Whether you are just starting, or you have been doing podcasting for many years, you need some sweet headphones.
I know some of you are wondering why should you wear headphones when podcasting. If you are one of those people, read on!
Wireless vs. Wired Headphones
The first question you should ask yourself when choosing the perfect headphones for your podcast is – wireless or wired? If you are currently looking to buy a new pair of headphones, it is important to know what separates wireless and wired headphones.
The model that would be ideal for you comes down to your needs, style, and your streaming preferences.
Whatever your taste is, you will agree that there is no greater convenient podcasting than using a pair of wire-free headphones that work just as perfectly as wired headphones. Wireless versions of headphones have for years been using Bluetooth wireless to pair two or more devices.
But after Apple dropped the jack from its iPhone 7, other smartphones and headphone manufacturers also followed suit, and just like headphones changed forever.
This move popularized wireless headphones massively.
Fast forward a few years later, Apple introduced a completely wire-less experience and as you have guessed, everyone followed suit.
Wireless headphones are today very popular in the podcasting industry. They are ideal for people who like to constantly move.
Moreover, they tend to come at a much lower price and don’t require any learning curve.
However, note that wireless headphones might require frequent charging or a steady power supply for them to provide quality services.
Unlike wireless, wired headphones have been around for more than 100 years and even with the popularity of their wire-free counterparts, many podcasters still swear by them. They offer a pretty classic design but can still offer noise-cancellation, sound quality. And high levels of comfort.
Many podcasters usually view wired headphones as entry-level, affordable earphones that can easily be plugged into the standard 3.5mm jack for quick and seamless listen.
Sure you will have to deal with the problem of having a cable constantly getting in the way, especially if you want to use it outside the studio. However, these headphones tend to have superior sound quality.
When it comes to the best option between the two, it all comes down to your preference. In the end, the wireless or wired headphone will do the job perfectly. If you want wireless or wired, there are no major functional differences.
Closed-Back vs. Open-Back
Closed-backed headphones tend to be ideal when it comes to isolating noise. The closed headphones are awesome when you are doing music production. The padding around the ears causes an airtight seal to help keep the noise out.
With his feature alone, most closed-back headphones can offer up to 10dB noise cancelation. When you start speaking, your voice as well as that slight noise isolation is very sweet.
So, one of the most important benefits of closed-back headphones is reducing the sounds of the outside world.
- Perfect for studio use to isolate what you are hearing in the headphones
- Ideal for using in the public area to help with noise reduction
- Comfortable on the ears and offers and tight fit to keep out the external sounds
- Can cause your ears to get hot if used for a long time
Open-backed headphones also have some strong points, one of which being allowing sound to filter in and out of the pads covering the ears.
This does not mean that these headphones will have the opposite effect as closed-back models. On the contrary, this design changes the listening experience significantly. Rather than the ‘in your head’, open-back headphones offer the ‘in the world around me’ experience.
- High-quality audio that makes it seem like sound is coming from all around you
- Great for extended sessions because it allows air to flow so your ears do not get heated
- Ideal for at-home use if you have a quiet house
- They allow air to pass through so moisture and sweat is less a problem if you wear them for an extended period
- No noise isolation so you will hear noise that is around you
When it comes to which one to buy, your main concern should be your recording environment. Open-back headphones may not be ideal for an environment that involves a lot of crowd noises.
Headphone Features & Factors to Consider
Nobody wants to buy headphones after every few months. You want to invest in a headphone that can last you many years. Unfortunately, when it comes to headphones, durability often means bulkier and cumbersome to use repeatedly.
Lightweight models tend to be susceptible to breaking. But the durability of your headphone depends on several factors, including how you take care of them; store them, and their quality.
Take care of your headphone and they will last you for many years.
Since you will be using these headphones to record your podcast, it is important that you feel comfortable wearing them.
Comfort is extremely important when it comes to the best headphones for podcasting. Remember that any headphones will fit and feel comfortable worn a few minutes in the store, but the story will change when you have to wear them for extended periods.
Make sure you wear the headphones for up to 20 minutes before buying. The larger the ear cups, the better the closed-back headphone.
After comfort, portability should be the next important factor to consider when choosing the best headphone for your podcast, especially if you love being on the go. But this should not be a problem for on-location recording.
Most on-location recording sessions require heavier closed-up, sealed-cup pair of headphones. Fold-up designs tend to be more portable though and offer more protection in transit.
In headphones, frequency refers to the range of audio frequencies the gear can reproduce and is measured in Hertz (Hz), with the lowest number depicting the amount bass and the highest number representing treble.
Most units have a frequency of about 20 to 20k Hz, which matches human hearing.
While frequency does not always mean great sound quality, they can help you select the right kind of headphones for your particular needs.
Active noise cancellation, abbreviated as ANC, is usually a standard feature on the majority of headphones these days.
This feature helps block out the surrounding world if you are in a noisy environment, though in some cases it can be excess for spontaneous listening.
How Using Headphones Can Improve your Audio
The sound quality of a headphone is usually an indicator of enjoyability and accuracy. However, there is no proper reference for headphone sound quality and thus it is a matter of personal preference.
When using a headphone, you alone will decide if the sound is too high or too low. Headphones can improve your audio because they can cancel noises from your environment.
Moreover, the higher the kbps of your headphone, the higher the sound quality will be. High-quality headphones will allow you to establish the difference in kbps.
Best Headphones for the Price
Audio Technica ATH-m20x
A great headphone for podcasting is usually designed to offer flat sounds. Audio-Technica is known for being audiophile-grade pair of headphones on a budget.
The ATH-m20x is considered an upgrade to the previous model the ATH-m20, having been launched just recently.
Featuring a somewhat upgraded design, this headphone is common among budding podcasters. Weighing just 190 grams minus the cable, the manufacture of the M20x was done using light plastic material and the only open parts are the circlet adjustment rails.
Currently, the M20x is among the top closed-back headphones you can get on the market today.
In terms of comfort, the headphone offers adequate comfort, but not enough to use them all night. Both earpads and headbands are comfortable and fit perfectly, though you will need short breaks between sessions.
- Flat sounds
- Great treble
- Comfortable ear pads
- Average soundstaging
The Samson SR850 is a pair of headphones with low impedance, meaning you don’t need an audio amplifier to use it because it is loud enough.
It looks great and is cheaper than the AKG K240.
Though they are not the most comfortable headphones out there, they are great for on-location recording. They spot long and thick cable with a 6.3mm adapter.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Samson SR850 is its sound quality, which is detailed and crisp.
- Lightweight construction
- Excellent sound quality
- Decent durability
- Great price
- Plastic construction seems cheap
Best Headphones with Built-in Mic
Sennheiser HMD 300 Pro-XQ-2
The Sennheiser HMD 300 XQ-2 features the HMD 300 Pro communications headset as well as the Cable-II-X3K1-Gold headset cable. It is among the best closed-back, over-ear headphones for podcasting, thanks to its 32dB sound cancelation. The padded ear cups and headband ensure you feel comfortable wearing the headset.
Its long detachable cable comprises a coiled section that removes handling noise. It uses copper wiring and is finished with gold-plated XLR 3-pin and ¼” jacks.
With a frequency of 60 Hz to 25 kHz, the Sennheiser HMD 300 Pro-XQ-2 provides clear audio reproduction while providing some levels of noise reduction.
The headband is rugged, twistable, and bendable, and you can war the boom on either side of the headphone.
Its ActiveGard feature is meant to protect your hearing against sudden sound bursts without compromising the signal.
- Hearing protection guard
- High speech intelligibility
- Foldable ear cup construction
- Comfortable headphones
- Gooseneck should be longer
Best Studio Headphones
The Shure SRH840 is one of the best studio headphones on the market. It is well-priced and comes with great features.
One of those features is the incredible sound quality. It offers a pretty natural and flat response. What makes this gadget a candidate for the best studio headphones is the fact that the bass is not incredibly prominent.
It is also comfortable since the ear cups are not so deep and you can feel your ears getting in contact with the inner padding.
When it comes to durability, the Shure SRH840 is quite solid and dependable, in spite of its all-plastic construction.
- Great audio quality
- Pleasant price point
- High levels of comforts
- Collapsible design
- Doesn’t have defined bass
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 OHM
The DT770 Pro 80 Ohm is a great studio headphone with excellent sound quality. As the title hints, this headset has a resistance of 80 ohms, which means you might need a powerful unit in order to get the best out of this gadget.
As far as durability is concerned, the DT770 is made with metal in its ear cup and band as well as a thick layer of hard plastic lining up the ear cups.
The long cable is protected by plastic and rubber, which is ideal for podcasting headphones, especially studio ones.
Like most wired headsets, the DT770 uses a 3.5mm TRS-pin connector. The cable is around ten feet long, which means this unit is most suitable for on-location recording.
- High comfort level
- Extremely durable
- Great sound quality
- Swappable ear cup pads
- Unnecessarily long cable
Top Podcasting Headphones Under $100
The Audio-Technica ATH-M40X is widely regarded as one of the best deals you can find for headphones. If you are looking for something that can help you record your podcast as well as allow you to maintain that chic look, this is the headphone to get.
Begin with its appearance; the design of the ATH-M40X is pretty much what you would expect from an Audio-Technica headphone.
The headphone comes in complete black color, with silver-tone in logos inside the earcups and headband. It is reasonably built and though it is mostly plastic, it is pretty durable and can endure a few knocks.
You can wear it for hours because it is reasonably comfortable, and in the sound quality department – you will not be disappointed.
- Inexpensive headphones
- Detachable cables
- Comfortable headsets
- Great sound quality
- Weak hinges
Another great podcast headphone under $100 is the Shure SRH440. It comes with great-sounding as well as durability thanks to its plastic construction.
They are comfortable and feature a well-balanced sound reproduction for listening. The Shure SRH 440 almost resembles the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
They have a pretty thick headband that is padded and dense ear cups for comfort and durability. The headphones come in only one color scheme – an all-black matte, which feels quite professional.
When wearing this headset, the ear cups fit perfectly well around your ears because they are slightly larger compared to other brands.
- Strong and durable construction
- Comfortable fit
- Great audio reproduction
- Affordable model
- Poor portability
Podcasting Headphones for Beginners
If you are just starting out in podcasting, consider getting the MDR-7506 headphone from Sony. Having been made almost completely of plastic, these headphones are super lightweight and thus won’t weigh you down when using for long hours.
The package features a downy carrying case, which can offer some levels of protection if you decide to carry them in a bag.
As a beginner, you will appreciate the well-balanced audio with a hard-hitting bass that doesn’t drown the perfect mid-range.
They are comfortable headphones and the ear cups are large enough to fit around almost all ears.
- Excellent sound reproduction
- Lightweight design
- Low leakage
- Great for beginners
- Poor noise isolation