Headphones are a must for any type of podcast kit. As a podcaster, you’ll need headphones regardless of where you’re recording, or the environment you’re recording in. Hearing how you and everyone else on the podcast sounds is key. Do you sound faint? Turn up your level or get closer to the mic. Hearing buzz or distortion? Turn down that microphones gain. If you’re on a remote podcast with someone in another city you’ll need to wear headphones to hear them. Don’t, I repeat DON’T be that podcaster that’s recording an interview with the conversation coming out of your computer speakers rather than your headphones. It can cause a feedback loop and also portrays you as somebody whose not serious about the art of podcasting. It’s not a good look.
As you can see, I’m passionate about headphones. So, in this article I’m outlining what I believe are the best podcast headphones for 2023.
Best Podcast Headphones For 2023
Truthfully, the best podcast headphones are ones that are comfortable and provide good sound quality. Finding the best podcast headphones can make a world of difference in your recording experience.
People who value comfort will want something lightweight and padded so they don’t feel their ears tiring after prolonged use. On the flip side, there are people that will require excellent sound quality, i.e audiophiles. If portability is key for you, consider buying some smaller headphones that easily fit into a bag. The aim of this section is to outline some great headphones. Ideally, one of the pairs of podcast headphones listed below will become mainstays in your podcasting kit.
Audio quality in headphones is important, but, I also believe that finding a comfortable pair of headphones is really important. So, when shopping for a pair of headphones I think it’s best to consider sound and comfort. I mean, we’re not recording grammy winning albums here. we’re podcasting.
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Wired vs. Wireless Podcast Headphones
I wholeheartedly recommend wired headphones for recording and mixing podcasts. Wireless headphones can create a slight delay in the incoming and outgoing sound. They’re also prone to being noisier than wired headphones. Because of this, I’m not going to be listing wireless headphones. That being said I love Apple Airpods for going on walks, for phone calls, and for listening to podcasts while I’m in the gym.
Over-Ear Podcast Headphones
As you guessed, over-ear headphones are headphones that sit over your ears. These offer a lot of coverage over your ears and typically have better sound quality. The sound quality of over-ear headphones depends a lot on each individual product, and price point. Over-ear headphones have large drivers that can produce a wide range of audio frequencies.
1. Sony MDR – 7506
Sony MDR-7506 headphones are trusted in studios worldwide for accuracy and clarity. The MDR-7506 reproduce tight, controlled bass, while keeping frequency responses flat. They reproduce audio at high definition while delivering accurate sound quality. I personally wear these all the time while podcasting. Super comfortable and lightweight.
- A closed-back design provides a consistent listening environment while isolating some sound inside and outside of your headphones.
- Adjustable, comfortable headband.
- Easily foldable for portability.
- ¼ and ⅛ inch compatible.
- Frequency response extends from 10Hz to 20kHz – easily covering the whole audible spectrum.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has magnet drivers that deliver stunning detail and accuracy in their frequency response. The closed-back design provides superior isolation from bleed, while providing cushy comfort. Great for long sessions.
- Excellent sonic performance and build quality.
- 15Hz–28kHz frequency response.
- Flat response and accuracy.
- Swiveling ear cups for 1 ear-monitoring.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
The M20x’s are the cheaper, younger cousin of the M50x. These headphones provide great value for the price point. Their solid bass performance is great for making low end decisions while mixing. The circumaural ear pads provide maximum comfort that comes in handy during long podcast recordings. The tonal accuracy, comfort, and price point, make these a no-brainer for people on a budget.
- 15Hz-20kHz frequency response.
- Tuned for enhanced low-frequency performance.
- Great isolation in loud environments.
- Optimized for studio recording.
4. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Sennheiser’s HD 280 Pro headphones are popular with podcast professionals because they provide comfort, isolation, and reliability. They also have a highly accurate frequency response that is perfect for critical listening.
- 32dB of acoustical isolation.
- Under $100.
- Linear frequency response that provides maximum clarity.
- Foldable for portability.
- Included adapter allows you to use these with both 1/4″ and 1/8″ headphone jacks.
In-Ear Podcast Headphones
In-ear headphones are inserted in the ear itself. By now, you’ve probably used a pair of these on a work-related Zoom call. These are perhaps the most popular type of headphones around today. I’d imagine you’ve seen people wearing these all over the place. Because of their small size, in-ear headphones are great for their portability. However, because of their small size, they often can’t produce the types of highs and lows that over-ear headphones can produce. Also, since they play audio directly into your ears they sound less open than over-ear headphones. I find that in-ear headphones can quickly be fatiguing and cause ear damage because sound is being pushing directly into your ear canal.
5. Apple 3.5mm and Lightning Headphones
Don’t rule out the trusty Apple headphones that came with your iPhone. These replicate a fairly neutral sound but with some bass enhancement. They’re great for traveling, and feel comfortable/lightweight in the ear. They’re also really cheap. iPhone users probably already have a pair lying around somewhere.
- Circular earbuds, designed to fit the geometry of your ear.
- Built to maximize sound output and minimize sound loss.
- Built-in microphone that can be used in a pinch to record a podcast.
6. Audio-Technica ATH-E40
The Audio-Technica ATH-E40 in-ear headphones have exceptional sound quality. From the moment you put these on you’ll feel submersed in the world of an audiophile. The E40’s feature memory cables that loop over the ears for a custom, comfortable fit. They’re touted as having “powerful bass along with balanced mid and high frequencies.” Some people may considerer the ATH-E40 headphones as the baby step in the Audio-Technica in-ear “E Series”. If you’re looking for something with a little higher quality, check out the E50 and E70’s. Both of which offer more features and improved audio.
- Dual-phase push-pull drivers deliver powerful bass and balanced mid and high frequencies.
- Flexible memory cables loop over your ears for long-wearing comfort.
- Designed for maximum isolation.
- Durable detachable cable.
- Case and silicone ear tips are included.
7. Shure SE215
Do not let the Shure SE215’s low price fool you! Truly, the SE215 headphones provide excellent sound quality even when compared to more expensive Shure models. They achieve this through an innovative MicroDriver design that reproduces higher frequencies and better bass than many dual-driver sets on today’s market. The SE215’s come with “Kit Fit”, which includes small, medium, and large ear tips.
- Enriched bass.
- 22Hz–17.5kHz frequency range.
- Sound-isolating design.
Which Type of Podcast Headphones Are Right for You?
I believe the best podcast headphones provide a balance of good audio quality and comfort. You’ll need to figure out what you want out of a pair of headphones, and how serious you are about podcasting. Then you be in an informed place to make a decision.
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