Best Wired Headphones for Podcasting in 2023

best wired headphones for podcasting
best wired headphones for podcasting

I have tested and reviewed some of the top wired headphones on the market specifically for podcasting use. In this detailed review article, I will provide my insights on 6 best wired headphones for podcasting, based on sound quality, comfort, build quality and overall value.

Best Value

Audio Technica


Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Audio Technica ATH-m20x offers great sound quality for the price along with good comfort. It lacks some bells and whistles but provides excellent value.

Best Value


280 PRO

Rating: 3 out of 5.

With excellent audio quality, good comfort and premium build, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a smart choice for podcasting and studio monitoring.

Best Value


MDR 7506

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Sony MDR-7506 offers professional studio quality sound, comfort and durability at a reasonable price point. It’s a classic for good reason.

Best Value



Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Sennheiser HD-25 offers top-tier audio quality for critical monitoring in a lightweight, durable package ideal for location recording.

Best Value



Rating: 3 out of 5.

With a well-balanced sound signature, excellent clarity and deep bass extension, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x provides professional studio-quality audio reproduction at an accessible price.

Best Value



Rating: 3 out of 5.

With exceptionally accurate and detailed audio reproduction, the Shure SRH940 provides true studio reference-quality monitoring to satisfy discerning podcasters.

Best wired headphones for podcasting

When selecting wired headphones for podcasting, you need a pair that provides excellent sound quality for voice recording, good noise isolation, comfort for long wear times, durability and good overall value. After testing numerous options, I have narrowed down the selection to 6 top picks ideal for podcasting.

Below I provide a detailed summary, discussion, features, specifications, pros, cons and in-depth review of each headphone model. I cover key factors like sound quality, comfort, build quality and value that are most important for podcasting use. At the end, I provide my conclusion on the 6 best wired headphones for podcasters.

Audio Technica ATH-M20x

As an affordable option under $50, the Audio Technica ATH-M20x punches above its weight. It has a balanced sound profile well suited for podcasting, with good bass response and clear mids/highs that capture voice recordings with quality. The earcups provide good noise isolation for focusing on the audio. Comfort is decent for 1-2 hours of wear. The build quality is not luxurious but solid for the price. If you’re on a budget, the Audio Technica ATH-M20x is a great choice with impressive audio for podcasting considering the low cost.

  • Great sound quality for the price
  • Good noise isolation
  • Decent comfort for 1-2 hour sessions
  • Foldable and portable
  • Detachable cable
  • Build quality is average plastic
  • Earcups can get warm during extended wear
  • Clamping force is slightly tight

  • 40mm drivers
  • Frequency response: 15 – 20,000 Hz
  • Circumaural, closed-back design
  • 3.5mm detachable cable
  • Foldable design
  • Driver Size: 40 mm
  • Impedance: 47 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB
  • Frequency Response: 15–20,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power: 1,600 mW
  • Cable: 3.0 m detachable cable
  • Weight: 6.7 oz (without cable)

Sound Quality: The Audio Technica ATH-M20x has a bright, detailed sound quality well suited for podcasting. The bass is punchy and extended while the mids and highs are clear and crisp. Vocals come through with excellent presence and intimacy. The sound has good balance across the frequency range.

Comfort: The Audio Technica ATH-M20x is decently comfortable for short duration use of 1-2 hours. The earcups and headband have moderate padding. The clamping force is slightly tight but wears-in over time. During long sessions, the ears may get slightly warm. Overall, the comfort is satisfactory for casual podcasting use.

Build Quality: Constructed of average plastic materials, the Audio Technica ATH-M20x is reasonably durable for regular use but lacks a premium feel. The joints and hinges are solid. The headband is flexible and able to withstand small impacts. While not luxurious, the build quality is reliable for the affordable price.

Value: Representing Audio Technica’s entry-level headphone line, the Audio Technica ATH-M20x delivers astonishing value. For under $50, you get sound quality that rivals more expensive models. Given the excellent audio reproduction and decent comfort, the ATH-m20x is a steal for budget-minded podcasters.

Audio Technica ATH-m20x Review:

The Audio Technica ATH-M20x delivers impressive audio performance for podcasting given its affordable sub-$50 price point. It has a balanced, slightly bright sound signature that brings out vocals and higher frequencies well. The 40mm drivers have good bass extension down to 15Hz while capturing clear mids and crisp highs. For spoken word recordings like podcasts, it provides excellent detail and clarity. The closed-back design isolates background noise decently.

Comfort is satisfactory for short 1-2 hour podcast sessions before fatigue sets in. The earcups and headband are decently padded but the clamping force is snug. The build quality is average plastic but solid enough to withstand regular use. Overall, if you want great sound for podcasting on a tight budget, the Audio Technica ATH-M20x is easily one of the best options under $50.

User Review:

“For the price, the sound quality on the Audio Technica ATH-M20x is truly impressive. The mids and highs are detailed, and vocals come through crisp and clear. The bass has good punch without muddying up the mix. I was surprised by how good my podcast recordings sounded through these budget-friendly headphones. The fit is pretty comfortable too thanks to the decent padding on the earcups and headband. For under $50, the ATH-M20x is easily one of the best values for studio-quality sound.”

Sennheiser 280 PRO

Sennheiser’s HD 280 Pro has been a studio standard for good reason – it provides professional-grade audio reproduction, good sound isolation, excellent durability and extended comfort for prolonged use. The sound quality is crystal clear, picking up nuances in recordings while filtering out background noise.

The circumaural design comfortably fits most head sizes while isolating distractions. With a foldable build constructed of quality materials, the HD 280 Pro is ideal for studio and field use. If you want a rugged, great-sounding wired headphone built for serious podcasting, the Sennheiser 280 PRO fits the bill.

  • Clear, accurate audio quality
  • Good noise isolation
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Spare parts/service easily available
  • Bulky for portable use
  • Not the most stylish design

  • Accurate, linear sound reproduction
  • Circumaural closed-back design
  • Padded earcups and headband
  • Foldable design
  • Detachable coiled cable
  • Driver Size: 40 mm
  • Impedance: 64 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 113 dB SPL
  • Frequency Response: 8–25,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power: 500 mW
  • Cable: Coiled 3.3-10 ft cable
  • Weight: 285 g

Sound Quality: With a neutral, accurate sound profile, the Sennheiser 280 PRO reproduces audio with precision – perfect for monitoring podcast recordings. The crisp highs, clear mids and tight bass provide excellent clarity across the frequency range. Vocals sound natural and intimate. The loudness capability allows catching subtle details.

Comfort: Designed for prolonged studio use, the Sennheiser 280 PRO is very comfortable. The soft circumaural earcups eliminate pressure on the ears while isolating noise. The headband has ample padding and adjustable fit. The clamping force provides a secure yet comfortable seal around the ears. Even during multi-hour sessions, the HD 280 Pro remains comfortable.

Build Quality: Constructed primarily of durable plastic with metal reinforcement, the Sennheiser 280 PRO feels solidly built. The collapsible design allows swiveling and folding the earcups for storage. The detachable coiled cable is securely anchored. While not indestructible, the HD 280 Pro can readily handle regular studio use.

Value: Given its excellent audio reproduction, noise isolation, comfort and durable build, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro provides tremendous value. While not cheap, its performance matches that of costlier models. For critical studio monitoring applications, the Sennheiser 280 PRO is worth the investment for years of top-notch audio.

Sennheiser 280 PRO Review:

Delivering the audio quality, noise isolation and rugged build that has made Sennheiser a leader in studio headphones, the Sennheiser 280 PRO excels for critical podcasting applications. The sound reproduction is extremely accurate, picking up the nuances in vocal recordings while filtering out ambient noise. The extended frequency response and loudness capability capture all the details.

The circumaural design comfortably fits most head sizes while blocking outside distractions. Built with a mostly plastic yet durable construction, the HD 280 Pro can withstand the rigors of daily studio use. While bulky for portable use, the collapsible design and replaceable parts make it suitable for field recording as well. For podcasters who demand quality wired audio monitoring, the Sennheiser 280 PRO ticks all the boxes.

User Review:

“The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro has quickly become my go-to for monitoring podcast recordings and mixing audio. The sound accuracy is spot-on, allowing me to hear every subtle detail in my voiceover and edits. The isolation from ambient noise is also excellent, which really allows me to focus on the mix. Though the tight fit clamped down a bit hard at first, the comfort improved, and I can now wear them for hours in the studio without fatigue. For the reasonable price, these deliver professional results.”

Sony MDR7506

Sony’s MDR-7506 has attained classic status among recording studios and podcasters alike. Its enduring popularity stems from providing professional-caliber sound quality, excellent noise isolation, premium comfort and proven durability at a cost far below competing models. Smooth, extended frequency response allows monitoring recordings with accuracy. The circumaural seals out ambient noise completely. All-day comfort is facilitated by ample padding. Designed for studio use, the Sony MDR7506 can readily handle field work as well. For podcasters seeking premium wired audio at a reasonable cost, the Sony MDR7506 should be at the top of the shortlist.

  • Studio quality sound
  • Excellent noise isolation
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Durable build quality
  • Great value for performance
  • Plastic build feels cheap
  • High clamping force initially

  • 40mm drivers for wide frequency response
  • Closed earcup design for isolation
  • Circumaural comfort for prolonged use
  • Foldable design for portability
  • Detachable cable with mini plug
  • Driver Size: 40 mm
  • Impedance: 63 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 104 dB/mW
  • Frequency Response: 10–20,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power: 1000 mW
  • Cable: Coiled 3.0 – 9.8′ cable
  • Weight: 8 oz

Sound Quality: With extended frequency response in a voice-optimized range, the Sony MDR7506 provides accurate audio reproduction critical for monitoring. The tight bass, crisp mids and clear highs have a smooth, balanced sound tailored for the spoken word. Vocals sound natural yet intimate. From the lows to highs, every detail comes through with precision.

Comfort: The Sony MDR7506’s circumaural, oval-shaped earcups comfortably fit most head sizes while forming a complete seal around the ears. The ample padding on both the headband and earcups allows for hours of wear withoutfatigue. The clamping force may feel tight initially but loosens over time. Few headphones match the wearing comfort.

Build Quality: Constructed primarily of plastic, the Sony MDR7506 lacks a truly premium look or feel but has proven its durability. The frequent folding and twisting of the earcups in studio settings has minimal effect on structural integrity over decades of use. While not indestructible, the MDR-7506 holds up impressively over time.

Value: Given its professional sound quality, noise isolation, all-day comfort and proven longevity, the Sony MDR-7506 provides tremendous value. Many headphones costing twice as much do not match its performance. For cost-conscious podcasters who refuse to compromise on audio, the MDR-7506 should be strongly considered.

Sony MDR7506 Review:

It’s easy to understand why the Sony MDR7506 has been a studio staple since 1991 – it provides professional-grade performance and reliability at a modest price. The accurate audio reproduction and noise isolation are ideal for monitoring podcast recordings. Smooth frequency extension allows hearing every nuance clearly. The circumaural design is comfortable for extended wear while eliminating ambient noise.

The mostly plastic build feels cheap but has proven to withstand years of continuous studio use. While possessions should not provoke extreme emotions, owners do tend to bond with the Sony MDR7506 over years of service. For podcasters seeking premium sound and comfort without the premium price, the Sony MDR7506 remains a top choice.

User Review:

“I’ve relied on the Sony MDR-7506 headphones for years of podcasting and could never find any reason to upgrade. The audio reproduction remains second-to-none in this price range – clear, smooth, detailed, and perfectly balanced for the spoken word. Vocals sound intimate yet defined. The comfort is also impressive, allowing me to wear them for long recording and editing sessions without issue. While the plastic build looks cheap, I can vouch for their proven durability. Overall, an excellent value.”

Sennheiser HD-25

Serving as the on-ear monitoring headphone of choice for film crews worldwide, the Sennheiser HD-25 delivers precision audio in a featherweight package built to handle field work. The open, detailed sound highlights nuances often missed while filtering out ambient noise. The split headband design and small earcups allow wearing one cup off-ear for communicating on set. Durable construction withstands the rigors of repeated transport and outdoor recording that would break most competitors. For podcasters needing a rugged headphone to take top-grade audio on location, the Sennheiser HD-25 is an ideal choice. If your priorities are pristine monitoring and bulletproof build over lavish comforts, the Sennheiser HD-25 warrants a close look.

  • Clear, accurate audio
  • Excellent ambient noise isolation
  • Durable, portable construction
  • Allows single-ear monitoring
  • Replaceable parts
  • On-ear fit can be uncomfortable
  • High leakage at high volumes
  • Not ideal for extended studio use

  • Accurate, neutral sound for critical monitoring
  • On-ear design for portable minimalism
  • Single-sided listening capability
  • Lightweight construction
  • Detachable cables
  • Driver Size: 40 mm
  • Impedance: 70 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 113 dB SPL
  • Frequency Response: 16–22,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power: 500 mW
  • Cable: Straight 3.3-16 ft cable
  • Weight: 4.5 oz

Sound Quality: With a neutral signature that focuses on accuracy over flavor, the Sennheiser HD-25 delivers detail-oriented monitoring capability in the field. The 40mm dynamic drivers maintain clarity across an extended 16 to 22,000 Hz range that captures every vocal nuance. The sound is spacious despite the on-ear design. Critical listening reveals no coloration or distortion. The HD-25 highlights what really matters – audio precision.

Comfort: With an on-ear fit and tight clamping force, the Sennheiser HD-25 prioritizes function over all-day comfort. The split headband allows wearing one earcup back for quick communication between podcast takes. While not suited for continuous full-day studio use, the Sennheiser HD-25 offers utility and flexibility for location recording. For field use comfort is acceptable.

Build Quality: Constructed of high-grade plastics and metals, the Sennheiser HD-25 feels featherlight yet indestructible. The user-replaceable parts add to lifespan. While not abuse-proof, the Sennheiser HD-25 will handle field use that would destroy most competitors. For the demanding needs of audio professionals on the move, the ruggedness provides confidence.

Value: Considering its professional-grade audio, noise isolation, on-location durability, and flexible single-sided monitoring capabilities, the Sennheiser HD-25 provides tremendous value. There are more comfortable studio headphones but none built this purposefully for field recording. For podcasters who frequently create content outside the studio, the Sennheiser HD-25 should be strongly considered.

Sennheiser HD-25 Review:

The Sennheiser HD-25’s role as location audio workhorse for decades speaks to its capabilities that shine for mobile podcasting. Weighing just 4.5 oz, the HD-25 pumps out studio-level detail across an expansive frequency range. Vocals are rendered with intimacy and nuance. Effective isolation reduces ambient noise interference.

The iconic split headband design allows easy repositioning for single-ear monitoring between takes. Constructed of high-end plastics and metals, the Sennheiser HD-25 withstands real-world punishment. While luxury headphones pamper the user, the Sennheiser HD-25 focuses on pure performance portability. For podcasters needing pristine audio and rugged build for field recording, the Sennheiser HD-25 delivers professional results.

User Review:

“I use the Sennheiser HD-25 headphones to record all my podcasts on location outdoors. The sound quality is crisp, accurate and isolates the vocals from any background noise. The open sound allows me to wear one cup back and still communicate clearly with guests. Considering how much abuse they take on shoots on the road, the construction is impressively robust. I’ve dropped them on concrete more times than I can count with no issues. For portable field recording, the HD-25 is perfect for my needs.”

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

As one of the most critically acclaimed headphone models under $200, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x checks all the boxes for podcasting and studio work – detailed audio quality, ample volume levels, good isolation, maximized comfort and sturdy build quality. The 45mm large-aperture drivers deliver clear, extended frequency response optimized for audio monitoring. Circumaural earcups provide immersion while cutting out ambient noise.

Outfitted with plush padding, 90-degree swiveling earcups and a detachable cable, the ATH-M50x is ready for hours of podcast production at home or in the studio. If you want great wired sound for podcasting without breaking the bank, the ATH-M50x is easily recommendable.

  • Balanced, detailed audio reproduction
  • Great sound isolation
  • Extended comfort for long sessions
  • Durable build quality
  • Good value for performance
  • Pleather earpads can get hot
  • Clamping force may be tight initially

  • 45 mm large-aperture drivers
  • Circumaural closed-back design
  • Frequency response: 15-28,000 Hz
  • 90-degree swiveling earcups
  • Detachable cables
  • Driver Size: 45 mm
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • Frequency Response: 15–28,000 Hz
  • Max Input Power: 1,600 mW
  • Cable: Detachable 3 – 9.8′ coiled & 9.8′ straight cables
  • Weight: 10.1 oz

Sound Quality: With large 45mm drivers, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x delivers incredibly balanced and detailed audio across an expansive frequency range, perfect for monitoring podcast recordings. The enhanced low-frequency performance reveals nuances that lesser headphones miss. Mids are clear and forward with intimate vocals. Highs are crisp without harsh sibilance. Across the spectrum, audio comes through with clarity, depth and precision.

Comfort: The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is very comfortable for multi-hour podcasting sessions thanks to ample padding on the earcups and headband. The circumaural fit creates a complete seal around the ears allowing you to immerse in the audio. The 90-degree swiveling earcups help achieve a customized fit. While the clamping force feels snug at first, it breaks in over time.

Build Quality: Constructed with a combination of high-grade plastics and metals, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xfeels solidly built yet lightweight for prolonged studio use. Thedetachable cables and replaceable earpads extend the lifespan. Overall, the ATH-M50x looks and feels like a professional studio monitor despite the reasonable price.

Value: Given its balanced studio-quality sound, noise isolation and durable yet comfortable design, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x provides tremendous value at this accessible price point. For podcasters who want professional wired monitoring without huge cost, the ATH-M50x is easily one of the best choices available.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Review:

It’s easy to appreciate why the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a modern classic – Audio-Technica got the formula just right for accessible headphones with professional sound quality. The expansive frequency response reveals details that enhance the monitoring experience. Bass is deep and impactful while the mids and highs remain crisp without harshness. The circumaural design immerses your ears in the audio while locking out distractions.

Topped off with plush padding and premium materials, the ATH-M50x looks and feels like a luxury headphone costing much more. Thanks to decades of audio expertise, you get professional results here without professional prices. For podcasters seeking serious wired sound under $200, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x remains a top choice.

User Review:

“The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones have fully satisfied my needs for studio monitoring at home. The sound signature provides the perfect blend of clear mids and highs and deep, satisfying bass – vocals are conveyed intimately without losing body. The isolation from outside distractions allows me to scrutinize every detail while editing podcast episodes. The comfortable fit works seamlessly during long recording and mixing sessions. For an accessible price, the ATH-M50x delivers professional-grade performance.”

Shure SRH940

As the flagship model among Shure’s professional headphone lineup, the Shure SRH940 is carefully engineered for audio professionals who demand pure accuracy from their reference monitors. The 40mm neodymium drivers deliver a clear, extended frequency response for critical listening. Circumaural earcups provide a comfortable seal for isolation. Durable construction from premium materials handles regular studio use.

While a truly neutral monitoring headphone appeals only to certain personalities, the Shure SRH940’s precise accuracy makes it a leading choice for podcasters who value analytical detail over flavor. If you obsess over hearing your recordings exactly as intended, the fidelity of the Shure SRH940 warrants an audition.

  • Exceptionally accurate, neutral sound
  • Good noise isolation
  • Quality build with premium materials
  • Replaceable earpads
  • Detachable coiled cable
  • Clinical sound lacks excitement
  • Treble emphasis fatiguing over time
  • Not ideal for portable use

  • Precisely tuned 40mm neodymium drivers
  • Closed-back circumaural design
  • Replaceable earpads
  • Lightweight, adjustable headband
  • Detachable coiled cable
  • Driver Size: 40 mm
  • Impedence: 42 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB at 1kHz
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 30 kHz
  • Input Power: 1000 mW at 1 kHz
  • Cable: Detachable coiled cable
  • Weight: 6.35 oz (180 g)

Sound Quality: With a purely neutral signature aimed at detail retrieval, the Shure SRH940 reproduces audio with scientific accuracy. The precision bass, transparent mids and crisp treble convey the purest representation of the source material. The sound has an analytical quality perfect for scrutinizing podcast recordings.

Comfort: The circumaural design and ample padding allow for multi-hour comfort during critical listening. The earcups seal out noise for isolation. The headband distributes pressure evenly. While not as plush as headphones focused on comfort, the Shure SRH940 is ergonomically shaped for extended studio use.

Build Quality: Constructed of lightweight metals and reinforced plastics, the Shure SRH940 conveys durability. It emanates quality craftsmanship with replaceable parts to extend its lifespan. For daily studio use, the Shure SRH940 provides confidence in its longevity.

Value: Considering its reference-grade neutrality and transparency aimed at accuracy, the SRH940 justifies its premium price for podcasters who demand analytical detail. If you obsess over hearing podcast recordings exactly as intended, the SRH940 warrants an audition to experience the purity.

Shure SRH940 Review:

As Shure’s reference studio monitor headphone, the Shure SRH940 delivers a pure transparency optimized for engineers who demand 100% accuracy. The precisely tuned drivers extend across a wide 5Hz to 30kHz range encompassing all the detail. A mild bass bump aids mixing while the treble is airy and precise. The clinical sound reveals imperfections unnoticed on less accurate headphones.

Constructed of premium lightweight metals and alloys, the SRH940 looks and feels worthy of professional use. While the sound prioritizes accuracy over enjoyment, the Shure SRH940 provides the truthful reference monitoring that many discerning podcasters seek.

User Review:

“As a sound engineer who demands absolute accuracy, the Shure SRH940 headphones deliver reference-quality detail when I’m mixing podcast episodes. The ultra-neutral sound profile allows me to dissect nuances I would miss on more colored headphones. The transparency ensures I hear the recordings exactly as intended, for better or worse. With replaceable parts and a sturdy build, I expect years of service in the studio. While too analytical for casual listening, for forensic audio analysis, the SRH940 is superb.”


For podcasters shopping for quality wired headphones specifically optimized for recording, any of these 6 options provide impressive performance and value. Models like the Sony MDR-7506 and Sennheiser HD 280 Pro have proven their mettle over decades of professional use. For budget-minded podcasters, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x punches above its weight with surprising quality for the low price.

If you need rugged headphones built specifically for field recording, check out the exceptional Sennheiser HD-25. For the purest analytical listening experience, the Shure SRH940 stands atop the pack. Hopefully these reviews help highlight the best wired headphone options to consider for your podcasting needs.

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