Best Headphones for Streaming Without a Mic: The Ultimate Guide

By
reviewed
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: March 26, 2024
Prime Sound is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Finding the perfect pair of headphones for streaming can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t need a built-in microphone.

With countless options available, finding headphones that deliver excellent audio quality, comfort, and durability for those long streaming sessions is crucial. That’s why we’ve carefully researched and tested numerous products to bring you a comprehensive guide on the best headphones for streaming without a mic. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision and ultimately enhance your streaming experience with top-notch audio quality.

1.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xEditor's Choice

Features

Features:

  • Type: Wired
  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-28kHz
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 0.62 lbs. (without cable and connector)

Other Features: Closed-Back Circumaural Headphones with Collapsible Design, 45mm Neodymium Magnet Drivers, Detachable Cables, 1/4″ Adapter, and Carrying Pouch

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are known for their exceptional sound quality, durability, and comfort. As professional-grade studio monitor headphones, they are perfect for streaming, music production, and even casual listening.

These headphones boast a wide frequency response and deliver accurate sound reproduction across various genres, making them ideal for streaming and content creation. The closed-back design provides excellent sound isolation, ensuring an immersive experience without any interruptions from the outside world. The 45mm large-aperture drivers, copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils, and rare-earth magnets contribute to the headphones’ remarkable audio performance.

The ATH-M50x headphones are designed with user comfort in mind. The cushioned ear cups and adjustable headband provide a comfortable fit for extended periods, while the swiveling ear cups allow for easy one-ear monitoring during streaming sessions. Additionally, the detachable cable and foldable design make them convenient for storage and travel.

Compared to other headphones on this list, the ATH-M50x stands out due to its exceptional sound quality, durability, and comfort. However, they can be a bit bulky, which might not be suitable for users who prefer a more compact design. Furthermore, the lack of wireless connectivity might be a drawback for some users. The headphones are also not ideal for those seeking an open-back design, which provides a more natural soundstage.

What are our favorite features?

  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Durable design
  • Detachable cable
  • Swiveling ear cups

What could be better?

  • Bulky
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Closed-back design might not be preferred by some users

2.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PROBest Comfort

Features

Features:

  • Type: Wired
  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-35kHz
  • Impedance: 80 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 1 lb.

Other Features: Closed Circumaural Studio Headphones – 80 ohms, Optimized for Studio Recording Applications

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones are renowned for their comfort and excellent noise isolation. With a closed-back design, these headphones ensure an immersive streaming experience, free from distractions.

These headphones offer a well-balanced sound signature with powerful bass, detailed mids, and clear highs, making them suitable for various types of content. The soft velour ear pads and adjustable headband ensure a comfortable fit, even during long listening sessions. The DT 770 PRO’s impedance options (32, 80, and 250 ohms) cater to different listening preferences and devices, providing flexibility for users.

The DT 770 PRO headphones are constructed with high-quality materials, making them durable and long-lasting. Additionally, the replaceable parts, such as the ear pads and headband padding, ensure that the headphones can be easily maintained over time. The single-sided cable reduces the risk of tangling, while the gold-plated stereo jack ensures a reliable connection.

While these headphones excel in comfort and noise isolation, they might not be the best choice for users who prefer an open-back design or wireless connectivity. The lack of a detachable cable can be seen as a downside, as it limits the headphones’ versatility. Nevertheless, their combination of comfort, noise isolation, and balanced sound makes them an excellent choice for streaming without a mic.

Why is it special?

  • Excellent noise isolation
  • Superior comfort
  • Durable construction
  • Replaceable parts
  • Impedance options

What are the flaws?

  • No wireless connectivity
  • Closed-back design might not be preferred by some users
  • Non-detachable cable

3.

Sennheiser HD 599Best for Audiophiles

Features

Features:

  • Type: Wired
  • Open/Closed: Open
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz-38.5kHz
  • Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/4″ plug, 1/8″ adapter
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

Other Features: Open-back Around-ear Audiophile Headphones with Detachable Cables and Replaceable Ear Pads

The Sennheiser HD 599 headphones are designed for audiophiles who value a natural soundstage and impressive audio fidelity. With an open-back design, these headphones provide a spacious, immersive audio experience, perfect for streaming and music enthusiasts.

The HD 599 headphones feature Sennheiser’s proprietary transducer technology, which ensures exceptional audio performance with detailed and accurate sound reproduction. The open-back design, comfortable velour ear pads, and adjustable headband make for an enjoyable listening experience during long streaming sessions.

These headphones stand out for their elegant design and premium build quality, utilizing high-quality materials for enhanced durability. Additionally, the HD 599 comes with two cables, one with a 6.3mm jack for home use and another with a 3.5mm jack for mobile devices, providing versatility for users.

While the Sennheiser HD 599 headphones are an excellent choice for audiophiles, they might not suit users requiring noise isolation due to their open-back design. Moreover, the lack of wireless connectivity and the bulkier design may not appeal to users who prioritize mobility and compactness.

What makes it special?

  • Natural soundstage
  • Impressive audio fidelity
  • Comfortable fit
  • Elegant design
  • Two cable options

What cons did we find?

  • Open-back design provides limited noise isolation
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Bulky design

4.

Sony WH-1000XM5Best Mobility

Features

Features:

  • Type: Wireless
  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 4Hz–40,000Hz
  • Impedance: 48 ohms
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Stereo Mini Jack
  • Weight: 8.82 ounces

Other Features: Industry-leading noise cancellation, Wireless operation, 30-hour battery life with quick charging

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones offer industry-leading noise cancellation and wireless connectivity, making them an excellent choice for users who prioritize mobility and versatility. These headphones are suitable for streaming, commuting, and traveling, providing a high-quality audio experience wherever you go.

The WH-1000XM5 headphones feature Sony’s proprietary HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, which effectively eliminates background noise, allowing for an immersive streaming experience. The headphones also support LDAC and DSEE HX, ensuring high-quality wireless audio transmission and upscaling compressed audio files.

These headphones are designed for maximum comfort, with soft cushioned ear cups and an adjustable headband. Additionally, the foldable design and carrying case make them convenient for travel. The touch controls, and customizable settings via the Sony Headphones Connect app provide an intuitive user experience.

Despite their excellent noise cancellation and wireless capabilities, the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones might not be the best choice for users who prefer a wired connection or an open-back design. Furthermore, their price point may be a deterrent for budget-conscious shoppers.

Why are we impressed?

  • Industry-leading noise cancellation
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Comfortable fit
  • Foldable design
  • Customizable settings

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • Closed-back design might not be preferred by some users
  • Higher price point

5.

AKG K702Best for Mixing and Mastering

Features

Features:

  • Type: Wired
  • Open/Closed: Open
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-39.8kHz
  • Impedance: 62 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 0.52 lbs.

Other Features: Open-back Dynamic Headphones, Near-linear response perfect for mixing, Specially shaped 3D-foam ear pads

The AKG K702 headphones are designed for mixing and mastering professionals, providing a spacious soundstage and accurate frequency response. With an open-back design, these reference headphones are ideal for users who prioritize audio fidelity and natural sound.

The K702 headphones feature AKG’s patented Varimotion two-layer diaphragm, which ensures precise sound reproduction across the entire frequency range. The open-back design provides a spacious and airy soundstage, making them suitable for critical listening and accurate audio monitoring.

These headphones are designed for comfort, with soft velour ear pads and a self-adjusting headband. The detachable cable and mini-XLR connector add to the headphones’ versatility and durability. The lightweight design ensures minimal fatigue during long listening sessions.

While the AKG K702 headphones excel in audio fidelity and comfort, their open-back design may not be suitable for users requiring noise isolation. Additionally, the lack of wireless connectivity and the focus on mixing and mastering might not appeal to users who prioritize mobility or casual listening.

What are its best features?

  • Spacious soundstage
  • Accurate frequency response
  • Comfortable fit
  • Detachable cable
  • Lightweight design

What could be improved?

  • Limited noise isolation due to open-back design
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Primarily designed for mixing and mastering

Things to Consider

When it comes to selecting the best headphones for streaming without a mic, there are numerous factors to consider. This comprehensive buying guide will help you make an informed decision, covering essential topics such as sound quality, comfort, build quality, and connectivity options. Understanding these critical aspects allows you to find the perfect pair of headphones to elevate your streaming experience.

Sound Quality: The Cornerstone of a Great Streaming Experience

Frequency Response

Sound quality is paramount for streaming. The frequency response of a headphone represents the range of audio frequencies it can reproduce. It is typically measured in Hertz (Hz) and is often represented as a range, such as 20Hz-20kHz, which is the standard range of human hearing.

Headphones with a wider frequency response can reproduce a broader range of audio frequencies, resulting in a more accurate and immersive listening experience. For instance, the AKG K702 boasts a wide frequency response of 10Hz-39.8kHz, which allows it to deliver excellent audio fidelity across various types of content.

Impedance

Impedance, measured in ohms (Ω), indicates the electrical resistance of the headphones. Lower impedance headphones (below 32Ω) are easier to drive and can be used with portable devices such as smartphones and laptops without requiring additional amplification. In contrast, higher impedance headphones (over 100Ω) typically require a dedicated headphone amplifier to reach their full potential.

For streaming, choosing headphones with an impedance that matches your audio source is crucial. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, with an impedance of 38Ω, is a popular choice for streamers due to its compatibility with a wide range of devices.

Soundstage and Imaging

Soundstage refers to the perceived spatial dimensions of the audio, while imaging describes the ability to pinpoint the position of individual sounds within the soundstage. Open-back headphones, like the Sennheiser HD 599, tend to have a larger soundstage and better imaging compared to closed-back models. This makes them ideal for streaming, as they provide a more immersive experience and make detecting subtle audio cues in games or movies easier.

Comfort: Ensuring Long Streaming Sessions Remain Enjoyable

Ear Cup Design and Padding

Comfort is crucial for streaming, as you may be wearing your headphones for extended periods. The design of the ear cups and the type of padding used can significantly impact comfort. Look for headphones with large, well-padded ear cups that can fully enclose your ears, such as the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. This design helps to distribute pressure evenly and minimize fatigue during long sessions.

Memory foam padding is a premium option that conforms to the shape of your ears, offering excellent comfort and a secure fit. The Sony WH-1000XM5 features plush memory foam padding that ensures a comfortable fit even after hours of use.

Headband Design and Adjustability

A well-designed headband is essential for maintaining comfort and stability during long streaming sessions. Look for headphones with adjustable headbands that can accommodate various head sizes and shapes. Some models, like the AKG K702, feature self-adjusting headbands that automatically conform to your head for a custom fit.

Materials used in the headband also contribute to comfort. Padded headbands, such as the one found on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, reduce pressure on the top of your head and make it more comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Build Quality and Durability: Ensuring Longevity

Materials and Construction

The build quality of your headphones directly affects their durability and lifespan. High-quality materials, such as metal and high-grade plastic, are more likely to withstand daily wear and tear compared to cheaper alternatives. For instance, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO utilizes a combination of robust materials, including metal and high-quality plastic, ensuring longevity and reliability.

In addition to the materials used, the overall construction of the headphones plays a significant role in durability. Look for headphones with reinforced joints and stress points, as these areas are more prone to damage over time. The Sony WH-1000XM5, for example, features a robust construction that can withstand the rigors of everyday use.

Replaceable Components

Headphones with replaceable components offer increased longevity, as you can easily swap out damaged or worn parts. Ear pads and cables are common replaceable components, but some models may also offer replaceable headbands or drivers. The AKG K702 has a detachable cable and replaceable ear pads, making it an excellent long-term investment for streamers.

Connectivity Options: Wired vs. Wireless

Wired Connectivity

Wired headphones, such as the Sennheiser HD 599, offer a reliable connection with minimal latency, making them ideal for streaming. They typically use a 3.5mm or 6.3mm audio connector, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices. Some models, like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, come with detachable cables that can be replaced if damaged or swapped out for different lengths and connector types.

When considering wired headphones, pay attention to the cable length and type. A longer cable allows for greater flexibility in your streaming setup, while a braided or reinforced cable can help prevent tangling and improve durability.

Wireless Connectivity

Wireless headphones, like the Sony WH-1000XM5, offer greater freedom of movement, eliminating the need for a cable connection. They typically use Bluetooth technology to connect to your devices and can also be used with Bluetooth transmitters for compatibility with non-Bluetooth sources.

While wireless headphones offer increased convenience, they may introduce latency, which can be problematic for streaming. However, some models feature low-latency codecs, such as aptX Low Latency, that can minimize this issue. Additionally, wireless headphones require periodic charging, which may interrupt your streaming sessions if not properly managed.

Noise Isolation and Leakage: Managing External Sound

Passive Noise Isolation

Passive noise isolation refers to the ability of the headphones to block out external sounds using their physical design and materials. Closed-back headphones, like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, provide better passive noise isolation than open-back models due to their sealed ear cups. This can be beneficial for streaming, as it allows you to focus on your content without being disturbed by environmental noise.

Sound Leakage

Sound leakage is the amount of audio that escapes the headphones and can be heard by those around you. Open-back headphones, such as the Sennheiser HD 599, tend to leak more sound than closed-back models. If you’re streaming in a shared space or want to avoid disturbing others, consider headphones with minimal sound leakage, like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
headphones

Additional Features: Enhancing Your Streaming Experience

Active Noise Cancellation

Active noise cancellation (ANC) uses advanced technology to counteract external noise by generating an opposing sound wave, effectively canceling out unwanted sounds. While not essential for streaming, ANC can significantly enhance your listening experience in noisy environments. The Sony WH-1000XM5 features best-in-class ANC, allowing you to focus on your content even in the most challenging settings.

Foldable Design and Portability

A foldable design can make storing and transporting your headphones easier, which is particularly useful if you stream on the go or have limited space in your setup. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has a collapsible design that allows it to fold into a compact form, making it an excellent option for streamers who need a portable solution.

Customizable Sound Profiles

Some headphones offer customizable sound profiles, allowing you to fine-tune the audio to suit your preferences or the content you’re streaming. This can be particularly beneficial for streamers who switch between different types of content, such as music, movies, or games. The Sony WH-1000XM5, for example, features a companion app that enables you to create and save multiple sound profiles, ensuring an optimal listening experience regardless of the content.

Accessories and Included Extras

Many headphones come with additional accessories that can enhance your streaming experience. These may include carrying cases, additional ear pads, or different cable options. The AKG K702, for instance, comes with a premium carrying pouch and a detachable cable, providing added convenience and flexibility.

By considering these critical aspects when selecting the best headphones for streaming without a mic, you can find the perfect pair to suit your needs and elevate your streaming experience. Whether you prioritize sound quality, comfort, durability, or connectivity options, our top picks, including the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, and the Sennheiser HD 599, offer exceptional performance and value.

Remember to weigh the pros and cons of each option, and don’t be afraid to invest in a quality pair of headphones that will enhance your streaming sessions for years to come. The best headphones for streaming without a mic can truly transform your content consumption, making every moment more immersive and enjoyable.

Balance Between Price and Performance

When choosing the best headphones for streaming without a mic, it’s essential to strike a balance between price and performance. While higher-priced headphones often offer better sound quality, build quality, and features, ensuring that you’re getting the best value for your money is crucial.

Consider your specific needs and budget when comparing different models. For instance, the Sennheiser HD 599 offers an excellent balance between sound quality and comfort at a more affordable price point compared to some high-end models. On the other hand, if you’re willing to invest in a premium option, the Sony WH-1000XM5 delivers top-notch active noise cancellation and customizable sound profiles, justifying its higher price.

Wired vs. Wireless for Streaming Purposes

As mentioned earlier, both wired and wireless headphones have their pros and cons when it comes to streaming. Wired headphones offer a more stable connection and minimal latency, making them popular for streamers. However, wireless headphones provide greater freedom of movement and eliminate the need for a cable connection, which can be advantageous in certain situations.

If you’re primarily streaming from a fixed location, such as a desktop computer or a gaming console, wired headphones like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO may be more suitable. However, if you frequently stream on the go or prefer the convenience of wireless connectivity, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is an excellent option to consider.

Open-Back vs. Closed-Back for Immersive Streaming

The choice between open-back and closed-back headphones largely depends on your personal preferences and streaming environment. Open-back headphones, such as the AKG K702 and the Sennheiser HD 599, provide a more expansive soundstage and better imaging, which can enhance your immersion in games and movies. However, they typically offer less noise isolation and more sound leakage compared to closed-back models.

Closed-back headphones, like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, provide better noise isolation and reduce sound leakage, making them suitable for streaming in shared spaces or noisy environments. However, their soundstage may be more limited compared to open-back models.

Consider your specific streaming needs and the environment in which you’ll be using your headphones to determine your best option.

Compatibility with Streaming Devices

When selecting the best headphones for streaming without a mic, it’s essential to ensure that they’re compatible with the devices you’ll be using for streaming. Most wired headphones use a 3.5mm or 6.3mm audio connector, which is compatible with a wide range of devices, such as smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, and audio interfaces. However, some wireless headphones may require a Bluetooth transmitter to connect to non-Bluetooth sources.

Before making a decision, verify that your chosen headphones are compatible with your streaming devices, and consider any additional equipment you may need, such as a headphone amplifier or a Bluetooth transmitter.

FAQ

 
 

Impedance refers to the electrical resistance of the headphones and can impact their compatibility with different devices. Smartphones and portable devices can easily drive lower-impedance headphones (below 50 ohms), while higher impedance headphones (above 50 ohms) may require dedicated amplifiers or audio interfaces for optimal performance. When selecting headphones for streaming, consider the devices you’ll be using them with and choose a suitable impedance level accordingly.

Dynamic drivers are the most common type of driver used in headphones, utilizing a diaphragm, voice coil, and magnet to create sound. They are generally more affordable and offer a warm, punchy sound signature. Planar magnetic drivers, on the other hand, use a thin diaphragm suspended between two magnets to create sound. They are known for their accurate sound reproduction, low distortion, and faster transient response but are typically more expensive and heavier than dynamic drivers.

Yes, you can use headphones with built-in microphones for streaming. However, this guide focuses on headphones without a mic, as some users may prefer to use separate, dedicated microphones for higher audio quality and more control over their recording setup.

Noise-canceling headphones can be suitable for streaming, as they effectively block out background noise, providing an immersive listening experience. However, they may not be the best option for users who prefer an open soundstage, as noise-canceling headphones usually have a closed-back design. It ultimately depends on your preferences and the environment you’ll be streaming.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, according to our ratings, the three best headphones for streaming without a mic are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, and Sennheiser HD 599. Each of these headphones offers a unique combination of sound quality, comfort, and features tailored to different user preferences.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, our Editor’s Choice, stands out for its exceptional sound quality and versatile design, making it suitable for both casual streaming and professional applications. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO offers excellent sound isolation and durability, while the Sennheiser HD 599 delivers a natural soundstage and impressive audio fidelity.

By considering factors such as sound quality, comfort, design, connectivity, and build quality, you can find the best headphones for streaming without a mic that perfectly suits your needs and preferences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *