a sound receiver that fits in or over the ear, as of a radio or telephone.
Usually, earphones. a headset; headphone.

1920–25; ear1 + phone1

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World English Dictionary
earphone (ˈɪəˌfəʊn)
a device for converting electric currents into sound waves, held close to or inserted into the ear

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica


small loudspeaker held or worn close to the listener's ear or within the outer ear. Common forms include the hand-held telephone receiver; the headphone, in which one or two earphones are held in place by a band worn over the head; and the plug earphone, which is inserted in the outer opening of the ear. The conversion of electrical to acoustical signals is effected by any of the devices used in larger loudspeakers; the highest fidelity is provided by the so-called dynamic earphone, which ordinarily is made part of a headphone and equipped with a cushion to isolate the ears from other sound sources

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Magically, music from the local radio station poured from the earphone.
The calibrated earphone can be used to check earphone calibration equipment in
  a standards laboratory.
Expand the headset to full size and place the red earphone on the right ear and
  the blue earphone on the left ear.
The radios come with approved accessories including a speaker microphone,
  headset and earphone.
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