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 715 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, ensuring 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.
You'll need an amp to get the most out of these headphones. 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 best mid-range headphones for recording that we've tested are the Sony MDR-7506. These over-ears don't block out ambient sound as effectively as the Beyerdynamic, which might be an issue if you want to reduce distractions to focus on your recording. However, they leak less audio than the previous pick, which is important to reduce the risk of audio bleed ruining your take. Their well-balanced sound profile makes voices sound clear and detailed, with a bit of extra brightness that can help make imperfections in the track easier to spot.
A 1/8" to 1/4" adapter is included in the box, making it easy to connect them to your audio equipment. The coiled cable design can help prevent tangles if you tend to move the mic around. They're decently comfortable, so a couple of hours of recording won't cause much fatigue, but they aren't as well-built as the pricier options listed here. The padding doesn't feel as premium, and the frame feels plasticky and tends to creak when you put the headphones on.
If you're looking for inexpensive headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are a good option. Their build quality is a step down from the previous pick since the metal reinforcement for the frame is thinner, and the design feels plasticky overall. Still, they offer a very accurate mid-range response that ensures voices sound clear and detailed. They have a decently comfortable, fairly breathable fit for long recording sessions. While they leak more audio than the Sony MDR-7506, they still have fairly low leakage, so audio bleed isn't a huge issue.
If you're less concerned about audio bleed during recording and want better sound for mixing and editing, you might prefer the Superlux HD 681. These over-ears have a semi-open design, which helps them to create a more immersive soundstage. They have a brighter treble response, which can help you spot imperfections in tracks. However, the semi-open design leaks more audio, and their sound can be sharp and tiring.
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 and 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.
Mar 30, 2023: Checked that the picks are relevant and in stock and made minor updates to the text.
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.
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.