When it comes to starting your own podcast there are a few essentials you need to get going like a good pair of headphones, but which ones? The type you need depends on your requirements, things like budget, comfort level, and audio quality.
What to Look for in Podcast Headphones?
Probably the biggest deciding factors when it comes to buying your own podcast headphones falls down to:
- Comfort: A comfortable pair of over the ear headphones are a must when wearing them throughout the day. Padded cushions and big headphone ear pads are things to look out for.
- Sound Isolation: The difference between hearing outside noises is sound isolation. A good pair of podcast headphones blocks out traffic, fans, or other distracting low level sounds. Alos, try avoiding active noise cancellation. They tend to capture outside noise and invert it inward to cancel out sound which can leave you with weird compressed audio.
- Frequency Response: How your headphones sound makes a massive difference in the level of quality when listening back to your podcasts. You want a flat frequency response so your audio playback is accurate without filtering in additional sounds like increased bass response.
- Wired or Wireless: Do you move about a lot? Wireless will probably suit your needs, but if you’re sat in a studio all day you’ll be better off with corded headphones as you won’t need to worry about charging.
- Price: We’re not all super rich! Budget your headphone costs to around $50-$150 to get a decent pair. The more you spend, the better quality you’re likely to get.
There are different levels of headphones depending on your price range. Spending $20-$30 on a pair of affordable earbuds won’t last you long and will get incredibly uncomfortable after long period of usage. Spend $200+ on a pair of premium headphones and they’ll last you much longer.
Whatever you’re budget, we’ve put together a list of the best podcast headphones we’ve found to give you an idea on what’s currently out there.
10. Audio Technica ATH-M50x
The Audio Technica ATH-M50x is a well-known and well-regarded pair of headphones. They’re studio quality ideal for monitoring shows or handy for guests if you have a few spare.
Although it’s wired, there’s an option to attach a bluetooth adapter so you’re cable free. Take these anyway with the foldable ear cups, making them ideal for listening on the train or just storing away. The ATH-M50x headphones are often praised for their levels of comfort, especially for the price. Quite a lot of user reviews on Amazon mention how comfortable they are for long periods of use, whether that’s using them to monitor in studio or listen to music.
On the tech side of things, these have a max input power of 1600mW and produce a frequency ranging from 5,000Hz to 28,000Hz, which basically means they don’t consume a lot and can be powered off a phone whilst playing good quality audio. These are definitely worth checking out if you’re on a budget or need a few around your studio for guests.
9. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Beyerdynamic are well known for producing high-quality audio equipment like the DT 770 Pro headphones. In the UK, these are industry standard due to their superb audio reproduction and are pretty comfortable (even after wearing them for a few hours).
The DT 770 Pro headphones were designed with studio use in mind, so they’re great for podcasters editing audio or sound engineers. The ear cups themselves use a closed design, meaning they reduce outside noises and stop sound leaks which improve the audio reproduction.
There are a few different models available for jack sizes, powers, and more depending on your needs. Overall, the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones are a really flexible and reliable option used by many radio professionals around the world.
8. Sennheiser HD280 Pro
There is a newer version of the HD280PRO called the HD380PRO (just as catchy!). Essentially, they do the same job, but the design is changed to be a bit sleeker and the frequency response has improved slightly.
The Sennheiser HD280PRO, is a pair of headphones that are not only affordable, but premium quality too. While these headphones are just within the three digit price zone, they include some of the features you would expect of higher end headphones, such as: a comfortable design perfect for long listening, closed cup, and up to 32db of passive noise isolation.
Also worth a mention are the individually replaceable components which makes these podcast headphones pretty durable.
7. Bose QuietComfort 25
While the price tag on the Bose QuietComfort 25 is a little bit steeper, you are definitely getting your money's worth with these.
Boses noise cancelling technology is really something special. This means that any noises around you are completely cancelled out, giving you clearer, crisper audio. They are also designed to be lightweight with snug fitting ear pads made with memory foam. You’ll be able to listen for long periods of time without aching.
They also fold up and come with a lightweight carry case making them easily transportable, with less risk of damaging them.
6. Harman Kardon CL Precision
If you’re looking for headphones that deliver excellent quality audio alongside a stylish modernised design, the Harman Kardon CL Precision is just that.
Its unique design not only looks gorgeous, but the slow retention foam in the ear cups makes them very comfortable to wear. It also provides a decent acoustic seal around the ear for clearer sound and more noise cancellation. The ear cups also swivel to fit inside the provided travel case, however there is no hinge so they don’t fold up completely.
You also get two interchangeable headbands, one larger and one smaller, to make sure that these stylish headphones fit snugly to any head size.
5. SkullCandy Grind Bluetooth Wireless
Extremely stylish in design, the Skullcandy Grind Wireless doesn’t lose any audio quality to its lovely appearance, with many features of higher priced headphones for just a fraction of the price.
With its snug fit and plush on ear pads, they are designed with comfort in mind. Also to give you piece of mind, these wireless headphones boast a 12 hour battery life meaning they will easily last all day, and as they are rechargeable, you won’t have to fork out loads of money on replacement batteries. They also have volume controls on the sides of the headphones within easy reach.
Most of the normal plastic parts of other headphones have been replaced for metal equivalents in this design, making these headphones relatively robust.
4. LyxPro HAS-10
If you’re looking for something a little more low budget, the LyxPro HAS-10 are a good option. With closed backs and over ear pads, they can really reduce noise bleeding and provide decent exterior noise cancellation.
Lightweight with rotating leather cups, these probably won’t be as comfortable as some of the higher end headphones, but they definitely are still built to be comfortable. They do make perfect studio podcast headphones due to the closed backs and over ear cups, which seal off any bleeding sound. The only common thing customers seem to have to complain about is a the bass isn’t quite as good as higher end models but it’s still very good quality for what you are paying.
3. Audio Technica ATH-M30x
All the quality of the ATH-M50X, with less of a price tag. The M30X is resilient and very good quality for the price, with customers constantly comparing the two and noticing only minimal differences.
While obviously there will be an audio quality difference between the two models, it is only very slight. The M30X offer a foldable design for transportation and closed back ear cups for excellent prevention against sound bleeding as they provide a relatively tight seal. They are built for both durability and comfort, a plus considering the low price tag.
2. Shure SRH440
The Shure SRH440 sits just below three digits in price, but they have a lot of features that are typical of most higher priced headphones, including replaceable ear cups.
With its 10ft coiled cable, these headphones are perfect for studio use and home use. The SRH440 have closed backs to the ear cups, meaning better noise reduction and less sound bleeding. These headphones also have replaceable ear cups, meaning if either breaks, you can easily replace them without having to replace the entire headphone set. They also come with a carrying bag to protect them on the go.
1. Sony MDR7506
Last, but not least, are the Sony MDR7506. These headphones are perfect for studio monitoring and home recording, with a reasonably affordable price tag. Remember, just because they cost more doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better (which the MDR7506 prove).
Replaceable ear cups and a generally rugged design mean that these headphones are built to last. The Sony MDR7506 provide a cleaner, crisper sound than a lot of other headphones in this price range. While the ear pads are a little bit thinner than other models, with the headphones lightweight, and the ear cups being over ear, it actually makes them quite comfortable to have on for longer periods of time.
Best Podcast Headphones For You?
So with all this choice, what headphones would be the best for you? Here’s a quick breakdown of what we feel would work from this list for different uses.
Best for Studio: BeyerDynamic DT 770 PRO
Labelled by BeyerDynamic as ‘perfect for studio and stage recordings’, these headphones are the best on our list for studio use. With closed backs and over ear cups, the noise bleeding is non-existent and the noise cancelling they provide very clear audio.
Best Budget Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M30X
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30X, provide a lot of higher end features with a low budget price. They provide some of the best audio quality at a low price, and are built to last through a decent amount of regular use. The differences between these and the M50X are very minimal.
Best for Bedroom Podcasting: Skullcandy Grind Wireless
An odd choice perhaps, but with wireless headphones, you have room to move around and be comfortable, and also there is a wired option for those who may want a physical cable. They still provide very good audio quality and are built for comfort, meaning your ears won’t end up aching during a longer podcast recording session.