that only manages 20Hz.
Ok, so if the measurements aren’t going to help me, what is?
We are! We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about headphones to help you choose one. You’re also welcome to take advantage of our 20 day trial period or to come in and audition the headphones first.
What’s the difference between open and closed headphones?
Open headphones generally have a design that leaves the entire, or some of the back of the headphones open (covered by a protective grille of some sorts). This allows for a more natural and wider sound from the headphones. It’s normal for open headphones to sound better than similarly priced closed headphones. Closed headphones often have a more “in your head” sound and sound a little boxed in. The main benefit with closed headphones is that they offer isolation from outside noise and generally don’t leak sound, making closed headphones more appropriate for people who don’t want outside noise interfering with their music or don’t want to disturb people around them. If you have the choice, we recommend open headphones.
What’s the difference between circumaural, supra aural and intra aural?
Circumaural means the earpads go around your ears, supra-aural means the earpads sit on your ears, intra aural means the headphones go in your ears (earbuds and canalphones). Generally circumaural headphones are more comfortable, but that also depends on the type of earpads they use and how strong the clamping force. There are some supra-aural (on ear) headphones that are very comfortable as well.
What is burn in?
Some believe that headphones should be burnt-in to get the best sound out of them. There is no proper or best way to do this, and it’s debatable whether it has any effect at all. Just using the headphones will have the same effect, but if you want to hear what your headphones are capable of without waiting we suggest leaving a CD on repeat overnight at a reasonably high volume (nothing higher than you’d normally listen to). It is generally not a good idea to play sine sweeps or similar through the headphones as it can damage them. The main thing to remember is that this does not have to be done.
What’s so good about headphones anyway?
Value for money; It doesn’t cost a lot to get a truly amazing sounding headphone setup, but it can cost a lot to get a truly amazing sounding speaker setup. Personal listening; What do your neighbors think of that big sound system of yours late at night? What about your other housemates/wife/husband/brother/sister/parents/pets? Don’t want to put up with their nagging? Put a pair of headphones on! They won’t be disturbed by your music and you won’t be able to hear them nagging you. The perfect solution.
What’s a headphone amplifier?
Some headphones are designed to run from home hifi systems with a little more power than your average portable cd player or PC soundcard. Unfortunately there are many hifi cd players and amplifiers while being excellent at their primary function have a mere $2 put into the headphone circuit. A headphone amplifier is designed to drive and power headphones and headphones alone. Under driving headphones will leave them sounding flat and lacking dynamics. In many cases an underpowered pair of high end headphones will be outperformed by easier to drive low end headphones.
How loud do headphones go?
When properly driven most headphones will manage levels high enough to cause hearing damage. Now listen up people, hearing damage is permanent – you don’t want hearing damage. Don’t crank your headphones up to extra-high volumes because later in life when you’re lying in bed listening to the ringing in your ears caused by all that abuse you’ll wish you hadn’t done it. It’s also easy to train your ears to be used to listening at low volumes, we highly recommend it. If you’d like to measure you equipment, most electronic stores have SPL meters available at affordable prices.
How come I haven’t heard of some of these brands?
In the world of audio some brands stick to what they know best. Unlike mass consumer brands you won’t see ads on TV for the likes of Beyerdynamic, Alessandro or Etymotic. This is because they don’t need to advertise. If you go into a professional studio or TV station you’ll see Beyerdynamic, AKG and Sennheiser products all over the place. Just because you haven’t heard of them, it doesn’t mean Sony is better.
What is your returns policy?
Headphonic offers a 20 day exchange policy on many of our headphones, as mentioned above. Please note that some products are excluded from this policy, the main one being canalphones (due to hygiene reasons). This exclusion may be waived if the product has not been opened and all packaging is intact.
All exchanges processed under this policy will incur a $15 handling fee.
If you wish to take advantage of our 20 day trial, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org advising our staff of your intention to return. If you are unsure as to what item you would like in exchange, please let our staff know and they will be able to assist you in choosing another item that would suit you.
When you send your item to us, please ensure all packaging and accessories are included. Also, we do require you to cover the cost of return postage and redelivery as our free shipping only applies to your original purchase. Our staff will advise you of this cost as it does vary between items.
Please note that this is an exchange policy only, and that we do not give refunds simply for change of mind.
What warranty do you offer?
Your item includes a warranty period of at least 12 months from your original date of purchase which allows for your item to be repaired or replaced free of charge. If your item becomes faulty, please send an email to email@example.com and we will be able to advise the next course of action. Some items can be sent back to us for replacement and others can be forwarded directly to an authorised service agent for repair or replacement. We are happy to process all warranties through us if you prefer but please bear in mind that sending the item directly to the service agent will save both time and postage costs for all involved.
Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and for compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage. You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure.
If the faulty item is temporarily out of stock or no longer available, we are happy to exchange the item for one of the same value, or you can upgrade to another item, paying the difference in value.
Please note that if you send the item to us and no fault is found we will require you to pay the cost of return postage.