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 clear and accurate dialogue reproduction.
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 705 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 1770 PRO are the best headphones for podcasting we've tested. If you only need a couple of pairs for your recording sessions, these high-end headphones have a high build quality. They come with detachable audio cables, including a coiled cable, which is great if you like to move around but don't want to worry about cable tangles. They also come with spare ear cup padding. The cups are spacious, and the headphones are comfortable enough for long recording sessions. They can also cut down mid-range sounds like ambient chatter, but they leak a bit at high volumes. When you're not using them, they come with a sturdy but very bulky carrying case to help protect them.
These over-ears have a well-balanced sound profile, which ensures that voices sound clear and natural. Although the upper harmonics of vocals and instruments sound a little veiled due to a dip in the treble range, sibilants like S and T sounds are bright without being piercing. Their passive soundstage isn't very natural, though, which is normal from closed-back headphones, and they're prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, so it's important to take the time to adjust their fit to ensure a more consistent sound.
If you're looking for something less pricy, you'll want to consider the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. Even though there's a big difference in cost between these over-ears and our top pick, many podcasting headphones usually fall in and around this price point. They don't feel as well-built as the 1770 PRO, but they still offer a similar audio experience and are more cost-effective if you're looking to pick up a couple of headphones at a time. These over-ears have a wide passive soundstage as well as an analytical sound, ensuring clear and accurate speech. Sibilants like S and T sounds are piercing, but you still may prefer this sound as it highlights imperfections in your recordings.
To get the most out of these headphones, you'll need an amp. Luckily, you can purchase them with a lower impedance of 32 or 80 ohms if you don't have or want to buy an audio interface. They're also prone to audio bleed at high volumes, which can leak into your recording, so if that's an issue for you, you'll want to check out the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x instead. Their leakage is significantly better, and their treble response is flatter and less bright, but their passive soundstage isn't as immersive.
The Sony MDR-7506 are the best mid-range headphones for recording that we've tested. When you're recording, you'll want to minimize audio bleed 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 less audio than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, although they struggle to block 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 reflects 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.
If you're looking for headphones that are lighter on the wallet, check out the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. At this price point, you'll have to make some sacrifices in build quality. Compared to mid-range headphones like the Sony MDR-7506, they're more plasticky and feel less durable. That said, they have a very accurate mid-range, ensuring the accurate reproduction of vocals. They're also comfortable and have fairly consistent audio reproduction, meaning that as long as you take the time to ensure a good fit, seal, and positioning, you'll experience consistent audio delivery each time you use them.
While these headphones are a solid choice for recording, if you're looking for more mixing-friendly headphones, consider the Superlux HD 681 instead. These over-ears have a semi-open-back design, which helps them create a more immersive sound that's well-suited for mixing tracks accurately. However, they leak a lot more audio by design and block out less background noise.
If you don't like the fit and feel of over-ear headphones, you'll want to consider in-ear monitors (IEMs) like the MOONDROP Aria, which are the best of this type of headphones that we've tested. Some people will find in-ears to be more comfortable, and thanks to this style, they can block out more background noise and leak less audio than similarly priced over-ears, like the Sony MDR-7506. They come with several ear tip sizes as well as removable nozzles and filters. Some users reported that their unit's cable frayed or curled up. Luckily, you can swap out the cable for another one if it gets damaged.
These buds have a fairly neutral sound profile and reproduce speech clearly, although voices are slightly nudged to the back of your mix. Sibilants like S and Ts are also pretty dull. Unfortunately, IEMs struggle to create an immersive soundstage compared to over-ears too. This means your audio feels like it's coming from inside your head rather than from speakers in the room around you.
Jan 26, 2023: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Nov 01, 2022: We've added the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO as the 'Best Podcast Headphones' and removed the Superlux HD 681.
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.
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.