Whether you’re an amateur or professional podcaster, it’s safe to say that you’ve already invested substantially into the production of your show. This includes getting the best equipment, creating the perfect recording environment, and spending countless hours creating content for your audience. But what if you don’t have a pair of good headphones? Well, there’s no better way to put this, but you may have overlooked what is perhaps the most important part of creating good quality sound.
My Recommendation On The Best Headphones For Podcasting
I think that the Sennheiser HD280PRO headphone is one of the best bang for the buck – check them out on Amazon here.
- They sound freaking amazing!
- They have great bass response and still manage to keep the highs nice and “crispy”. In other words, they are good for music listening too!
- They are also very comfortable so if you are planning on doing some podcast marathons, these are great.
- As you see, I also prefer wired above the bluetooth wireless options – no batteries to worry about.
Some other good options:
- Shure SRH440
- Focal Spirit Professional
- Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
- Shure SRH1540
- V-Moda Crossfade M-100
- Bose Quietcomfort
- Beyerdynamic Custom
There are some other great suggestions on this best podcast headphones article.
Why You Need a Good Pair of Headphones
Setting aside the need for a decent microphone as well as something to record your material on, the one thing you can’t do without as a podcaster is a pair of professional headphones. This is obviously a must when you’re interviewing someone via Skype (they won’t be able to hear you without headphones). However, wearing headphones is also crucial when you’re recording a solo show or a live interview. Here’s why:
- They let you monitor your voice: While you’re speaking into your microphone, your brain is simultaneously processing the sound coming from your headphones. This makes it that much easier to make the right changes to your own voice to improve the quality of your recordings.
- Gives you more control over the sound: Hearing what’s being recorded means you will know when your voice becomes too distant or too muffled. This means your microphone technique will improve gradually as time goes by.
- It’s much easier to make your conversations sound natural: Nothing can get in the way of a great interview like having to tell someone how to talk every few minutes. Headphones can especially come in handy when you’re interviewing someone who’s never been to a recording studio before, since they make it possible for them to regulate their own voice. As a result, it becomes easier to focus your attention on the conversation throughout your interview.
- Headphones make editing easier: Considering just how much time it normally takes you to edit your raw clips, it definitely helps to improve the way you record to make the process much easier. As it turns out, the best way to control your audio is to listen to it as it’s being recorded.
- Make the right changes when editing: Headphones can not only save you time when editing your audio, but they can also help you go about it the right way as well. You see, with normal speakers, it’s often hard to pick out unwanted sounds from the recording, especially if the environment in which you’re editing has too much noise. This is where a professional pair of headphones come into the picture; they project the sound where it needs to be, allowing you to focus fully on getting rid of unwanted noises from your clips.
To say the least, you have no option but to invest in a good pair of headphones if you’re seeking to make a great-sounding podcast. Which begs the question, what factors should you take into account when shopping for headphones? For starters, the shopping process will be a lot different from what you’d do when looking for regular headphones.
Buying Headphones for Podcasting
You will be wearing them for long periods of time while listening (mostly) to spoken voice as opposed to music, so it only makes sense to educate yourself before jumping in head first. And you can start by familiarizing yourself with the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing headphones for podcasting:
- Accuracy: Ideally, you want your podcasts to sound as close as it would in real life as possible when you’re recording and editing the raw audio clips. This means you will need to look for headphones that reproduce human voices in a lifelike manner. This referred to as flat frequency response in professional circles. When shopping, look for headphones labeled as ‘monitor’ and ‘studio’, as these work better than their standard counterparts in maintaining a flat frequency response.
- Sound leak: When sound finds its way outside your headphones, you will have a hard time recording properly, not to mention that people in close proximity will find it annoying. When recording solo, a decent pair of professional headphones should work to minimize such leaks to a level where they won’t risk creating a feedback loop. The only time when you should be concerned is when you play other sounds when recording your show.
- Sound isolation: How well your headphones keep external noises from your ears also matters. Still, it would be advisable to steer clear of devices with active noise cancellation, as this will only cause you headaches when recording with a co-host.
- Comfort: Ideally, you want to use your podcasting headphones only when you’re recording and editing your shows. However, there’s no harm in wearing them throughout the day, or even using them for other purposes. Whatever the case, it’s crucial that you look for headphones that feel comfortable when on your ears and your head as well.
- The cord: Short cords are more likely to get in the way of your mouse and keyboard in addition to limiting your movements. Speaking of which, a coiled cable would also help in keeping the slack out of the way, so pay attention to such details, as insignificant as they may seem.
- Portability: This is especially crucial if you plan to record (some of) your episodes from the field. In such a case, you want a pair that’s easy to carry around without taking up too much space. This makes ear buds a great option, but you can also opt for other professional headphones that fold into compact sizes.
- Aesthetics: If yours is a video podcast, try to look for the smallest pair of headphones available, as opposed to one that sticks out too much in the open.
- Price: A decent pair of studio headphones will cost you at least $100, but you can always pay more for better quality, depending on how much you have to spend.
Conclusion On Top Headphones For Audio Podcasts
Some Thoughts On The Popular Headphones
In a nutshell, headphones are of utmost importance when putting together a good podcasting studio. Keep in mind that the kind you’re likely to come across at your local department store are probably not good enough. When choosing headphones for podcasting, try to concentrate your efforts around professional-grade products.