You need really good headphones for podcasting. And, that’s exactly what we’ll help you. The best podcast headphones come with great sound quality and well-placed microphones. After all, you cannot afford any sound leakage during recordings. Closed-back headphones can be an ideal pick for podcasting.
We reviewed over 50 podcasting headphones over a period of 4 weeks. We tried and tested each product and it was not easy to pick the top podcast headphones on the market. However, after combining our experiences with the products and reading the reviews of existing customers, we have shortlisted these 5 best podcast headphones.
Roundup of the Best Podcast Headphones
|Best Headphones for Podcast Recording||Audio-Technica ATH-M50x|
|Best Overall Podcast Headphones||Sennheiser HD280 Pro|
|Best Quality Podcast Headphones||Sony MDR7506|
|Best High-End Podcast Headphones||Beyerdynamics DT770 Pro 80|
|Best Headphones for Podcast Listening and Recording||Shure SRH1540|
In this guide, we’ll discuss various aspects of podcast headphones – why they are required, what are the important factors you should consider while buying them, and so on. We’ll also review the 5 best-rated headphones for podcasting in detail, and list their pros and cons. By the end of this guide, we are sure you will be able to make an informed purchase.
Important Factors to Consider While Buying Headphones for Podcasting
When selecting the best headphones for podcasting, here are 4 critical factors that we checked on:
1. Type of Headphones
First things first, you need to find out if closed-back or open-back headphones would be a good choice for podcasting. Per our findings, closed-back headphones are the right choice for recordings and podcasting. They provide maximum sound isolation and there’s no sound leakage from the mic.
The sensitivity of headphones determines their loudness or how effectively they can change an electrical signal into acoustic. For podcasting, it would be good to buy headphones with sensitivity between 80-125 dB Sound Pressure Level per milliwatt (SPL/mW).
3. Frequency Range
Headphones with a frequency between 20Hz-20kHz can be a great pick for podcasting. However, there are 2 frequencies you should consider while buying headphones for podcasting, i.e., the frequency range of the headphones and the frequency range of the microphone. Therefore, remember that podcasts are all about voice clarity. So, you don’t really need headphones with powerful bass.
5 Best Podcast Headphones for Podcasters
Great! Now we are all set to discuss our experiences with each product. Let’s begin the discussion.
1. Audio Technica ATH-M50X
Best Headphones for Podcast Recording
- Great build; durable and sturdy
- Well-padded earpads and headband for added comfort
- Excellent sound quality; great performance; stellar sound isolation
- Deep, accurate bass; crisp vocals; bass does not overpower the mids
- 90-degree swiveling ear cups for single-ear monitoring
- No sound leakage
- Value for money
- Highly suitable for podcast recording
- Soundstage is narrow and imaging is not that great
- Highs are very loud; can cause headaches
- Earpads can get a little sticky during the warmer months
The Audio Technica ATH-M50X Headphones are one of the best closed-back studio headphones on the market. Therefore, they can be a great pick for podcast recording.
Their sound clarity, quality and performance have been lauded by top music professionals and engineers across the globe. You’ll notice stellar clarity across the entire frequency range (15-28000 Hz).
The well-thought-through circumaural design provides a great fit around the ears and exceptional sound isolation. The 90-degree swiveling ear cups are comfortable (just like those found in the most comfortable headphones), well-padded and can be of great help during one-ear monitoring (no wonder DJs love these headphones). The headband is made of a durable material and enhances the overall fit of the headphones. For your convenience, the headphones come with 2 types of detachable cables – coiled and straight.
While adding the Audio Technica ATH-M50X headphones to our list, we had no idea these headphones don’t comprise a microphone. So, when we started testing them we were really disappointed as we were primarily looking for headphones for podcast recording. Nevertheless, once we finished testing the headphones, we loved their sound quality and deep, accurate bass. We highly recommend the headphones for podcast listening.
Read the Full Audio Technica ATH-M50X Review
2. Sennheiser HD280 Pro
Best Overall Podcast Headphones
- Flat signals come in handy during the podcast recording
- Great sound isolation
- Extremely comfortable; adjustable headband
- Value for money
- Excellent sound clarity and quality
- Collapsible, space-saving design with swiveling ear cups
- Can easily handle high levels of volume
- Great pick for beginners and professionals alike
- Coiled cable helps in moving around with the headphones
- Leatherette material used to cover the headband and ear cups looks and feels cheap
- Heavier than most of the podcast headphones on our list; the coiled cable makes the headphones very bulky
- Headphones can feel tight for users who wear spectacles
We have tagged the Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones as the best overall podcast headphones due to multiple reasons. First and foremost, the headphones can be a great buy for beginner, intermediate and expert podcasters. They sound great, are comfortable and easily affordable, and closed-back (one of the most important factors that you should consider while looking for the best podcast headphones).
The headphones are professional-grade studio headphones. Their build is extremely robust and a little rugged. They come with a unique, collapsible design that makes them easy to carry around. The swiveling ear cups provide the utmost flexibility for monitoring and recording. You can easily replace the padding on the ear cups and headband if you are not satisfied with the material and feel of the original padding. All accessories and parts are easily available on the market.
At 113 dB, the Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones are one of the most sensitive headphones on our list and provide a very natural (warm) sound experience. However, during the testing phase, we strongly felt that the headphones are not that great for regular use. So, if you are planning to buy the Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones, keep in mind that they are only good for monitoring and recording purposes; if you are looking for all-purpose podcast headphones, we recommend you go with the Audio Technica ATH-M50X Headphones.
Read the Full Sennheiser HD280 Pro Review
3. Sony MDR7506
Best Quality Podcast Headphones
- Bass is not overpowering
- Clear highs, mids and extended lows
- Extremely comfortable; ear cups and headband provide a perfect fit
- Reasonably priced
- Excellent sound quality; the sound is natural, crisp and warm
- Compact, foldable and highly suitable for traveling
- Long cord
- No sound leakage
- Lightest headphones on our list of best podcast headphones
- Great for studio and field work; especially useful for podcast recording as they offer a well-rounded sound profile
- We were not happy with the build material of the headphones’ frame
- Ear cups become warm on extended usage
Firstly, when it comes to build and design, Sony MDR-7506 has an edge over Sennheiser HD280 Pro. Therefore, if the durability and design aesthetics of the podcast headphones are two things that are important for you, we suggest you go with MDR-7506 instead of HD 280 Pro.
Other factors that drew us toward these podcast headphones are the option to fold the headphones and their lower weight. Not only this but the headphones are also affordable and durable. The closed-back design makes these headphones a great pick for podcasting.
The Sony MDR-7506 headphones come with a neodymium magnet that offers great power-handling and 40 mm drivers that offer excellent sound quality. The highs are phenomenally clear, the mids are okay and the lows are extended.
Most importantly, these headphones are comfortable for extended recording sessions. The generous padding on the headphones enhances the comfort two-fold. The 9.8-foot coiled cord makes it extremely convenient to move around with the headphones before removing them. The only thing we didn’t like about the build is the frame, which is made of plastic and creaks off and on.
View on Amazon: Sony MDR-7506 Headphones
4. Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80
Best High-End Podcast Headphones
- Premium-quality headphones; the overall feel is very different from many runs of the mill podcast headphones on the market
- Decent flat response; frequency response is clear and natural
- Bass is not overpowering; it’s just perfect for podcast recording
- Very comfortable; the headband and ear cups provide great fit and are adjustable
- Single-sided cable for a hassle-free recording experience; however, it is not detachable
- Good sound isolation
- Great overall sonic character
- Stellar build quality
- Easily replaceable headband and ear cup padding
- A little heavier than Sony MDR-7506
The Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Headphones are premium-end podcast headphones. They provide a perfect balance between excellent sound quality and a luxurious feel. They are more expensive than HD280 Pro and MDR-7506. Nevertheless, they are worth every dollar you spend on them.
You’ll find 3 versions of the headphones on the market – 32 Ohms, 80 Ohms and 250 Ohms. The 80-Ohm version is the best for podcast recording.
Talk about comfort and that’s one area where DT770 Pro 80 beats all the other podcast headphones on our list. The sturdy, spring steel headband provides a great fit and the soft ear cups are perfect for long podcast recording sessions. The nominal headband pressure exerted by the headband on your head is approximately 3.5 Newtons, which is almost 50% less than the 6 Newtons pressure exerted by the headband of Sennheiser HD280 Pro.
Another reason why DT770 Pro is categorized as a “high-end” product is the sound quality. The sound reproduction is great for closed-back headphones and the bass reference is optimum for podcast recording. In fact, the spatial sound reproduction is excellent despite providing noise isolation.
We were impressed by the overall quality and sound performance of the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 headphones. We recorded a couple of podcasts with these headphones and faced no issues at all.
View on Amazon: Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Headphones
5. Shure SRH1540
Best Headphones for Podcast Listening and Recording
- Excellent fit and finish
- Powerful, clean and detailed sound; no sound leakage
- Great build quality
- Long, sturdy cable
- High-quality zippered travel and storage case
- Comfortable to wear for longer durations; replaceable ear pads made with Alcantara and low-density foam
- Very light for their size
- Exceptional soundstage for closed-back headphones
- Sound does not distort at higher volumes
- Value for money
- Very expensive
- Bass is somewhat overpowering
While we were testing different podcast headphones for recording purposes, we thought it would also make sense to find the best headphones for podcast listening. After all, recording and listening go hand-in-hand.
Therefore, first thing first, the Shure SRH1540 headphones are expensive (much more than Beyerdynamics DT770 80). However, they are the best audiophile-grade podcast headphones on the market. Not only this but they also come with a unique, eye-catching design and look very attractive (these are actually one of the most beautiful headphones on the market).
Also, The closed-back headphones provide the utmost sound isolation required for podcast listening. After all, you don’t want any disturbances when listening to your favorite podcasts. The ergonomic, double-frame headband is well-padded and comfortable for extended usage.
Talk about the durability and sturdiness of the headphones and we were literally stunned. The headphones’ frame is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy yoke and carbon fiber cap. Not only this but the headphones also come with a dual-exit cable to provide a secure connection.
All in all, the Shure SRH1540 Headphones are great for podcast listening and recording. They are definitely expensive. However, if the price is not an issue, we recommend these headphones big time. These are beautiful, power-packed headphones for podcasting.
View on Amazon: Shure SRH1540 Headphones
Frequently Asked Questions
Closed-back headphones are preferred for podcast recording as they do not distort or leak sound at any frequency.
If you look at in-ear headphones/earbuds, noise-cancelling headphones and wireless/Bluetooth headphones, there are certain factors because of which we can not use either of them for podcast recording. For instance, the sound quality of in-ear headphones/earbuds is not at par with the sound quality of closed-back headphones.
In the case of noise-cancelling headphones, there’s too much audio processing inside the headphones to cancel outside noises/sounds and this can completely change the sound quality. In the case of wireless/Bluetooth headphones, the biggest issue is interference.
Yes, noise-canceling headphones are highly suitable for DJing as they help DJs ignore the noise in the background and focus on mastering and mixing their tracks.
Here are 4 main reasons why you should wear headphones while recording a podcast.
– Allow you to better understand noise and correctly set up gain levels.
Help you observe your pronunciation and ensure you do not make any verbal mistakes while recording a podcast.
– Allow you to constantly monitor audio quality and adjust it per your requirements.
– Improve your mic technique. If you are hearing your voice too loud or feel your mic is not working in the middle of a podcast recording, by wearing headphones you can easily adjust the way you are using the mic.
The best open-back headphones typically provide great sound quality. However, they are not suitable for podcast recordings as they do not have sealed ear cups and sound can easily escape through them and affect your mic (sound leakage).
So, if you are planning to record a podcast anytime soon, we’ve provided you with all the necessary information you need to find the best podcast headphones in 2021. We’ve tried and tested all the headphones on our list and loved all of them. However, it’s just a matter of choice. Your pick would completely depend on your personal requirements.
However, if you ask us to pick one, we’ll go with Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80. Even though it is a little expensive, it’s value for money, comfortable and perfect for podcast recording and listening. There’s something luxurious about the headphones that attracted us big time. The sound isolation is great and the bass is not overpowering at all.
We hope you found our guide on the best podcast headphones useful. If you are currently using any other headphones for podcast recording and feel that they can make it to our list, please feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section below. We would love to hear your thoughts and answer any queries you may have.