Whether you're brand new to podcasts or a seasoned veteran, a good pair of headphones can make all the difference when recording or editing your next episode. Headphones allow you to monitor your audio during live sessions and hear tracks like your audience. They should have a comfortable fit that won't become fatiguing over long periods of use. They should also block out some ambient noise and have a neutral sound profile that ensures the clear and accurate reproduction of dialogue.
Since many creators use a standalone mic to ensure a higher recording quality, we've mainly focused on headphones that don't have a built-in mic. We also prioritize wired picks on this list as a wireless Bluetooth connection can cause high audio lag.
We've tested over 670 pairs of headphones, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best podcast headphones to buy. Also, check out our picks for the best studio headphones for mixing and recording, the best DJ headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are the best headphones for podcasting that we've tested. They offer versatile performance for all aspects of podcasting, thanks to their analytical sound. They can reproduce voices clearly and accurately, although sibilants like S and T sounds can be a bit piercing. You may still prefer this if you're looking to spot imperfections in your audio during the mixing process. Their passive soundstage feels large for closed-back headphones, although it won't sound as immersive as that created by open-backs. You'll also need an amp to get the most out of these over-ears, as their drivers need more power than what a laptop can typically provide. That said, you can purchase a variant of these headphones with a lower impedance of 32 or 80 ohms if you don't want to invest in an audio interface.
These closed-back headphones have a comfortable design and feel well-built, although their cable is integrated into their design, so if it gets damaged, you'll need to replace the entire unit. They also leak a lot of audio at high volumes, which could bleed into your recording. If this is an issue for you, it's worth considering the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x instead. These over-ears have a significantly better leakage performance than the Beyerdynamic, and their sound profile isn't as bright. However, their passive soundstage doesn't feel as wide or natural.
The best headphones for podcasting at the budget level are the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. These over-ear headphones have a very accurate mid-range, ensuring the accurate reproduction of vocals. They also have fairly consistent audio reproduction, meaning that as long as you take the time to ensure a good fit, seal, and positioning, you should experience consistent audio delivery each time you use them. While their passive soundstage is perceived as closed-off, this is normal from closed-back headphones. However, their soundstage still seems natural.
They have a decently comfortable fit that doesn't apply too much pressure on your head. Unfortunately, they feel a lot cheaper than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. They also have an audio cable that connects the ear cups, and since this cable is exposed, wear and tear can damage it over time. On the upside, they come with a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter so you can plug them into your audio interface.
The best in-ear monitors (IEMs) for podcasts are the MOONDROP Aria. You may prefer a design like this if you want to block some background sound like ambient chatter and reduce audio leakage. They have a fairly neutral sound profile that ensures the clarity of dialogue. Voices can sound a little veiled and are nudged to the back of your mixes, though. Keep in mind that IEMs aren't designed to create an immersive passive soundstage, and your audio sounds like it's coming from inside your head rather than coming from speakers placed in the room around you.
These IEMs have a very comfortable design, especially as they come with several different pairs of foam ear tips to help you get the best fit. They're also well-built, although some users have reported that the detachable audio cable frays or curls up and the connectors feel a bit loose. If the audio cable gets damaged, you can easily swap it out for another.
The Sony MDR-7506 are the best headphones for streaming and recording that we've tested. When you're recording, you'll want to minimize audio bleed coming from your headphones so that you don't ruin your take. Luckily, these closed-back over-ears have a decent leakage performance and even leak a bit less audio than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, although they struggle to block out sound like ambient chatter. They have a well-balanced sound that's clear and detailed. Vocals have a bit of extra brightness, which can help make imperfections in your track easier to spot.
Thanks to their included 1/8" to 1/4" adapter, you can easily connect them to your audio equipment. You may also prefer their coiled audio cable design if you like to move around while recording and want to reduce tangles. They have a decently comfortable fit, but their more affordable price is reflected in their build quality. Their frame feels plasticky and cheap, and it creaks when you put on the headphones, which can be a little annoying.
The Superlux HD 681 are the best podcast headphones for mixing that we've tested. Unlike other headphones on this list, these over-ears have a semi-open enclosure, which means they leak more audio than their closed-back counterparts. However, this design also helps them create a more natural and spacious passive soundstage, making it easier to mix audio tracks accurately. They have a neutral sound profile that ensures that dialogue is clear, detailed, and present. Although they're a bit bright, some users may prefer this overemphasis, as it can help bring out imperfections in your tracks.
These headphones have a lightweight and comfortable fit, so you shouldn't feel too much fatigue when you're in the studio for long periods. Unfortunately, they feel pretty cheaply made and don't feel like durable headphones. Their semi-open back design also means that they don't block out much background noise, so they're not ideal for noisier environments.
Jun 13, 2022: We've overhauled our article to provide better recommendations. Removed the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Replaced the MOONDROP KATO with the MOONDROP Aria. Also removed the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 2016 and Beyerdynamic DT 880 from Notable Mentions.
Apr 12, 2022: Removed the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless from Notable Mentions as they're no longer available. Also replaced the TIN Audio T3 with the MOONDROP KATO and moved the TIN to Notable Mentions.
Feb 11, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.
Dec 07, 2021: Replaced the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless with the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x as the Plantronics are mostly out of this price range.
Oct 08, 2021: Checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones for podcasting to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of our reviews for headphones that are good for neutral sound. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.