Out of all the real life problems that we come across on a daily basis, one stands out for its sheer frequency and reliability, our headphone problems. There are a number of ways in which headphones can malfunction and degrade our music listening experience but the most common of them must be sound leakage. We all have heard about it, some of us have faced it but very few of us really know how to overcome it. Today we are going to change that through with the help of this article.
What actually is sound leakage from headphones?
Most people don’t actually understand what headphone sound leakage refers to and use the term incorrectly in inapplicable situations. Sound leakage or sound bleeding is the physical phenomenon where sound escapes your headphones and leaks into the external world. People around you are then subject to the music you are trying to listen and might get bothered by it to a certain extent as it disrupts their privacy.
It is mostly experienced when we listen to music in high-volume. The quality and type of headphones also determine the occurrence of sound leakage. Almost all headphones leak sound to a certain extent as perfect noise isolation is still something we haven’t attained but some headphones minimize the effect largely.
Why do headphones bleed sound?
The headphone enclosure determines the amount of sound that would leak from it. If we consider two similar headphones with the exact same build and design with one being a closed back and other an open one, we shall experience that the open-back headphone leaks more sound than the closed one.
2. Size of the Headphone driver
Headphone drivers play an important part in sound leakage. Smaller driver type causes less sound leakages in headphones than large sized drivers. In-ear headsets cause less amount of sound to leak.
Transducers are the electronic instruments that transform electrical signals to sound. They are of 5 types and each type displays different levels of sound leakage. The planar magnetic transducer displays the soundest bleeding as it emits bi-directional sound. The balanced armature transducer is subject to lesser amount of sound leakage.
How do I test for sound leakage in my headphones?
- The most convenient and effective way to test your headphone’s sound leakage is by borrowing a friend and utilizing him.
- Sit together in a quiet room with minimum external noise.
- Make him or her wear your headphone properly.
- Play some music and listen for yourself.
- Try different genres of music to test sound leakage in each cases.
- Play with different volume levels and check where leakage begins.
- Rely on your senses and hearing skills to test the amount of sound leakage from your headphone and judge.
- You can swap roles and make your friend be the judge and then tally both the observations.
- In case you have a microphone then you can use it to record the sound from outside and listen to recording to check for leakage.
How do stop my headphones from leaking sound?
Technically there isn’t any way to stop sound bleeding but there are a few tricks which can help you reduce them to negligible degree.
1. Foam eartips and earpads
Foam earpads are perfect for minimizing sound leakage from your on-ear headphones. Moreover, Foam earpads are comfortable for usage and covers the entirety of your ear.
2. Using bone conduction headphones
Bone conduction headphones are great at minimizing sound leakage when compared to ordinary ones.
3. Focus on noise isolation
Choose headphones that offer quality noise isolation. They were made for the purpose of sparing the people from the horrors of sound leakage. It might prove to be heavier on your pockets but it does reduce sound leakage largely.
4. Use ear muffs
In case your headphones are open back then you can make your own DIY ear muffs and use to cover your headphones and prevent sound bleeding.
5. In-ear monitors
In-ear monitors or commonly abbreviate as IEMs are basically designed for stydios and professional musicians and are very effective in reducing sound leakage and noise isolation. If you can afford one for yourself you shall find that it works best.
6. Avoid high volume listening
This would reduce sound leakage as well as spare your eardrums the terror of high volume listening sessions. It is good for you ear health and minimizes sound leakage to a large extent. It’s a good habit that works both ways.
|Enclosure (Open-back headphones)||Ear muffs, low volume listening|
|Headphone driver size||Use bone conduction headphones with better noise isolation|
|Transducers||In-ear monitors. Low volume listening, use earpads|