If you are thinking of starting a podcast or have recorded a few episodes already, you probably know that headphones can make quite a difference. After all, making sure your audio is clear is the best way to sound professional. But how do you know which headphones are best for you?

In this article, we will show you all the options you have. We will, in fact, cover everything you need to know about the perfect pair of headphones and why their features matter. But that’s not all! We’ll also show you the best wired and wireless headphones to take your podcasting to the next level. So, let’s get started!

Why Do You Need Headphones as a Podcaster?

Headphones are an essential tool if you’re recording (or editing!) a podcast. Why? Well, there are several reasons, but they can be summed up into the following: Headphones allow you to monitor what you are saying, control your audio quality, and prevent audio bleed. So, let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Reason #1: You Can Monitor Your Audio in Real-Time

The first benefit headphones can provide podcasters is the ability to hear their own voice and the vocals of their guests. What’s more, they can also help detect any potential audio issues, such as background noise, mic handling noise, or technical glitches during recording. In other words, monitoring your audio live will help to ensure the sound quality is clear and free from unwanted noises or distortions. And headphones are the best way to do this!

Reason #2: You Can Control Your Sound Quality

As a podcaster, you know you need to maintain a certain standard of audio quality. Wearing headphones can help you identify any issues immediately - and, of course, adjust things during the podcast recording process. For example, you can change your microphone levels, reposition the microphone, or address any audio disturbances before they become a problem in the final recording. It's a win-win, really!

Reason #3: You Can Prevent Audio Bleed

Headphones are also crucial in preventing audio bleed (which happens when the sound from speakers gets picked up by the microphone). This can happen during recordings if, for example, your speakers are playing back the sound that is being captured. You get an echo, so to say - or distortions in the audio. Wearing headphones prevents this interference and ensures a clean recording.

Top Headphones: Factors to Consider When Buying

If you're looking to purchase a new pair of headphones, there are a few factors you should keep in mind. For instance:

  • Sound quality: One of the most critical aspects when choosing new headphones is sound quality. You should always look for ones that can provide clear, balanced, and high-quality audio across different frequencies.
  • Type: There are different types available. For example, in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headphones. Each has its own advantages. Over-ear headphones, for instance, generally provide better noise isolation and comfort, while in-ear headphones are more portable.
  • Noise cancellation: Active noise cancellation (or ANC) can be a significant factor, especially if you're using headphones in noisy environments. So, how do they work? They use microphones to detect external noise and then produce an anti-noise signal to cancel it out.
  • Comfort and fit: Comfort is crucial, too, especially if you plan on using the headphones for extended periods. So, look for well-padded ear cups, an adjustable headband, and a design that fits your ears comfortably.
  • Wireless vs. wired: You will also have to decide if you prefer wireless (Bluetooth) or wired headphones. Wireless headphones offer greater freedom of movement, while wired headphones often provide better sound quality without the concern of battery life.
  • Additional features: Some headphones come with extra features like touch controls, voice assistance integration, app support, and EQ adjustments. Only you know which ones are important to you.
  • Price: Higher prices don't always guarantee better quality. So, set a budget and consider the balance between quality and cost (more on this below!).

Podcast Headphones Buying Guide by Price

Let's start our podcasting headphones purchasing guide by exploring a range of options across different price points. From budget-friendly options to high-end models, our aim is to help you make an informed decision based on features, quality, and affordability. So, here are our top headphones based on price.

Best Headphones Under $100

Sennheiser 280 PRO

The Sennheiser HD 280 PRO is the sort of pro-level champ of headphones. It's all about studio production – you know, monitoring, mixing, and really paying attention to the nitty-gritty of your tunes. Renowned for its accuracy and durability, it has been a popular choice among audio professionals.

Pros of Sennheiser HD 280 PRO:

  • The closed-back design provides a focused listening experience with excellent noise isolation.
  • The HD 280 PRO delivers detailed and accurate sound.
  • The ergonomic design with padded ear cups and an adjustable headband will give you prolonged comfort during extended listening or recording sessions.

Cons of Sennheiser HD 280 PRO:

  • The cable is fixed cable and might pose a challenge if it gets damaged, as it can't be easily replaced.
  • The bulkiness might not be as portable or suitable for on-the-go use.
  • The closed-back nature of the headphones restricts the natural expansion of sound, leading to a somewhat limited soundstage. \

Audio Technica ATH-m20x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is a solid entry-level over-ear headphone for professionals. It's not only wallet-friendly but also gets the job done. So, it's perfect for anyone looking for a reliable, budget-friendly choice.

Pros of Audio-Technica ATH-M20x:

  • The ATH-M20x provides clear and accurate audio.
  • The headphones are an excellent entry-level option at an affordable price
  • It has a circumaural design with cushioned ear cups. In other words, great comfort during extended use!

Cons of Audio-Technica ATH-M20x:

  • The ATH-M20x features a non-detachable cable.
  • The closed-back design restricts the natural expansion of sound.
  • The headphones are primarily constructed from plastic. So, they are light but also not particularly durable.

Best Headphones Between $100-$200

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a highly acclaimed closed-back headphone. It is renowned for its exceptional sound quality, professional-grade construction, and suitability for various applications. So, you can use it for studio monitoring or casual listening.

Pros of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x:

  • The ATH-M50x provides a well-balanced and high-quality audio experience across different frequencies.
  • The detachable cables make it easier to replace the cable if needed.
  • The headphones have professional-grade earpads and headbands that offer good comfort for extended use.

Cons of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x:

  • While many users appreciate the deep bass response, some might find it slightly emphasized.
  • The excellent sound isolation might be a drawback for some users who prefer to have some awareness of their surroundings.
  • While the clamping force contributes to good isolation, some users may find it slightly tight initially.

Sony MDR7506/1

The Sony MDR7506/1 is a real studio workhorse. The kind of headphones you'd find in recording studios or on the heads of audio pros. These over-ear cans are designed for critical listening, mixing, and sound monitoring.

Pros of Sony MDR7506/1:

  • These headphones give you that true, accurate sound – perfect for picking up the details in your music or recordings.
  • They're built to handle some real wear and tear. These headphones can take a beating and keep on delivering.
  • With soft ear cushions and an adjustable headband, they're comfy enough for long sessions.

Cons of Sony MDR7506/1:

  • The cable's fixed on these headphones, so if it needs repairing, you might be in for some additional work.
  • The sound might feel a bit too 'inside your head', lacking the open, spacious feel you get from some other headphones.
  • Bass lovers might find the low-end a bit restrained, as these are more about accuracy than booming bass.

Best Headphones $200 And Over

Monolith M1070 Over Ear Open Back Planar Headphones

The Monolith M1070 Over Ear Open Back Planar Headphones are all about open-back power and incredible audio clarity. Every note, every instrument, and every nuance in the music is presented with an extraordinary level of precision and detail.

Pros of Monolith M1070 Over Ear Open Back Planar Headphones:

  • The M1070 delivers top-tier audio, giving you a sound experience that's as close to studio quality as it gets.
  • With plush ear pads and an ergonomic design, these headphones are made for long jam sessions.
  • The open-back design creates an airy, spacious sound.

Cons of Monolith M1070 Over Ear Open Back Planar Headphones:

  • Because of the open-back design, these headphones leak sound, which might bother people around you or are not ideal for noisy environments.
  • They're on the heavier side, so prolonged wear might not be as comfy as lighter models.
  • As high-performance headphones, they come with a hefty price tag, too.

Bose QuietComfort 35

The Bose QuietComfort 35 (or QC35) is great for silencing the world and working on your podcast without any hassle. In other words, these over-ear wireless headphones are designed for tranquility in a noisy world. They don’t just have supreme noise canceling; they are also incredibly comfortable.

Pros of Bose QuietComfort 35:

  • Perfect for podcasting but also flights, busy commutes, or simply when you need some peace.
  • With Bluetooth connectivity, you can go cable-free and move around without being tethered to your device.
  • The QC35 is like a soft, cushy pillow for your ears. No discomfort!

Cons of Bose QuietComfort 35:

  • These top-notch noise cancellers come with a price. They're a bit on the expensive side.
  • The sound might feel a tad restricted, lacking the spaciousness of open-back headphones.
  • The battery isn't removable, so if it eventually wears out, you might need to replace the headphones or get them serviced.

Best Headphones $400 And Over

Sennheiser HD 660S Open Back Professional Studio Headphones

The Sennheiser HD 660S is your studio's best buddy. With these open-back headphones, you're diving deep into the sound – perfect for detailed studio work or just enjoying some good tunes when you’re not podcasting.

Pros of Sennheiser HD 660S:

  • The HD 660S offers super clear, top-quality sound and a true-to-life audio experience.
  • With its comfy fit, these headphones are like pillows for your ears.
  • The open-back design creates a spacious sound, giving your voice room to breathe.

Cons of Sennheiser HD 660S:

  • Being open-back, these headphones can leak sound – not ideal for noisy environments.
  • These studio headphones are an investment, so they might be a bit heavy on the wallet.
  • To get the best out of these, they might need a bit of extra juice from an amp for optimal performance.

Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones

The Shure SRH1540 is like the suave and classy headphones in the closed-back club – great for private listening sessions or getting in the zone when you’re recording a podcast episode. With its closed-back design, these headphones create a sonic haven, shielding you from the noise of the outside world.

Pros of Shure SRH1540:

  • This good pair of headphones is built like a tank – sturdy and durable, so they'll stick with you through thick and thin.
  • With plush ear pads and a lightweight frame, these headphones are like clouds on your head.
  • You get a smooth and balanced sound – not too heavy on the bass or treble.

Cons of Shure SRH1540:

  • These headphones come at a premium cost, so they might not fit everyone's budget.
  • Being closed-back, the sound might feel a bit more closed in.
  • While comfy, the weight might be a concern for some, especially during extended use.

Podcast Headphones Buying Guide by Need

When it comes to choosing the right headphones for podcasting, it's also important to consider your specific needs. In other words, your intended use of the headphones. For example, it's not the same to want headphones that are good for studio recording as opposed to portable ones. So, let's see a few additional models that might come in handy.

Best Headphones For Studio Recording

If you’re looking for headphones to use in your home or professional studio, opt for closed-back ones that offer excellent ambient noise isolation. This will help prevent audio leakage into the microphone during recording, ensuring a clean sound. If your sessions are long, you should also look for headphones with cushioned ear cups and a lightweight design.

For example:

  • Sony MDR-7506: These closed-back, over-ear headphones are a popular choice for studio work due to their accurate sound reproduction, robust build quality, and noise isolation.
  • Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO: The DT 770 Pro is a closed-back headphone known for its accurate sound reproduction and excellent noise isolation, making it suitable for studio recording. It has a frequency response of 5 Hz to 35 kHz.
  • Sennheiser HD 280 PRO: These closed-back headphones are known for their durability, detailed sound reproduction, and excellent noise isolation.

Best Headphones With Microphones

For podcasters who need to use microphones while wearing headphones, an open-back or semi-open design could be a great idea. It allows for better ambient sound awareness, which is crucial for maintaining a natural conversation flow while recording. You should also consider headphones with a detachable cable or wireless options to prevent cable tangling with microphone cables.

For example:

  • Beyerdynamic DT 297 PV: These closed-back headphones come with a built-in condenser microphone and are well-suited for podcasters who need both high-quality sound and the convenience of an integrated mic.
  • Audio-Technica BPHS1: Known for its broadcast headset design, the BPHS1 offers excellent sound quality and comes equipped with a dynamic microphone, perfect for studio recording and live broadcasts.
  • Sennheiser HMD 300-XQ-2: These closed-back headphones feature a high-quality dynamic microphone and are ideal for users who require both a headphone and microphone setup for recording.

Best Headphones For Portability and Remote Recording

Go for wireless headphones or those with Bluetooth capabilities for remote recording sessions, offering freedom of movement and flexibility. Foldable headphones that collapse for easy portability are also ideal for on-the-go podcasters who need to record from various locations.

For example:

  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II: These wireless headphones offer exceptional noise cancellation and comfort, making them ideal for remote recording in noisy environments.
  • Sony WH-1000XM4: Known for their top-notch noise cancellation and long battery life, these wireless headphones provide a great sound experience and offer features suitable for remote recording sessions.
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT: With a balance of sound quality and wireless convenience, these Bluetooth headphones offer a comfortable fit, sound isolation, and a detachable cable option, making them suitable for remote podcast recording or monitoring.

Best Headphones For Co-Hosting and Interviews

Consider headphones with a feature that allows for sharing the audio by using a splitter, enabling multiple users to listen to the same audio source. To accommodate multiple participants, having a long cable or an extension cord could also be useful as it supports more flexibility in positioning.

For example:

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M40x: With good sound isolation, solid audio quality, and a collapsible design, the ATH-M40x is suitable for co-hosting and interviews, offering flexibility and comfort.
  • Sony MDR-7506: These closed-back headphones provide accurate sound reproduction, are comfortable for extended use, and are ideal for co-hosting or interviews due to their durability and sound clarity.
  • AKG K240 Studio: Known for their semi-open design and comfort, these headphones offer clear sound and could be suitable for co-hosting or interviews due to their lightweight build.

Best Headphones For Post-Production

If you're looking for a good pair of headphones for doing post-production work, you should prioritize comfort for long hours. Of course, top-notch sound quality is also vital to accurately edit and fine-tune your audio recordings.

For example:

  • Sennheiser HD 600: Renowned for their high-resolution sound, these Sennheiser headphones have a neutral sound profile and comfortable fit. The HD 600 headphones are also well-suited for fine-tuning audio in post-production.
  • Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro: With a semi-open design and excellent clarity, these headphones provide a detailed sound and could be beneficial for post-production work.
  • Shure SRH1540: Known for their balanced sound and comfortable build, these closed-back headphones offer accuracy, making them suitable for detailed post-production editing and monitoring.


Headphones are essential tools in podcasting, as they can help you monitor audio quality, maintain a natural conversation flow, and prevent audio issues. Ultimately, these handy little tools contribute to a high-quality and professional podcast recording. Not to mention, wearing headphones can also block out external noises and give you a nice level of isolation so you can fully focus on your production.

Now that we’ve shown you the best headphones, let us show you another tool that can take your podcasts to the next level. With StreamYard, you can record your podcasts in high-quality with your guests directly from your browser. You’ll get uncompressed audio and video recordings that you can edit in our editor or your editing software of choice.

Not only that, but you can also distribute your content to YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms directly from StreamYard.

So, what are you waiting for? Put those headphones to good use and join SteamYard today for free.

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