In addition to being a private violin teacher and having a degree in music from USC, Alecia started writing music-related articles and product reviews six years ago and has enjoyed this experience greatly. She likes to learn new instruments and write new compositions in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners can enjoy really good music.
Last updated: October 21, 2023
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The best podcast headphones allow you to listen to your podcast audio exactly as your audience will. They keep you in the driver’s seat the entire time you record. And while you can technically record a podcast without headphones, you’re likely to get a few surprises during editing that are hard to remove at best and render the archive unusable at worst. Good headphones are an essential tool for enjoying podcasts on the go.
That is why we will show you the best headphones for podcasts that you can buy for just some tens of dollars and thus enjoy the best audio no matter where you are. They will allow you to stay focused, get motivated, and enjoy the show while doing other activities. Having good headphones will allow you to hear clearly and enjoy a better experience.
"This headset has an impedance of 47 ohms, so you can operate it on different amplifiers, and nothing stands in the way of using it on a smartphone. The cable is three meters long and firmly attaches to the headphones."
"With good bass, clean highs, and solid stereo imaging, this low-budget pair of headphones comes equal and beats many other expensive models on the market. The OneOdio Pro 10G is a pair of inexpensive DJ and studio headphones for beginners."
You don’t need hundreds of dollars to get the best headphones for podcast listening, and this model from OmeOdio is proof. Color fans will be pleased that OneOdio offers a wide range of colors with this lineup. Classic gray with gold, black with red stitching, or completely in rose gold, a total of five variants are available, with the green “gaming” variant even being supplied with a microphone and other jack variants.
The OneOdio Pro 10 is not necessarily neutral. You can see where they feel at home. With deep and throbbing bass, it’s more of a DJ headphone than a studio one. Although you can’t completely deny they can be used for podcasting. In terms of sound, they are a bit behind the Superlux HD 681 but are much more mobile and more adaptable. So it depends more on personal needs.
Why did it make our list?
If you insist on wired headphones, the Pro 10 is good and affordable. It's good for podcasting, mixing consoles, and smaller studios. The Pro 10 is a good inexpensive alternative for occasional DJs, even if they don't quite have the finesse of expensive studio headphones.
What is not ideal about it?
The Pro 10 could have some more power. Nevertheless, they tend to emphasize the depth, but they can also play out to the full and have no problem with kick basses. Treble does not stand out excessively, but it is played cleanly from the tape, and there is no exaggeration or distortion. The mids are also reproduced properly. Voices remain discreetly in the foreground and can easily differentiate themselves from the rest without becoming intrusive.
This headset has an impedance of 47 ohms, so you can operate it on different amplifiers, and nothing stands in the way of using it on a smartphone. The cable is three meters long and firmly attaches to the headphones. These are work headphones and not a pair of headphones for relaxing music on the sofa.
Like all of its colleagues from the M family, the ATH-M20X is a closed headphone with circumneutral cushions. Inside, a dynamic 40mm driver with neodymium magnets works on each side. The purposes for which such a headphone can be used are diverse, ranging from putting on records in the club to radio podcasting.
What makes it special?
The pads on these headphones are very comfortable. They are so big that they completely cover the auricle, which ensures a comfortable fit. We also liked the versatility of the ATH-M20X. However, it will be in the best of hands in the recording studio.
What cons did we find?
The sensitivity could be better. With its 96 dB maximum sound pressure level, it is not one of the top performers, but what matters is what reaches the eardrums in the end.
The MAONO AU-MH601 is an over-ear stereo monitor headphone. The backs on these headphones are closed. It cuts out a little bit of background noise. These headphones come with a coiled cable that’s about 2½ feet whenever it’s unstretched. And then it can stretch out to about 5 feet 9 inches. You also get two quarter-inch adapters and then the user’s manual that will help you set it up if you need it.
The Maono AU-MH601 is a nice pair of budget headphones. Unlike the Audio Technica headphones we reviewed earlier, this has a sensitivity of up to 115 decibels. You can use them for disc jockeying, podcasting, editing videos, or practicing piano. You can even improvise them for gaming. It’s ideal for plugging into the PlayStation controller. It has a nice low-end response, too, which is great for gaming.
What makes it special?
One of the things we liked about this is the band is adjustable. It's most comfortable down on the smallest setting. But if you're somebody with a big brain and you need extra space, you can extend them out all the way. Another cool feature about these is that the cable on them is detachable. So, if you want to take the cable off, you can. This is nice for portability.
What cons did we find?
The only thing we think could have been done better is the cable. It always stags a little awkward with bends at the one end of the output. Anyways, we would recommend the headphones if you can't afford something more professional. They are built quite well and are very comfortable to wear for long periods.
With good bass, clean highs, and solid stereo imaging, this low-budget pair of headphones comes equal and beats many other expensive models on the market. The OneOdio Pro 10G is a pair of inexpensive DJ and studio headphones for beginners. Two cables come with it in the delivery package (3.5 & 6.3 mm).
Just like the OneOdio Pro-10 headphones, the sound in the Pro 10G is detailed and very clear. The music is perfectly resonated, both in terms of bass and treble. The acoustics are efficient and isolate perfectly from outside noise.
What stands out?
The sound is impressive for the price. It has a strong bass, plus clean highs and a well-balanced reproduction of vocal passages. The two meters of cable leave enough room to move away from the base with the headphones on your ears. The headphones are very mobile; they rotate 90 degrees which frees one ear very quickly without disconnecting anything else.
What cons did we manage to find?
The headphones weigh just 250 grams - but according to reviews and user feedback, they are still not comfortable and pleasant. At least not in the long run. The earpads are a bit too small, and they get sweaty a lot.
These Bopmen headphones may be sold for an under $30 price; however, they are the best noise-canceling headphones for podcast recording. They come with two connectors for both a console sound as well as for a computer or cell phone. They also come with three years of extended warranty for just $2.99. This is essential for this price level as there are cheap headphones that break in just two months or less.
This is not a Bluetooth headphone. They are wired over-ear headphones that come with Shareport. It produces stereo bass sound, and you can use it for recording, for studio monitoring, for your keyboard, for the cellphone, for disc jockeying, and most importantly, for podcasting.
Why are we impressed?
We like the wearing comfort, the noise cancellation features, and the foldability of the headphones. One of the cables has an input for the mixing of sound. It will be a good buy to have for your online classes, for podcasts, for video editing, and all other similar tasks.
What negatives must you be aware of?
The drivers are not wide enough. Measuring 40 mm, we think they could be wider. But because they sell for less than $30, we have to withdraw every forthcoming criticism. If you want something better, you have to spend more.
The TH-02 delivers a clear, balanced sound. But Tascam emphasizes that there is also an awareness of the importance of comfort and a no-frills modern design. The design is a matter of taste, but thanks to the richly lined ear cushions and the padded temple, long-wearing is possible without complaint. The impedance is 32 ohms, the sensitivity is given as 98 ± 3 dB, and the frequency response ranges from 18 to 22,000 Hz. The length of the cable reads “3m (when fully extended)”, which at least suggests that it is is a spiral cable.
The closed design and the rotating and folding mechanism make the device particularly suitable for use as DJ headphones as well as for podcasting. The headphones are similar to the Bopmen T3 wired headphones, but the latter comes at an even lower price.
Why is it special?
The Tascam TH-02 makes it to our podcast headphones reviews thanks to its good rich bass response, crisp highs, foldability, wearing and hearing comfort, and its highly affordable price. Both ear cups can be rotated by 90 degrees, thus creating the prerequisite for comfortable one-sided listening when you wear the headphones around your neck. The folding mechanism, however, allows the device to be folded up to make it as compact as possible for transport or storage.
What are the flaws?
It's bad enough that this has no Bluetooth connectivity and is wired. But, for this price, we understand. However, we wish the cable could be removable for portability’s sake.
Things to Consider
Our review of the best headphones for podcast recording shows you don’t have to have a lot of savings to purchase a pair of podcasting headphones, especially if you’re still a beginner. However, you still have to be careful with the purchase process. To ensure you choose the most suitable for you, we have put together every information you need in this purchase guide.
Why do you need a set of podcast headphones?
Headphones are almost indispensable for listening to podcasts because when you are out and about, you don’t want to bother with sound and, of course, understand clearly what is being said. But there are also various good reasons for podcasters to use one.
The major one is it lets you hear your recording. Who hasn’t had a hissing noise or scratching on the podcast recording, e.g., due to a loose cable? It is very annoying when you only notice something like this at the end when everything has already been recorded.
This is why many podcasters use headphones while recording to hear what the sound is like immediately. We don’t usually like it when you hear your voice this way, but sound problems can be traced this way very quickly.
Features to consider before you buy podcast headphones
Anyone who already knows the specific area of application for his or her headphones should pay attention to some technical features, which we will point out in the following paragraphs. This increases the likelihood that buyers will not make a mistake when choosing which headphones to consider.
Each pair of headphones comes with its drivers, which are the main speakers. The headphone drivers are small loudspeakers that convert the signals into sound. The larger the area of the driver, the larger the respective membrane area. A large driver area ensures that a driver can reproduce bass, but it also has more bulk. That, in turn, can affect the rendering of the transients – a short, fast, and loud sound at the beginning of a tone as a kind of transient process with higher-frequency signals.
A general statement such as “bigger drivers are always better” is therefore only partially correct.
Other factors, such as the types of transducers, also play an important role. These are the technologies used in the headphones to convert the audio signal into sound waves. There are four ways this conversion can be done:
Electromagnetic headphones: Electromagnetic headphones have not been on the market for a few years. The technology stems from the early days of audio technology. The amplifier current flows through two coils which are pre-magnetized with a permanent magnet. In this way, the diaphragm cannot vibrate at twice the frequency. However, there is a very limited frequency range and poor playback quality, which is why manufacturers are now relying on other technologies.
Electrodynamic headphones: Electrodynamic headphones make up the majority of headphones on the market. They are what you can find in the MAONO AU-MH601 Headphones, for example. With these headphones, the sound conversion results from the movement of a coil, which receives a sound signal in a magnetic field. In the center of the membrane, there is a plunger coil, which is located in the air gap of a permanent magnet. This is mounted on the frame of the headphones. When an audio frequency voltage occurs, the magnet is driven to vibrate through the interaction of a variable and constant magnetic field. The vibrations are transmitted to the air, where the human eardrum can perceive them.
Electrostatic headphones: With electrostatic headphones, the audio signal is applied to the plates of a capacitor. In between is a membrane constantly charged with a high voltage. A special transmitter in the headphones converts the signal to a high voltage. This stimulates the membrane to generate sound. The membrane of these headphones is light so that electrostatic headphones ensure clear and natural reproduction.
Magnetostatic headphones: Magnetostatic headphones have a thin film on which a conductor film is glued. This oscillates between mutually repelling magnets and moves between the magnets when a music signal reaches the conductor tracks. It is suitable for displaying fine nuances and powerful bass. However, manufacturers need a lot of magnets, which makes the headphones heavier in comparison.
Here, we have come to interesting insights. Regarding the impedance, sensitivity, and frequency response, one should not necessarily rely on the technical key figures, which manufacturers sometimes reveal more, sometimes less in detail. There is clearly a Babylonian jumble of languages here!
Many technical data are, in most cases – especially across manufacturers – absolutely not comparable due to contradicting sources and different reference values.
For example, information about the transmission range without a definition of the corner points is practically useless because no reliable information can be made with regard to linearity.
Prospective buyers should, therefore, pay more attention to the headphone attributes described in our review than to compare tech values and accessory components in the product description sheet. Ideally, the targeted headphones should be tried out before buying them under the necessary conditions.
Generally, impedance is expressed in Ω. It is essential to judge the quality of the best headphones. This criterion defines the resistance of the device to the current flowing through it. If the value obtained is high, it means that the headphones need more power to reproduce sound at a determined volume.
Impedance and sound pressure levels are still related to each other and roughly describe how “loud” headphones act on an amplifier. In this respect, the efficiency of the headphones has a direct influence on the “mobile audio” generation. This is why we simply require high-quality and powerful preamplifiers in the studio or on the set for maximum sound enjoyment.
Contrary to popular belief, sensitivity, or efficiency, is used to determine the sound level obtained under specific conditions. This criterion is thus expressed in dB / mW or dB / V and is measured at the input level of the best headphones. When choosing a pair of headphones for podcasting, a model with at least 100 dB, such as the MAONO AU-MH601 Headphones or the OneOdio Over-Ear Headphone, should be enough.
The frequency response is one of the key criteria that determine the performance of the best headphones. Measured using an artificial ear, the purpose of this is to determine the frequencies reproduced by the headphones and the errors expressed in decibels with respect to a reference value of 1 kHz.
Max input power
The maximum input power is an indication of the maximum power supply for headphones. This is usually measured in megawatts (mW). Most headphones are well built enough to withstand a 100-mW input. Models with around 30 to 50mW may fail soon and are fragile.
Two criteria must be checked, so you have to have the best connector for your wired audio headset: the size of the jack, which is generally 3.5 mm, and a gold-plated plug that guarantees excellent audio transmission.
Wired headphones are popular with podcasters. These models can be used flexibly and independently of a battery, whereby the length of the cable and the appropriate connection plays an important role. Most audio cables have a 3.5-millimeter jack connection and, therefore, a plug that is compatible with almost all audio sources on the market. Suitable adapters are also available for hi-fi systems so that consumers can adjust the plug to 6.3 millimeters and use it with these devices.
If you prefer a wireless model, you should decide on a suitable model. With these headphones, the signal is usually transmitted via radio – most manufacturers rely on the modern Bluetooth standard in different versions. Bluetooth can guarantee secure audio transmission with good sound quality.
Most headphones with Bluetooth have a total range of 10 meters. It should be noted, however, that this is a theoretical statement that is, in practice, strongly limited by walls and ceilings.
Some of the features to watch out for in podcast headphones are the back design, the impedance, and the type of headphones. Noise-canceling headphones are not often advisable due to the high processing of sound. Bluetooth models are always too heavy. In-ear headphones have a too low sound quality, and open-back models let sound which can be picked by your microphone escape.
The headphones should be cleaned regularly. To clean it, you can wipe ears with a tissue to remove sweat. It is imperative to always handle it with dry, clean fingers.
The OneOdio Wired Over-Ear Headphones, rated 9.9 out of 10, are our Editor’s Choice. They feature a pair of speakers with 50 mm drivers, 32 Ohm impedance, the sensitivity of up to 110dB +- 3dB, and frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. They are, therefore, our overall best podcast headphones.
Rated 9.8, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Headphone is our Premium Pick. This headset has an impedance of 47 ohms, so you can operate it on different amplifiers. The cable is three meters long and firmly attaches to the headphones.
Our best over-ear headphones for podcasting are the MAONO AU-MH601 Headphones. This is rated 9.5 and is also a pair of stereo monitor headphones. The backs on these headphones are closed. It cuts out a little bit of background noise and won’t let noise escape into your microphone.