Whether you're 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 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 765 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 studio, these are a great choice due to their high-end design and build quality. They come with extra replacement pads and detachable audio cables, including a coiled cable, which is great if you want to move around but avoid tangling. The cups are spacious and comfortable enough for long recording sessions, and they can passively cut down mid-range sounds like ambient chatter. However, they leak at high volumes, which can impact recording quality. 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 voices sound clear and natural. Although the upper harmonics of vocals and instruments sound slightly 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 have many hosts on your podcast or want something less expensive, consider the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. Even though they don't feel as well-built as the pricier Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO, they still have a wide passive soundstage and 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.
If you get the 250-ohm pair, you'll want to consider adding on an amp to get the most out of these headphones, but you can also purchase them with a lower impedance of 32 or 80 ohms if you want to connect them directly to recording devices like a laptop. Unfortunately, they're prone to audio bleed at high volumes, which can leak into your recording. If that's an issue, you'll want to check out the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x instead. They bleed less audio at high volumes, and their treble response is flatter and less bright. However, their passive soundstage is less immersive.
The best mid-range headphones for recording that we've tested are the Sony MDR-7506. These over-ears don't passively block out ambient sound as effectively as Beyerdynamic's models, 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, and their spiral 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. They aren't very well padded, and the plastic frame tends to creak when you put the headphones on, which can be annoying.
If you're looking for inexpensive podcast headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are a good option. Their build quality is a step down from the previous pick since the metal reinforcing 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, it still isn't much, 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 may prefer the Superlux HD 681. These over-ears have a semi-open design, which helps them to create a more immersive soundstage. They also 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, consider in-ear monitors (IEMs) like the MOONDROP Blessing 3. They're a lot lighter than over-ears without sacrificing fit or comfort. They can also block out more background noise than the similarly priced Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO, leak less audio at high volumes, and are less prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, so you'll get the same sound each time you use them.
Their sound profile follows our Harman target-based curve quite well, so you can expect solid thump, rumble, and boom from the bass, while vocals and instruments sound natural and clear. That said, one of the downsides of an in-ear design is that their passive soundstage will be less spacious, wide, and out-of-head than that created by over-ears. Still, they have a well-built design, and their cables are swappable, which is great if the original one gets damaged.
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.