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Podcasting has become one of the most popular content formats for sharing ideas, opinions, and stories.
Having the appropriate headphones may make all the difference in the quality of your recording, whether you’re a podcast host, producer, or guest.
In this article, I will rank and review the best headphones for podcasting so that you can get started right away.
Let’s dive in.
What Are the Best Headphones for Podcasting
Here are my picks for the best headphones for podcasting:
1) Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
Best Overall Podcast Headphones
Beyerdynamic doesn’t need any introduction as they are among the most respected brands in the professional broadcasting industry.
Unsurprisingly, the first and best overall podcasting headphone on my list comes from this German company.
The closed-back DT 770 headphones provide a neutral sound profile across the board.
They provide a well-balanced audio rendition with superb bass and mids while ensuring clear speech.
However, you might notice some emphasis on the Sibilants, like your “T” and “S” sounds.
Pros and Cons of The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
Get Yourself a Pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO.
2) Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Best Versatile Podcast Headphones
The Audio Technica ATH M50x is probably the best-selling closed-back headphone from the Japanese company, and for good reason.
The large ear cups fit comfortably around the ears, a plus for long podcast recording sessions. But it does get a little warm after a while.
They possess a neutral sound out of the box and can reproduce the bass, mid, and treble ranges well.
However, it doesn’t come with active noise canceling but only passive noise isolation and no audio controls. This isn’t ideal for outdoor podcasts with ambient noise.
The best part?
Once you are with your podcast session, you can use it for other purposes, like gaming, casual listening, or editing.
Oh, also, don’t worry about being rough. These bad boys can take a hit or two.
Pros and Cons of The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Get Yourself a Pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
3) Sony MDR7506
Best Mid-Range Podcast Headphones
The Sony MDR-7506 is a cozy, closed-back headphone with a well-balanced sound signature to deliver clear vocals despite its slight bassy-ness.
I find that it’s great to catch those subtle audio inconsistencies during your podcast recordings and editing process,
Despite being somewhat cheaply constructed with its thin metal frame and majority plastic build, you don’t have to baby it.
They are lightweight, with acceptable clamping force and decent padding. Making it suitable for long usage.
However, there is some audio leakage but not as much as others on this list, like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO.
Finally, it doesn’t fair too well with noise isolation so you might hear some ambient sound.
But it’s not deal-breaking.
Pros and Cons of The Sony MDR7506
Get Yourself a Pair of Sony MDR7506.
4) AKG K72
Best Budget Closed-Back Podcast Headphones
AKG K72 is the best budget headphone, in my opinion.
The lightweight, adjustable headband will keep you comfortable for several hours. You might even forget you even have it on.
These are unquestionably the best value for money if you’re new to podcasting and want improved sound quality without breaking the bank.
Don’t expect high-fidelity audio, as the headphones aren’t exactly industry-standard.
Most headphones in this range will usually have a huge bass boost but not these guys.
It features a more flat frequency response, and the midrange is a little colored and boxy.
Not exactly the best sounding, but you can’t complain for such a modest cost.
Pros and Cons of The AKG K72
Get Yourself a Pair of AKG K72.
5) Shure SRH840A
Best For Home Studio Use
The Shure SRH840A headphones are originally designed for sound engineers and musicians.
So you know they are optimized for studio recording, critical listening, and most definitely for your podcast.
With just the right frequency response, it provides clear and accurate sound for monitoring.
The wide padded headband on these headphones offers a comfortable and ergonomic fit, while the collapsible construction makes them easy to transport wherever you go.
These qualities make them an ideal choice for podcasting, where excellent sound quality, comfort, and noise isolation are key factors.
Pros and Cons of The Shure SRH840A
Get Yourself a Pair of Shure SRH840A.
6) Sennheiser HD 25
Best Headphones In Noisy Environments
If you’re looking for high-quality headphones for podcasting in noisy environments, consider the Sennheiser HD25.
They are specifically designed for DJs, offering excellent sound isolation, ensuring you can pick up those little nuances while hosting your podcast outdoors.
The threshold for sound pressure is also high and can withstand high volumes before distorting.
Plus, its modular design means most of the parts are replaceable.
It’s built solid and has excellent sound quality, making them a top choice for professional audio outside.
Pros and Cons of Sennheiser HD 25
Get Yourself a Pair of Sennheiser HD 25.
7) Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
Best Headphones Used by Famous Podcasters
This is what I would like to call a hype podcast headphone.
But if Joe Rogan and Logan Paul use them even when money isn’t an issue, that’s something, right?
The primarily plastic exterior is literally nothing to go crazy about, but it feels solid and can take a beating.
You also won’t notice over-emphasized sounds, which makes monitor and mixing in your podcast studio.
There is little to no audio leakage with its closed-back ear cups, but it’s by no means noise canceling.
Not to mention, it’s also pretty affordable.
Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
Get Yourself a Pair of Sennheiser HD 280 PRO.
8) Audio Technica BPHS1
Best Headphones With In-Built Mic
The Audio Technica BPHS1 is a seasoned microphone introduced over ten years ago.
It has gained much recognition for its outstanding quality in professional broadcast and even eSports Shoutcasting.
Fun fact, these were the headphones we issued to eSports fighting games commentators back in my previous company.
Here’s a picture of one of our shoutcasters I took back in 2019 at the PlayX4 Game Exhibition in Korea.
I usually recommend a dedicated microphone for podcasting, but this is an exception because I know how good it sounds from previous work experience.
They are comfortable to wear for extended periods while producing a well-rounded and balanced sound profile. No overpowering lows, mids, and highs.
The built-in dynamic microphone provides excellent speech reproduction in a noisy environment. It’s less sensitive and won’t pick up your guests’ or co-host’s voice in a smaller studio.
Pros and Cons of Audio Technica BPHS1
Get Yourself a Pair of Audio Technica BPHS1.
What Factors To Consider When Choosing Podcast Headphones
I just gave you my top picks, but as you know, giving a “Best” list is highly subjective.
We all have individual preferences, so it is important to consider these key factors when selecting your own headphones.
Price and Budget
Your budget and price will probably be at the top of your priority list.
Fortunately, a wide range of podcast headphones is available no matter which stage you are at.
However, more expensive doesn’t mean better quality and vice versa.
Since you’ll be using these headphones for extended periods, you’ll want ones that provide a comfortable fit.
Look for podcast headphones that have the following:
If the headphones are uncomfortable to wear, no matter how good they sound, you’ll swap them out eventually.
The ideal sensitivity range for podcast headphones is between 80 to 125 dB.
Sensitivity levels tell you how loud headphones will be at a given level from the source measured in Decibels or dB SPL/mW.
Note: Decibels of Sound Pressure Level per unit of power (often 1 milliWatt).
Higher sensitivity means louder sounds, while lower sensitivity levels mean the opposite.
The problem is each headphone manufacturer has its own way of measuring. So you can’t really tell precisely how loud they are until you test them yourself.
You could always tweak the settings within your recording software, analog system, or amplifier.
But it’s best to keep digital adjustments to a minimum and keep the raw audio unaltered for more flexibility in post-editing.
Ideal, you want to look for headphones with a flat frequency response ranging between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
Note: The smaller number denotes the bass, while the larger number indicates the treble.
This ensures that you can accurately pick up all the low, middle, and high tones in the vocals, resulting in a more balanced and neutral sound.
You don’t want to be caught in a situation where the headphones you bought only have a headphone plug (the big fat one) when your device only supports a 3.5mm headphone jack.
This could also mean requiring an analog mixer or amplifier.
Decide on your source and get a headphone that supports it.
Generally, you want to look for headphones between 32 and 80 Ohms.
Impedance is the electrical resistance the headphones provide to the audio signal from the audio source measured in ohms (Ω).
The higher the number, the more power is required to drive them. This could mean using a headphone amplifier for that added boost.
Conversely, if the impedance is too low, you risk damaging them or distorting your audio if not carefully managed.
Noise-Canceling or Sound Isolation for Podcasting?
I would advise going with headphones that have sound isolation over noise canceling.
Sound isolation headphones will block out external noises with high-quality materials and design without electrical interference.
However, noise-canceling headphones use technology to emit an electrical signal to cancel out incoming ambient sound waves. This might leave you with weird compressed audio or even some hissing.
Open-Back Headphones or Closed-Back Headphones for Podcasting?
I’ll always recommend using Closed-Back headphones because of better noise isolation and less audio leakage.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Open-Back Headphones
Open-Back headphones will sound more natural due to the air flowing freely through the ear cups and less sound pressure build-up. However, they perform poorly in blocking ambient noise and bleed more sound.
It’s kinda like having the Apple Airpods Max in transparency mode.
But the whole point is to pick up every little nuance and not let sound waves escape.
Why You Should Use Closed-Back Headphones
Closed-Back headphones are primarily sealed around the back of the ear cups. This prevents sound and air from leaking out.
This means less bleeding, more isolation, and more accurate tones.
That’s the whole point of using headphones in the first place. To get the most accurate audio representation so that you can make adjustments if needed.
This ensures a smooth experience for your podcast listeners.
Should You Use In-Ear, On-Ear, or Over-Ear Headphones for Podcasting?
For podcasting, I recommend going for Over-Ear headphones.
Here are the reasons why:
Wired or Wireless Headphones for Podcasting?
Many people will tell you, “it’s up to your preference.” But I’m just going to say, no, always use wired podcast headphones.
Here are some reasons why you should choose wired over wireless headphones when podcasting:
Why Do Podcasters Wear Headphones?
The gist is always to get better sound quality. Here are some reasons why podcasters wear headphones:
Better Audio Quality
Headphones also help to block out background noise, making the audio in recordings clearer and more consistent. This allows you to single out any potential issues quickly.
Headphones usually come with thick, springy ear pads that provide amazing comfort for long podcast sessions.
You want to be able to monitor exactly what your music, vocals, and SFX will sound like to your listeners.
Hearing yourself during the recording will allow you to spot any potential issues and make quick adjustments if necessary.
This helps during a live podcast and will make your job a lot easier in post-editing.
I don’t know about you, but it feels like being closed off from the world when I put a pair of headphones on.
Many podcasters would probably tell you the same thing too. This can help improve focus by getting them in the zone.
Best Headphones for Podcasting (FAQ)
Can You Also Use Earbuds Instead of Headphones for Podcasting?
Earbuds will do fine for entry podcasters. But you will definitely want to get professional headphones eventually to increase your podcast’s quality.
What Kind of Headphones Does Joe Rogan Use?
Joe Rogan uses Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Closed-Back Studio and Live Monitoring Headphones.
Can I Do a Podcast Without Headphones?
You can, but it’s not ideal. Without headphones, you can’t accurately monitor your levels and make adjustments when needed. This then requires more work during editing.
Trust me. I never used headphones when I hosted my podcast, Player vs World, and I regretted it while editing.
Should I Buy Headphones With a Built-In Microphone?
If the purpose is for listening, it doesn’t matter if it has a built-in mic. The quality of the headphone drivers is your priority.
The Audio Technica BPHS1 is one of the best headphones for podcasting with a built-in microphone. While not ideal for capturing vocals, the dynamic microphone is just the added bonus.
I used this particular set of headphones to organize professional live eSports fighting game events in my previous job.
If you really wanted to use one for your podcast, I can’t think of anything else better.
Are AirPods Good for Podcasting?
No, AirPods are not good for Podcasting. While they offer excellent sound quality for casual music listening, you won’t be able to pick up on tiny nuances due to their small drivers compared to headphones.
And being wireless, you don’t want to be caught in a situation where your AirPods suddenly connect to another device or run out of battery.
You want to eliminate any potential interruptions during your podcast session.
Do I Need Noise-Canceling Headphones for Podcasting?
No, you don’t need noise-canceling headphones for podcasting. They produce electrical signals to offset the external sound waves, which may cause hissing and a muddied sound.
It’s better to use noise-isolation headphones instead.
To Sum Up
That’s a wrap.
I hope now you know which podcast headphones are best for your needs.
Otherwise, you also know what factors to consider when picking your own.
Whether you just starting your podcast or have an established one, a good pair of headphones will go a long way.
I hope you liked the article!
Leave a comment if I missed something, or give me your thoughts!
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About the author
Brendan is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at brendanaw.com™, where he helps others succeed in the creator economy. Before launching his blog, he was the marketing manager at various E-commerce, NFTs, Crypto, Marketing Consultancy, Finance, and E-sports companies. He now works on his family’s luxury lighting business in Cambodia while documenting his journey as a creator online.
Learn more about me.